Adventures Down the Amazon with Rainforest Cruises in Peru

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The thing I enjoyed most about my Peruvian Amazon tour with Rainforest Cruises was the balance between adventure travel and luxury travel. Our days were spent out on the Amazon River looking for wildlife, walking through the rainforest, and fishing for piranhas, however, at the end of the day we always had a bright, spacious cabin and gourmet meals to look forward to. I felt I got to experience the Amazon, but I didn’t have to give up any of my comforts along the way, and that made the trip all the more special.

I’ll be writing about our Amazon River cruise in more detail soon, but first up I wanted to share some of the fun excursions and special moments we experienced during the trip.

Adventures Down the Amazon with Rainforest Cruises in Peru

Sunset on the Amazon with Rainforest Cruises

Sunrises and sunsets over the Amazon

I don’t know how we got so lucky, but for some reason our side of the boat always docked facing east which meant we got to experience some pretty spectacular sunrises over the water. I purposely started keeping the curtains open at night so that we could wake up with natural light and catch the sunrise every morning.

The sunsets on the Amazon were also pretty spectacular; the photo you see here was shot on our first afternoon aboard the boat just as the sun was going down. Doesn’t that look magical? I bet it’s not what you expected Peru to look like!

Kayaking down the Amazon's tributaries

Going kayaking on the Amazon River in Peru

Kayaking down the tributaries

I’ve really come to love kayaking (I’ve now done it in Vietnam, Finland, Australia, and Canada) so when I heard they had kayaks aboard the Delfin I I just had to try them.

Sam and I ended up taking a double kayak down one of the small tributaries that feeds the Amazon and it was a very relaxing way to soak in the natural beauty of the jungle. We got to explore some of the little lagoons that were almost shielded from view by hanging vines and moss; we also had to keep reminding ourselves to keep the kayaks nice and steady since we had just fished piranhas out of those same waters!

On another note, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can try stand-up paddleboarding (SUP)!

Breakfast in a secret lagoon

Enjoying breakfast in the Amazon

Breakfast in a secret lagoon

Our first morning aboard the Delfin I called for an early morning with everyone ready to board the skiff by 6:30 a.m. Our guide had lured us with the promise of wildlife and a delicious breakfast aboard the boat, and thankfully he delivered on both of those.

That morning we sighted countless blue and yellow macaws, a school of pink dolphins playfully breaking through the water, and three sloths slowly going about their day.

As for breakfast, the captain took us to a secluded lagoon covered in a blanket of water lettuce (yup, that’s what it’s called!), where we parked the boat and enjoyed a three course breakfast featuring: fruit-kebabs, chicken and avocado salad, and hot sandwiches. Aside from that, there was also fresh squeezed passionfruit juice, tea and coffee, as well as little pastries to help satisfy the sweetest of cravings.

Rowing into the heart of the jungle

A canopy walk in the Amazon

A canopy walk through the rainforest

Inside Pacaya Samiria National Reserve you can do a canopy walk through a series of hanging bridges that weave through the rainforest. Unlike a regular jungle walk, this gives you a bird’s eye view of the landscape.

To reach the canopy walk, we had take a skiff to the shore, walk down a short trail, row boats through a small lagoon, continue on foot down a different trail paved with round slices of wood, before finally reaching the first platform which marked the start of the canopy walk.

The entire outing took about 2 hours and it was worth ever last bit of sweat. We also learned that in one hectare of the national reserve, you can find as many as 400 species of vegetation!

Fishing for piranhas in the Amazon River in Peru

Fishing for piranhas in the Amazon jungle of Peru

Fishing for piranhas

We got to go fishing for piranhas twice during our stay in the Amazon: first with our guide from the Treehouse Lodge, and later with our guide from the Delfin I.

I wasn’t successful in either of my two attempts (I guess fishing isn’t really my thing), but Sam managed to catch the biggest piranha of the day on his first outing, and then on our second outing he nearly caught another…but then the piranha did a last minute tail spin, slipped off the hook, and went back in the water. Both outings were really fun even though I didn’t catch anything.

Also, can you believe the size of the teeth on that piranha?! They really are terrifying creatures!

Visiting local communities in the Amazon

Visiting the Amazon communities in Peru

Visiting the local communities

Another thing I enjoyed about our cruise was their involvement working with local communities. We visited the town of San Francisco, which has one main road and an estimated population of 400 people. Here we got to meet with a handful of individuals who highlighted different skills found in the community, but who also showed us what day to day life is like.

We met a shaman who took us to her garden and taught us the various medicinal and spiritual uses of each of her plants, we met a man who showed us how palm leaves are used to weave together new roofs, and we met two women who explained how they use the natural dyes of leafs and roots to create handicrafts. Each of these individuals are paid for their time showing visitors around, and afterwards we had the opportunity to visit their craft market, where all of the proceeds go back to the local families.

And that’s just a quick glimpse at some of the things we got to experience aboard the Delfin I with Rainforest Cruises. 

If you enjoyed reading about our travels in the Amazon, you might also enjoy reading about our jungle treehouse stay, what to do in Iquitos and also how to pack for an Amazon trip

What activities would you like to try in the Amazon?

Best Adventures Down the Amazon in Peru

Join the Conversation


  1. says: Zach Mitchell

    Kayaking down the Amazon is now officially on my bucket list! I think I’ll skip the paddle boarding with the piranhas though…

    1. says: Audrey Bergner

      Haha, yup, I also felt a little iffy about the paddle boarding, but it must be safe if they let you out on the water with them! One of our guides tried it and he was totally fine. 😉

  2. says: damir

    When I was a kid my grandparents often took me to the zoo. and the piranha tank they would always stop and tell me how fast they can devour a human being or a cow.

    Well…fastforward 10 years on my first visit to the Amazon River I had my first opportunity to go fishing for them. My that was kind of a weird feeling, having that piranha dangling down from my simple line.

    That being said, the Amazon River is one of my favorite places on this planet (save for the humditiy). That animal diversity is just mind-boggling

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