The Pacaya Samiria National Reserve is a tropical flooded forest in the western Amazon Rainforest of northern Peru. Widely considered one of the most fascinating protected areas in the country, the Pacaya continues to be a tourist attraction for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and, if you’re aboard the Delfin II, travelers who enjoy a little luxury.
Delfin II Luxury Cruise Introduction
The Delfin II is a luxury cruise vessel for the Amazon Rainforest that departs from Iquitos, Peru, and after a three or four night cruise into the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, the cruise returns to Iquitos.
The Delfin II contains 14 elegantly designed suites and accommodates a total of 32 passengers. Among the cabins, four are Master Suites located at the front of the vessel for the best views of the rainforest and are the most spacious. All suites come with large picture windows for rainforest observation so you can lay back on your bed spotting interesting birds and forest life. Cabins come with a king sized bed featuring luxury linen, en-suite bathroom with organic bath products, desk, comfortable chair, and additional touches to make this cruise a step above the rest.
As this is a luxury cruise, service is impeccable and this includes your dining experience. The chef prepares a selection of gourmet dishes to match the environment from regional foods to international favorites.
Delfin II Amazon Cruise Excursions
Your excursions are led by some of the best naturalists in the Amazon Rainforest. Your guides will point out the animal and plant life of this incredible environment. You will be scouting for several different monkeys, reptiles, colorful birds, bromeliads, orchids, and colorful frogs. Excursions are mainly by modern skiff but will also include walks in terra firme forest and kayaking down the waterways.
Review of a 4 night Delfin II Cruise from the 21st to the 25th of January 2015
After meeting the Delfin guides at the airport in Iquitos, we began a 1.5 hour journey in a modern air-conditioned coach to the port of Nauta where the Delfin II was waiting for us. The journey was at night so we didn’t see much of the environment on the way there. When we reached Nauta, we left the coach and entered Delfin’s Maloca – a traditionally designed thatched and spacious building – where we were handed a cool fresh juice from regional fruits and could relax a little on the comfortable sofas before embarking the vessel.
After finishing our juice, we then boarded one of the skiffs for a short boat ride to the Delfin II. Upon entering the vessel, we were greeted by the staff and were shown to our suites. The first thing to notice is the wonderfully shaped towels on the bed folded into the form of animals etc. (we had a different animal shape every single day when we entered our suite). The window was very large and it was a fantastic experience to lay on the very comfortable bed watching the rainforest pass by. We investigated all the different bath products and were happy knowing they were all made with organic natural ingredients, including a very lovely organic mandarin soap.
Delfin Dining Experience
We then headed to the Dining Room for dinner and were informed by the cruise director of all the safety precautions, times and rooms on the vessel. Sitting at the table, you also will note the changing table decorations purchased from the different communities – these change for every dinner. The food is a spectacle in itself and is a very well presented 3 course meal. For your main dish, to not spoil the initial appearance, you will then be brought rice or more vegetables as you are eating – all of course with white glove service.
After your dessert made from fresh regional foods, it is time to retire to your suite for the night. We had a quick look around the vessel before bed and noted their extensive library on forest life etc. as well as the lounge area, fitness room, and massage room. The Delfin II has its own masseuse on board to make sure you stay relaxed, which can be ordered any time throughout your cruise.
Enjoying the Delfin Suite
As you lay in bed you will notice the 100% 280-thread Peruvian cotton linen, which to be honest didn’t mean much to me until I felt the bed. It was like laying on a comfier version of silk. There was also an incredibly comfortable bed throw, which we believe was made from Alpaca wool as it seemed too comfortable for anything else. On the corner of your bed you will also find two custom made chocolates with a nice message of Sweet Dreams. Be sure to hang the note on your door if you would like an early morning wake-up for the first excursion of the day or if you would like more time to enjoy the comfortable bed.
Morning either starts with an early morning excursion (for the early birds to catch their worms, or, in this case, to see the birds catching their worms) or begins with breakfast. Breakfast consists of a buffet of as much eggs, cereal, different sausages, different fruits, different fruit juices, yogurt, croissants, toast, pate, bacon, cheese, ham, coffee and tea that you can eat then a little relaxation before your first or second excursion of the day.
Delfin II Excursions
The excursion was in high ground forest to find different poison dart frogs. After being on many different Amazon Rainforest tours, I still saw very colorful species that I had never seen before. Apart from the frogs, these first introductory excursions won’t show off the Amazon in all its glory. This was my expectation of all the excursions before the tour as I believed the focus was simply on the luxury cruise experience and service – I was wrong, however. When you start to get closer to the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, the rainforest comes alive with a plethora of species. Over these days, I saw as much wildlife as I have seen on the other best tours for the Amazon Rainforest and I will include a list of wildlife seen at the bottom of this article.
During our excursions, we were handed a cool cinnamon and clove scented towelette to keep us fresh and were provided with cool bottled water when required. Also, if we touched something in the forest, such as a frog or plant, the Delfin II’s paramedic is on hand (who joined us for each excursion) and he will give you antibacterial gel to make sure you have no germs on your hands. After enjoying the wildlife of the Amazon Rainforest, we returned to the vessel and were greeted with a cool, freshly made juice. We were then free to relax in our suites, have a shower, or socialize on the upper observation deck at the Delfin II’s bar or lounge area.
The activities change a little for each day. For example, on one of the nights we had a night excursion to find caiman and other nocturnal animals of the rainforest. The guides also often gave a talk about monkeys, conservation, or other animals of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. And on another day, there was displays of the forest’s fruits and nuts.
Despite the cruises fantastic food, service, staff, attention to detail and luxurious linens, the best part of the experience for me was the incredible wildlife of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Here is a list of all the animals that I can remember (I am not a birder so will have left out hundreds of species I imagine).
Wildlife Seen on the Delfin II Luxury Amazon Cruise in January 2015 (over 5 days)
- Three Toed Sloth
- Sidenecked Turtle
- Squirrel Monkeys
- Howler Monkeys
- Night Monkeys
- Amazon Kingfisher
- Blue and Yellow Macaws
- Green Iguana
- Caiman Lizard
- Monk Saki Monkeys
- Wattled Jacana
- Poison Dart Frog
- Chestnut Eared Aracari (Toucan)
- Laughing Falcon
- Roadside Hawk
- Yellow Headed Caracara
- Black Collared Hawk
- Ringed Kingfisher
- Horned Screamer
- Brown Capuchin
- Pygmy Marmoset
- Bullet Ants
- Pink Toed Tarantula
- Giraffe Frog
- Pygmy Marmoset
- Amazon Festive Parrot