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Delfin Amazon Cruise - Peru

Peru and Ecuador have similar wildlife, geography, culture, and history. But there are some big differences for visiting, which we will cover below.

The countries are neighbors in a similar area of South America. And the biggest differences for you will be the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador and Machu Picchu in Peru.

Note that both countries are great options for visiting the Amazon Rainforest. And there are some excellent combination tours for each.

We will mention some of the top recommended tours below.

Ecuador has the Galapagos Islands and a diverse section of Amazon Rainforest making it a fantastic place for an Amazon & Galapagos combination tour. Peru has the incredible Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu around Cusco, as well as one of the most thought out tourism areas in the Amazon Rainforest creating a great combination experience of culture and nature.

The Amazon Rainforest of Peru & Ecuador

The world’s largest container of wildlife, the Amazon Rainforest crosses nine nations and covers 40% of South America.

This is an incredible place to visit for anyone even the slightest bit interested in the natural world. You will see and experience a living Eden mostly untouched by human hands.

Enjoy spotting many different animals and plants, such as several different monkeys, interesting birds, colorful butterflies and fascinating mammals.

Ecuador or Peru, Blue & Yellow Macaws, Iquitos, Peru

The larger and iconic animals that live in the Amazon include:

  • Jaguar
  • Tapir
  • Giant River Otters
  • Blue Morpho Butterflies
  • Macaw Parrots
  • Toucans
  • Anaconda
  • Green Iguanas
  • River Dolphins

Within the Amazon Rainforest, the highest diversity has been reported in the western half. You can find this in Ecuador and Peru. This is also where the river and rainforest begin on the eastern slope of the Andes.

The top Amazon tours in Ecuador are focused around the Yasuni National Park, the jewel in the crown of Ecuador’s rainforest. And the recommended Peru Amazon tours are focused around the Tambopata Reserve, Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve and Pacaya Samiria National Reserve.

The Yasuni Region, Ecuador

One of the most famous Amazon Rainforest areas, Yasuni National Park is in eastern Ecuador and accessed from the rainforest gateway town of Coca. This is just a short flight from Ecuador’s capital of Quito. The rainforest inside and surrounding the park is an incredible region to visit with a breathtaking abundance of wildlife.

The region has won numerous world records for species diversity and contains one of the few clay licks in the northern Amazon Rainforest. These areas provide almost guaranteed sightings of parakeets, which visit to obtain salts and to neutralize toxins found in various fruits.

Ecuador or Peru, Lake Garzacocha, Ecuador

You can explore inside Yasuni National Park on some excellent Amazon cruises in Ecuador, such as the Manatee Explorer, and you can enjoy fantastic lodges to explore the surrounding wildlife-rich rainforest. One of the favorites is the Sacha Lodge with its impressive canopy walkway.

Manatee Cruise

Includes: all meals, accommodation, guided tours, transfers from and to Coca airport, private assistance at Quito airport. | 4, 5, 8 days

Two of the premium lodge experiences in Ecuador’s Amazon are the Sacha Lodge with its incredible canopy walkway and La Selva Lodge & Spa for a luxury-class lodge where you can enjoy a relaxing massage treatment.

Includes: all meals, accommodation, guided tours, transfers from and to Coca airport. | 4, 5 days+

The Sacha Lodge is nestled in a private rainforest reserve of connected Amazon Rainforest and contains some incredible species. The lodge has a 940-foot (275-meter) long canopy walkway, which is about 94 feet (30 meters) above the rainforest floor.

From the Sacha Lodge, enjoy guided tours in the rainforest to find several different monkeys, fascinating reptiles, amphibians, and colorful birds. From the Sacha Lodge, people have seen 587 different bird species, which represents 37% of all the birds living in Ecuador.

Includes: all meals, accommodation, selection of guided tours, transfers from and to Coca airport. | 4, 5 days+

The Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, Peru

The Pacaya Samiria National Reserve is a beautiful flooded forest of the Amazon Basin further up the river from Yasuni National Park and accessed from the Amazon gateway of Iquitos in northern Peru. There are an astounding number of species in the Pacaya Samiria.

The animals you can see on the excellent Pacaya Samiria cruises include howler monkeys, capuchins, saki monkeys, squirrel monkeys, and tamarins. You will also spot different sloths, reptiles, delicate tree frogs, and an abundance of birdlife.

Ecuador or Peru - Delfin I Luxury Cruise

As this is a giant flooded section of Amazon Rainforest covering around 20,000 km², which is double the size of Ecuador’s Yasuni National Park, the Pacaya is best explored on an Amazon cruise and there are some fantastic Amazon River tours from Iquitos.

