There is no better way to experience the Amazon river than by lodging directly upon its waters. Embark on a journey through the biodiverse Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, launching from Iquitos via the comfortable and modern Delfin Amazon cruises. Delfin cruises are 100 percent Peruvian-owned and operated, and are the only cruise ships in the world that are part of the esteemed Relais & Châteaux luxury hotel brand. Learn more about their three ships and daily activities below.
*Article last updated by Sabrina Biegerl on July 7, 2020.
When to Go
The good news is the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest is a year-round destination. Travelers only need to take the wet and the dry season into consideration. There is a 23 ft difference in water level between these two seasons, so tours will slightly vary and different animals can be spotted in each season. Humidity stays steady at around 80% throughout the year and temperatures range from 71F to 89F.
- December to May: high water season. During the high water season it rains around 20-25% more than during the low water season. Rivers are higher, making them better accessible for boats and the rainforest is even more lush than usual. With the beginning of the rainfall, mating season also starts for many animals.
- June to November: low water season. During the low water season travelers can expect fewer rain showers, however as the name Amazon Rainforest suggests, rain is always a probability. Usually it rains for 1-2 hours per day. Nevertheless during this season rivers carry fewer water, exposing hiking trails that are normally flooded during the high water season. Animals come out to the riverbanks looking for food and water, making some easier to spot during this season.
How to Get There
To embark on the journey on the Amazon river travelers need to come to Iquitos. There are two options: by boat or by plane. The most convenient way is to fly to Iquitos from Peru’s capital, Lima. Latam, the biggest airline in the region, offers daily flights and in just under 2 hours travelers comfortably arrive in the north of Peru. From Iquitos it is another 2 hours by car to Nauta, the embarkation port for the Delfin cruise ships.
About Delfin I
The cruise ship offers four exclusive suites that are equipped with air-conditioning and private panoramic terraces as well as floor to ceiling windows, allowing passengers to absorb the stunning views throughout the trip. The limited number of cabins makes the Delfin I cruise the perfect choice for travelers looking for an intimate and personalized experience.
The top deck invites guests for a drink at the open-air bar and some relaxation at the lounge after a day of exploring. In the effort to blend in with the natural surroundings, the ship is made of naval steel that has been collected in the native forests and local fruits, art and crafts are used as decoration throughout the decks.
The Amazon rainforest is also reflected in the gourmet meals that are served every day. Fresh local ingredients are combined with Peruvian culinary traditions merging into a flavorful contemporary Creole cuisine. They are also equipped to accommodate special diets when notified in advance.
About Delfin II
The Delfin II is equipped with four master suites and 10 suites, including four suites that can be interconnected for families traveling. Master cabins offer 180° panoramic windows for guests to embrace the stunning views all day and night. Suite cabins have extra-large windows to take in the breathtaking sight. All cabins are equipped with air conditioning.
In the also air-conditioned dining room on the upper deck, flavorful contemporary Creole cuisine is served that combines fresh local ingredients from the Amazon with Peruvian culinary traditions. The Delfin II crew is able to accommodate special diets when notified in advance.
After a day of exploration, the top deck offers a lounge and a bar to wind-down. It is the perfect spot to listen to the curious Amazon sounds and to spot some animals in the river banks nearby. For some extra relaxation, travelers can reserve a treatment in the little spa and for active guests, there is a gym available. In 2014 a brand new lecture room was added to the observation deck where the staff gives presentations about upcoming tours and travelers can gather and relax.
Throughout the ship, guests will find elegant decor mixed with traditional and local designs.
About Delfin III
On the Delfin III Cruise, the newest vessel in the fleet, a maximum of 44 travelers can be accommodated, making it an intimate travel experience. Passengers can choose between the owner’s suite, the two corner suites, the 10 upper suites or the nine standard suites that are all equipped with floor to ceiling panoramic windows to enjoy the stunning Amazon Rainforest views. All rooms as well as the dining room and the indoor lounge also have air conditioning. Handmade textiles, traditional artwork and local fruits and tools are used to tastefully decorate the ship.
In the dining room on the upper deck, the crew serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Travelers will experience the best of Peruvian gastronomy with an infusion of Amazonian flavors. The Delfin III crew is also able to accommodate special diets when notified in advance. The top deck on the Delfin III Cruise features a cozy bar for some post excursion relaxation and an indoor lounge where onboard activities take place. To even further wind down, travelers can spend time at the open-air sundeck at the plunge pool or book a spa treatment. For sport lovers the Delfin Cruise III is also equipped with a gym on the top deck with panoramic views of the Amazon rainforest.
