While the spotlight of Peru shines brightly on Machu Picchu and Cusco, travelers would be remiss to gloss over the Peruvian Amazon, which covers more than half of the entire country. In fact, Peru has the second largest portion of the Amazon after Brazil, making it one of the most important and identifying features of the country.
There are many ways to explore the Peruvian Amazon, but one of the most popular and unique ways is to cruise the Amazon River aboard a small ship. There is much to see during the region’s two seasons, and both offer rich diversity in terms of plants and animal life, including the Amazon River’s rare and beautiful pink dolphins.
- From December through May is high-water season
- Low-water season lasts from June through November.
Many companies offer small-ship cruising down Peru’s Amazon River, but most itineraries will have similar offerings.
Tap on the Agent Insight icon to listen to another travel pro share her thoughts on how an Amazon cruise is perfect for those with only a week to spend.
Most cruises will depart from the city of Iquitos, which is a port city and the gateway to the villages of the northern Amazon. You will also have the opportunity to explore the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve, which spans more than 5 million square acres. The Reserve is locally known as the Mirrored Forest for the stunning reflections of the surrounding jungles in the glass-like water.
Many ships allow for kayaking the Pucate River to explore the wildlife that flourishes in the towering trees, like parrots, macaws and monkeys. Some itineraries will take travelers to the Yacapana Islands, or the Islands of the Iguanas, which are aptly named for their natural residents. Other itineraries include explorations and interactions with local tribes deep within the forest. Learn about medicinal plants from a local Shaman and immerse yourself in Peru’s mystic culture.
Whichever cruise company you choose, you are sure to have an unforgettable experience sailing Peru’s Amazonian arteries deep into the heart of the country.