• Overview
  • Photos & Video
  • Pricing
  • Dates
  • Extensions
  • Cabins
  • Boat Details
  • Trip Reviews
  • FAQ
Experience the world as it was at the very beginning of time. Sail the waters of the mighty Amazon. Every week of the year, the award-winning Aqua Expeditions’ luxurious M/V Aria takes 32 passengers deep into Peru’s Amazon wilderness to places only ever visited by only a fortunate few. Daily water-based excursions on comfortable launch boats allow guests to experience such wonders as pink dolphins and six-foot-wide water lilies, to fish for sharp-toothed piranha, and to interact with the people who live out their days along the river.

M/V Aria’s expert guides provide rich narrative detail about life along the Amazon. They enrich guest’s journeys to such little-visited areas as the remote Pacaya Samiria Reserve and the headwaters of the river, with stories about the life and folklore of the area. In fact, many of the guides grew up in Amazonia.

The 32 guests aboard the 147-foot-long M/V Aria enjoy fine wine and haute cuisine, in all-inclusive comfort equivalent to a five-star boutique hotel. The 16 over-sized staterooms all feature en-suite seating areas, generous beds, and wall-to-wall panoramic windows. The observation deck with outdoor jacuzzi and the lounge are also glorious places to sip a pisco sour and watch the world go by. Executive Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, one of Peru’s star chefs, created the M/V Aria’s gourmet menu, and fine South American wines are included at every meal.

Departing from the Port of Iquitos, the Aria offers three-, four-, and seven-night itineraries year-round. The itinerary specifics depend upon the changing seasons, catered to the best available sightseeing locations. During the wet season, December through May, the river expands, allowing access deeper into the flooded forest. The dry season, June through November, exposes beautiful sandy river beaches. Each departure presents distinctive opportunities for jungle exploration.

Itinerary (Aria on the Amazon - 4 days / 3 nights, Low Water Season (June-Oct))
Day 1: IQUITOS - NAUTA - EMBARKATION - MARAÑON RIVER
Day 2: YANAYACU PUCATE RIVER - MARAÑON RIVER
Day 3: SAMIRIA RIVER - NAUTA CAÑO OR PNA (AMAZONIAN NATURAL PARK)
Day 4: NAUTA TOWN - MANATEE RESCUE CENTER - IQUITOS
Itinerary (Aria on the Amazon - 4 days / 3 nights, High Water Season (Nov-May))
Day 1: IQUITOS - AMAZON RIVER
Day 2: AMAZON – YARAPA RIVER - NAUTA CAÑO
Day 3: MARAÑON CREEK - SUSPENDED BRIDGES - YANAYACU-PUCATE
Day 4: NAUTA TOWN - MANATEE RESCUE CENTER - IQUITOS
Itinerary (Aria on the Amazon - 5 days / 4 nights, Low Water Season (June-Oct))
Day 1: IQUITOS– NAUTA – EMBARKATION - MARAÑON RIVER
Day 2: UCAYALI RIVER - PACAYA RIVER
Day 3: PACAYA RIVER - UCAYALI RIVER - TAPICHE RIVER
Day 4: CLAVERO LAKE - SAN JOSE FLOODED FOREST
Day 5: ARRIVAL IN IQUITOS - MANATEE RESCUE CENTER - TRANSFER TO THE AIRPORT
Itinerary (Aria on the Amazon - 5 days / 4 nights, High Water Season (Nov-May))
Day 1: IQUITOS – NAUTA – EMBARKATION - AMAZON RIVER
Day 2: YANALLPA RIVER - DORADO RIVER
Day 3: PACAYA RIVER - UCAYALI RIVER - TAPICHE RIVER
Day 4: CLAVERO OR YARAPA RIVER - AMAZON RIVER
Day 5: ARRIVAL IN IQUITOS - MANATEE RESCUE CENTER - TRANSFER TO THE AIRPORT
Itinerary (Aria on the Amazon - 8 days / 7 nights, Low Water Season (June-Oct))
Day 1: ARRIVAL – NAUTA – EMBARKATION - MARAÑON RIVER
Day 2: YANAYACU PUCATE RIVER - MARAÑON RIVER
Day 3: SAMIRIA RIVER - NAUTA CAÑO OR PNA (AMAZONIAN NATURAL PARK)
Day 4: NAUTA TOWN - VILLAGE VISIT - BIRTHPLACE OF THE AMAZON
Day 5: UCAYALI RIVER - PACAYA RIVER
Day 6: PACAYA RIVER - UCAYALI RIVER - TAPICHE RIVER
Day 7: CLAVERO LAKE - SAN JOSE FLOODED FOREST
Day 8: ARRIVAL IN IQUITOS - MANATEE RESCUE CENTER - TRANSFER TO THE AIRPORT
Itinerary (Aria on the Amazon - 8 days / 7 nights, High Water Season (Nov-May))
Day 1: IQUITOS - AMAZON RIVER
Day 2: AMAZON – YARAPA RIVER - NAUTA CAÑO
Day 3: MARAÑON CREEK - SUSPENDED BRIDGES - YANAYACU-PUCATE RIVER
Day 4: NAUTA TOWN - VILLAGE VISIT - BIRTHPLACE OF THE AMAZON
Day 5: YANALLPA RIVER - DORADO RIVER
Day 6: PACAYA RIVER - UCAYALI RIVER - TAPICHE RIVER
Day 7: CLAVERO OR YARAPA RIVER - AMAZON RIVER
Day 8: ARRIVAL IN IQUITOS - MANATEE RESCUE CENTER - TRANSFER TO THE AIRPORT

