Responsibly Cruising Peru’s Amazon in Style
As we approached Iquitos from the air, the river snaked below and started to come into focus. Colored shades of coffee, chai and caramel, it forked and stretched into the distance as far as the eye could see. I started to imagine the adventure ahead. For the next 5 days, I would be off the grid responsibly cruising Peru’s Amazon in luxury.
Stepping off the plane, I was immediately struck by the humidity. Almost oppressive with intensity, I recalled the cold temperatures back home and immediately chilled out.
The trip with AdventureSmith Explorations, a company with responsible travel built into their DNA, would include an itinerary deep into the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, one of the world’s largest protected flooded forests. On ten passenger skiffs I would be introduced by experienced native guides to the incredible biodiversity of this remote area of Peru’s rainforest.
An hour and a half later the transport arrived at the embarkation point in Nauta. A dark, wood pavilion, surrounded with gauzy curtains whispering in the wind, was the check in site. Handsome safari clad crew greeted and offered the group a refreshing cold drink. Artisan carved gourds hung from the rafters and gently rode the wind. Their images recalled primitive hieroglyphs.
It was time to hit the water. The breeze on the skiff was a welcome relief from warm temperatures. I lowered my hand into what would be the first of many dips in the Amazon.
When I caught a glimpse of the Delfin III off in the distance, it looked every bit the luxury small vessel I had imagined. The three levels of light colored wood framing floor to ceiling windows stood out amongst all the green flora and bright blue sky.
My cabin was shore side for the moment and featured a wall of picture windows for watching the world float by once we embarked on the river. The same lovely gourds decorated the walls; hand woven accents were on the bed. I immediately felt the Delfin had a real sense of place, just the right balance of elegance and comfort.
On the top deck were the common areas. A lounge and bar stretched into the front part of the ship. Comfortable chairs and groupings of sofas were gathered into comfortable sections to facilitate easy conversation. Walls of windows let the light and panorama of the surrounding jungle and river envelop the space.
From the conversations on board, I could hear accents from around the world. Forty other guests came from destinations around the globe; a very international group. A large family reunion celebrating a patriarch’s milestone birthday had flown in from Lima, the US and Europe.
An open area with rattan chairs centered the space. Aft was a sundeck and hot tub. Yoga mats were available and the soft wooden floors made an excellent space for stretching out the kinks after a full day of travel.
At sunset, the passengers and crew gathered at the bow around the wheelhouse to toast the voyage with a glass of champagne. Local fruits, fish and vegetables were a highlight of every meal.
The dining room was another dreamy space decorated in warm neutral tones with accents reflecting local color; here, the fluctuating landscape was definitely the main event.
Mornings started early and after a hearty breakfast featuring local fruits, eggs and a wide variety of side dishes, the groups took off in skiffs for the 1stof the days activities.
Over the next 4 days I hiked along a jungle trail, touched tarantulas and came close to poison dart frogs. I was photo bombed by a boa constrictor and blessed by a local shaman. I failed miserably at catching a piranha at dusk and released baby turtles in an effort to repopulate their numbers. Birds serenaded at dawn and monkeys crashed thru trees along the shoreline. I even swam in the deep black water of the Amazon close to pink dolphins, all while responsibly cruising Peru’s Amazon.
It was hard to process all of the experiences; the fact that the boat was without wifi connectivity was a blessing. Having a few days off the grid allowed passengers to connect with nature on a deeper level and escape the pressures of everyday life. The river was vast, and as I floated along its smooth, reflective surface, I was fortunate to be disconnected and present in all of the jungle adventures over the last 5 days. The Delfin III was the perfect luxury river ship for exploring all the wildlife and delicious cuisine the Amazon offers travelers willing to immerse themselves in a rainforest adventure of responsible travel.
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Disclaimer: The author was hosted by AdventureSmith Explorations during the Amazon River cruise. Opinions and ideas are her own.
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