Peru is a fantastic choice for a luxury Amazon cruise and there are a few different choices available. The luxury Amazon cruises in Peru depart from Iquitos in the northern Amazon Rainforest. This is a port city of the Amazon River and is just a short flight north from Lima, the country’s capital.
From Iquitos, you will voyage into the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, which is one of the largest protected areas in the country. The Pacaya Samiria protects mostly flooded forest containing several different monkeys, pink river dolphins, caiman crocodilians, colorful macaws, toucans, and other colorful birds. You will see a fascinating diversity of Amazon Rainforest wildlife from your cruise, as all itineraries take you away from the main vessel exploring the waterways on comfortable small boats.
Peru & the Amazon River
Peru contains one of the largest and most wildlife-rich sections of the Amazon Rainforest. There are some fascinating protected areas of the Amazon Basin that include a diversity of iconic and fascinating Amazonian animals and plants.
The place to enjoy a luxury Amazon cruise in Peru is Iquitos, which is a port city of the Amazon River. This is where some of the Amazon’s best cruises depart to take you on a voyage into Amazonia. Led by expert guides, enjoy experiencing this incredible rainforest and river as you’re shown many different species of the world’s largest container of animals and plants.
An Introduction to Iquitos
Now, let’s mention a little about Iquitos and this fascinating small city…
Iquitos sits on the Amazon Rainforest in northern Peru and is your gateway to exploring the northern Peruvian Amazon. Iquitos is the largest city in the world unconnected by road. The only way to get in and out of the city is either by boat or plane. This isolation has had meant the mototaxis rule the streets in Iquitos. These are three wheeled motorcycles with a carriage on the back for passengers. Although the city is gradually changing, the motocarro is still iconic to Iquitos and other smaller jungle towns.
The Pacaya Samiria National Reserve
The best protected area from Iquitos to explore on a luxury cruise is the fantastic Pacaya Samiria National Reserve.
The Pacaya Samiria National Reserve is a wildlife-rich protected areas of flooded Amazon Rainforest. The reserve covers 2 million hectares of rainforest and protects many iconic Amazon animals.
The Delfin I Luxury Amazon Cruise
The Delfin I is one of the most luxurious cruises on the Amazon River. The vessel has been featured in Conde Nast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, CNN Money, Travel+Leisure, and has won many different awards.
Treated to utmost luxury, the vessel is equipped with only 4 luxurious and spacious suites. Two of these have private whirlpools. The Delfin I vessel itself is more akin to a floating luxurious boutique hotel than a ship.
As you cruise deep into the Pacaya Samiria, enjoy spotting a diversity of animals and plants on skiff expeditions away from the main vessel. See giant lily pads that can hold the weight of a small child, mysterious pink dolphins, monkeys, toucans, parrots, and other colorful birds.
The four over-sized suites are very spacious and feature walls of floor-to-ceiling, panoramic windows and a luxurious king-sized bed. Guests often enjoy relaxing and watching the beauty of the Amazon Rainforest in the comfort of their suite. You can even spot toucans, kingfishers, parrots, and other colorful birds from your bed.
The Delfin I dining room is where you will be served delicious cuisine. Your breakfasts, lunches, and dinners are touched with the surrounding rainforest. Meals are based around traditional Creole dishes and international favorites accompanied with fine wine and attentive, personal service. Juices, desserts, and some sauces are then flavored with fruits and ingredients from the Amazon to keep you connected to this incredible environment.
On the top deck of the Delfin I, you will find some very comfortable sofas to create the Amazon Rainforest as your lounge room. At night, enjoy seeing the Milky Way in stunning detail from high-class comfort with a cocktail or drink in hand from the nearby bar. Of a day, spot the different birds flying over the trees and keep an eye out for troops of monkeys moving through the forest.
You will then head out away from the main vessel of the Delfin I to enjoy skiff expeditions in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Head out with highly trained Amazon guides to find howler monkeys, capuchins, squirrel monkeys, river dolphins, colorful birds, and other fascinating rainforest animals. Enjoy exploring the forest on skiffs, forest walks, and even modern kayaks.
The Zafiro Cruise
As one of the newest luxury Amazon River cruises, the Zafiro Amazon Cruise offers the Zafiro Suite (pictured above) at the front of the vessel on the 2nd deck for fantastic views.
On the 1st deck, you can find the Master Suites at the front of the vessel for spacious accommodation and fantastic views as we travel deep into Amazonia. The very comfortable regular suites are then spaced between both the 1st and 2nd decks.
Aboard the Zafiro Amazon Cruise, you can choose 4-day, 5-day or 8-day itineraries depending on how deep into the Amazon Rainforest you wish to explore. From the main vessel, you will then explore the waterways on guided small-group tours to find a range of rainforest animals.
Spot the colorful toucans and macaws, several different monkeys, sloths high in the trees, pink river dolphins, and hopefully some rarer wildlife. You will then see the orchids and bromeliads clinging to the rainforest’s tall emergent trees.