Weather

When to Visit
  • jan
  • feb
  • mar
  • apr
  • may
  • jun
  • jul
  • aug
  • sep
  • oct
  • nov
  • dec

Peru is a diverse country. With beaches, mountains, rainforest and desert, there is no off-season. But it does pay to know a bit about where you're going, and what you'll need on your Peru tour:

The Andes - Though officially part of the dry season, April and May are considered the Andean spring, while June through October marks the Andean summer. Mid-day temperatures range from 70 to 80 F in the sun. Nighttime temperatures in Cusco range in the 40s F and can dip into the 30s F. Weather is usually clear in the morning with clouds accumulating in the afternoon. Rain can happen in any season, so quality rain gear is essential.

The Amazon - A rainforest environment, the Peruvian Amazon has varied weather conditions and frequent unpredictable rain showers. It is generally hot and humid during the day with more comfortable temperatures through the night. Daytime high temperatures average between 82° and 93° F, and the average nighttime low is between 62° and 73°. Nevertheless, in some areas cold fronts can sweep into the Amazon and push daytime high temperatures down to 50° F and nighttime lows to 43° F. Any time of year, one should always be prepared for cooler temperatures and rain showers. Around 80% of the annual average 79 inches of rainfall occurs during the rainy season (December through March) when heavy rain may continue for hours or days.

Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches
 

LIMA

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN68-790.0
FEB69-800.0
MAR69-800.0
APR67-760.0
MAY63-720.0
JUN61-690.1
JUL60-670.2
AUG60-660.1
SEP60-670.1
OCT60-690.1
NOV62-720.0
DEC64-760.0

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches
 

CUSCO

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN44-656.3
FEB44-655.2
MAR43-664.3
APR41-671.8
MAY39-670.3
JUN33-660.1
JUL32-660.2
AUG35-670.3
SEP39-680.9
OCT42-691.9
NOV43-693.1
DEC44-694.7

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches

PUNO

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN38-625.2
FEB38-624.3
MAR38-623.8
APR33-621.5
MAY25-620.4
JUN19-610.1
JUL18-610.1
AUG22-630.2
SEP29-640.8
OCT33-651.5
NOV35-662.0
DEC37-643.6

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches
 

PUERTO MALDONADO

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN71-8813.6
FEB70-8712.8
MAR70-8811.9
APR69-876.1
MAY66-864.2
JUN63-842.3
JUL62-852.2
AUG64-882.5
SEP66-903.9
OCT69-906.5
NOV70-899.3
DEC70-8812.1

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches


 

Specials >> Amazon

Enjoy these Fall travel promotions in Ecuador and the Galapagos during September, October and the...

