General

The Aria Amazon Cruise is one of the few luxury vessels to cruise the Amazon River. The vessel was custom designed to offer guests an indulgent yet immersive experience in one of Earth’s remaining tropical wildernesses. The cruise was designed to offer a spacious environment while creating an intimate and exclusive experience.

The 16 cabin Aria Amazon Cruise includes relaxing dining and lounging areas complete with an outdoor jacuzzi for one of the best views of the Amazon Rainforest and river. The striking matt black hull houses 32 guests and 24 crew including paramedic and 4 English speaking naturalist guides. Our experienced and highly trained crew ensure a smooth and safe adventure into one of the world’s most Amazing and biodiverse environments.

Available departures

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Iquitos

Iquitos

Iquitos is the main Peruvian gateway to the Amazon Rainforest and is the largest city in the Peruvian Amazon. There are no roads that connect Iquitos to the rest of Peru making it the largest city in the world unreachable by car. Because it is a port city of the Amazon River, you can get to Iquitos by boat, but the most popular way to enter and leave Iquitos is by plane. From Iquitos, you can visit incredible protected areas that contain some of the highest diversities of life on Earth.

Pacaya Samiria National Reserve

The Pacaya is a flooded tropical forest of the Iquitos Amazon and provides guests with fantastic bird watching opportunities and chances to see other wildlife, such as Monkeys and aquatic life of caiman, turtles, and the largest fish in the Amazon River, the impressive Arapaima. The Pacaya Samiria National Reserve has a conservation initiative with local people to preserve the Arapaima in Lake El Dorado.

Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve

The Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve is an area of protected forest not as well known as the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, but it contains a high number and diversity of Amazon animals and plants. The reserve was established primarily to protect the rare Uakari Monkey and is now a haven for several different monkeys that can often be seen with relative ease inside the reserve. The reserve is also home to a great diversity of animals including Jaguar, Tapir, Anaconda, Paca, Brocket Deer, and many different tropical birds.

Iquitos Architecture

Like other rubber boom cities, such as the larger Manaus in Brazil, some of the architecture in Iquitos reflects the power and wealth of the rubber boom period. The Iron House for example, which is near the Plaza de Armas, was initially seen in Paris, France, by a rubber baron. He decided he liked the building and so shipped it in pieces to Iquitos in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest.

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Peru

Peru

The hotspot in Peru is the city of Cusco located in the southern portion of the country. From Cusco, you can organise tours to see the archaeological sites of the Inkas, the main attraction being Machu Picchu. This 15th-century Inka site draws hundreds of thousands of tourists each year to see the ancient ruins and hike the Inka Trail. However, there is much more to Peru than this site and there are even more archaeological interests, such as the Inka Cradle of Gold and Northern Kingdoms.

In addition to archaeology, Peru boasts the second largest amount of Amazon Rainforest and more species of animals and plants have been found in this region than in others. As Earth’s largest container of life, this is clearly a must see if you’re even a little bit interested in nature.

If you like Monkeys, Sloths, Macaws, Parrots and other Birds, the Amazon Rainforest should be on your list. If you would like to unwind free from the stresses of city life, a tour of the Amazon Rainforest is also recommended. You can choose budget friendly visits, such as from Puerto Maldonado, as well as luxury cruises from Iquitos. If you’re after adventure for deeper experiences of the Amazon Rainforest, you can find these tours from both Puerto Maldonado and Iquitos. We have selected some of the best tour operators to make sure you make the most of your visit. Continue To Amazon Tours >>

Protected Areas

The protected areas in Peru include the following UNESCO World Heritage listed areas:

UNESCO World Heritage listed Cultural Protected Areas:

  • Chan Chan Archaeological Zone (1986)
  • Chavin (Archaeological Site) (1985)
  • City of Cuzco (1983)
  • Historic Centre of Lima (1988)
  • Historical Centre of the City of Arequipa (2000)
  • Lines and Geoglyphs of Nasca and Pampas de Jumana (1994)
  • Sacred City of Caral-Supe (2009)
  • Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu (1983)

UNESCO World Heritage listed Natural Protected Areas:

  • Huascarán National Park (1985)
  • Manú National Park (1987)
  • Río Abiseo National Park (1990)

Complementing these areas, there are many more national parks and reserves that protect an incredible number and diversity of birds, mammals, amphibians, plants, insects and reptiles as well as offering protection for the Amazon’s remaining indigenous populations.

