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Delfin Amazon Cruises

Cruise the Amazon Basin

The Amazon Basin covers roughly 60% of Peru. One of the most biodiverse habitats on Earth, this densely forested region is home to just over 44% of Peru’s avian species and 65% of its mammals.

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”

J. Lubbock

Peru’s tributaries merge with rivers from across the northern half of the continent, flowing more than 3,000 miles from the Andes to the Atlantic.

Iquitos, in Peru’s far northeast, is an island city surrounded by three such rivers: the Nanay, Itaya, and the Amazon.

Golden sunrise over dense forest of Tambopata in Peru's Amazon region

Delfin Amazon Cruises

Since 2006, Delfin has been a pioneer in luxury Amazon cruising. Iquitos is the departure point for luxurious multi-day river cruises.

Passengers can choose either a 3 or 4-night stay on one of the three Delfin cruise ships. All of their programs are designed to showcase the best of the Marañon and Ucayali Rivers in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve and other places throughout the Peruvian Amazon.

Activities available to passengers include:

  • Kayaking
  • Swimming with dolphins
  • Fishing for piranhas
  • Birdwatching
  • Trail walks
  • Visits to local communities
The exterior the delfin cruise ships has wood beams, white wash walls and sails on Amazon river.

Cuisine

Dining aboard the Delfin cruise ships is a sophisticated experience. The staff prepares fresh and exotic dishes inspired by the Amazon region.

This Relais & Châteaux dining atmosphere invites guests to kickstart their tastebuds and sample food they’ve never tasted before.

An aerial view of sliced avocado, tomatoes, lettuce and veggies sit in a bowl.
Layers of colorful fruit with garnished leaves and roses sit on a platter.

Delfin I

The flagship Delfin I was fully refurbished in 2010. It houses two Deluxe Suites (360 square feet, private whirlpool decks) and two Master Suites (340 square feet, with private decks).

All cabins may be set up as triple-occupancy, giving the Delfin I a maximum capacity of 12 passengers.

Up to 32 guests are supported by a staff of 27 crew members, including three naturalist guides and a top-notch culinary team. Each of the 16 suites features air conditioning and outward-facing panoramic windows.

In-room amenities include:

  • Deluxe beds and linens
  • Bath amenities
  • Daily maid service
  • Hairdryer
  • Security box
  • Climate control
  • Bedside table and lamps
The Delfin 1 deluxe suite features an indoor hot tub, king bed, and sitting area.
A man and wife sit at a table of food on the deck of their Delfin 1 cruise ship.

Delfin I Amenities 

Common area amenities include an indoor bar/lounge, indoor dining room, outside lounge, jetted tub, and observation deck.

A dark wooded lounge is fit with white coaches, tables and deck views.

Delfin II

The Delfin II has 14 cabins including 4 Master suites and 10 suites; 2 sets can be interconnected to accommodate families. Each room is fitted with panoramic windows that ensure a front seat view of the Peruvian Amazon.

In-Suite amenities include:

  • Deluxe beds and linens
  • Bath amenities
  • Daily maid service
  • Hairdryer
  • Security box
  • Climate control
  • Bedside table and lamps
A wood paneled room is fit with a king size bed and panoramic window views.
A white king bed with large windows on the Delfin 2 cruises.

Delfin II Amenities

This cruise ship is equipped with a dining room, an observation deck and lounge, a bar, an entertainment center, and a lecture room.

The dining room at Delfin is equipped with tables and chairs and large windows and curtains.

Delfin III

The Delfin III is the largest of the cruises, housing 22 suites and accommodating up to 43 passengers.

The first deck features 8 Suites with with floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows as well as 2 Corner Suites. The second deck has 10 Upper Suites and the Owner’s Suite.

In-Suite amenities include:
  • Deluxe beds and linens
  • Bath amenities
  • Daily maid service
  • Hairdryer
  • Security box
  • Climate control
  • Bedside table and lamps
  • Luggage Storage
This suite features a king size bed, large panoramic windows, wood floors and sitting area.
A suite with large window walls is fit with a sofa and wood floors.

Delfin III Amenities

The top deck features beautiful indoor and outdoor lounge areas, a sundeck with plunge pool, a spa and gym, and a bar.