Aria on the Amazon - 4 days / 3 nights, Low Water Season (June-Oct)

Pricing
Per Person
$3,775

Upgrade to Second Deck cabin: +$150

Domestic Airfare:
$350 (Lima/Iquitos/Lima) – Subject to Change
Included in tour cost
  • House Wine and Local Bear with Meals
  • All listed activities
  • English-speaking certified guides
  • Entrance fees for all scheduled tours, national parks & archaeological sites
  • Meals as indicated
  • Southern Explorations pre-departure services
Excluded from tour cost
  • Domestic airfare within South America
  • International airfare to and from Central & South America
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Medical & travel insurance (highly recommended)

Aria on the Amazon - 4 days / 3 nights, High Water Season (Nov-May)

Pricing
Per Person
$3,775

Upgrade to Second Deck cabin: +$150

Domestic Airfare:
$350 (Lima/Iquitos/Lima) – Subject to Change
Included in tour cost
  • House Wine and Local Bear with Meals
  • All listed activities
  • English-speaking certified guides
  • Entrance fees for all scheduled tours, national parks & archaeological sites
  • Meals as indicated
  • Southern Explorations pre-departure services
Excluded from tour cost
  • Domestic airfare within South America
  • International airfare to and from Central & South America
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Medical & travel insurance (highly recommended)

Aria on the Amazon - 5 days / 4 nights, Low Water Season (June-Oct)

Pricing
Per Person
$5,000

Upgrade to Second Deck cabin: +$200

Domestic Airfare:
$350 (Lima/Iquitos/Lima) – Subject to Change
Included in tour cost
  • House Wine and Local Bear with Meals
  • All listed activities
  • English-speaking certified guides
  • Entrance fees for all scheduled tours, national parks & archaeological sites
  • Meals as indicated
  • Southern Explorations pre-departure services
Excluded from tour cost
  • Domestic airfare within South America
  • International airfare to and from Central & South America
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Medical & travel insurance (highly recommended)

Aria on the Amazon - 5 days / 4 nights, High Water Season (Nov-May)

Pricing
Per Person
$5,000

Upgrade to Second Deck cabin: +$200

Domestic Airfare:
$350 (Lima/Iquitos/Lima) – Subject to Change
Included in tour cost
  • House Wine and Local Bear with Meals
  • All listed activities
  • English-speaking certified guides
  • Entrance fees for all scheduled tours, national parks & archaeological sites
  • Meals as indicated
  • Southern Explorations pre-departure services
Excluded from tour cost
  • Domestic airfare within South America
  • International airfare to and from Central & South America
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Medical & travel insurance (highly recommended)

Aria on the Amazon - 8 days / 7 nights, Low Water Season (June-Oct)

Pricing
Per Person
$8,825

Upgrade to Second Deck cabin: +$350

Domestic Airfare:
$350 (Lima/Iquitos/Lima) – Subject to Change
Included in tour cost
  • House Wine and Local Bear with Meals
  • All listed activities
  • English-speaking certified guides
  • Entrance fees for all scheduled tours, national parks & archaeological sites
  • Meals as indicated
  • Southern Explorations pre-departure services
Excluded from tour cost
  • Domestic airfare within South America
  • International airfare to and from Central & South America
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Medical & travel insurance (highly recommended)

Aria on the Amazon - 8 days / 7 nights, High Water Season (Nov-May)

Pricing
Per Person
$8,825

Upgrade to Second Deck cabin: +$350

Domestic Airfare:
$350 (Lima/Iquitos/Lima) – Subject to Change
Included in tour cost
  • House Wine and Local Bear with Meals
  • All listed activities
  • English-speaking certified guides
  • Entrance fees for all scheduled tours, national parks & archaeological sites
  • Meals as indicated
  • Southern Explorations pre-departure services
Excluded from tour cost
  • Domestic airfare within South America
  • International airfare to and from Central & South America
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Medical & travel insurance (highly recommended)

Aria on the Amazon - 4 days / 3 nights, Low Water Season (June-Oct)

Trip Dates
Friday departures. Upgrade to Master Suite +$150
Available

Aria on the Amazon - 4 days / 3 nights, High Water Season (Nov-May)

Trip Dates
Friday departures. Upgrade to Master Suite +$150
Available

Aria on the Amazon - 5 days / 4 nights, Low Water Season (June-Oct)

Trip Dates
Monday departures. Upgrade to Master Suite +$200
Available

Aria on the Amazon - 5 days / 4 nights, High Water Season (Nov-May)

Trip Dates
Monday departures. Upgrade to Master Suite +$200
Available

Aria on the Amazon - 8 days / 7 nights, Low Water Season (June-Oct)

Trip Dates
Friday departures. Upgrade to Master Suite +$350.
Available

Aria on the Amazon - 8 days / 7 nights, High Water Season (Nov-May)

Trip Dates
Friday departures. Upgrade to Master Suite +$350.
Available

One Day

Multi-Day

Cabins
 Aria's 16 luxury guest suites, designed by an internationally renowned Peruvian interior designer, measure a generous 240 square feet, and feature large, outward facing panoramic windows and en suite sitting areas. All suites are air conditioned, and four are interconnected, to cater to families. Guests can socialize in the dining room, bar, on the observation deck with outdoor jacuzzi and at the lounge.