Other protected areas of Amazon Rainforest:

  • Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, Loreto
  • Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve, Loreto
  • Allpahuayo-Mishana National Reserve, Loreto
  • Matsés National Reserve, Loreto
  • Bahuaja-Sonene National Park, Madre de Dios
  • Tambopata National Reserve, Madre de Dios
  • Otishi National Park, Junín

Other Peruvian protected areas:

  • Paracas National Reserve, Ica
  • Lachay Hills Reserve, Lima
  • Titicaca, Puno
  • National Reserve of Pampa Galeras Barbara D’Achille, Ayacucho
  • Salinas and Aguada Blanca National Reserve, Arequipa
  • Tumbes National Reserve, Tumbes

Nature

These reserves, especially those in the Amazon Rainforest, contain an incredible diversity of wildlife. Some reserves, such as the Pampa Galeras National Reserve, protect Peru’s wild camelids, the ancestors of llamas and alpacas.

Peru is a bird enthusiast’s paradise. From the Andes to the Amazon, you can find incredible bird life. The National Bird of Peru is the Cock of the Rock (Rupicola peruvianus), easily seen near the Cock of the Rock Lodge on a 3D/2N tour from Cusco.

As Peru contains a large portion of the Amazon Rainforest, the country includes a large amount of Amazon wildlife, such as sloths, monkeys, macaws, giant otters, anacondas and much more, which you can see from Peru’s top Amazon Rainforest Lodges.

Gastronomy

Peru is a hit with food lovers worldwide for its traditional and unique cuisine. If you’re even a little bit interested in sampling different foods, you will have already heard about ceviche, a dish originating in Peru consisting of raw fish drizzled with lemon, lime and spices.

Lock up your pets for the next dish, as you may not have realised that Guinea Pigs were originally bred for food and as Europeans farmed Sheep, Goats and Cows, Peruvians living in the Andes farmed Guinea Pigs known locally as cuy.

There are many other main meals to try like various beef, chicken and even alpaca dishes as well as meals centered around the potato. Potatoes originated in Peru and only a few varieties from the thousands available were exported to the rest of the world.

For dessert, again there are many varieties available like the Suspiro a la Limeña, which had its origins in the 19th Century and includes peanut and meringue flavors. Another traditional dessert from the colonial era is Frejol Colado, which is made using black or red beans, honey molasses, clove and toasted sesame seeds. The preparation varies, but usually includes cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, red wine, molasses, and brown sugar.

Of an evening, the cocktail of choice is the Pisco Sour, which has a heavy citrus, sour flavor and had its origins in Lima, Peru.

Cities

The main cities in Peru to base yourself for a Peruvian adventure are:

  • Lima: Gastronomy, culture, base for tours to other areas
  • Cusco: Machu Picchu, Cradle of Gold, Manu cloud forest
  • Puerto Maldonado: Most developed Amazon tourism industry
  • Iquito: Amazon lodges & cruises on the Amazon River
  • Cajamarca: Explore Inca history
  • Chiclayo: Explore Chachapoyas history
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Amazon Rainforest

Amazon Rainforest

Earth’s largest continuous tropical rainforest, the Amazon contains more life than anywhere else. Spanning nine nations, you can take a tour in the Amazon Rainforest from a variety of places, some well known and others for the more adventurous. The main countries to access the Amazon are Peru and Brazil, which contain the highest amounts of the forest, but there are another 7 to choose from. We have selected the top tour operators for visiting this impressive forest where you will be shown the Amazon’s scenic beauty and its life within.

How impressive is the Amazon Rainforest?

The largest intact tropical wildernesses are the Amazon, the Congo in west Africa, and the rainforested landmass of New Guinea. If you combined New Guinea and the Congo rainforest, the resulting land area could fit snugly inside the Amazon Rainforest. Not only that, the Amazon contains 1/5th of the world’s fresh water, covers nearly half of South America (40%) and provides 20% of the planet’s Oxygen. This incredible forest contains 1/10th of all the species on Earth. The Amazon Rainforest is fed by the Amazon River, which is a remarkable natural feature in its own right. This is Earth’s largest river by volume and second longest after the Nile.

