Of all the remaining rainforest on earth, the Amazon represents more than 50% – and Peru has the second-largest portion of this rainforest within their territory.
The Amazon has sparked excitement in the hearts and minds of adventurers since the Spanish first set foot in the Americas. So much of this rainforest is still unexplored, but a Peruvian Amazon cruise is an opportunity to sail right into its heart.
From the comfort of a luxury vessel, you can can experience this wild jungle, the animals that reside within it, and the people for whom the jungle is a way of life. The perfect trip for the adventurous traveler as well as those who enjoy the creature comforts offered on a cruise, come along with Kuoda as we tell you all about what to expect from a Peruvian Amazon cruise.
A Little About the Peruvian Amazon
The world’s largest rainforest, the Amazon in its entirety is approximately 550 million hectares large. It’s considered the single largest reserve of biological resources on land and it’s a wealth of flora and fauna, with 1 in every 10 known species found within its borders. That includes 40,000 plant species, 3,000 fish species, 1,500 bird species, and 370 reptile species – and those are only the ones we know about.
60% of the territory of Peru is Amazon rainforest. That’s more than any other country and it’s also a big part of the reason why Peru is one of the most biologically diverse places on earth. But the Peruvian Amazon is especially unique because it’s considered the birthplace of the Amazon river.
Where the Ucayali and Marañon rivers meet in the northeastern region of Loreto, the Amazon river is born. Without that 4,345 mile-long river, the heart of the rainforest would be impenetrable. It’s along this river that Peruvian Amazon cruises run and it’s from here that you’ll experience the best that this jungle has to offer.
What You Can Expect on an Amazon Cruise
The Amazon has long inspired those who love nature and seek adventure. It’s one of the world’s last truly wild places, full of sights and sounds you’ve never seen or heard. And you can experience all of it on an Amazon river cruise.
Peru has the third-largest number of mammal species and the second-largest number of bird species in the world. 44% of those birds and 63% of the mammals are found in the Peruvian Amazon. On top of that, this part of Peru is home to hundreds of butterfly species, sloths, monkeys, jaguars, the infamous pink dolphin, and the extremely rare harpy eagle.
An Amazon cruise gets you up close and personal with all of this wildlife. If you’re not one for venturing out into the wild, you might spot some of them from the comfort of an observation deck. But for an even closer view, most Amazon cruises offer expeditions into the jungle itself. These excursions are led by local naturalists who have a deep understanding and connection to the jungle.
– Local Communities
It’s estimated that only 5% of Peru’s total population resides within the boundaries of the Amazon rainforest. Among that population are many small, local communities that have called the forest home for hundreds if not thousands of years. Many of these communities still maintain their traditional way of life, for the most part.
While some of the more remote communities are all but impossible to get to, there are plenty of smaller towns and villages along the river’s edge. You’ll have an opportunity to visit some of these communities, where you can get an insider’s look at local life and maybe even pick up some one of a kind handicrafts.
– Amazonian Cuisine
Peru is known the world over for its amazing food. But each region of Peru brings something different to the proverbial table, and the Amazon is no exception.
You’ll have a chance to taste everything from native paiche fish to a fermented yuca sauce called Aji Negro. The more adventurous might even try some suri: large Amazonian grub worms that are popular both for taste and for nutritious value.
Aboard your luxury cruise ship, the food is on the finer side. Many Amazon cruise ships feature a rainforest-to-table menu that supports local producers while providing guests with an exquisite gastronomical experience from breakfast through to dinner.
– Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve
Almost all Amazon cruises start here, at the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve, where the Amazon river begins. This is the largest protected flooded forest in the world and it’s home to over 1,200 species of plants, 449 birds, 256 fish, 102 mammals, 69 reptiles, and 58 amphibians.
There’s also an estimated 42,000 people that live within the reserve, many of whom still live a very traditional lifestyle. Beginning your cruise here is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the indigenous way of living as well as wildlife.
Choosing Your Amazon Cruise
There are many different cruise companies offering Peruvian Amazon cruises, but only a few that Kuoda works with. Below, we’re highlighting our two favorite cruise companies and telling you all about why we think they’re the best.
– Aqua Expeditions
Aqua Expeditions offers five-star comfort from which to explore the wild Amazon jungle. On their Aria Amazon and Aqua Nera luxury cruise vessels, each suite offers panoramic views and elegantly designed interiors to enjoy tranquil mornings and nights.
When you’re not out on daytime excursions with seasoned local English-speaking naturalist guides who know the jungle inside and out, you can spend time using the deluxe amenities offered on board. These include river-facing jacuzzies, plunge pools, indoor lounges and bars, gyms, cinemas, and spas.
Perhaps what we love most about Aqua Expeditions is their focus on sustainable tourism. The Amazon is one of the most biologically diverse places on the planet and it’s also the home of many long-standing communities – all of which require protection. That’s why Aqua’s vessels are built with the use of efficient energy sources as well as recyclable, innovative materials.
Delfin offers three vessel options, each with world-class accommodation, luxurious amenities, and the opportunity to adventure out into the wild:
- Delfin I. A classic river cruise vessel with 4 oversized suites, each with a private panoramic terrace and 2 with a private whirlpool.
- Delfin II. This cruise vessel has 4 Master Suites with 180° panoramic windows and 10 suites, 2 of which can be interconnected for family vacations.
- Delfin III. The largest vessel in the Delfin fleet, it has 22 suites that fit up to 44 passengers.
On board these vessels are indoor and outdoor lounge areas, bars and entertainments centers, sun decks with plunge pools, and spas and gyms. Delfin offers birdwatching, fishing, photography, and adventure excursions led by expert naturalist guides. They also place high importance on wellness, which is why they offer private yoga sessions and have a Cacao & Wellness Specialist on board.
The reason we love Delfin is the same reason we love Aqua: they’ve made a sincere commitment to sustainability and protecting the environments and communities in which they operate. They’ve implemented efficient waste management strategies that go above and beyond industry standards. Plus, they’ve placed significant priority on giving back to the Amazon’s communities.
See the Peruvian Amazon with Kuoda
The best way to experience the Peruvian Amazon is on a cruise ship. An Amazon cruise strikes the perfect balance between comfort and adventure. During the day, you’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the wildlife and local communities that call this place home. At night, enjoy world-class meals and entertainment before cozying up in your luxury suite.
Kuoda works with two of the best Amazon cruise companies in the business. They offer everything you need to feel at home while keeping sustainability in mind. Let’s get started planning your Amazon cruise today!