There is also a small boutique and an exercise room. You'll be served by a crew of 24, including a cruise director, paramedic and four skilled naturalist guides.
  • 6 suites: All cabins have twin beds that are convertible to a California king-sized bed
  • 8 Design Suites on first deck measuring 240 sq. ft.
  • 8 Design Suites on second deck measuring 240 sq. ft.
  • All suites face outside; large panoramic windows
  • All air-conditioned with en-suite sitting areas
  • 4 interconnecting suites for families

Boat Details

Boat Amenities

  • Indoor Bar-Lounge
  • Dining Room
  • Outside Lounge
  • Boutique
  • Observation Deck
  • Exercise room
  • Outdoor jacuzzi

Boat Specifications

  • Capacity: 32 passengers (additional accommodation for 1 child in each cabin)
  • Length: 147 feet / 45 meters
  • Beam: 29.5 feet / 9 meters
  • Draft: 5 feet / 1.5 meters
  • Lifejackets: in all cabins
  • Crew: 24
  • Guides: 4
  • Launch Boats: 4, each with a capacity of 8-10 passengers, guide and launch pilot
  • Cruising Speed: 10 knots
  • Cruise Director and Paramedic
  • Two engines, generators, and hot water plants
  • USCG-approved sanitation system with state-of-the-art toilets
  • Automated defibrillator, and certified staff, onboard
  • Ship Owners P&I Club Protection and Indemnity Certification
amazon rainforest waterfall
Our trip was rather complex with three different sections (Amazon, Galapagos, and Machu Picchu (Peru)).  There were a number of internal flights as well as trains, boats, and more.  We also had coordination of people joining us part way through, special guides, and special activities for some people.  I was very impressed that all of the transfers, activities, and connections occurred without a hitch.  There were ample opportunities for things to go wrong, but the whole trip went exceptionally smoothly.  All of the guides were outstanding - knowledgeable, personable, with good communication skills, and a good sense of humor.  I appreciated the very small groups, which afforded just the right balance.  We were able to see more than expected. It couldn’t have been better. - Linda Tredupp, Wisconsin (Amazon, Galapagos Island Cruise & Peru)
 

I was very impressed with the organization of our trip.  Everything Southern Explorations was responsible for went smoothly and everything was on schedule.  The Manatee on the Amazon had some initial trouble but it could not have been known or anticipated by SE.  Once again I would like to compliment Jorge on his work.  He made our comings and goings to and from Quito very easy.  If I go to South America again my first call will be to Southern Explorations.  Thank you. - Peter Tuck, CA (Corals & Manatee)

I have traveled many places in the world but the trip put together by Southern Explorations may well be the best. The amazing biology we saw on the Galapagos and in the Amazon, wonderful guides both on the Eclipse and at Sacha lodge, excellent food, and great coordination of the different parts of the trip made for an incredible journey.   -Marilyn Parsons, USA (Galapagos Island Cruise & Amazon)


Please consider strongly using Southern Explorations to book your trip to South America. These folks are well organized and provided excellent preparation materials. The two tours that I took (Galapagos Islands and the Amazon) were outstanding, in part due to the people working with Southern Explorations. There was excellent communication between Southern Explorations staff and myself which helped markedly in planning the trip, the exact locations to be visited, and the accommodations. Do not miss this opportunity to work with this wonderful group! - Renée Leboeuf (Galapagos Island Cruise & Amazon)

Thank-you for the trip of a life time and I have already recommended you to everyone who asks! - Wendy Williams, Canada (Amazon, Machu Picchu & Galapagos Island Cruise)

Southern Explorations did a superb job creating an individual guided trip for us to the Amazon, Cusco, Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. The guides were terrific - well-informed, friendly and flexible. The accommodations were excellent. The trip was a thrilling experience for us - exceeded our expectations at all of the locations. Thank you!! - David Bergen & Rhea Feldman, USA (Amazon & Peru)