Conservation

While you’re reading this, there is an intense struggle going on in the Amazon between people who see the rainforest as a resource to be exploited and used up for its huge amounts of timber, precious metals, meat, pets, and oil and those of us who think its existence is worth its weight in oil and timber. The Yasuni National Park in Ecuador is at the moment sitting on the world’s largest untapped oil reserve. This is creating a bit of tension between our fellow humans who live inside the national park and oil prospectors constantly trying to penetrate the forest. If this is important to you, you can convince people to de-invest in oil companies who don’t play ball. If deforestation continues at current rates, the WWF estimate 55% of the Amazon Rainforest will be gone by 2030.

Size of the Amazon Rainforest

To get geographical, the Amazon Rainforest spans 2, 300, 000 square miles (6,000,000 square km) and is contained by the mountain ranges of the Guiana Highlands in the north, the Andes in the west and then the Brazilian plateau in the south.

Amazon Habitats

Although dominated by rainforest, the Amazon also contains many other vegetation types, such as seasonal, flooded and deciduous forests, as well as savannahs. This vegetation is fed by the Amazon River and occurs in the Amazon’s drainage basin

Amazon Rainforest Animals

As the world’s largest container of life, you can see many different animals in the Amazon including the famed Scarlet Macaws and Toucans, more easily seen at clay licks in the Manu or Madidi National Park or the Tambopata National Reserve in Peru and Bolivia. Tapir are the largest land mammal in the Amazon and these strange looking mammals can also be seen at the Amazon’s clay licks where they come to feed off nutrient rich clay. As well as Tapir, the other main animals Amazon tourists like to see are the Giant River Otters and Jaguar. However, there is an incredible diversity of other animals to amaze you as you wander or canoe Amazonia with your professional Amazon guide. They will spot Sloths clinging to the branches high the trees and draw your attention to the Monkeys following you through the forest.

The Amazon River

The Amazon River is the planet’s most voluminous, with a mouth of 300 miles, which drains 500 billion cubic feet of water each day. The river and its 1000 or more tributaries contain an incredible diversity of fish as well as aquatic mammals like Manatees and River Dolphins. On the Amazon River, you will find the main bases for the Amazon Rainforest such as the port cities of Iquitos in Peru, and Manaus and Santarem in Brazil.

Amazon Rainforest Tourism

Tourism in the southern Amazon Rainforest of southern Peru and Bolivia is at its most developed whereas in the north it is still in its infancy. The small Peruvian town of Puerto Maldonado gives you access to the edge of the Madidi National Park in Bolivia, the Tambopata National Reserve close to town, and the famous Manu National Park, the most pristine national park in the Peru. These areas are fantastic for clay lick to see Macaws, Toucans, Tapir, as well as Jaguar, which prey on the mammals. These areas are also a good choice to see the endangered Giant River Otters. If, however, you would like a cruise or to see the rainforest near the Amazon River itself, you can choose the forests of Ecuador, Peru and Brazil. Here you can see the abundant Monkeys and many different Amazon Birds. So what are you waiting for? Jump in and TourTheTropics!

Amazon Tours from Peru

Iquitos
Iquitos is the largest Peruvian city in the Amazon Rainforest and is the Amazon gateway for visits to Peruvian rainforest along the Amazon River. Iquitos is also the largest city in the world unreachable by road, which means to access Iquitos you are likely to enter the region by air. To see the breathtaking carpet of green spanning the horizon as you fly over the rainforest is a spectacle in itself. From Iquitos, you will have access to cruises along the Amazon River focusing on the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve and Amazon Rainforest lodges. To fully enjoy this region, we advise choosing tours that take you far from the city (~150 km) to see the incredible diversity of animals and plants this region boasts. We have selected the best tours in the region to make sure you make the most of your visit to this fun and welcoming Amazon Rainforest gateway. Continue to Iquitos Tours >>

Cusco
Cusco is the main tourist destination in Peru. Hundreds of thousands of tourists travel to Cusco each year to visit the very well marketed Machu Picchu and other archaeological sites in the region. Natural wonders are also on the list of activities, however, as Cusco provides a base to visit the Amazon Rainforest Cloud Forest in the Andean Mountain Range. Manu National Park is regarded as the most pristine protected in Peru and contains both lowland and Cloud Forest habitats containing an incredible diversity of Amazon plants and animals. You can combine both the lowland and Andean rainforest from an Amazon tour from cusco and take advantage of three excellent lodges in the region. Continue to Cusco Tours >>