This massage room is fit with a massage bed, sofa couch, large window and wallpaper.
An outdoor swimming pool sits on a deck overlooking the Amazon river.

Sample Itineraries

Three and four-night cruise programs are available year-round. During the November to May high-water season (monthly rainfall of approximately 12 inches), launch boats can venture deeper into the flooded forest. Average high temperatures reach 90°F year-round, with humidity above 80%.

Each day, guests are presented with full or half-day options to explore narrow river branches, visit indigenous communities, or view exotic wildlife.

Longer cruise programs visit the Pacaya Samiria Reserve, spanning more than five million acres. Here, visitors can observe pink river dolphins, monkeys, sloths, caimans, and a rainbow of birds.

A large flock of Scarlet Macaws, photographed around a salt lick on a birding expedition in the Amazon

Delfin I: 3 nights, 4 days

Day 1:

  • Depart from Iquitos, happy hour and orientation

Day 2:

  • In the morning, visit Fundo Casual in skiff boats and take a jungle trail walk
  • In the evening, visit to Ribereno community in an Amazon Village

Day 3:

  • Go to Amazon Park and take a jungle trail and canopy walk
  • Visit Yanayacu Pucate and swim near dolphins

Day 4:

  • Disemark in the morning at Rescue & Rehabilitation Center of River Mammals (ACOBIA) to learn about manatees and other threatened species en route to Iquitos airport.
A group of tourists sit on the river in a canoe.

Delfin II: 3 nights, 4 days

Day 1:

  • Arrive in Iquitos, transfer to Nauta, VIP reception at private port, embark

Day 2:

  • In the morning, visit Belluda Cano Creek, skiff exploration and encounter pink dolphins
  • In the evening, visit Dorado River, skiff exploration, piranha fishing & night safari

Day 3:

  • Explore Clavero Lake on skiff boats
  • Visit Yarapa River and kayak. Stop at Puerto Miguel village

Day 4:

  • Disemark in the morning at Rescue & Rehabilitation Center of River Mammals (ACOBIA) to learn about manatees and other threatened species en route to Iquitos airport.
A man and woman canoe on the Amazon river.

Delfin III: 4 nights, 5 days

Day 1:

  • Arrive in Iquitos, transfer to Nauta, happy hour and orientation

Day 2:

  • In the morning, visit Fundo Casual in skiff boats and take a jungle trail walk
  • In the evening, visit to Yanayacu Pucate and swim near dolphins

Day 3:

  • Skiff exploration through Simiria River
  • Visit Nauta Caño via skiff boats, piranha fishing

Day 4:

  • Visit local community and school in San Francisco
  • Birdwatching at Marayali River
  • Disembark in the morning at Rescue & Rehabilitation Center of River Mammals (ACOBIA) to learn about manatees and other threatened species
A woman looks through binoculars on a canopy tour.

Iquitos is 1.5 hours from Lima by air. Contact LANDED for rates, departure dates, and more information. Delfin I, II and III are available for exclusive family and corporate charters. We can also help your combined your cruise with extensions to Machu Picchu or the Galapagos. Speak with a travel planner today at 801.582.2100. We’ll take care of the details.

Aqua Expeditions: Aria Amazon Cruises

AMAZON RIVER CRUISES

The Amazon Basin covers roughly 60% of Peru’s total territory.

This densely-forested region is one of the most biodiverse habitats on Earth; over 44% of Peru’s avian species and 65% of its mammal varieties are found here.

“What makes a river so restful to people is that it doesn’t have any doubt–it is sure to get where it is going, and it doesn’t want to go anywhere else.”

Hal Boyle

Peru’s tributaries merge with rivers from across the northern half of the continent, flowing over 3,000 miles from the Andes to the Atlantic.

Iquitos

Iquitos, in Peru’s far northeast, is an island city surrounded by three such rivers: the Nanay, Itaya and the Amazon.

Glass smooth water of the Amazon River in Peru, surrounded by dense green rainforest

Iquitos is the departure point for luxurious multi-day Amazon river cruises, including the M/V Aria, a 147-foot river expedition vessel, launched in 2011.