We had an outstanding time on our Galapagos Adventure + stay at the Sacha Lodge. Everything ran seamlessly and our guides were fun and knowledgeable. It was the perfect mix of activity, education, and relaxation! We also highly recommend the Sacha Lodge. - Eric & Leah Monson, USA (Galapagos Island Land & Amazon) 

Peru - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I choose an itinerary?
A: We offer a wide variety of itineraries suitable for all ages, fitness levels and personal interests. Figuring out the total number of days you are available to travel is a good starting point and your Adventure Travel Coordinator can guide you through the options.
Q: Can I make changes or additions to these tours?
A: Yes! We are happy to modify any tour to meet your needs and also add pre and post-excursion extensions. If you sign up for a group departure we cannot change the group portion, but we can add extensions before and after.
Q: When is the best time to go to Peru?
A: Many travelers like to visit Peru between the months of April and October, when the chances of rain are much lower. Avoid the height of summer (June through August) and the Christmas holiday season for smaller crowds and the best selection of accommodations.
Q: What is the weather like in Peru?
A: The most traveled section of Peru, where Cusco and Machu Picchu are located, has a dry season (April – October) and a rainy season (November – March) with daytime temperatures in the 60s and 70s and lows in the 40s. Rainfall and temperatures vary in other regions depending on season and elevation. Please see the weather tab on your specific trip for more details.
Q: What is a typical day like in Peru? 
A: A typical day in Peru will vary from tour to tour, but generally you can expect to start your excursions right after breakfast with a full day of scheduled activities or sightseeing. Contact your Adventure Travel Coordinator to discuss the specifics of your tour.
Q: How physically fit do I need to be to enjoy a trip to Peru? 
A: Our trips vary in level of activity, so the requirements differ based on itinerary. It’s important to keep in mind that much of Peru is at or above 8000’ above sea level which can add some difficulty to the activities. Please check our physical ratings for each itinerary to see what may be required of you when assessing your ability to enjoy a trip. If you have any specific questions, please contact your Adventure Travel Coordinator. We have personal experience with these activities and can help you decide whether a trip is right for you.
Q: How much time do we need to visit Peru?
A: We offer trips as short as 5 days, but recommend 7 days to adequately explore the Andean highlands (Cusco, Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu). If you wish to visit more than one region, we recommend travelling for at least 12 days.
Q: How far in advance should I book?
A: Peru is a popular destination and space at the most desirable hotels fills up quickly. As a rule, the further in advance you can plan, the more options you will have. We recommend planning at least six to nine months in advance throughout the year, and a year ahead of time for anything over the Christmas holiday season.
Q: What are your booking and cancellation policies?
A: Click here to see our booking and cancellation policies.
Q: Do you use certified guides?
A: Our guides have been carefully selected for their knowledge, professionalism, experience and ability to effectively manage groups with finesse. We hire only guides who are native to the destination and are licensed and/or certified in accordance with the government regulations of their country. All are fluent in Spanish and English, and some also speak indigenous languages. Most have advanced degrees in tourism, biology, native culture or other related field. All guides are experienced in the outdoors and trained in basic first aid.
Q: What kind of accommodations can I expect?
A: We primarily work with 3 and 4-star hotels that meets our standards. We also work with several amazing 5-star properties. All of our hotels are clean, comfortable, well-located, offer en suite bathrooms and have been personally vetted by a Southern Explorations’ staff member.
Q: Do tours include airfare?
A: We will confirm all airfare within South America and this price will be listed separately from our base tour costs. You are responsible for booking international flights to/from Peru.
Q: How many people are on your tours?
A: We operate our scheduled group trips with a minimum of two and a maximum of eight guests, except on the Inca Trail trips, which have a maximum of 12 guests. This policy minimizes our environmental impact, allows us to travel to areas less visited, and makes the sightseeing experience more personal. It allows our guides sufficient time to attend to the individual needs of each visitor. Traveling in small groups also increases the likelihood of encountering wildlife in some areas, such as the Amazon. Some all-inclusive lodges and cruises offer excursions with their in-house guides and groups for those days may exceed eight travelers.
Q: Will I get more information on packing, vaccines, currency, electricity, etc.?
A: After booking you will receive a link to our online trip portal which includes all of the need-to-know information that is specific to your itinerary.  This includes packing lists, restaurant recommendations, tipping guides, FAQs, vaccine recommendations and currency information. Your Adventure Travel Coordinator will also be a great resource for any other information you may need.