Puerto Maldonado
A short flight from Cusco will bring you to this unassuming Amazon Rainforest gateway. As well as Cusco, the Puerto Maldonado region has access to one of the most developed tourism industries in the Amazon Rainforest. Here you can visit the Manu National Park, Madidi National Park (Bolivia) and the Tambopata National Reserve — the closest protected area to Puerto Maldonado (only 45 minutes), which contains exceptional Amazon wildlife. Puerto Maldonado is your best choice for short tours into the Amazon (~3 Days) as you can quickly get in and out. We have collected the best tours for visits to the Amazon, the majority of which have environmental certification. Continue to Puerto Maldonado Tours >>

Amazon Tours from Brazil

Manaus
Manaus is the main Amazon Rainforest gateway in Brazil, where you can visit the impressive Central Amazon Ecological Corridor — a mega-reserve that incorporates several protected areas. The closest of these protected areas to Manaus is the Anavilhanas. From Manaus you can organise cruises on the Amazon River or Rio Negro, the meeting of these rivers creates one of the main short tours near the city. Manaus is a bustling industrial port boasting incredible architecture from the rubber boom period of Amazon history. Continue to Manaus Tours >>

Santarém
Another Brazilian gateway to the Amazon Rainforest, Santarém is surrounded by impressive lakes fed by the Amazon River and 100 kms of attractive beaches. Like Manaus, in Santarém you can find impressive architecture and many historical buildings.

Amazon Tours from Ecuador

Sitting in the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest is the Yasuni National Park occupied by various indigenous groups and to the north is the Cuyabeno Reserve. The Yasuni region contains the highest amount of life anywhere on Earth, but sits on one of the largest remaining untapped oil reserves. This places a considerable threat on the heads of many of the world’s animals and plants, but also on the indigenous population. Some communities have adopted ecotourism as a way of showing visitors the extraordinary diversity of this region and why it should be protected, as well as communicating their ongoing struggle against oil companies. Continue to Ecuador Tours >>

Amazon Tours from Colombia

Leticia is the Amazon Rainforest gateway in Colombia and is one of the safest places in the country, but we always advise checking with your country’s government for the latest news. Leticia will be a stopping point on cruises and ferries between Iquitos (Peru) and Manaus (Brazil).

Amazon Tours from Venezuela

The Amazon Rainforest in Venezeuala is mostly known for the Yanomami indigenous group, who occupy the largest tract of land of any native community. The Yanomami occur on the border between Venezuela and Brazil and have accepted tourism as a means to communicate their struggle for forest protection.

Amazon Tours from Bolivia

The Bolivian Amazon Rainforest is mostly known for the Madidi National Park, an impressive protected area containing a high diversity of Amazon wildlife. Your entry point for the Bolivian Amazon Rainforest is the town of Rurrenabaque and here you can take tours to the surrounding rainforest. Madidi had a history of misusing the power of tourism as too many tourists resulted in park degradation, a big no no when it comes to eco tourism. With much improved park management and regulations, tourism is now being used to protect the forests.

Amazon Tours from Guyana

These last three countries (and parts of countries–French Guiana is actually in France) are the smallest and most neglected areas to visit the Amazon Rainforest. They are included in an area of South America known as the the Guianan Shield (geological section of the South American plate) that encompasses all three nations as well as parts of Brazil, Venezeuala and Colombia. Guyana is the largest of the three nations and probably the most well known. Although, because French Guiana is part of the European Union, it isn’t as popular as a tourist destination as French Guiana and neighboring Suriname. Guyana is growing in popularity with nature lovers and is especially haled by birdwatchers worldwide.

Amazon Tours from Suriname

Tourism in Suriname remains important for the economy and is centered around the Amazon Rainforest. The largest protected area in the country is the Central Suriname Nature Reserve and is also its most popular. Suriname presents exceptional wildlife experiences with over 30% of the country protected in wildlife reserves.

Amazon Tours from French Guiana

French Guiana is the wealthiest of these three regions and contains 31, 000 square miles (8 million hectares) of tropical forest with a large fraction protected in ecological reserves.