The excursions are similar to the Zafiro’s adventurous sister vessel, La Perla. You will explore the rivers of the Amazon, Ucayali, and Pacaya as your naturalist guide helps spot for fascinating animals and plants.
When back aboard the luxurious Zafiro, enjoy the jacuzzi, indoor and outdoor lounge, and your comfortable suite. There are large windows throughout the vessel to keep you connected to this incredible ecosystem.
The Aria Luxury Amazon Cruise
The Aria Amazon Cruise is one of the most visually stunning vessels on the Amzon River. Designed by a leading Peruvian architect, the Aria Amazon Cruise offers stylish comfort, delicious food, luxury suites, and excellent guided tours in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve.
The interior of the vessel is designed to maximize space and elegance. There are 16 suites aboard the vessel in addition to dining areas, relaxation areas, and a bar.
The Aria Cruise is fitted with floor-to-ceiling windows throughout to help you maintain contact with this incredible environment. Even from the comfort of the vessel, you can see some fascinating forest life.
Your suite features a very comfortable California king size bed fitted with 100% Peruvian high-thread-count cotton sheets, ensuite bathroom with organic bath amenities, and your floor-to-ceiling window letting the rainforest decorate your room.
Many guests mention that laying on their very comfortable bed while watching the rainforest from the comfort of their suite was one of their fondest memories aboard the Aria.
Of course, the other favored experiences are the excursions aboard skiffs into the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve itself. With some of the Amazon’s best guides, spot several different monkeys, colorful macaws and toucans, many different birds, caiman crocodiles when night-spotting, and much more.
After your excursions, you will enjoy some delicious cuisine created by Miguel Schiaffino, one of Peru’s executive chefs, as you’re taken on a tour of delicious dishes inspired by the Amazon Rainforest.
The Aria AmazonIquitos, Peru
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The Delfin II Luxury Amazon Cruise
Enjoy high-class comfort, excellent guided tours, and delicious food as you voyage deep into Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Escorted by some of the best guides in the Amazon Rainforest, explore the Pacaya Samiria Reserve on forest walks, skiff expeditions, and optional excursions in modern kayaks.
On the excursions, your guide will be helping you to find some of the favorite rainforest animals. These include the several different monkeys, pink river dolphins, giant water lilies, giant trees, caiman crocodiles, anaconda, and much more. The birdlife you can see in the Pacaya is incredible. Spot colorful toucans, tanagers, macaw parrots, and many others.
In addition to luxurious suites and excellent guided tours, enjoy delicious cuisine, relaxation areas, a bar, lecture room, and library. The 4 master suites provide 180° panoramic views at the front of the vessel.
Your accommodation options aboard the Delfin II include 10 suites and the 4 master suites at the front of the vessel. For the best views, we recommend the the front of the Delfin II as you travel through Pacaya Samiria Reserve. However, the other suites also feature fantastic views from large picture windows.
Enjoy delicious food between your rainforest excursions. Relax in the beautiful dining room wrapped with windows overlooking Amazonia. With white-glove service, you will be served traditional Peruvian dishes and international favorites. Some of the flavors to make the sauces and juices are then sustainably harvested from the surrounding Amazon Rainforest.
On the top deck of the luxurious Delfin II, you will find comfortable seating areas, the bar, and viewing areas for the reserve. Enjoy sitting back looking at the rainforest with tea, coffee, or a cocktail in hand. You can also browse the library for a selection of books on Amazonia.
The Delfin III Luxury Amazon Cruise
The newest addition to the Delfin fleet, the Delfin III (or Amazon Discovery Cruise) offers one of the most affordable luxury cruises on the Amazon River. A larger vessel than the Delfin I and II, the Delfin III can accommodation 43 passengers. However, with the small groups for each excursions, the Delfin III still offers a more intimate experience of the Amazon in more comfort than larger vessels.
Throughout the vessel, you can find hardwood flooring, handmade decorations from surrounding communities, and designer furniture. On the upper deck, you will find the bar, plunge pool, deck, spa and gym, and both indoor and outdoor lounge areas.
There are four different suites to choose from. The first deck has 8 Suites, which offer floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows. There are also 2 very spacious Corner Suites at the front of the vessel for fantastic views into Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. On the second deck, you can then find 10 Upper Suites and the Owner’s Suite. The Owner’s Suite offers the largest suite available for some truly magnificent views and a luxurious experience.
Each suite includes individual climate control, daily housekeeping with turndown service, and the finest bed linens and duvets available. In addition, enjoy soft robes and slippers, natural and therapeutic bath amenities, and even a telescope for star-gazing.
Your cuisine aboard the Delfin III complements the comfortable accommodation and beautiful Pacaya Samiria Reserve. Enjoy a diverse assortment of delicious dishes prepared by the vessel’s expert culinary team. Enjoy various foods inspired by the Amazon Rainforest prepared with fresh ingredients.
You won’t stay aboard the main vessel but will enjoy guided tours into the reserve to find some fascinating wildlife. Head out on comfortable skiff boats, which seat 15 people. Spot several different monkeys, river dolphins, reptiles, amphibians, caiman crocodiles, and many colorful birds like macaws and toucans.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.