Estrella Amazonica is designed to offer you an unprecedented personal experience in this untamed frontier. Spacious, air-conditioned cabins — each approximately 220 sq. ft. — feature floor-to-ceiling windows and private balconies, so you are constantly surrounded by rainforest views.
Cabin interiors feature hand-crafted furniture by Peruvian artisans, plush linens and roomy private baths with all ammenities.
La Estrella Amazonica is designed to offer you an unprecedented personal experience in this untamed frontier. Spacious, air-conditioned cabins — each approximately 220 sq. ft. — feature floor-to- ceiling windows and private balconies, so you are constantly surrounded by rainforest vistas. Cabin interiors feature furniture hand-crafted by Peruvian artisans, plush linens and roomy private baths.
Tour historic Lima, visiting Casa Aliaga, a private home dating back to the Conquistadors. See the Cathedral, where Francisco Pizarro is entombed, and Plaza de Armas. Before lunch, tour the monastery and vast catacombs of the Iglesia de San Francisco. Fly over the Andes Mountains to Iquitos. Board our riverboat, Aquamarina, home for the next seven days of our Amazon cruise. During a nightly briefing, we’ll review the following day’s Amazon Voyage expedition itinerary and meet the crew. Tonight, we journey slowly toward the confluence marking the beginning of the Amazon River, stargazing and storytelling with our local guides. (B-L-D)
We awake this morning on the Amazon River, seeing some of the ever-changing panorama of jungle life as our Amazon River cruise ship continues upriver. Small villages dot the shoreline, and channels weaving through island mazes provide close-up views of a variety of birds. The confluence of the Ucayali and Marañón Rivers is famous as the beginning of the Amazon River in Peru. Amazingly, we are about 2,400 miles from where the river flows into the Atlantic. The river drops only about 350 feet the entire way! On our Amazon Voyage adventure, travel waterways aboard sturdy excursion boats to areas where we may find marsh birds such as oriole blackbirds, green ibis, yellow-headed caracaras, black-capped donacobis and white-headed marsh-tyrant. We turn into the Río Ucayali, where we’re apt to find gray river dolphins and Amazon pink dolphins cavorting near the boat and along the shoreline. Later we take an excursion into the surrounding rainforest in search of giant water lilies and elusive wildlife such as monkeys and sloths. As dusk approaches, fishing bats begin their night’s foraging. (B,L,D)
After a peaceful breakfast along the black-water Sapote Creek, we explore a small tributary of the Ucayali. We look for animals including primates, sloths and an enormous variety of birds. Our Amazon Voyage adventure continues upriver to the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve. Although scientific studies are far from exhausted, the Pacaya-Samiria is the known home to 450 bird species, 102 species of mammals, over 130 species of reptiles and amphibians, and countless plants. This afternoon, an excursion into this largest wetland reserve in the world provides the opportunity to see 13 species of primates, including monk sakis, red howler, saddle-backed tamarin and squirrel monkeys. We explore Caro Lake, connected to the river by way of a very small stream, where we may find flocks of greater ani, often seen following monkeys in search of insects disturbed by the monkeys’ foraging. We enjoy a nighttime boat excursion for a chance to find caimans, capybaras, common potoos, frogs and other nocturnal wildlife. (B,L,D)
Spend the day exploring this flooded realm, seeing wading birds such as herons, wattled jacanas and horned screamers. Venturing deep into the rainforest, tour an igapo (seasonally flooded forest), where plant life is very different from what we see along the main course of our Amazon cruise, and walk through the forest. Once we reach the reserve’s second checkpoint, hike around the ranger station. Lucky guests may release turtle hatchlings. A delicious lunch energizes us for afternoon excursions with our expert naturalists, where we may find scarlet macaws, hoatzins, black-collared hawks and red howler monkeys.(B,L,D)
After an early breakfast, we board our excursion boats for access even further into the heart of these vast wetlands. As our Amazon Voyage adventure cruises the narrow waterways, we’ll find birds such as canary-winged parakeets and spectacular blue-and-gold and scarlet macaws. Primates also are fairly common, including noisy squirrel monkeys. We arrive at a ranger station, where we may take a short hike to explore the forest. After a picnic lunch, we gradually make our way back to our riverboat through the maze of waterways. Visit a village along the river, with the chance to learn about the lives of the “Ribereño” people who live there. Accompanied by guides who grew up along the river, this is a fantastic opportunity to stroll through gardens learning about medicinal plants and folklore, visit a school, or join in a game of soccer. The children are especially excited to see their faces on digital cameras and to show off their school and sing Peruvian songs. Depending on the villages visited during your Amazon River tour, you may also have the opportunity to see an IE-funded water treatment plant. The clean drinking water provided by these plants is having an enormous positive health impact in remote river villages. Learn about medicinal plants and enjoy a blessing ceremony by a respected village shaman. (B-L-D)
This morning we head back downriver, with a morning wildlife or other activity. Aboard the ship, take advantage of the open-air top deck, learning to make traditional Peruvian dishes or enjoying an enriching lecture. After dark we’ll go out in our excursion boats to listen to the sounds of the rainforest and look for nocturnal wildlife. (B-L-D)
Wake up early for a morning birdwatching excursion along the Yarapa River. After breakfast, try your hand at piranha fishing in Ubos Lake. Piranha are very common in the slower-moving water. With luck, we may catch red-breasted, white or black piranha, and feast on our catch this evening at dinner. Once back aboard our Amazon River cruise ship, we enjoy a farewell dinner. (B,L,D)
In the morning we disembark in Iquitos. Enjoy a walking tour of this frontier city. Take a boat excursion to tour the Belen Market before visiting the IE-funded Las Mavinas urban garden project. After lunch, fly back to Lima and connect with your overnight flight to your country ( B-L)