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South America

South America

A continent of contrasts, South America split from the African landmass and joined with North America to merge a distinct set of flora, fauna and geographical features. The South American continent is bound by the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Pacific Ocean to the west and is the jumping off point for Antarctica to the south. After the merger with North America, the Isthmus of Panama in the north would be the land bridge by which many different animals, including humans, migrated south into this diverse continent. Welcome to South America.

South American Rainforest

The largest tract of continuous rainforest on Earth is found in South America. The Amazon is larger than the other largest rainforests, the Congo Rainforest in West Africa and the New Guinean Rainforest in Australasia, combined. This incredible forest has filled the hearts and minds of naturalists and explorers for hundreds of years and can be accessed from any one of the nine nations it crosses. For the majority of Amazon tourists, the two countries to base themselves for an Amazon Adventure are Peru and Brazil, which contain the largest portions of the rainforest, but there are lesser known adventurous alternatives…

The Brazilian Cerrado

The Brazilian Cerrado is the country’s 2nd largest habitat after the Amazon Rainforest. The Cerrado is a tropical savanna habitat that experiences a humid climate. The habitat is home to many endemic species found nowhere else on Earth. Here you will see incredible wildlife, such as Endangered Maned Wolves, Hyacinth Macaws, and tool-using Capuchin Monkeys.

The Pantanal

The Pantanal Wetlands allows a higher chance of seeing some of the Amazon Rainforest’s most sort-after wildlife, such as Jaguar, Giant Otters and Capybara. The open and often treeless habitat means Capybara can roam the grasslands in huge numbers and animals cannot easily hide from view. Although lesser known than the Amazon, the Pantanal houses an equal concentration of wildlife to the densest areas in Africa.

Brazilian Atlantic Forest

When the Portuguese first set foot on South America over 500 years ago, they were met with the Atlantic Forest. One of the most threatened tropical forests, the Atlantic forest in southern Brazil is home to many highly threatened animals and plants. Over 85% of the original forest cover has been deforested, but because of its significance as a home for many endemic species, hundreds of businesses, NGOs and charities are working to restore this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

South American Countries

The main countries that make up South America are, in order of highest population, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Venezuela, Chile, Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uraguay, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana (France).

Eco Regions in South America

Tourists can explore the different eco-regions in South America, which offer a chance to view breathtaking scenery, amazing wildlife and contrasting environments. You can explore the Amazon Rainforest or Atlantic Forest previously mentioned, the wetlands, which are home to abundant animals and plants, Andean Cloud Forest to see incredible bird life, the Atacama desert, Earth’s driest area, the Andean mountain range, the world’s longest mountain range, and the famous Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador to see uniquely famous animals and plants.

Wildlife and Protected Areas

Within these Bio Regions are the main National Parks that protect South America’s famous and world renowned wildlife for future generations. View the famous macaws of Tambopata National Reserve and Manu National Park and see Jaguar in the Pantanal.

Tourist Attractions – Culture, History and Nature

In addition to South America’s cities and bio regions, tourists flock to South America to see its rich cultural heritage for a glimpse into a land before the modern world as well as natural wonders, such as Angel Falls in Venezuela, the world’s highest waterfall.

South America History

Like the pyramids of Egypt, South America is home to its own archeological sites of now vanished societies. Machu Picchu in Peru alone draws hundreds of thousands of tourists each year to visit this mystical Incan ruin. As well as Machu Picchu, Peru is home to other archaeological sites like the Cradle of Gold and the latest tourist destination, the Northern Kingdoms.

There have been many different civilizations in South America, such as the Chavin, which spanned 900 BC to 300 AD, the Moche, from 100 BC to 700 AD, the Chachopayas, from 1000–1450, but none that have caught the public attention as much as the Inkas, which dominated the Andean region from 1438 to 1533 and were invaded by the Spanish in one of the most significant periods in South American history. To explore South America’s rich and interesting Archeological sites, travel to one of our popular Ancient Destinations.

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Facilities

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Accommodation

All of the 16 Aria Amazon Cruise designed suites, which are spread between both the first and second deck, measure 23 square meters (250 square feet) and all offer air conditioning, polished timber flooring, and a floor to ceiling window so you can see into the rainforest from the comfort of your room to spot colorful birds, rainforest animals and fascinating plants.

