Tailor-Made Holiday

Navigate the Peruvian Amazon

Sail in a high-end vessel on the Amazon River and explore the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Cusco

11 days

from £5,975pp (excluding flights)
  • Explore the Peruvian Amazon on a high end vessel built in the style of a traditional river boat
  • Travel with guides from the local communities, experts on the flora and fauna of this region
  • Visit the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, the wildlife rich starting point of the Amazon River
  • Immerse in Peruvian culture during explorations of the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Cusco

This voyage offers inquisitive travellers the opportunity to be encircled by astonishing, intricate, and ever-changing landscapes during a cruise on the rivers of the Peruvian Amazon. This is an ideal journey for those who endeavour to witness the remote wilderness of the Amazon while having the opportunity to meet members of the local communities that thrive there, all in the company of on-board specialist guides.

Why Cruise?

This navigation through the Amazon offers a great insight in to the reality of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, offering wonderful views of the continually evolving landscapes that surrounds the vessel.

High-end land-based properties are non-existent in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, so an exploration in a boat of this nature not only enables visitors to reach some of the most remote areas, but also offers a lavishness that is otherwise impossible in this region. Have the best of both worlds by disembarking for adventurous excursions on land but returning to the comfort of the vessel to take in the views with a cooling drink in hand.

Post Cruise

Conclude your Peruvian adventure by travelling from the wild Amazon to the culturally and historically rich heart of the Inca Empire, where you will explore the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Cusco. Follow in the footsteps of the Incas, travelling under the watchful eye of the dramatic snow-capped peaks of the Vilcabamba and Urubamba mountain ranges that hover on the horizon.

Venture to the heights of Machu Picchu, possibly even climbing the Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountains, before retiring for a day’s exploration of the old city of Cusco. Wander the streets of this Andean city, pausing to observe the market-goers, smell the local produce and taste the traditional fruits and meals.

Unique Experiences

The very concept of travelling through this area is unique, since it is a region solely accessible by boat, and on first entering the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve you will visit the exact point at which the Amazon River is born with the goal of spotting the world-renowned pink river dolphins.

During the river navigation, embark on jungle walks in the untamed wilderness, visit local communities, meet a local Amazonian shaman or healer, try kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding, swim in the Amazon River and go piranha fishing. On board, indulge in delicious gourmet dishes with a personalized service in the most authentic of settings.

What is given back?

Providing outreach and support to some of the most overlooked regions in Peru is incredibly important work, and a voyage on the Delfin II contributes directly to their charitable foundation named Kuyapa. This non-profit organisation offers educational, medical and infrastructural support as well as sponsorships, all based on the specific needs of a number of hand-picked communities or villages. With the goal of being socially responsible and delivering solutions that integrate well with the existing society to ensure sustainability, the Peruvian owners of Delfin II work closely with the locals to safeguard and boost their respective societies.

Community visits are operated in a very sensitive manner, and there is a tangible sense of respect between the locals and the Delfin II. Not only are a portion of the profits given back to the communities, but the Delfin II also proactively sends the onboard doctor in to the communities to attend to locals and supports the school children.

Sustainability

A no plastic policy is implemented on board the Delfin II, meaning there are no plastic straws or bottles throughout the vessel. Each cabin boasts a glass bottle containing filtrated water which is refilled throughout the day, while all soaps, shampoos and creams are 100% ecological. The vessel even utilises an ecological fuel named Biodiesel 5, meaning that it produces lower exhaust emissions and is less polluting than its counterparts.

Guides

The assembly of experienced naturalist and interpretive Amazon River guides are undoubtedly the most important aspect of a navigation in the Amazon. Their expert knowledge of plants and birdlife, as well as their passionate interest in the history of this part of the Amazon, combine to create an unforgettable and fulfilling experience in the jungle.

