Canoe with people looking for wildlife on the river in the Amazon during an orange sunset aboard the Delfin II in the Amazon
Delfin II small ship cruising the amazon during sunset
Woman jumping from small ship into the river aboard the Delfin II in the Amazon
Woman lounging in a hammock on the top deck the Delfin II in the Amazon.
Local Amazonian guide sharing his knowledge of the rainforest with his group of small ship passengers aboard the Delfin II in the Amazon
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South America Amazon Cruise

National Geographic Upper Amazon Cruise

This comprehensive 10-day Upper Amazon cruise includes pre- and post-cruise accommodations in Lima, a morning city tour of Lima and the added bonus of exploring the Amazon with professional National Geographic guides. Such inclusions set the National Geographic Upper Amazon Cruise cruise apart from other Amazon small ship cruises. The Delfin II is also one of the only ships cruising the Amazon with a full fleet of kayaks for up-close and personal exploration.

Spend 10 days experiencing Peru travel like never before. Search for three-toed sloths, piranhas, squirrel monkeys, tamarins, white-throated toucans, the famous pink Amazon river dolphin and hundreds of birds roosting and feeding along riverbanks. Enthusiastic and experienced National Geographic guides lead daily motorized skiff rides to beautiful rainforest walks (depending on water levels), past towering tropical trees and down remote tributaries. Kayak in the quiet blackwaters between giant lily pads or swim in a lake in the reserve’s deep interior. Bird-watchers, experienced explorers and those new to travel will enjoy the abundance of amazon wildlife with equal amazement. Guided night walks reveal caimans, frogs, fishing bats and other creatures of the night. Daytime community visits illuminate how the ribereños, who live on the riverbanks, understand the Amazon and maintain their age-old traditions. 

When the Peruvian Government established the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve in 1982, they encouraged the preservation of wilderness resources of the Amazon Basin, the longest extension of rainforest in the world. Named for the Pacaya River and Samiria Rivers running through it, the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve is bordered by two large and powerful rivers: the Marañón and the Ucayali, which converge to create the Amazon River. Seasonal flooding make the reserve unique in that aquatic species are often more abundant than land wildlife. Some 94 communities live within the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve and their main economy is centered around fishing, agriculture, gathering and hunting, which remains their first and most important activity and main food source.

Itineraries in the Peruvian Amazon vary based on high-water season and low-water season. High-water season is November to May and may allow for more extensive exploration and access via water. Low-water season is June through October and may allow for more trail walks. All listed activities depend on water levels, weather and season. Travelers equipped with a sense of adventure and openness tend to enjoy their experience in the Amazon jungle more.  

The luxury 28-guest riverboat Delfin II operates the National Geographic Upper Amazon Cruise, and is the perfect way to personally experience the Amazon while remaining comfortable and relaxed. The open decks and panoramic views make wildlife viewing easy at all times of day. Onboard amenities create a leisurely atmosphere while world-class chefs present the finest Peruvian gourmet cuisine. To truly experience Peru’s Upper Amazon, spend 10 days cruising through flooded forests, kayaking up winding tributaries and interacting with the people and wildlife that call the Amazon’s Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve home.

Read on for details about this trip, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s Amazon cruises.



Itinerary

National Geographic Upper Amazon Cruise Itinerary

This 10-day National Geographic Upper Amazon Cruise begins and ends in Lima, Peru. This Amazon river cruise explores the Amazon with National Geographic guides and a fleet of kayaks.

Upper Amazon Pacaya-Samiria Reserve Delfin II cruise route map.
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Day 1
Arrive Lima, Peru

Arrive in Lima in the late evening and transfer to your conveniently located hotel, Wyndham Costa del Sol Lima Airport Hotel.

Accommodations

Wyndham Costa del Sol Lima Airport Hotel

Meals

n/a

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Day 2
Lima to Iquitos & Embark Nauta

After breakfast, fly to Iquitos and continue overland to the riverside village of Nauta, where the Delfin II awaits. Settle into your cabin and gather for a welcome dinner of fine Peruvian cuisine on board. Tonight, step out on deck to gaze at the magnificent Amazon night sky.

Accommodations

Delfin II

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 3 - 8
Exploring the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve

Spend this week exploring the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve, a pristine swath of jungle stretching more than five million acres and harboring some of the Amazon’s most fascinating flora and fauna. It is bordered by the Marañón and the Ucayali, two powerful rivers that converge to create the famed Amazon, which floods annually with nutrient-rich waters. Locally, the area is known as the Mirrored Forest for the reflections created by its glassy water.

Daily excursions are by skiff, kayak, and—when the water level permits—hikes on dry land. Skim past giant lily pads afloat on blackwater lakes and venture deep into the rain forest on narrow tributaries. Spot sloths and monkeys, including variably colored saddleback tamarins, noisy howlers and shaggytailed monk saki monkeys. Watch for an astounding variety of birds, from tanagers and hummingbirds to parrots and endangered scarlet macaws. In the river, look for massive paiche fish, the Amazon’s largest; rare pink dolphins; and the infamous piranhas.