All rooms feature en-suite bathrooms with organic amenities and a rain shower with the latest eco-conscious technology. The rooms are lit with soft-lighting and decorated with natural fibers for a relaxing and comfortable environment. You can gaze into the rainforest from your California king size bed complete with 100% Peruvian cotton high thread count sheets (which can be turned into two twin beds) or you can move to the window-side day bed with binoculars for a closer look at something you spotted.

Cellphone & Internet Coverage

Please note: We do not have Internet connection on board the Aria Amazon, though guests report periodically connecting via roaming on their Blackberry, iPhone and other handheld devices, depending on our proximity to more developed areas. For cellular phone contact you may need a special telephone that can operate on a foreign signal although, keep in mind that most areas outside Iquitos are so remote that you will be unable to get a signal. If you need to contact your home or office for any emergency, the Aria Amazon is equipped with a satellite phone. We will inform you, prior to calling, of the current price of an international call and you may pay for these directly on board.

Living Room

The Aria Amazon Cruise living room offers floor to ceiling panoramas on both sides of the vessel from our windows designed to provide a connected feeling to the Amazon despite your comfortable surroundings. Fitted with soft lighting and timber floors you can enjoy homemade plantain chips and cocktails or a South American fine wine without missing sights of the Amazon.

For relaxing, we also provide coffee table books on Peru and the rainforest and we also provide educational discussions on the greatest wilderness on Earth. The discussions are focused on our day’s adventure into the forest and led by your naturalist guides but include topics like turtle conservation right through to preparing the perfect pisco sour.

Outdoor Lounge

Our outdoor lounge area is where we have a generous outdoor deck so you can enjoy the sunshine. Here you can relax in the sun on the comfortable loungers or stargaze of an evening. We provide awnings so you can also shelter from the sun while enjoying some of the freshest air on Earth. We offer a full schedule of activities but you are free to head out on activities or you can choose to opt-out and simply relax aboard the vessel whenever you want. As an extra temptation, the area is also home to the Aria’s outdoor jacuzzi.

Observation Deck

The observation desk on the Aria Amazon Cruise uppermost level is close to the indoor lounge with its fully stocked bar on one side and library at the other. The lounge is decorated with fresh flowers and artifacts, comfortable cream sofas and high ceilings.

Workout Facilities

The Aria Amazon’s signature walls of glass come in especially helpful here in the ship’s dedicated workout space, offering engrossing distraction for guests on the treadmill and stationery bicycle.

Food & Dining

The Aria Amazon Cruise features executive Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino’s Amazonia-inspired cuisine which you can enjoy while gazing over the Amazon from the room’s floor-to-ceiling windows. The refined interior of the Aria Amazon dining room has been stylishly finished with contemporary Peruvian art, fine china and crystal glassware. The aesthetics are matched by attentive, personalized service from long serving staff that quickly learn guest names and tastes, from Peruvian coffee in the morning to the evening’s fine South American and European wines.

Hearts of palm soufflé, scallops with wild almonds and umari fruit, plantain and yucca gnocchi, escolar fish in aji panka chili adobo, grilled paiche with Amazon huatia potatoes are just some of the regional delicacies created by Executive Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino. Schiaffino has earned global recognition, including from The Diners Club® World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, for his innovative Amazonia-influenced cuisine, served at Malabar and Amaz, two of his top-ranked Lima restaurants, as well as on board the Aqua Amazon and Aria Amazon.

Tour

The Aria Amazon Cruise Tours are designed to show off one of the most diverse areas of the Amazon Rainforest as our highly skilled naturalist guides point out wildlife, birds and plant life from our custom designed launches. These seat 8 passengers each and we journey out from the vessel on three daily excursions deep into Amazonia. Here we will be finding interesting animals like armored catfish, red bellied piranhas, and the beady-eyed heads of spectacled caimans in the enigmatic black waters. Just as captivating is the scene above water where yellow spotted Amazon River turtles meander along the muddy shoreline, sapphire blue beaked Amazon kingfishers streak past and antediluvian prehistoric hoatzin birds alight on high branches near dusky titi monkeys playing in the tree canopy.

In accordance with safety policies and environmental conservation and responsible travel guidelines, these skiffs are equipped with the latest Mercury 60 HP Marine Outboard engines, which operate at ultra-low emissions levels as certified by the California Air Resources Board. These energy-efficient vessels produce 65 percent lower emissions than required by the United States Environmental Protection Agency standards. Captains on board are constant radio contact with the Aria Amazon to ensure the safety of our guests while they explore Amazonia.