Naturalist Guides and Top-Notch Culinary Team

Guests (up to 32) are supported by a staff of 27 crewmembers, including three naturalist guides and a top-notch culinary team. Each of the 16 suites features air conditioning and outward-facing panoramic windows.

Two sets of first deck suites are interconnecting.

Common area amenities include an indoor bar/lounge, indoor dining room, outside lounge, jetted tub, exercise room, massage room, and observation deck.

Exotic Wildlife Watching & Birding

Three, four, and seven-night cruise programs are available year-round.

Each day, guests are presented with full or half-day options to explore narrow river branches, visit indigenous communities, or view exotic wildlife.

Longer cruise programs visit the Pacaya Samiria Reserve, spanning more than five million acres. Here, visitors can observe pink river dolphins, monkeys, sloths, caimans, and a rainbow of birds.

From the town of Shell, a 35-minute scenic flight reaches the Amazon community of Quehueri´ono.

Closeup shot of eye of partially submerged sub-adult caiman.

The remaining journey to the lodge is made by dugout canoe. Total travel time is approximately six hours, with numerous stops along the way.

The return trip includes a land transfer from Shiripuno River Bridge to the town of Coca, followed by a 30-minute commercial flight to Quito.

As this is a rainforest region, the climate is humid and tropical—the average temperature is 90° F, with averages varying from 80° F to a steamy 100° F. March through June is rainy season, known for its swollen rivers.

Contact LANDED for rates, departure dates, and more information. We can also help your combined your cruise with extensions to Machu Picchu or the Galapagos. Speak with a private travel planner today at 801.582.2100. We’ll take care of the details.

Birds of Panama

PANAMA: WORLD-CLASS BIRDWATCHING

The birds of Panama make up approximately 10% of the world’s known birds.

Most are permanent residents, observable throughout the year.

Some notable birds of Panama include:

  • Golden-headed Quetzals (Pharomachrus auriceps)
  • Resplendent Quetzals (Pharomachrus mocinno)
  • 3 Species of Albatross
  • 8 Species of Toucan
A black yellow and crimson Toucan with a huge yellow and red beak, spotted in a tree while Birding in Panama's Pico Bonito
  • 5 Species of Macaw
Two red, colorful birds (scarlet Macaws) flying side-by-side in Panama's Coiba National Park
  • 59 species of Hummingbird
A green and yellow Canivets Emerald bird perched on a branch, spotted on a birdwatching expedition in Roatan Honduras

We wrote this free guide to the birds of Panama to help you plan your next birding expedition.

Gray Aracari toucan with neon green, red, yellow and orange accents on its belly, spotted on a birdwatching tour in Panama

Birding Paradise

World-class birding locations lie within easy reach of Panama City.

Among these are Pipeline Road, the Panama Rainforest Discovery Center, Soberania National Park, and Chagres National Park.

Away from Panama’s capital, other prime birdwatching locations include:

  • La Amistad International Park
  • Sendero de los Quetzales
  • Darien National Park

Each of these destinations is home to a wide variety of the Birds of Panama, along with many other species of observable wildlife.

La Amistad International Park

 

Located on the border of Panama and Costa Rica, La Amistad protects 850 square miles of cloud forest, rainforest, and lowland habitat. La Amistad is home to many birds, tapirs, monkeys, and brilliantly colored frogs. Privately guided day hikes can be arranged to the La Cascada waterfall and panoramic lookout points.

Bright blue red-legged honeycreeper bird with black mask and wings, one of the many Birds of Panama
Red-legged Honeycreeper

La Amistad Heritage Park is home to 219 of the birds of Panama. Located in the Chiriqui Province of Western Panama, many birders head to La Amistad in search of the Resplendent Quetzal.

Beyond the Resplendent Quetzal, birders in La Amistad can encounter a number of the other birds of Panama, including the:

  • Flame-throated Warbler
  • Sooty-capped Chlorospingus
  • Red-headed Barbet
  • Tufted and Long-tailed Silky Flycatcher
  • Chiriqui Quail-Dove
  • Chestnut-capped Brush-Finch
  • White-fronted Tyrannulet
  • Black-faced Solitaire
  • Yellow-thighed Finch
  • Golden-browed Chlorophonia

Getting to La Amistad typically requires a 4-wheel drive vehicle. The terrain here can be rough and guides are recommended.

