Photo via Rainforest Cruises
For our Amazon river cruise, we joined a 4-day luxury tour with Rainforest Cruises aboard the Delfin I. This particular cruise took us into the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, which encompasses five million acres of protected, flooded forest in the middle of the Peruvian Amazon.
The setting was absolutely stunning. During the day we would cruise through the chocolate waters of the Amazon and the black waters of its tributaries, and then by sunset our captain would dock by the shore where we had nothing but unspoilt tropical jungle outside our windows.
Even though we didn’t have 4 full days aboard the boat (you board in the afternoon of the first day, and disembark in the morning of the fourth day), it still felt like the right amount of time to see and do everything we wanted to. The days were well structured with an array of activities, but more on that later in this post.
Photo via Rainforest Cruises
The Delfin I only had 4 rooms: 2 master suites with private terraces, and 2 deluxe suites with private pools. I stayed in one of the master suites called the Anaconda Suite and it was a wonderful stay.
The room was bright with floor to ceiling windows, a comfortable king-sized bed with all white linens, and the entire room felt very spacious and airy. My favourite feature of the room would have to be the private terrace where you could sit and enjoy a drink while enjoying the ever-changing views.
As for the bathroom, it had a large walk in shower with piping hot water, bath robes, fluffy towels, organic toiletries and a hair-dryer, so it ticked all the boxes in terms of comfort.
Now let’s talk about the meals because as you can probably tell from the pictures above, the food aboard the Delfin I was fantastic. They had an international menu sure to satisfy every palate, but they also made sure to use Amazonian ingredients and feature Peruvian-inspired dishes at every meal.
Breakfast was a buffet featuring Peruvian favourites like humitas, tamales, fried plantain, spicy pork sausage, and tropical fruits from the region, but then you also had Western classics like pancakes with maple syrup, bacon, and scrambled eggs. All of this was accompanied with a selection of fresh-squeezed juices at the table, as well as tea, coffee and hot chocolate.
Lunch and dinner were three-course affairs, with every plate being its own work of art. Over the course of our 4-day cruise we ate things like tenderloin steak with cassava ñoquis, steamed catfish with yucca fries, roast beef with pumpkin ravioli, not to mention the barbecue feast we enjoyed on our final evening aboard the boat.
I also liked that dinner was a communal meal with all the guests sitting at one large table. This allowed us to get to know our fellow travellers better and it also created a sense of camaraderie that you don’t always find in group tours.
Let’s start with the onboard activities. My favourite place to hang out on the boat was the lounge area on the observation deck. Here they had a few different sitting areas where you could enjoy a game of chess or backgammon. The observation deck also featured a bar, where you could order cocktails throughout the day. Hello pisco sours!
When we weren’t leisurely cruising the Amazon, there was an action packed schedule that kept us exploring. We went in search of wildlife, kayaked down the tributaries, enjoyed canopy walks through the jungle, fished for piranhas, visited local communities, and so much more. We averaged 2 excursions per day – one in the morning and another in the afternoon – and aside from that, there was also the option of going out on a nighttime outing.
All of these activities, of course, were optional, so if you wanted to enjoy some more down time on your trip, that would certainly be possible.
The Little Details
One of the things that set the Delfin I apart, were the small little details that made guests feel extra special.
For example, in the evening they would provide turn-down service while the guests were dining, and then by the time everyone returned back to their cabins there was chocolate and a bedtime story waiting on the bed. The best part is that the bedtime stories were based on local tales and folklore, and they were set in the Amazon. How cool is that?
I also liked that the rooms had binoculars that guests could take out on the excursions, they had yoga mats in case you wanted to rise early and enjoy a stretch while cruising the Amazon, and they also provided rubber boots if we were heading out on a muddy excursion.
Even though these weren’t essentials that could make or break a trip, it was a nice and thoughtful touch.
Like I have mentioned, the trip I did aboard the Delfin I was a luxury cruise so it has the price tag to match. That being said, cruising the Amazon is something that can be done with any budget. Rainforest Cruises offers a wide range of river cruises – luxury, superior, and comfort – all of which range in size, duration, and destination. At the time of writing this they had a cruise on the Brazilian Amazon for as little as $439 USD, and on the opposite end of the spectrum, you could charter an entire boat for $9,999 USD. Clearly there’s something for every budget!
Is cruising the Amazon on your bucket list?