Aria Amazon Cruise’s four naturalist guides lead three daily excursions from comfortable skiffs into the Amazon’s tributaries and on forest walks in the rainforest. Our guides grew up in these forests on the bank of the Amazon and know the forest well. They possess a local native’s ability to spot a brown-throated three-toed sloth sleeping high up in the tree canopy, an anaconda slithering along the shoreline and even the elusive capybara hiding in the high grass after nightfall. Despite acknowledging the Aria’s luxury and attention to detail, the main comment from all guests is the knowledge and quality of the Aria’s naturalist guides in showing off the Amazon Rainforest and its wildlife.

Community Outreach

The Aria Cruise Tour Operator has a strong commitment to identifying and helping to meet the needs of local communities in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, where it operates its luxury vessel, the M/V Aqua. To underscore that commitment, Founder and Chief Executive Officer Francesco Galli-Zugaro recently appointed Juan Díaz Alván to the newly created position of Community Research Manager.

“I am delighted to welcome Mr. Díaz Alván into the Aria Cruise family,” Galli-Zugaro noted. “His very important role will be to help identify the specific needs of the communities in Pacaya Samiria, and to help us implement plans to provide meaningful assistance.”

Mr. Díaz Alván is a biologist who specializes both in working with communities in protected areas, as well as in the study of Amazon birds. He will manage relationship-building between the Aria Cruise Tour Operator and the local riverside communities, and will also work with the leadership of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve and other institutions related to tourism and environmental conservation in Amazonia. He is a graduate of Universidad Nacional de la Amazonía Peruana (UNAP).

The entire experience was amazing and lived up to our every dream. Roland, Julio and Daniel made us feel like we were family. I had tears in my eyes when we said goodbye. Doing the 7 day trip was perfect.
Having this much time on Aria gives you time to really relax and enjoy every aspect of the trip. We saw so much and met some wonderful people.

- Mr. and Mrs.Weinman

The Aria Cruise Tour Operator believes that responsible eco-friendly operations play a crucial role in protecting the health of the Amazonian people, Amazon wildlife and the Amazon rainforest. We are genuinely committed to keeping our Peru rivers clean and beautiful, for today and for generations to come. As a result, our environmentally responsible ecotourism practices have been developed to be world-class and well above the environmental protection requirements of local regulations.

Waste Management
Meticulous waste management represents a major step towards ensuring conservation of the environment. All waste is treated onboard in fully-contained storage tanks. The result is 100% clean, sterile water that can safely be discharged into the rivers of the Amazon Basin. In fact we are the only vessel operating on the Amazon to have a sophisticated sewage treatment plant. Our waste storage tanks comply fully with IMO and U.S. Coast Guard standards.

Water Purification
Water is a scarce commodity and an essential resource vital for human health. Natural water is contaminated by undesirable substances or microorganisms that can be harmful. We collect and treat river water on board by using our 7,000 liter purification system in order to provide water fit for human consumption.

Fuel Efficiency
Our M/V AQUA’s new Cummins NT 855 2007 model engines are fuel efficient, quieter, virtually smoke free and with a marked reduction in emissions. Furthermore, in order to minimize noise and vibration on board, our Marine Generators have been encapsulated. All these measures comply with the latest IMO and EPA standards.

Engine Emissions
The three expedition skiffs come equipped with new 40 HP Mercury Outboard engines providing Three-Star Ultra-Low Emissions, as certified by the California Air Resource Board, and producing 65% lower emissions than engines meeting U.S. EPA's 2006 standards.

Food Security
Ecolab provides the most effective and efficient cleaning, food safety and infection control programs available worldwide. Our use of their cleaning and sanitation products increases safety, lowers consumption of water and energy and reduces the chemicals and waste released into the environment.