Bright green hummingbird with orange chest spotted birding in Panama

Birding in Sendero de los Quetzales

The Sendero de los Quetzales—a six-mile trail from Boquete to Cerro Punta—is also located in the Chiriqui Province, on the northern slopes of the Baru Volcano.

Over 225 birds of Panama have been identified on this trail.

Some of the species found along this popular Panama birdwatching destination include:

  • Prong-billed Barbet
  • Scintillant Hummingbird
  • Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush
  • Black and Yellow Silky-Flycatcher
  • Yellow Flycatcher
  • Slaty Spinetail

True to its name, Sendero de los Quetzales represents yet another region of Panama where lucky birders can spot the Resplendent Quetzal.

Waterfall surrounded by dense green forest in Darien National Park in Panama

Birdwatching in Darien

In Panama’s far east, Darien National Park is both the largest national park in Central America and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Its territory covers over 2,200 square miles, protecting mangrove swamps, mountains, lowland rainforests and Pacific beaches. More than 450 of Panama’s avian species have been observed at Darien.

Birdwatchers visiting Darien can encounter a wide array of the birds of Panama there, including the:

  • Golden-green Woodpecker
  • Rufous-winged Antwren
  • Bare-crowned Antbird
  • Plumbeous Hawk
  • Spectacled Owl
  • Tody Motmot
  • Crested Eagle
  • Barred Puffbird
  • Rufescent Tiger-heron
  • Tawny-breasted Flycatcher

Darien can be accessed by air and river. Experienced guides are a necessity.

Lush green coast and caribbean blue water on the edge of Darien national park in Panama

Want information on other great birding destinations? With 20 Islands and over 50 islets, the Galapagos Archipelago is home to 45 endemic bird species!

Find out more in our free Galapagos Islands guides here:

GALAPAGOS ISLANDS & SPECIES

GALAPAGOS SAFARI CAMP

GALAPAGOS YACHT CHARTERS

At LANDED, each travel request is personal. After all, you’re trusting us with your most precious asset—free time with the people you care about. By getting to know you, we’ll create the most memorable, most exceptional trip of your life. Call us today at 801.582.2100. Dream big. We’ve got you.

Caves & Caverns

XIBALBA—THE MAYA UNDERWORLD

Belize’s river systems have honeycombed the limestone bedrock with caves and caverns. Some larger examples are still accessible by river, allowing visitors to float through on inner tubes or kayaks.

Others were sacred to the ancient Maya, representing a connection between this world and Xibalba—the Maya underworld.

“Fear is the mind-killer.”

Frank Herbert

CAVES BRANCH

The most visited cave system in Belize is the Caves Branch, accessible from the Hummingbird Highway near Belmopan. This system allows visitors to float through as much as seven miles of cave, punctuated by underground waterfalls and a sparkling cavern. The sensation of turning off your headlamp and floating through darkness is thrilling. This trip is best during the June to November rainy season when high water levels limit the need for hiking.

ACTUN TUNICHIL MUKNAL

The famous Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave is located seven miles south of Belmopan. Here, hikers can travel 45 minutes through the forest to reach a narrow cave.

A clear stream flows from the entrance, filling many of the chambers with waist-high water. Inside lie over a dozen ancient skeletons, encrusted with calcium and glittering under flashlight.

St. Herman’s Blue Hole

Located just twelve miles southeast of Belmopan, St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park protects 575 acres of forest habitat.

The principal attraction is the Blue Hole, a collapsed limestone cave (cenote), filled with turquoise water. Visitors can cool off with a swim between hikes through the surrounding forest.

The park is also the site of St. Herman’s cave, a 0.8 mile-long cavern known for its delicate speleothems. After a guided tour through the cave, you can float peacefully back to its entrance on an inner tube.

At the nearby Crystal (Mountain Cow) Cave, guided tours enter wide caverns known for their crystalline formations and abundant Maya artifacts.