To compliment the incredible environment, there are some fantastic luxury cruises for the Pacaya Samiria offering some of the most luxurious tours in the Amazon Rainforest.

For the epitome of exclusive luxury, you can choose the Delfin I with its 4 oversized suites (two with private whirlpools), delicious meals, personalized service, and guided tours in the rainforest to find some of the Pacaya Samiria’s fantastic wildlife. There is also the slightly larger sister vessel called the Delfin III, offering a fantastic Peru Amazon River cruise.

Includes: all meals, accommodation, all excursions, alcoholic beverages, juices, house wines, luxury transfers from & to Iquitos airport | 4, 5 days

Includes: all meals, accommodation, all excursions, select alcoholic beverages, juices, house wines with meals, luxury transfers from & to Iquitos airport | 4, 5 days

The Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve, Peru

The Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve is a connected section of protected rainforest with the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve.

Ecuador or Peru - Howler Monkey

The Tahuayo Reserve was established to protect the range of the rare uakari monkey as well as local initiatives and contains a high diversity of wildlife. To explore the Tahuayo Reserve, you can stay at the Tahuayo Lodge, which is a highly regarded Amazon lodge offering private guides and a custom itinerary with some of the best guides in Amazonia.

Enjoy the largest canopy zipline system in the rainforest to whiz between different canopy platforms built around emergent rainforest trees.

Explore the rainforest on guided forest walks, canoe tours, and by boating around the reserve. You can also visit Frog Valley to see colorful poison dart frogs.

Peru or Ecuador - Uakari Monkey, Peru

On tours of 6-days or more, enjoy visiting the Tahuayo Amazon Research Center, which has a 1000 acre primate research grid. In addition to many animals, the grid is home to several different primates and you can see capuchins, howler monkeys, sakis, titi monkeys, marmosets, squirrel monkeys, and tamarins. Here, you can watch monkeys displaying natural behavior, completely relaxed with your presence.

Includes: all meals, accommodation at 2 rainforest lodges, private guide, custom activities, transfers from and to Iquitos airport. | 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 days+

The Tambopata National Reserve, Peru

The Tambopata National Reserve is accessed from Puerto Maldonado in southern Peru. Tambopata is a section of one of the world’s largest areas of protected tropical forest.

There are some fantastic areas of the reserve for animals, plants, and scenery that you can visit from the top lodges in Tambopata, including some of the Amazon’s most beautiful lakes and largest clay licks. The clay licks are areas of exposed clay where parrots and other animals visit to obtain different salts and to help neutralize toxins found in different seeds and fruits.

Best Lodges for Short Amazon Tours in Peru
Because the Tambopata National Reserve is so close to the base town of Puerto Maldonado, you can be in areas of astonishing wildlife after a shorter travel time than other Amazon areas. This makes the Tambopata rainforest one of the best choices for 4 day / 3 night tours.

Enjoy the community-owned Posada Amazonas Lodge, great for seeing giant otters, and the Refugio Amazonas Lodge, which is a little deeper in the rainforest for more wildlife (positioned in the Tambopata Reserve buffer zone). From both excellent rainforest lodges, you will explore a canopy tower and head out on lake tours, as well as guided walks in the rainforest to find different monkeys and colorful birds. There are also other activities to choose such as aerobotany, citizen science or birdwatching.

Includes: all meals, accommodation, selection of guided tours, transfers from and to Puerto Maldonado airport. | 3, 4, 5 days+

Both of these lodges offer a similar experience, but with some different wildlife. There is a higher chance of spotting giant river otters at the Posada Amazonas and a higher chance of spotting harpy eagles at Refugio Amazonas. The Refugio Amazonas also offers a children’s trail and larger spa.

Includes: all meals, accommodation, selection of guided tours, transfers from and to Puerto Maldonado airport. | 3, 4, 5 days+

Deep Amazon Lodges in Tambopata, Peru
The Tambopata National Reserve is also a great area for deep rainforest lodges.

Ecuador or Peru - Blue & Yellow Macaws

The Tambopata Research Center is located near one of the largest macaw clay licks in the rainforest where you can see hundreds of colorful macaw parrots at the clay.

In addition to seeing these fantastic Amazonian icons, you will experience guided tours in the surrounding rainforest to find many different animals, such as several different monkeys, colorful birds, interesting reptiles, and colorful butterflies. You will also have a good chance of spotting wild jaguar.

