Iquitos is the gateway to the Amazon River and Rainforest of northern Peru. There are some fantastic sections of rainforest nearby to explore on top rated Iquitos Amazon River tours to see many different monkeys, including the large species like howler monkeys and the smaller species like capuchins, squirrel monkeys, tamarins, and the much-loved pygmy marmosets. This is also a great place to find pink river dolphins, sloths, toucans, parrots, iguanas, anaconda, and much more.
The main sections of the most preserved rainforest are protected within the large Pacaya Samiria National Reserve covering 2 million hectares of Amazon and the adjacent Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve, which are connected together by continuous rainforest. The Pacaya Samiria is best explored by cruise because of its giant and flooded nature and the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve is best explored from two deep rainforest lodges, which can be combined on the same tour. We will give some suggestions on these and other top Iquitos Amazon tours below.
The Delfin II Cruise
The Delfin II is a luxury cruise into the vast flooded rainforest of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Treated to optimal comfort, top guides, delicious food, and attentive service, it’s hard to find a better compliment to this incredible forest.
The Delfin II Amazon Cruise is fitted with 14 large suites, which are composed of 10 suites and 4 master suites providing 180° panoramic views at the front of the vessel. These provide the best views as we head deep into the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. The regular suites are fitted with movie-screen size windows, which are great for observing the rainforest as you relax on your very comfortable king size beds fitted with the finest Peruvian cotton linen.
The dining room is yet another place to observe the rainforest as you’re treated to some of the best examples of Peruvian cuisine, itself ranked as one of the world’s finest. Indulge your senses with high-quality contemporary Creole plates and international favorites. Keep a lookout for some of the flavors sustainably sourced from the surrounding rainforest, such as camu camu desserts, fruits, and various sauces.
In total, the Delfin II rooms consist of the dining room, observation deck and lounge, bar, entertainment center, exercise space, spa, presentation room, and library
The top deck is where you find the observation deck with its comfortable seating areas and bar, so you can enjoy a cocktail or tea and coffee while watching the rainforest pass by.
Each day, you will head out with your highly trained naturalist guide to find some of the fantastic wildlife and scenery of the Pacaya Samiria National Rainforest. See several different monkeys making their way through the trees, enjoy chance sightings of pink river dolphins, delicate tree frogs, and explore deep areas of the reserve. We will head out on both skiff expeditions, trail walks when the weather allows, night excursions to see black caiman, and have the option of kayaking the waterways.
The Tahuayo Lodge
If you’re after more adventure in the Amazon Rainforest to see a high diversity of rainforest animals, we recommend the Tahuayo Lodge and Tahuayo Amazon Research Center. Both of these fantastic lodges can be visited on an 8-day tour of the Tahuayo Lodge where you will enjoy a private naturalist guide and a customized itinerary.
Thanks to the custom itinerary, you can focus on your interests and spend time adding to your bird list, enjoying hikes in the rainforest, canoeing the reserve, camping, testing your hand at survival, getting great wildlife photographs, or simply finding as many different animals as possible. The Tahuayo Lodge is home to the largest canopy zipline in the Amazon and provides many different itinerary options, such as finding poison dart frogs in Frog Belly, learning about medicinal plants, and finding different monkeys on the research center trail grid.
Each day, you will head out with your personal guide to find many different animals and a diversity of colorful birds like macaws, kingfishers, and tanagers. Explore the incredibly diverse Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve, which is a 400,000 hectare protected area established to help protect the rare uakari monkeys. With a little luck and some determination, a few guests get lucky to see these monkeys on deep hikes through the reserve.
The Tahuayo Lodge Amazon Research Center has a 1,000-acre primate research grid to see many different species, including the tamarins, marmosets, squirrel monkeys, capuchins, howler monkeys, titi monkeys, and the sakis. New species are continually being discovered in the reserve and you’re sure to see many different animals. In addition to the monkeys, you can spot hundreds of birds, giant river otters, neotropical river otters, three-toed sloths, two-toed sloths, tamanduas, and fascinating reptiles.
Although offering rustic yet comfortable accommodation, many of the suites have ensuite bathrooms. The main comments to the lodge are about the friendly and helpful staff who offer a personalized service to keep you comfortable during your stay. The focus of the tour is the high amount of wildlife to see at both jungle lodges and the adventure of exploring this incredible environment.
The Delfin I Luxury Cruise
The sister vessel of the Delfin II, the luxurious Delfin I offers the same high quality, service, cuisine, wildlife tours, and amenities but with a lot more exclusivity and space. The Delfin I has won many awards for its service and has been featured in CNN Money, Conde Nast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, and Travel+Leisure.