With decades of invaluable experience, most of the guides were born and raised in the rainforest in small communities that are spread throughout the Peruvian Amazon. Many spent their childhoods walking the forest paths, climbing trees to pick fruit, fishing the small streams, and chasing iguanas along the shoreline. Some have even participated in projects with professors, researchers and scientists. All of the speak both Spanish and English.

Steppes' Value Adds

During your cruise on the Delfin II, enjoy a bottle of champagne with our compliments.

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 5975 £ 800
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • All accommodation as detailed
  • All internal flights as detailed
  • All transfers as detailed
  • Sightseeing with expert naturalist guides in the Amazon and private guides in the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Cusco

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas

PLEASE NOTE THE COST SHOWN INCLUDES INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK, BASED ON AN APPROXIMATE AIR FARE. PLEASE ASK YOUR TRAVEL EXPERT FOR AN ACCURATE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT QUOTE. INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Arrival at Lima Airport and onward transfer
On arrival at Lima Airport reclaim your luggage, clear customs and proceed to the arrivals area. You will be met by a representative from our overseas agent who will assist you with your luggage and accompany you on your onward transfer.

Lima, the 'City of Kings', is a vibrant and bustling metropolis worthy of exploration. Nestled on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, Lima is known as the 'Gateway to Peru' and combines colonial splendour, prestigious museums and beautiful parks with lively nightlife and ample opportunities for sampling its world-famous cuisine.


You will be staying at Villa Barranco, bed and breakfast

Day 2

Fly Lima to Iquitos


Arrive in Iquitos and transfer to Nauta Port
On arrival in Iquitos you will be met by a member of the Delfin II crew who will accompany you in a comfortable private vehicle on a drive to the small riverside town of Nauta. A packed lunch will be provided en route. On arrival at Nauta Port you will have a VIP greeting at the private port on the shores of the Marañon River where the Delfin II awaits you.


Embarkation and orientation aboard Delfin II
After boarding Delfin II you will be taken to your suite, equipped with orthopaedic beds, pure cotton sheets, cotton bathrobes, air-conditioning, a private bathroom with hot showers and a spacious private terrace. While the vessel begins its initial navigation, take in the fantastic panoramic views from the elegantly outfitted observation area located on the third deck, where the bartender will be waiting with an exotic pisco cocktail made using regional fruits.

Afterwards, your naturalist guide will present an overview of the journey's schedule, activities, route and highlights, as well as tips on the wildlife and vegetation that you should look out for. Then sit back under the spell of the beautiful Amazonian evening and take in the sweet breeze of the rainforest.


You will be staying at Delfin II, full board

Day 3

Morning Canopy Walkway
This is a unique opportunity to visit the only suspended canopy walkway in this area, which requires no special skills or equipment to traverse. At over 25-metres tall and extending for 500-metres, the walkway offers unrivalled views of the rainforest from its treetops, the best vantage point for observing Amazonian wildlife and vegetation. Spread between 14 of the largest rainforest trees in the area and renowned as one of the longest canopy walkways in the world, you will be able to see the majesty of the forest that cannot be seen from the floor.


Afternoon visit to Yanayacu Pucate and San Regis
Visit one of the best preserved and most protected zones of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve with your guide, who will point out the biodiversity of this region. If you want to interact directly with the waters of the Amazon, head out on a paddle board or swim in the jungle river in the hope of spotting the famous pink dolphins.

Afterwards visit the little-visited village of San Regis and seek out the healer and spiritual guide Shaman, Carola, who is known far and wide in the rainforest. Leading a normal village life with her wood-carver husband, while at the same time acting as spiritual caretaker and healer to hundreds of jungle dwellers spread over many roadless miles, Carola's prestige and position are beyond reproach. Learn about the misunderstood role of the Shaman, typically associated with black magic and spells, to learn how the actual practitioners are as varied as in any profession.


