Day 1 Pacaya Samiria Amazon Jungle Lodge (L,D) Arrival and reception at the Iquitos airport followed by a transfer in air-conditioned mini-van to nearby village of Nauta (1.5 hrs) where our speedboat will be waiting to start our adventure up river. But first, a quick visit to the confluence of the Marañon and Ucayali Rivers, where the River takes the name Amazon, will open your eyes to the vastness of the River.
From the confluence we’ll then continue our trip up the Marañon River to the lodge for lunch and accommodation. This afternoon, we will go on an orientation hike through the primary forest that surrounds the lodge to appreciate abundant flora and fauna.
Pending evening weather conditions, we’ll embark on a nocturnal canoe excursion in search animals and insects. Relax to the sound of the forest before dinner and drinks.
Day 2 Pacaya Samiria Amazon Jungle Lodge (B,L,D) At dawn, we’ll take a guided orientation hike through the forest around the lodge, searching for birds, and jungle creatures followed by breakfast back at the lodge.
Following breakfast, we’ll travel to the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Once in the Reserve, we’ll travel down the Yanayacu River in search of the pink Amazon River dolphin and other aquatic flora and fauna.
At noon we will stop to have our box lunch.
Following lunch, we’ll visit Japon and Plantano lakes (cochas), full of enormous variety of palms, large trees and a beautiful landscape. Here, we’ll have some optional activities, such as canoes on the lake, piranha fishing, identification of plants, bird watching or maybe a cool swim with the piranhas in one of the lakes.
A late afternoon arrival at the lodge gets you back in time for a cold shower and a hammock before dinner.
Day 3 Pacaya Samiria Amazon Jungle Lodge / Iquitos / Lima (B,L) After breakfast we will visit a local riverbank village, observing the lifestyle of these ancient peoples. Daily activities include hunting, gathering, fishing or agriculture. One can also contribute to community development buying typical hand made souvenirs, made of seeds and/or a vegetable ivory called tagua.
Immediately after lunch we travel by air-conditioned minivan back to the Iquitos Airport or hotel.
* Lunch (if flight departure permits)
If you require additional arrangements in Iquitos or Lima please advise upon booking and we’ll be happy to assist.
Climate & Seasons
A unique feature of the rainforest surrounding Iquitos is its lack of a specific rainy or dry season. There is a high water period from December through May which is caused by the melting of snow as the Andean summer begins and from the rainy season in the upper jungle. The low water period begins in June and ends with the rising waters in November. While the water level can fluctuate more then 45 feet, the warm and humid climate remains relatively constant throughout the year, giving this area its botanical category of “Everwet Tropical Forest”. Normal daytime highs are 88°F and nighttime lows are 72°
What to Pack
Keep your baggage to a comfortable minimum. Without fail, bring a valid passport. Pack light, drip-dry cotton or safari clothing, including one long-sleeved shirt and sweater. Hiking shoes or sneakers, (jungle trails are frequently muddy), plastic raincoat or poncho. Include insect repellent, toilet articles, sunglasses, sunscreen, a wide brimmed hat, binoculars and small flashlight.
And finally, don’t forget a camera with plenty of film or memory card to capture the memories of your Amazon Adventure. For those who want to stay in touch with home, sorry but no Internet here. Electricity is available, though, between 6:00pm-10:00pm. Most current electronics (e.g. laptops, cameras, cell phones, IPOD) can be safely charged using 220V current which is what we offer, but please check your owners manual first!
Each guest may take 15Kg or 33lbs of luggage with them on the boats to the lodges. If your luggage weighs more than this amount, plan on storing the extra in Iquitos at the office in our secure storage area until return.
Amazon Jungle Check List
ORINGINAL PASSPORT / ANDEAN IMMIGRATION CARD
YELLOW FEVER CERTIFICATE
HIKING BOOTS OR TENNIS SHOES, SANDALS
THIN CLOTHES, LONG SLEEVE, TIGHT WEAVE, LIGHT IN COLOR
1 POLAR FLEECE JUST IN CASE
SUNSCREEN, HAT, SUNGLASSES
WATER PROOF RAIN PONCHO, ZIP LOCK PLASTIC BAGS
CAMERA, FILM (ELECTRICITY AVAILABLE IN THE EVENINGS FOR RECHARGING BATTERIES)
1 LT. BOTTLE OF WATER (DRINKING WATER PROVIDED)
PERSONAL ITEMS, MEDICATION
BOOKS, I-POD (OPTIONAL)
ALCOHOL, SPIRITS (OPTIONAL)
$ FOR EMERGENCY FUND (DOLLARS AND SOLES)
$ FOR BEVERAGES NOT INCLUDED (IE SOFT DRINKS, BEER)
$ FOR GRATUITY FOR GUIDES AND STAFF (OPTIONAL)
Though commonly viewed as a launching pad for exploring Peru’s northern Amazon, Iquitos is swanky and interesting enough to detain travelers for a day or two. It is Peru’s quintessential jungle town and, at nearly half a million inhabitants, is probably the largest city in the world that cannot be reached by road. Hemmed in by muddy rivers and flooded rainforest on all sides, Iquitos’s only bridge to the outside world are planes and cargo boats.
Because of its isolation, terrorism never reached here in the 1980s and 1990s. Perhaps as a result, Iquitos has a relaxed, laid-back vibe that seems much closer to Bangkok than, say, Cusco. The air is thick and steamy, and life revolves around the mile-wide Amazon River, lazy and torpid after collecting water from all of Peru’s major rivers.
People here look Asian, because they are descendants of a dozen different Indian groups, along with waves of Italian, Philippine, and Chinese immigrants. The women have beautiful dark hair and limit their clothing to flip-flops, shorts, and tank tops. The men dress much the same, but forego shirts altogether.
The weather in Iquitos, even during the October–May rainy season, is predictable. The sky dawns blue most days but by late afternoon fills with the clouds of convection storms, which release sheets of cool rain. Between mid-December and June, the Amazon rises a staggering 15 meters (50 feet), carrying silt and fallen trees brought down from the Andes.
The first outsider to see this area was Spanish explorer Francisco de Orellana, who made an epic descent down the Amazon River in 1542 and contacted the area’s ethnic groups, which included the Iquitos, Cocamas, Huitotos, Boras, Ticunas, and Orejones. Eventually the Spaniards left the area to the Jesuits, who founded a settlement here in the 1750s but were expelled from Latin America shortly thereafter.
Iquitos had shrunk to only 100 inhabitants when Italian explorer Antonio Raimondi visited in the mid-19th century and described it as a “small Indians’ quarters.”
The ramshackle settlement, however, exploded into one of Peru’s richest cities thanks to the 1880–1912 rubber boom. Monuments to this time, now badly faded, include an iron house designed by Gustav Eiffel in the Plaza de Armas and various Italianate mansions with lavish mahogany interiors and outer walls decorated with Sevillean tiles.
The flip side of the opulence was the oppression and abject poverty of the Indian and mestizo rubber tappers, who lived in virtual enslavement and frequently died of malaria and other diseases. The floating city of Belen, which some call the Venice of South America and others a slum, is also a leftover from that era.
Iquitos is the pioneer of Amazonian tourism, which began here in the 1960s, and is the base for a variety of lodges, cruise ships, and adventure agencies. Other industries include lumber, agriculture, the export of exotic fish and birds, and barbasco, a poisonous plant used by the natives to kill fish that is now being used as an insecticide.