Includes: all meals, accommodation, selection of guided tours, transfers from and to Puerto Maldonado airport. | 4, 5, 6 days+

The Galapagos Islands

Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands are an incredible area to visit for nature lovers to see the iconic wildlife. Enjoy seeing the blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas, sea lions, hammerhead sharks, colorful fish, flamingos, and the famous giant tortoises.

Ecuador or Peru, Galapagos Ocean Spray Cruise

To make the most of the islands, choose the recommended Galapagos cruises aboard luxury catamarans. These offer more stability and comfort than most other options. Enjoy guided walks around the islands to see the amazing wildlife, beautiful scenery and incredible beaches. You will also hear about the fantastic history full of pirates, whalers, and explorers.

Includes: all meals, accommodation, all guided excursions, captain’s welcome and farewell cocktail, transfers from & to Galapagos airport. | 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14 days

Some of the recommended Galapagos cruises include the Ocean Spray Cruise and the Petrel Cruise for expert guides, comfortable cruising, very comfortable suite, delicious food, and some of the best island tours available.

The next level up then offers the Elite and Endemic Cruises for luxurious cruising and delicious meals with thrilling wildlife-rich guided tours.

Includes: all meals, accommodation, all guided excursions, captain’s welcome and farewell cocktail, transfers from & to Galapagos airport. | 4, 5, 6, 8 days

Each of the vessels are equipped with kayaks and snorkeling equipment to fully explore this incredible place. You can also combine the cruises with La Selva Lodge in the Amazon Rainforest as they are owned and operated by the same group. Send your request to the cruises to learn more.

The Elite Galapagos Cruise

Elite Galapagos Cruise

Embark on Galapagos exploration aboard the Elite, one of the island’s newest gems. Crafted for performance, comfort, and stability, you will enjoy a haven of modern luxury.

Immerse in the islands’ wonders with expert guides, then retreat to opulent suites, balconies, and jacuzzi. Explore breathtaking landscapes and wildlife on the Elite’s tours.

The Elite offers you:

  • Golden Suites
  • Cozy exterior and interior bars
  • Al fresco dining area
  • Super-structure of 38 meters (124 feet) by 14 meters (46 feet) wide
  • All suites have private outdoor balconies and panoramic sliding glass doors
  • All convertible suites: king size bed or two double beds
  • Adjoining accommodations available on both decks
  • Suites’ restroom with frosted glass wall for plenty of natural light
  • Two panoramic doors to access the catamaran’s main areas
  • 180-degree panoramic view from the interior lounge
  • Integrated social areas blend indoor and outdoor designs and experiences
  • Social areas feature extended outdoor balconies
  • The sky deck is generously proportioned, featuring a whirlpool bath and exterior bar
  • Partially covered sky deck

Click the short video above for a quick introduction.

Head out on exciting guided tours of the islands, diverse wildlife and beautiful scenery. You will explore different islands, bays, beaches and marine areas.

Ready to experience the Elite? Check dates and book your journey direct to the Elite Cruise now using the tour bubble below.

Includes: all meals, accommodation, all guided excursions, captain’s welcome and farewell cocktail, transfers from & to Galapagos airport. | 4, 5, 8 days

Cusco & Machu Picchu, Peru

In Peru, you can enjoy a combination tour of Machu Picchu and the Amazon Rainforest on the Cusco & Amazon tours.

You will experience the heart of Peru with the 12-day Cusco & Amazon Tour, a journey through the ancient allure of Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and the vibrant Amazon Rainforest. Traverse the iconic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, and marvel at Rainbow Mountain’s stunning colors​​.

The 15-day tour expands this adventure with Lake Titicaca, blending Amazon wonders, Incan history, and cultural immersion in the world’s highest navigable lake. Both tours promise a transformative experience, weaving together Peru’s rich cultural tapestry and breathtaking natural landscapes.

Send your requests with the buttons below to received more information and availability for your travel dates.

Includes: Cusco, Sacred Valley & Amazon accommodations, 4-day Inca trail, guide service, meals in itinerary, ground transportation, train ticket, entrance tickets, airport transfers | extra nights available

Includes: Cusco, Sacred Valley, Puno & Amazon accommodations, 4-day Inca trail, guide service, meals in itinerary, ground transportation, train ticket, entrance tickets, airport transfers | extra nights available

Ash - Author & Travel Advisor About the Author: Ash Card is a frequent visitor to the Amazon and has a passion for helping visitors get the best experiences from tropical destinations. Ash has interests including tropical destinations, rainforests and wildlife. Feel free to contact Ash for tour help in the Amazon. When not helping tourists with tours and info, Ash can be found salsa-ing the night away or posing near waterfalls.
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