You will be staying at Delfin II, full board

Day 4

Walk the Fundo Casual Jungle Trail
Rise early to appreciate one of the most important zones of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, rewarded with an abundance of active morning wildlife. The Fundo Casual Jungle Trail will take you deep into the rainforest on "terra firma" (non-flooded forest) where your guide will point out the dynamic creatures and vegetation of the Amazon. Be sure to keep an attentive eye open for surprises!


Visit Nauta Cano
After a delicious lunch, embark on a visit to Nauta Caño Creek where you will have the chance to go kayaking or piranha fishing. As night approaches, your guide will take you on a night safari in search of caiman alligators and night birds.


You will be staying at Delfin II, full board

Day 5

Visit Amazonas
Despite its relatively close proximity to the larger town of Nauta in terms of mileage, this village of 500 people is remote considering that canoeing is the only transport option available. Arrive to the community, welcomed by the smiling faces of its friendly people who will be happy to show you the process of peeling and grating cassava or invite you in for a look at the tools used to process locally grown rice. A day in the life of a local ribereño is eye-opening, and a visit to the community shows how rewarding the simple life can be.


Explore the Yarapa River
Listen closely to the sounds echoing from within the mysterious jungle while traveling down river to a wide creek that leads to an attractive hidden lagoon. Absorb the beauty of the landscape, looking out for wildlife such as hawks, terns, herons and monkeys. Specifically, look out for pygmy marmosets, squirrel monkeys and the furry saki monkeys with their bushy tails.


You will be staying at Delfin II, full board

Day 6

Disembarkation and ACOBIA visit
Bid farewell to the crew as you begin your departure from Nauta Port. A ground crew will be waiting to assist you, after which you will be taken in a comfortable private vehicle on a drive to the city of Iquitos.

En route to Iquitos Airport, stop for a visit to the Rescue & Rehabilitation Center of River Mammals (ACOBIA) where you will have the chance to meet baby manatees and learn about these wonderful and docile endangered creatures. There will also be an opportunity to pet and feed the manatees and to learn about some of the other species that are cared for at the centre. Afterwards, you will be transferred to the airport.


Airport Departure
On arrival at Iquitos Airport, a representative from our overseas agent will be waiting to give you your boarding passes and help you check-in. At the security gate, your guide and Delfin crew will bid you farewell.


Fly Iquitos to Lima

Fly Lima to Cusco


Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incas, was founded around 1100 AD. It is a beautiful city of Spanish and Inca influences with endless colonial sights to see including churches, monasteries and convents interspersed with Inca foundations, walls, doorways, and arches. Cusco is a major town, and is one of the cultural centres of Peru.


Arrive in Cusco and transfer to Sacred Valley
On arrival in Cusco you will be met by a representative from our overseas agent who will assist you with your luggage and accompany you on a drive to the Sacred Valley.

The valley, which is located at a lower elevation than Cusco, enjoys a mild climate and offers visitors a chance to acclimatize to the region in a less physically demanding environment. Surrounded by varied and dramatic landscapes, it has become a popular destination in Peru.


You will be staying at Sol y Luna Lodge, bed and breakfast

Day 7

Exploring the Sacred Valley
Visit the circular terraces of Moray, an agricultural "research laboratory" where the Incas studied temperature variation between the terraces in order to develop different crop varieties and to decide where to distribute seeds throughout the Inca Empire. On the other side of the Urubamba Valley you will see the dramatic snow-capped peaks of the Vilcabamba and Urubamba mountain ranges.

Continue to the town of Maras, which grew in importance in the 17th century due to the exploitation and commercialization of the "salineras" or saltpans. Cross the extensive Maras Pampas, where locals farm the land and rear cattle and sheep. The Urubamba mountain range and its snow-capped peaks provide a spectacular background for your visit, and you may choose to explore the area on foot or by vehicle. Learn about the facades of the ancient houses in Maras, which are made from finely worked stone, to discover the economic heights achieved by the town's population at that time.

