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Hoatzin. Photo by Gina Nichol.Amazon River Cruise
April 5 - 14, 2019

Cruise the Amazon River in Peru aboard
                    the luxurious MV Zafiro!

Brochure (pdf, 7 mb)>     Itinerary>       Trip Cost>  

Registration Form (pdf)>       MV Zafiro>

Contact to reserve your space!

Blue-and-Gold Macaws

Amazon River Cruise
April 5 - 14, 2019

The Amazon River is the largest in the world and its environs house the highest diversity of plants and animals in the world.

For wildlife enthusiasts, the Amazon is a must visit destination, the true jungle bursting with strange and exotic birds and animals.

Hoatzins, Umbrellabirds, Macaws and Parrots of all description, Cotingas, Screamers, Pink River Dolphins and a variety of primates and many more birds and animals are all coexist in the Amazon. Our new Amazon River Cruise cruise offers the chance to experience and explore this remote, unspoiled area and enjoy its wildlife from the comfort of a well appointed riverboat, MV Zafiro. Classically styled and relative small, our ship offers a safe, secure, luxurious way to explore the Amazon. Accompanied by two stable, flat bottomed, quiet excursion boats, we can explore narrow channels, small wooded streams, seasonally flooded forest, river islands and lakes easily and comfortably to see birds and wildlife. The airy, breezy ship and air-conditioned cabins offer comfort on even the hottest days and open decks allow you to enjoy river and wildlife viewing by day, glorious sunsets, and a glorious star-filled skies like nowhere else at night. The ship is known for excellent food and an attentive crew and offers spacious cabins that are individually climate-controlled, air-conditioned, and include private tiled baths, hot-water showers, laundry service, and bottled water available at all times.

Sound like a dream? What are you waiting for?
Join us for some of the best birding and wildlife viewing in the Amazon
Contact to reserve your space!

Brochure (pdf, 7 mb)>     Itinerary>       Trip Cost>       Registration Form (pdf)>

Photos above: Hoatzin by Gina Nichol, Blue-and-gold Macaws and aerial view of the Amazon River.

ITINERARY (Subject to change depending upon weather, river conditions, and birds!)
Because conditions at the time of our visit can vary and new opportunities always determine what is possible on the Amazon, our Amazon cruise expedition itinerary is flexible. The itinerary shown is a guide to what we plan to do, but it’s always subject to change.

Day 1 • Friday, April 5, 2019 • Arrive Lima
Plan to arrive in Lima's Jorge Chávez Lima Callao International Airport (Airport code: LIM) any time today. Flights from the US generally arrive in the late evening. On arrival you will clear immigration and customs and then transfer to our hotel for the night.  (D Aloft)

Day 2 • Saturday, April 6, 2019 • Lima / Iquitos /
Embark Amazon Riverboat / Amazon River

Today we will fly over the Andes to the bustling city of Iquitos, the capital of the Peruvian Amazon. Iquitos is the largest city in Peru's Amazon east of the Andes, and the sixth most populous city in Peru yet is accessible only by air and river. Depending on our flight time, we should have some time to take in the city before boarding our ship.  Possibilities include a visit the Manatee Rescue Center, where biologists and volunteers care for endangered Amazon manatees that conservation authorities have rescued. Prior to boarding our riverboat, we hope to survey the history of local tribes at a small museum. On board, you can settle in as the magic of the Amazon River begins to be revealed and we start our cruise.  From the decks we should see the more common birds of the river including Cocoi Heron, Capped Heron (Photo: Steve Bird), egrets galore, Plumbeous Kite, Roadside Hawk, Yellow-headed Caracara, Large-billed and Yellow-billed Tern, and perhaps Oriole Blackbird. 

We'll scan the islands and vegetation along the river edge for Canary-winged Parakeet, Greater Ani, Ringed and Amazon Kingfishers, White-winged Swallow, Orange-headed Tanagers, Red-capped Cardinal, Russet-backed Oropendola, Chestnut-bellied, and Caquetá Seedeaters. And we'll keep an eye out for some of the many specialists in these habitats including Short-tailed Parrot, Tui Parakeet, Olive-spotted Hummingbird, Plain-breasted Piculet, White-bellied and Red-and-white Spinetail, Leaden Antwren, Black-and-white Antbird, Brownish Elaenia, River Tyrannulet, Lesser Wagtail-Tyrant, Riverside Tyrant, and Pearly-breasted Conebill.