Rates |

4 Days / 3 Nights (double occupancy):

  • (1st Deck)

  • (2nd Deck)

5 Days / 4 Nights (double occupancy):

  • (1st Deck)

  • (2nd Deck)

8 Days / 7 Nights (double occupancy):

  • (1st Deck)

  • (2nd Deck)

Important Notes

  • All rates are per person double occupancy; single supplement +25% regular rates.
  • Child Policy: 7 year age minimum on all departures, child under 12 years old will receive a 20% discount.
  • Third person sleeping on sofa bed will receive a 20% discount
  • Third person being a child under 12 years old sleeping on sofa bed pays US $500 per night

Included in our all inclusive cruise rates are:

  • All meals while onboard
  • All excursions off the Aria Amazon
  • All beverages (non-alcoholic, house wine and beer)
  • Transfers to/from vessel when arriving or departing on recommended flights
  • Pacaya Samiria National Reserve entrance fee

Not Included

  • Air tickets to and from Iquitos
  • Guide and crew gratuities
  • Boutique purchases

Aqua Amazon Cruise Travel Policy

Medical and Health:
Guests should be in good physical health in order to be able to make the most of their Amazon Cruise. Visiting the area involves the use of small motorized skiffs and at times may include some possible wet landings. The daily nature excursions may include walking on irregular terrain, and getting in and out of the skiffs occasionally requires some physical effort. Walking excursions may last up to one hour. Malaria and yellow fever vaccinations are not required for travelers coming into the region, but are recommended.

Insurance:
Travelers are strongly advised to purchase trip cancellation insurance, which will reimburse the cost of air tickets and other non-refundable trip payments. International medical, baggage loss and delay insurance are also recommended. M/V Aqua’s operator assumes no liability for lost or stolen personal belongings.

Vessel Replacement:
We reserve the right to substitute another vessel for the M/V Aqua if considered necessary (i.e. force majeure or mechanical failure). If the travelers do not take this option, we reserve the right to cancel the trip upon a refund pro rata per cruise night not used or, as an alternative, will offer credit toward a future cruise on the Aqua.

The Pacaya Samiria Reserve in the Amazon:
The Pacaya Samiria Reserve is a protected area and visitors are required to comply with certain rules and regulations. The naturalist guide will inform passengers of these rules. The Pacaya Samiria Reserve and the Aqua Cruise Tour Operator, through the guide onboard, reserve the right to deny any passenger disembarkation for visits if any of these regulations are ignored or violated.

Dietary Needs:
The Aqua Cruise Tour Operator should be contacted at least 30 days prior to embarkation regarding travelers’ specific dietary needs. Every effort will be made to cater to special dietary needs, and to accommodate special requests, subject to a given products’ availability in Peru.

Travelers’ Responsibilities:
Travelers have responsibilities toward both their fellow passengers and the Aqua Cruise Tour Operator’s crew. Every passenger should review the conditions contained in the trip itinerary, follow normal social behavior patterns with fellow passengers, observe all safety requirements on board and on excursions, and act in an appropriate and respectful manner toward the Aqua’s crew members and their fellow travelers.

FIT RESERVATIONS & PAYMENTS
a) Reservations made 91 days or more before departure:
A deposit of US $400 per person is required to confirm the booking. The final balance is required 90 days prior to departure. If the payment is not received on time, the space(s) will be automatically released.

b) Reservations made 90 days or less prior to departure:
A full, non refundable payment is required to confirm the booking.

FIT CANCELLATION POLICY
a) Cancellations made 121 days or more before departure:
The deposit will be refunded, less a US $200 service charge per person.

b) Cancellations made 120 to 91 days prior to departure:
All deposits are non refundable.

c) Cancellations made 90 days or less prior to departure:
Full payment will be applied as the cancellation penalty.

GROUP RESERVATIONS & PAYMENTS (8 PAX OR MORE)
a) Reservations made 121 days or more prior to departure:
An initial deposit of US $400 per person is required to confirm the booking, with a second deposit of US $400 per person 120 days before departure. The final balance is required 90 days prior to departure.

b) Reservations made 120 days to 91 days prior to departure:
A deposit of US $800 per person is required to confirm the booking. The final balance is required 90 days prior to departure.

c) Reservations made 90 days or less prior to departure:
A full, non refundable payment is required to confirm the booking.

GROUP CANCELLATION POLICY
a) Cancellations made 121 days or more prior to departure:
The deposit will be refunded, minus a US $200 service charge per person.

b) Cancellations made 120 to 91 days prior to departure:
All deposits are non refundable.

c) Cancellations made 90 days or less prior to departure:
Full payment will be applied as the cancellation penalty.

*In the event of cancellations, wire fees and credit card commissions will be deducted when calculating refunds.

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