Enjoy an opportunity to swim in a lake in the reserve’s interior. Seek out victoria amazonica, a giant water lily that grows in small lagoons. Go on a bird-watching hike, listening for the vocal oropendola and then looking for its telltale yellow tail. Watch the sunset and listen to a cacophonous symphony of nocturnal animals calling out across the treetops. Then slip through the forest in a skiff as night falls, using a spotlight to find caimans, frogs, fishing bats and other creatures of the night. One of the unexpected joys of traveling in the Upper Amazon of Peru is interacting with the local ribereños, the traditional people who live on the riverbanks. Visit one of the local communities and see the projects that this cruise supports through a local non-profit, including a variety of handcrafts, women’s health initiatives and sustainable farming.

Accommodations

Delfin II

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 9
Disembark Nauta to Iquitos & Fly to Lima

Disembark in Nauta, stopping at the Amazon Rescue Center on the drive to Iquitos. Fly to Lima, visit Museo Larco then celebrate with a farewell dinner. Overnight at the Wyndham Costa del Sol Lima Airport Hotel.

Accommodations

Wyndham Costa del Sol Lima Airport Hotel

Meals

breakfast, lunch

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Day 10
Depart Lima

After breakfast, transfer to the airport in Lima for your flight home.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Accommodations aboard ship and in hotel as indicated on itinerary or similar; meals indicated; excursions; services of expedition leaders, naturalists and a medic assistant; port charges and service taxes.

Exclusions

Air transportation (starting at $450 for domestic flights in 2020 and 2021); personal items; insurance of any kind; and discretionary tips to ship’s crew.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $750 is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
120 or more days – $350 of deposit retained (may be applied to future trip by trip operator)
119 to 90 days – 100% of deposit
89 to 60 days – 25% of total trip cost
59 to 45 days – 50% of total trip cost
44 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The National Geographic Upper Amazon Cruise begins and ends in Lima, Peru (LIM). Plan to arrive in Lima anytime on day 1 of the itinerary. Plan to depart Lima anytime after breakfast on day 10 of the itinerary. We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Internal Flights

The National Geographic Upper Amazon Cruise Itinerary has a required flight between Lima and Iquitos on day 2 and day 9 of the itinerary. These internal Peru flights are not included in the cruise price (see Exclusions), but are arranged for you by AdventureSmith Explorations through your ship. Your Adventure Specialist will book these flights for you on the scheduled Amazon flight for your particular departure.

Activities

Activities include skiff rides exploring the various tributaries and waterways, kayaking, hikes, walks, wildlife viewing from the ship, swimming and visiting local communities. The Delfin II is the only ship in the region equipped with a fleet of kayaks, providing the rare privilege of intimate up-close experiences in this magical environment. On ship activities include spending time on deck or enjoying a rejuvenating massage (added cost). Each day the choice of what to do is yours.

Room Configuration

In addition to the listed Solo cabin rates, select double-occupancy cabins may be available for single occupancy with a single supplement fee. Holiday solo rates may fluctuate. Some rooms in the Suite category may be interconnected for families. Contact AdventureSmith for further details and availability.

Families & Children

Children under the age of 18 are eligible for $500 off the double occupancy rate. Skilled staff members trained with National Geographic Education organize activities that inspire curiosity in young people of all ages. Programming for kids may include activities like photo workshops, journaling, scavenger hunts, Zodiac-driving lessons, hands-on nature and science programming and kid-friendly menu options.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, season, wildlife, National Park regulation or at the captain’s and guides’ discretion. Itineraries in the Amazon vary based on the high water season of November to May and low water season of June to October. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

Rates & Dates

Cruise Rates & Dates

High-water season is November to May and allows for more extensive exploration and access via water. Low-water season is June through October and may allow for more trail walks. See Deals section for details on flexible booking policies.

