Would you like to explore the Amazon River jungle area to see wildlife, but have a comfortable bed and an air-conditioned room at night? On International Expeditions river cruise aboard the Zafiro, you can get that plus fine food, a glass of wine, and a hot tub.
When many travelers picture a journey on the Amazon River in South America, they imagine wild expeditions with lots of hardships, swarms of biting insects, an unrelenting humid heat. That may have been the only way to experience when the original explorers came through, but times have changed. Now you can have a refined luxury experience on a river cruise while exploring different jungle and park areas along the Amazon during the day with a skilled guide.
IE’s Amazon experience combines a variety of elements into a full experiential package. They like to say their tour combines adrenaline and tranquility. By combining wild rainforest exploration with visits to different rescue operations in Peru, you get to see a wild variety of animals, including manatees and the usually elusive jaguar.
Since International Expeditions has been operating for nearly four decades now, they’re a highly desirable company to work for and end up attracting the best guides. These passionate local guides grew up in river villages before pursuing their education. They have the passed-down knowledge and experience in the jungle to find and point out what most visitors would miss.
While there are plenty of lodges around Iquitos and elsewhere in Peru, being on a moving ship allows a deeper and more varied experience. On this river cruise, you move along the great river to different regions without repeated packing and unpacking. covers more than 600 miles on the Amazon and its tributaries. You travel deep into the protected Pacaya-Samiria Reserve and explore three different habitats so you have the best chance of spotting rare wildlife.
Back on board, a talented chef and crew prepare the kinds of meals you would expect at a luxury resort and you can even get a massage in the spa after your hikes. There’s a full bar on the ship and even entertainment from a “house band” of talented musicians who won a country-wide competition. Naturally, most of the staffers are from local communities and IE has plenty of programs to promote conservation and give back to the people of the Peruvian Amazon region.
On this Amazon expedition cruise you fly to the capital city from where you are and stay at the excellent Swissotel Lima before heading to the jungle region. You then take a domestic flight to Iquitos and visit a local manatee rescue center before boarding the Zafiro ship. You’ll spend six full days and nights cruising along the Amazon and exploring different areas during the day. Rates start at $5,348, per person (double occupancy, without airfare), with frequent departures throughout the year. Follow this link for dates, itineraries, and deck plans.