The Delfin III Cruise offers extraordinary elegance and comfort for a memorable Amazon rainforest experience.
Delfin I: 4 day/3 night and 5 day/4 night.
All Delfin I itineraries include the following destination highlights: Pahuachiro skiff exploration, Yanayacu Pucate community visit and kayaking, Amazon Natural Park jungle trail and canopy walk, Yanayaquillo picnic and piranha fishing, Piranha Creek Amazon confluence, and Rescue and Rehabilitation Center of River Mammals. The 5 day additionally features Puerto Miguel community visit and Yarapa River exploration and night walk. Exact activities may vary depending on the season and weather.
Delfin II: 4 day/3 night and 5 day/4 night
All Delfin II itineraries include the following destination highlights: Pahuachiro skiff exploration, Yanayacu Pucate community visit and kayaking, Amazon Natural Park medicinal plant walk, Yanayaquillo Creek excursion, Piranha Creek, and Rescue and Rehabilitation Center of River Mammals. The 5 day additionally features Palm Forest wildlife search, Samiria river, and San Francisco community visit and Amazon confluence. Exact activities may vary depending on the season and weather.
Delfin III: 4 day/3 night and 5 day/4 night
All Delfin III itineraries include skiff explorations, a community visit, a natural or jungle walk, sloth and birdwatching experience at Las Palmas, wildlife excursions, piranha fishing, canoe rides to search for pink river dolphins, and a stop at the Rescue and Rehabilitation Center of River Mammals. Exact activities may vary depending on the season and weather.
Delfin I: 4D/3N departs Mondays, 5D/4N departs Thursdays
Delfin II: 4D/3N departs Sundays, 5D/4N departs Wednesdays
Delfin III: 4D/3N departs Saturdays, 5D/4N departs Tuesdays
Pro tip: Amazon river cruises are in high demand and tend to sell out far in advance. Talk to a travel advisor to secure your spot on your desired dates for your Delfin cruise.
On water. Guests on Delfin Amazon cruises have the chance to see river dolphins and river elephants – the manatees – roam freely in the Amazon river. Piranhas and Paiches are swimming alongside them and during the dry season it is very likely to be able to see caimans and anacondas in the river banks. Kayaking, fishing and swimming in the Amazon river are all options.
On land. Visitors have the opportunity to see Amazon animals, like sloths and monkeys such as squirrel and howler monkeys high up in the tree crowns. When taking a closer look Rainbow boas are often wrapped around a tree’s stem and the little stick insects are hiding between the leaves. Above in the air colorful birds such as the Jabiru and Macaw parrots can be admired. A Canopy walk allows travelers to get a special view from above at 85 feet, and visits to native villages give guests the chance to learn about the local traditions
What to Pack
The weather in the Amazon Rainforest is always hot, humid and wet, therefore to enjoy the Amazon experience to the fullest it is important to bring the right clothing. Here’s what we recommend to pack if taking Delfin Amazon Cruises.
- Clothing. It is recommendable to bring clothing that is light, airy and made out of quick drying material. The clothes should be in light color.
- Long sleeved pants and shirts are best for land-excursions to be protected from the sun and mosquitos.
- On the boat shirts and shorts are fine.
- Bathing suit for swimming.
- Pro tip: Avoid black and yellow as mosquitos and other insects are attracted by them.
- Comfortable walking or hiking shoes for excursions and sandals or tennis shoes for the time on the boat.
- Pro tip: Pack high socks, to protect your ankles from mosquito bites. They should be compatible with hiking and rain boots.
- Insect repellent. You will want to carry it around with you at all times for extra protection against mosquitos.
- Sun protection.
- Rain protection.
- Light rain jacket and/or poncho.
- Rain Boots
- Personal items.
- Water-resistant day pack
- Reusable water bottle
Plan your trip
Dive deep into the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve in Iquitos to discover the incredible, mostly untouched, biodiversity of the Peruvian Amazon Basin while enjoying luxurious Delfin Amazon cruises. If you are ready to embark on an adventure in the Amazon Rainforest contact our team of experts for a unique and personalized itinerary.
Born and raised in Germany, Sabrina was lucky enough to extensively travel through Europe from a young age. Being bitten by the travel bug and aspiring to explore more countries and cultures away from home, she decided to travel to South America. After traveling to Chile, Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina she fell in love with the continent and decided to settle in Peru.