The Delfin I Luxury Cruise contains only 4 spacious suites to maximize comfort on the Amazon River and is more reminiscent of a floating and luxurious boutique hotel than a cruise. Two of the suites go a little step further by offering private whirlpools on your private deck. These are ideal in the tropical environment and offer a relaxing and cool escape after exploring the rainforest.
All of the four spacious suites are then wrapped with beautiful 180° panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows allowing a constant connection to the rainforest. Guests often enjoy relaxing on their luxurious king sized bed or added sofa bed and gazing at the rainforest as we travel deep into the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Very often, you will see beautiful parrots, kingfishers, and other wildlife simply by relaxing in your indulgent suite.
In the Delfin I’s elegantly designed dining room, taste delicious high-class cuisine touched with the flavors from the surrounding rainforest. Enjoy traditional Creole dishes and international favorites accompanied with fine wine and attentive, personal service.
The top deck is equipped with overly comfortable sofas to create the epitome of luxury while relaxing in the reserve, which not only provides a great place to enjoy relaxing in the day but is a must-visit area in the evening for some incredible stargazing. Enjoy seeing the Milky Way and the silhouettes and reflections of the stars, moon, and trees in the waterways.
Each day, you will enjoy exploring the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve with your highly trained rainforest guide to see many different rainforest animals and plants. Have chance sightings of pink river dolphins, river otters, orchids, colorful flowers, several different monkeys, fascinating reptiles, and a very high number of colorful birds. Explore the rainforest on skiff expeditions, forest walks, and an optional kayaking experience.
The Amazon Discovery Cruise
The Amazon Discovery Cruise is a larger vessel accommodating more guests than the Delfin I and the Delfin II but provides a similar level of cuisine, service, and comfort. There are different suites to choose from, including the regular Flora and Fauna suites dotted throughout the vessel, but also specific single occupancy suites making this a great choice for single travelers who want to save on cost but enjoy a comfortable Amazon Cruise. The high-end accommodation on the Amazon Discovery Cruise includes two Estuary Suites at the front of the vessel and the large Amazonia Suite on the 2nd deck as the premier suite option.
Throughout the vessel, you will find very spacious lounging and dining areas to keep you comfortable on your cruise, plus an exercise room and spa area to enjoy a fantastic massage. A massage is included in each booking of the Estuary or Amazonia suites, but all guests can add-on some spa treatments.
Delicious cuisine is then served in the dining room after you have relaxed from your tour and you will be served a variety of dishes inspired by the rainforest, traditional meals, and international favorites. Attentive staff are then on hand to provide any extras or a selection of wines.
While on cruise, choose from a 4-day or 7-day cruise of the Tahuayo River and Pacaya Samiria National Reserve to see fantastic wildlife. Enjoy expertly guided tours to see a range of wildlife, such as different monkeys, reptiles, delicate tree frogs, and hopefully some pink river dolphins, which often greet us as we explore their environment.
The Aria Amazon Cruise
The Aria Amazon Cruise is one of the most elegant looking vessels on the Amazon River and was designed by a leading Peruvian architect. Enjoy a very comfortable way to explore the Amazon Rainforest with the elegant and refined interiors. The Aria is then fitted with the latest eco-sensitive technology.
The Aria is fitted with 16 suites, spacious lounging and dining areas, an outdoor jacuzzi overlooking the rainforest, and you will enjoy fantastic tours of the Amazon Rainforest and wildlife.
Throughout the vessel, you can find floor-to-ceiling windows to keep you connected to the incredible environment. Enjoy spotting birds and plants from the comfort of the Aria Amazon Cruise itself. Guests often mention that watching the rainforest pass by from the comfort of their suite as one of the highlights of their visit.
Some of the suites can be interconnected to accommodate families, but can also be combined to provide the next level of space and luxury. The suites are lined with polished timber flooring and your ensuite is fitted with rain showers and organic bath amenities. Your suite then comes with a California king size bed fitted with 100% Peruvian high-thread-count cotton sheets.
In the dining room, you will enjoy delicious cuisine created by executive Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino inspired by the Amazon Rainforest. To accompany the delicious food, enjoy Peruvian art, fine china and crystal glassware.
The elegance of the Aria Amazon Cruise then compliments the fantastic Amazon Rainforest of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Enjoy adventures into the reserve aboard customized skiff boats to see several different monkeys, parrots, bromeliads, orchids, toucans, reptiles, and many colorful birds.