Peru is one of the most exciting, wondrous, unique and breath-taking countries you’ll ever come across. You might think that this can be said about many holiday destinations. Having had the unique opportunity to live in Peru for six months, we can promise you that it’s not exaggerated in the slightest.
Peru offers you sandy white beaches along the Pacific coast followed by a stretch of desert which eventually makes way for the Cordillera Blancas which is a massive mountain range which forms part of the Andes. It includes several peaks over 6,000 metres high and 722 individual glaciers. If that wasn’t enough, Peru is also home to the Amazon rainforest, Lake Titicaca which is the world’s highest navigable body of water as well as a rich Incan heritage with one of the best if not THE best historical sites in the world: Machu Picchu.
Now combine all of this with the ultimate luxury river cruise and you have yourself the perfect holiday in Peru!
Currently, we offer two Peruvian Amazon River Cruise itineraries: 11 and 15 days respectively. The longer version includes a stopover in Cusco which is the gateway to Machu Picchu.
Key Highlights of Your Peruvian Amazon River Cruise
Here we shine a light on some of the key highlights you can look forward to when booking a Peruvian Amazon River Cruise.
Over the last few years, Lima has really become well known for its rich colonial culture and great cuisine. Some of you might have already tried ceviche in one of your local restaurants which originates from Peru.
Lima has the highest density of museums in Peru including the museum of anthropology. It’s a fantastic museum which is the largest and oldest one in Peru. It exhibits over 100,000 artefacts spanning the entire history of human occupation in what is now Peru.
Great neighbourhoods to visit are Miraflores, San Isidro and Barranco. Our favourite spot in Miraflores is ‘Parque del Amor’. It’s a landscaped park overlooking the ocean with a huge kissing sculpture, mosaic walls & a snack stand. If you want to watch locals enjoying themselves, paragliders flying along the cliffs and maybe share a romantic moment or two with your partner then this is the place to be.
Currently, the Peruvian Amazon River Cruise are scheduled to take place from September to November. This means that during your visit Lima might be covered in fog. This phenomenon is called Garúa and caused by the Humboldt Current during which hot mainland air meets cold water air. It won’t spoil your time visiting Lima but it’s something to look forward to!
Much has been said and written about this very special place on earth. Flying from Lima to Iquitos, the largest city in the Peruvian rainforest, will show you the scale of this vast area of the forest. It will really drive home how important it is to protect this ecosystem for future generation.
44% of the Amazon rainforest forms part of various national parks which can only be reached by water. During your Peruvian Amazon River Cruise, you’ll be exploring the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve. This is the largest natural reserve in Peru and has some of the densest wildlife habitats in the world. The over two-million-hectare reserve is made up of rainforest and wetlands in the Amazon region.
Much of your time spent in the Amazon rainforest will focus on the extraordinary wildlife and the sounds that come with it. No one can prepare you for the noise that thousands of different species can make. Especially during the evening just before sunset, the forest really comes to life!
Keep an eye out for intriguing looking spiders, frogs, birds and monkeys while enjoying one of the many guided walks. When we visited the Amazon rainforest, we bumped into some villagers who proudly showed us their massive snake pet ensuring us that it just ate a chicken so it’s safe for us to venture on. It’s those interactions that will make your Peru holiday an unforgettable one.
One of the activities that’s planned for you is spotting a pink dolphin while enjoying the view from your luxurious river cruise. Please, if you do spot one, let us know because we only got a tiny glimpse of it!
Cusco & Sacred Valley
If you decide to go on the 15-day Peruvian Amazon River Cruise, then you can look forward to visiting Cusco and the Sacred Valley.
Cusco is in the Peruvian Andes and used to be the capital in Inca times. This means that when disembarking your plan, you’ll be 3,400 meter above sea level. Please be aware that some of you will deal with this massive change in altitude better than others. Your guide will be offering you altitude sickness tablets which we recommend you take before exploring the city. It’s a wonderfully odd feeling wanting to walk your usual pace but physically not being able to do so. Embrace it and enjoy a slower walk!
Places to visit in Cusco is pretty much Cusco. Enjoy wandering around the narrow paths which are lined with massive walls wonderfully built by the Incas. The ‘Plaza de Armas’ and San Blas which are lively areas of the town are well worth a visit.
If you have time and are physically able, we highly recommend walking up the steep steps to the viewing/park area overlooking Cusco. It gives you a great overview of how this mesmerising town was put together; a bit like a jigsaw.