Nov 07 - Nov 16, 2020
Delfin II • 10 days
From $7410USD
Per Person
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Nov 14 - Nov 23, 2020
Delfin II • 10 days
From $7410USD
Per Person
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Dec 12 - Dec 21, 2020
Delfin II • 10 days
From $7410USD
Per Person
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Dec 19 - Dec 28, 2020
Delfin II • 10 days
From $8520USD
Per Person
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Jan 16 - Jan 25, 2021
Delfin II • 10 days
From $7550USD
Per Person
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Jan 23 - Feb 01, 2021
Delfin II • 10 days
From $7550USD
Per Person
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Jan 30 - Feb 08, 2021
Delfin II • 10 days
From $7550USD
Per Person
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Feb 06 - Feb 15, 2021
Delfin II • 10 days
From $7550USD
Per Person
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Mar 06 - Mar 15, 2021
Delfin II • 10 days
From $7550USD
Per Person
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Mar 13 - Mar 22, 2021
Delfin II • 10 days
From $7550USD
Per Person
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Mar 20 - Mar 29, 2021
Delfin II • 10 days
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From $7550USD
Per Person
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Mar 27 - Apr 05, 2021
Delfin II • 10 days
themed trip icon of a blue bird flying
From $7550USD
Per Person
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May 15 - May 24, 2021
Delfin II • 10 days
From $7550USD
Per Person
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Jun 05 - Jun 14, 2021
Delfin II • 10 days
From $7550USD
Per Person
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Jun 12 - Jun 21, 2021
Delfin II • 10 days
From $7550USD
Per Person
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Jun 19 - Jun 28, 2021
Delfin II • 10 days
From $7550USD
Per Person
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Jul 03 - Jul 12, 2021
Delfin II • 10 days
From $7550USD
Per Person
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Jul 10 - Jul 19, 2021
Delfin II • 10 days
From $7550USD
Per Person
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Jul 24 - Aug 02, 2021
Delfin II • 10 days
From $7550USD
Per Person
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Jul 31 - Aug 09, 2021
Delfin II • 10 days
From $7550USD
Per Person
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Aug 07 - Aug 16, 2021
Delfin II • 10 days
From $7550USD
Per Person
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Aug 14 - Aug 23, 2021
Delfin II • 10 days
From $7550USD
Per Person
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Oct 30 - Nov 08, 2021
Delfin II • 10 days
From $7550USD
Per Person
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Nov 06 - Nov 15, 2021
Delfin II • 10 days
From $7550USD
Per Person
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Dec 25 - Jan 03, 2022
Delfin II • 10 days
From $8520USD
Per Person
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Accommodations

Learn About the Small Ships & Hotels on Your Itinerary

Riverboat
Delfin II

The 28-guest Delfin II is one of the most innovative and sustainable ships in the Amazon; it is the first to host a full fleet of kayaks. Luxury and authenticity combine perfectly on this river vessel, which brings influence and cultural awareness throughout the Peruvian Amazon.

Hotel
Wyndham Costa del Sol Lima Airport

For travelers arriving from North America to Lima and departing early for Cusco, this hotel's convenience cannot be beat. This luxury hotel is perfect for those traveling farther afield in Peru.

Deals

Current Deals on This Trip

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Offer expires December 31st, 2020
Receive Complimentary Round-Trip Airfare On 2020 National Geographic Upper Amazon Cruises

Receive complimentary round-trip airfare between Lima and Iquitos for select 2020 Amazon cruises in this special deal.

Add to Wishlist
Offer expires December 31st, 2020
Flexible Cancellation Available Close To Departure On National Geographic Upper Amazon Cruises

Book or re-book 2020 & 2021 Upper Amazon cruises with confidence using these risk-free, flexible policy details.

Add to Wishlist
Offer expires January 31st, 2021
Receive 2021 Rates for 2022 National Geographic Upper Amazon Cruises

Book now for 2022 Peruvian Amazon cruise savings.

Testimonial

Hear It from Travelers Who Have Explored with Us

"A Wonderful Experience"

The naturalists were excellent, full of information and willing to answer any questions--dumb or otherwise--we asked.

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Book with the confidence that comes from experience.

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

Extend Your Trip

Additional Travel Options Before or After Your Cruise

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5 - 6 Day Land Tour
Machu Picchu Explorer

Travel to Peru's most spectacular archaeological monument in South America: the ancient Inca site of Machu Picchu. This 5- or 6-day Machu Picchu Explorer adventure includes Cusco, the Urubamba Valley and upscale accommodations.

From $1575USD
Year Round
Add to Wishlist
4 - 5 Day Land Tour
Peru Amazon Adventure

Combine your Peru travels with an extension to the Amazon. Visit Lake Sandoval and Tambopata while staying at the famed Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica lodge. Birds, primates, extraordinary landscapes and breathtaking scenery await.

From $755USD
Year Round
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11 Day Land Tour
Peru Highlights

On this 11-day Peru Highlights tour, visit Lima, Arequipa, Lake Titicaca, Cusco, the Sacred Valley of Urubamba, Machu Picchu and more. Stay in upscale hotels, meet the people and traditions, delight your palate, embrace nature and discover Peru.

From $3700USD
Year Round
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4 - 5 Day Cruise
Delfin I Amazon River Cruise

The 8-guest Delfin I is one of the most intimate, luxurious and active vessels in which to experience the Peruvian Amazon. Choose from carefully crafted 4- or 5-day itineraries that allow you to kayak, stand-up paddleboard and visit local communities.

From $4400USD
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7 - 9 Day Cruise
Amatista Amazon Cruise

Board the 30-guest Amatista and spend 7 or 9 days cruising to the heart of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve in the Peruvian Amazon. Visit a local community and shaman and explore by foot and skiff, searching for wildlife beside expert naturalist guides.

Special Offer
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4 - 8 Day Cruise
Aria Amazon River Cruise

Explore the Amazon aboard the 32-guest luxury Aria while cruising three of Peru's powerful tributaries: Marañón, Ucayali and Pacaya. Fish for piranha, swim with pink dolphins, stargaze and experience Amazonia culture. The vibrant rainforest awaits!

Special Offer
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National Geographic Upper Amazon Cruise

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