In the evening, you can enjoy amazing stargazing and storytelling with our local guides while cruising slowly on the Amazon River toward the confluence of the Marañón and Ucayali Rivers. (B,L,D)


Day 3 • Sunday, April 7, 2019 • Confluence of the Amazon River / Río Ucayali
We awake this morning on the Amazon River, seeing some of the ever-changing panorama of jungle life as our Amazon River cruise ship continues upriver. Small villages dot the shoreline, and channels weaving through island mazes provide close-up views of a variety of birds. The confluence of the Ucayali and Marañón Rivers is famous as the beginning of the Amazon River in Peru. Amazingly, we are about 2,400 miles from where the river flows into the Atlantic. The river drops only about 350 feet the entire way!

This morning as conditions permit we will bird the area either from the ship or from the pangas (sturdy excursion boats) to explore the river island and floodplain habitats near the junction of the Ríos Ucayali and Marañon. Here we will look for a variety of birds including Black-capped Donacobius, Gray-headed Kite, Black-collared and Slate-colored hawk, Dusky-headed and Cobalt-winged Parakeet, Black-tailed Trogon, Black-fronted Nunbird, White-eared Jacamar, Chestnut-eared Aracari, Crimson-crested Woodpecker, Pale-legged Hornero, Striped Woodcreeper, White-headed Marsh-Tyrant, ; Bare-necked Fruitcrow, Buff-breasted Wren, Turquoise Tanager, and Purple-throated Euphonia.  This area is also good for Pink River Dolphin and if we are really luck, we could find Gray River Dolphins.

At the confluence of the two rivers we'll continue upriver on the Rio Ucayali we will be traveling along the border of the vast Pacaya-Samiria Reserve. As we cruise we'll watch the passing sand bars and river banks for the beautiful Pied Plover and the Drab Water Tyrant.
Boat-billed Heron (Photo: Gina Nichol)

Later in the afternoon, we will take an excursion into the surrounding rainforest in search of giant water lilies and elusive wildlife such as monkeys and sloths.  As dusk approaches, fishing bats begin their night’s foraging. And after dinner, we may have the opportunity for a night drive on the river to look for night creatures including Boat-billed Heron (Photo: Gina Nichol), Common and Great Potoo, and Ladder-tailed Nightjar.   Opossums and other mammals are active at night and we'll look for eye shine to reveal them.  (B,L,D)


Day 4 • Monday, April 8, 2019 • Río Ucayali / Pacaya-Samiria Reserve
Spotted Puffbird. Photo by GIna Nichol. After a peaceful breakfast along the black-water Sapote Creek, we explore a small tributary of the Ucayali aboard our excursion boats. Here we hope to find a variety of species in the narrow, forested channels including the enigmatic Hoatzin, the unique Horned Screamer, Black Caracara, Festive Parrot, Sand-colored Nighthawk, Glittering-throated Emerald, Scarlet-crowned Barbet, Lemon-throated Barbet, Spotted Puffbird (Photo: Gina Nichol), Cream-colored Woodpecker, Dark-breasted Spinetail, Long-billed Woodcreeper, Amazonian Streaked-Antwren, Silvered Antbird, Black-spotted Bare-eye, Plum-throated Cotinga, Greater Schiffornis, and Velvet-fronted Grackle.  We'll search for primates and sloths as our adventure continues upriver to the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve. Although scientific studies are far from exhausted, the Pacaya-Samiria is the known home to 450 bird species, 102 species of mammals, over 130 species of reptiles and amphibians, and countless plants.

This afternoon, an excursion into this largest wetland reserve in the world provides the opportunity to see 13 species of primates, including Monk Saki, Red Howler, Saddle-backed Tamarin, and Squirrel Monkey. We'll explore Caro Lake, connected to the river by way of a very small stream, where we may find flocks of Greater Ani often seen following monkeys in search of insects disturbed by the monkeys’ foraging. We hope to have a nighttime boat excursion for a chance to find Caimans, Capybaras, Common Potoos, Frogs and other nocturnal wildlife under the star-filled sky. (B,L,D)


