So, you are thinking of traveling to the Amazon, but as you know, it is a mighty big place. Really, really big in fact. Only one sixth of the Amazon Basin is to be found in Peru, and yet this occupies some two thirds of the country.
This gives visitors and residents of Peru a number of great entry points to enjoy the unrivalled flora and fauna to be found in, on and around the Amazon River’s many tributaries.
If you are looking to enjoy a cruise on the Amazon River, then the only entry point is Iquitos, which is a 90-minute flight from Lima. Once here, you will be met by the ship’s crew and taken by private vehicle to the port of Iquitos – or to the small town of Nauta – to board your cruise boat.
Amazon cruises typically last between four and eight days, and there are a variety of boat categories to choose from. There are an increasing number of luxury vessels, including the Delfin I and M/V Aria, that offer the highest level of comfort available anywhere in the entire Amazon. Cabins are large and beautifully-appointed; the food is gourmet and the crew is highly-attentive. This attention-to-detail does come at a price, though, with rates equalling those of the best 5* hotels.
Fortunately, there are more economic options, with the best value being on the historic river boats, the Clavero and Rio Amazonas, both of which played integral parts in the history of Peru’s Amazon region, and have now been lovingly-restored. They only have a few departures each year, but cabins have private bathrooms with warm showers, the food is wholesome and the guides are informed and friendly.
Whichever cruise you choose – be it luxury, budget, or something in between – you are guaranteed to enjoy a variety of excursions using smaller skiffs: wildlife spotting, visiting local communities, swimming with pink dolphins, walking in the jungle canopy or fishing for piranha. Once back on board, it is a pleasure to just lie back in a hammock or lounger, perhaps with drink in hand, and watch the scenery serenely slip by.
If cruising is not for you, or out of your price range, there are many beautiful ecological resorts and lodges scattered throughout the Peruvian Amazon, enough to suit every budget and timeframe.
So, when to go? One of the best things about the Amazon rainforest is that it truly is a year- round destination, with both wet and dry seasons providing their own unique benefits. So, what are you waiting for? There has never been a better time to take that trip.
This article was kindly submitted by Peru North.