You’ll also be visiting the Sacred Valley which is a region in the Peruvian Andes which used to be at the heart of the Inca empire. It gives you a taste of what’s to come when visiting Machu Picchu.
The only way you can get to Machu Picchu is by a scenic train which goes from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Caliente. Aguas Caliente used to be a little village located at the foot of Machu Picchu but has now grown into a bit of a tourism hotspot.
If you can, we highly recommend getting up really early the next morning so that you can catch one of the first buses up to Machu Picchu. We got up at 4.30am and we can still taste the amazing banana bread that one of the local ladies sold to us tourists while waiting impatiently…10 years later!
When it comes to Machu Picchu, nothing can prepare you of what it’s like to visit, experience and feel this magical place. Alpacas are grassing while you can explore tentatively the ruins of this Incan masterpiece.
If you can, find a quiet spot and just sit, breath, relax and enjoy this moment in time. It will stay with you forever.
Aria Amazon – Your Home From Home
While visiting the Peruvian Amazon, you’ll be staying on the Aria Amazon.
Designed to explore the Peruvian Amazon in luxury and comfort, the Aria Amazon is an all-suite ship with floor-to-ceiling windows, giving you a full view of the majestic rivers and rainforest. The top deck features a jacuzzi, indoor lounge & bar and an outdoor observation deck. With all-inclusive amenities and five-star cuisine by top chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, this luxurious ship is guaranteed to give you an intimate and immersive experience.
Useful Information For Your Amazon River Cruise
As Peru is not just around the corner, you might have a few questions in regard to an Amazon River Cruise. Here we’re answering the most common ones. Feel free to get in touch in case we’ve not answered a questions you might have.
When Is The Best Time To Go On An Amazon River Cruise In Peru?
The best times to go on an Amazon River Cruise is between November and May. Parts of the forest are flooded, and this means you can paddle or motor into remote stretches off the main rivers. Less ideal months to travel are from June to October as it’s the dry season and water levels can be quite low.
There is one month of the year when we don’t recommend visiting Peru and that’s February. Even though you can do an Amazon River Cruise at that time, other parts of the country will be less enjoyable due to the amount of rain that falls in February. Machu Picchu is most likely covered in fog and you’re liable to get drenched every day in Cusco or the Sacred Valley.
What To Pack For An Amazon River Cruise in Peru?
As you will be taking part in quite a few excursions by boat and foot, comfortable, light and waterproof clothing is the key.
Dry-Fit Clothing: Loose-fitting, dry-fit clothing is the best choice to conquer the Amazon jungle heat. It’s very humid in the Amazon and it can take days for clothing to dry.
Long Sleeve Shirts and Trousers: Even though it can be quite hot in the jungle, you’ll need to wear long sleeve shirts and trousers to protect you from the sun, and more importantly, the mosquitos. Make sure the shirts and pants are light-coloured and breathable, as well as loose-fitting. Mosquitos are attracted to dark colours and will bite through tight fitted clothes.
While you’re on-board your river cruise ship, we’d recommend wearing loose-fitted cotton clothes.
Shoes and Socks: Most Amazon river cruises provide you with rubber boots (Wellington boots) for your jungle excursions. Make sure to bring extra pairs of socks, you will need them! While onboard the riverboat, many travellers enjoy wearing flip flops, or comfortable slip-on shoes.
Jacket: A light, hooded, waterproof windbreaker is great to have on hand for a cooler early morning jungle excursion, or for getting caught in the rain!
Clean clothes for the plane ride: Don’t forget to pack clean clothes for your plane ride home. Most of your clothing will be damp from the jungle’s humid climate. It’s a good idea to keep the clean clothes in a plastic bag while in your luggage.
And don’t forget your camera, binoculars, sunglasses and a hat!
Do I Need A Visa For Peru?
If you are a citizen of the Unites States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom or the European Union, you do not require a visa to enter Peru. As such, there is no reciprocity fee for these nationalities.
However, there are a few rules to keep in mind:
- Travelers need a passport valid at least half a year with at least 2 free pages in the visa section when entering Peru
- The maximum stay in Peru on a tourist visa is 183 days per year
- Peruvian tourist visas are single entry visas only
- Travelers will need to show a proof of return ticket
Get In Touch
If you liked what you read and saw, why not get in touch and discuss your holiday plans with us!