After a sumptuous picnic lunch (included), continue to the thriving Inca village of Ollantaytambo that is set below an ancient Inca fortress and temple. Take in the stunning views over the valley, almost unchanged since the 15th century, and admire the magnificence of this important Inca site while strolling through the quaint streets of the town.

The Sacred Valley of the Incas is nurtured by Rio Urubamba, which carves a fertile chasm from Pisac in the east to Ollantaytambo in the west. To the Incas, Rio Urubamba symbolised the flow of life, and is guarded by the watchful gaze of numerous ancient citadels perched on the lofty mountain ridge above. As a result, fascinating insights await the intrepid traveller.


You will be staying at Sol y Luna Lodge, bed and breakfast

Day 8

Visit Machu Picchu
Head to the Ollantaytambo Station this morning to board the 360° Machu Picchu train to Aguas Calientes. During this unique train ride towards the marvellous Inca ruins of Machu Picchu, take in the most outstanding views of the Urubamba River as it cuts its way through green fields beneath the high peaks of the Andean glaciers.

From Aguas Calientes, ride a bus and climb up the hillside to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Machu Picchu, the "Lost City of the Incas". Spend the rest of the morning visiting the Sacred Inca citadel, exploring its main temples and hidden corners. Enjoy a delicious buffet lunch (included) at the famous Belmond Sanctuary Lodge Hotel at the entrance of the Inca Citadel ruins, before riding a bus back to Aguas Calientes to check-in at the hotel.

Machu Picchu, the incredible Inca citadel perched high above the cloud forest is quite simply astonishing. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it is incredibly well-preserved and intricate Inca stonework abounds.

Indisputably a wonder of the world it is an almost unfathomable achievement of human culture and architecture and the very definition of 'must see'. The site was discovered in 1911 by Hiram Bingham and is perched at an altitude of 2,380 metres in beautiful tropical cloud forest.


You will be staying at Inkaterra Machu Picchu, half board

Day 9

Second visit to Machu Picchu and train to Cusco
This morning you will have a second opportunity to visit Machu Picchu and climb the Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain (subject to availability) accompanied by your guide. You could also visit the Inca Bridge, an incredible stone structure that served as the entrance and exit to the city.

Return to Aguas Calientes to board the train back to Ollantaytambo Station, where you will be met and transferred to Cusco.


You will be staying at El Mercado Cusco, bed and breakfast

Day 10

Exploratory tour of Cusco
You will be met in the hotel lobby by your guide, who will take you on a visit around the city. First, visit the vibrant San Pedro market, where you will get a first-hand look at how locals live day-to-day outside of Cusco's tourist zones. Observe the locals speaking their native tongue, smell the scents of local produce and flora, absorb the styles and textures of the local fashion or discover the traditional fruits, vegetables and ingredients that make up the main staples of traditional meals.

After the market, visit the legendary Koricancha, which is the most important temple in the area - its walls were once plated with sheets of gold and devoted to worshiping the Sun deity. Continue to the Plaza de Armas or Main Square to visit the Cathedral and end the tour in the bohemian quarter of San Blas. This area is home to the workshops and stores of the most renowned artisans in Cusco, including Mendivil and Merida.


You will be staying at El Mercado Cusco, bed and breakfast

Day 11

Fly Cusco to Lima

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Inkaterra Machu Picchu

Inkaterra Machu Picchu

Built in the style of a traditional Andean village, Inkaterra Machu Picchu occupies a riverside location within a 12-acre private reserve of tropical cloud forest....

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Sol y Luna Lodge

Sol y Luna Lodge

Surrounded by the majestic Sacred Valley, the charming Sol & Luna Hotel has 43 cottages and rooms with private terraces....

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Delfin II

Delfin II

Delfin II is a classic, shallow draft, Amazon River boat providing a comfortable platform from which to explore the river....

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Villa Barranco

Villa Barranco

Villa Barranco is a charming house built in the 1920s that has been converted to a small boutique hotel with just nine rooms....

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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