Chumpiate

Chumpiate Cave, a Maya burial cave 10 miles south of San Ignacio at Chechem Ha, noteworthy for its ancient pottery and an elaborate altar.

Barton Creek Cave, set in hilly Mennonite pastureland near the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve, represents another day-trip option.

Guided canoe tours can travel nearly a mile into the recesses of the cave, where Maya skeletons and pottery are found among the stalactites and limestone bridges.

Two red, colorful birds (scarlet Macaws) flying side-by-side in Guatemala

Rio Frio

Over 300 avian species have been sighted in the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. This 128,000-acre protected area is located east of the Maya Mountains and south of the rugged Cockscomb spur range.

The park has an excellent trail system through tropical forest inhabited by five feline species, howler monkeys, tapirs, and Keel-billed Toucans (Ramphastos sulfuratus).

Scarlet Macaws (Ara macao) flock to the village of Red Bank, especially from January to March.

Hobek Ha

In the southern Toledo District, west of the town of San Antonio, the Hobek Ha Cave of Blue Creek offers a relaxing swim after a hike through the rainforest.

Visits to this cave are usually combined with tours to the Maya sites of Lubaantun and Nim Li Punit.

LANDED arranges private tours of these habitats with expert guides. We also organize luxury accommodation, private transportation, and domestic flights within Belize. These regions are our passion; we know them first-hand and by heart. Speak with one of our expert travel planners today at 801.582.2100. We’ll take care of the details.

Birding in Belize

BELIZE BIRDING: OVER 600 NATIVE SPECIES

Belize is birding paradise. More than 615 non-introduced avian species have been recorded in Belize’s territory, including:

  • Resplendent Quetzals (Pharomachrus mocinno)
  • Harpy and Crested Eagles
  • 26 species of Hummingbird
  • 12 types of Parrot & Parakeet
  • 18 species of Heron
  • 3 species of Booby

For many species, mating season coincides with the March to May dry season.

Rio Bravo Conservation Area

 

The Rio Bravo Conservation Area is a 260,000-acre reserve, located 33 miles west of Belize City, is one of the county’s best forest reserves. Notably, this site is adjacent to an additional 250,000 acres of private reserve. Over 400 species of avifauna have been identified here. Rio Bravo also supports populations of jaguar, jaguarundi, ocelot, and puma.

A red lored (green) parrot with a yellow and red beak, spotted in a tree on a birdwatching expedition in Belize

Yellow-lored Amazon

BIRD WATCHING IN CROOKED TREE

Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, 33 miles northwest of Belize City, this site contains a 16,400-acre wetland and forest habitat. Resident species include:

  • Jabiru Stork (Jabiru mycteria)
  • Northern Jacana (Jacana spinosa)
  • Black Howler Monkey
  • Morelet’s Crocodile

Tours of Crooked Tree can be conducted by boat or hiking on foot.

View from helicopter charter above Belize, San Pedro to Corozal

Guanacaste National Park

Guanacaste National Park two miles from Belmopan, protects broadleaf forest near the confluence of the Belize River and Roaring Creek.

This is a transitional habitat, between the highlands and the coastal zone. The park is home to jaguarundi, agouti, kinkajous, and over 100 bird species.

Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve

Just south of San Ignacio, the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve protects nearly 300 square miles of pine forest, rivers and waterfalls.

The reserve, in the foothills of the Maya Mountains, is home to toucans, parrots, and motmots.

Half Moon Caye National Monument, at the southeast end of Lighthouse Reef Atoll, is a nesting ground for the Red-footed Booby (Sula sula) and the Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens).

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary

Over 300 avian species have been sighted in the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. This 128,000-acre protected area is located east of the Maya Mountains and south of the rugged Cockscomb spur range.

The park has an excellent trail system through tropical forest inhabited by five feline species, howler monkeys, tapirs, and Keel-billed Toucans (Ramphastos sulfuratus).

Scarlet Macaws (Ara macao) flock to the village of Red Bank, especially from January to March.

LANDED arranges private tours of these habitats with expert guides. We also organize luxury accommodation, private transportation, and domestic flights within Belize. These regions are our passion; we know them first-hand and by heart. Speak with one of our expert travel planners today at 801.582.2100. We’ll take care of the details.