Day 5 • Tuesday, April 9, 2019 • Rio Pacaya / Pacaya-Samiria Reserve
Wattled Jacana (Photo: Gina Nichol)We will spend this day exploring the flooded realm of the Rio Pacaya looking for seeing wading birds as well as Wattled Jacana (Photo: Gina Nichol) and Horned Screamer. Venturing deep into the rainforest, we will tour an igapo (seasonally flooded forest) where plant life is very different from what we see along the main course of our Amazon cruise.  We'll walk through the forest to get the sense of its uniqueness and then head back to the ship for a delicious lunch.  A short rest will energize us for afternoon excursions with our expert naturalists, where we may find Scarlet Macaw, Hoatzin, Black-collared Hawks, Red Howler monkeys and a host of other wildlife. (B,L,D)

Day 6 • Wednesday, April 10, 2019 • Pacaya-Samiria Reserve
After an early breakfast, we board our excursion boats for access even further into the heart of these vast wetlands. We'll cruise the narrow waterways to look for Canary-winged Parakeets and spectacular Blue-and-gold and Scarlet Macaws. Primates also are fairly common, including noisy Squirrel Monkeys. Later we will arrive at a remote ranger station, and have the chance to enjoy a refreshing swim. Gradually make our way back to our riverboat through the maze of waterways. Enjoy an al fresco lunch and time to relax before our afternoon excursion. (B,L,D)

Day 7 • Thursday, April 11, 2019 • Río Ucayali / Pacaya-Samiria Reserve
This morning we head back down river. Along the way we will visit a village and have the chance to learn about the lives of the “Ribereño” people who live there. Accompanied by guides who grew up along the river, this is a fantastic opportunity to stroll through gardens and learn about local folklore, visit a school, or join in a game of soccer. The children are especially excited to see their faces on digital cameras and to show off their school and sing Peruvian songs. Learn about medicinal plants and enjoy a blessing ceremony by a respected village shaman. Aboard the ship, take advantage of the open-air top deck, learning to make traditional Peruvian dishes or enjoying an enriching lecture. After dark we’ll go out in our excursion boats to listen to the sounds of the rainforest and look for nocturnal wildlife. (B,L,D)


Excursion Boat. Day 8 • Friday, April 12, 2019 • Amazon River
This morning we will have an early bird watching excursion along the Yarapa River. Some of the birds to look for here include Great Black Hawk, Red-throated Caracara, Paradise Tanager, Band-tailed Antbird, Chestnut Woodpecker, Purple-throated Fruitcrow, and Blue-and-yellow Macaw.  If we are lucky we will catch a glimpse of of the smallest primate in the world, the Pygmy Marmoset.

After breakfast, try your hand at piranha fishing in Ubos Lake. Piranha are very common in the slower-moving water and with luck (or skill) you might catch Red-breasted, White or Black Piranha. Once back aboard our Amazon River cruise ship, we enjoy a farewell dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 9 • Saturday, April 13, 2019 • Iquitos / Lima / Depart
Today we disembark in Iquitos and fly back to Lima for lunch. Dayrooms are provided until you connect with flights home, which often depart after midnight. (B,L)

Day 10 • Sunday, April 14, 2019 • Arrive Home


Brochure (pdf, 7 mb)>     Itinerary>       Trip Cost>       Registration Form (pdf)>

Amazon River Cruise
April 5 - 14, 2019
Contact to reserve your space!    Registration Form>

TOUR PRICE: US$ per person/double occupancy from Iquitos, Peru. In-country flights from Lima to Iquitos are booked by our agent and are $409 per person. In-country airfare is subject to change.

2018 Pricing

Lower Deck Suites
Cabins 1 -8

Upper Deck Suites
Cabins 9 - 18

Lower Master Suite
Cabins 9 & 10

Upper Zafiro Suite
Cabin 19

In-Country Airfare

Double Occupancy
per person






Single Occupancy
per person






Triple, age 13+
per person






Deposit: $750.00 per person. Note: Tour deposits can be paid by credit card via PayPal.  Use this link to make your credit card payment.  Please advise when you have made payment. 

Included in cost: Accommodation in double/twin cabins, meals as specified in the itinerary, group airport transfers during the tour, ground transport throughout, guiding services, laundry service on the ship.

Not included: Flights, insurance, drinks, tips, departure taxes or other immigration fees, baggage fees, fuel surcharges, and items of a personal nature.

Transportation/Travel Planning: You will be responsible for making your travel plans to Lima and then Iquitos.  We have a flight agent that can help if needed. Information will be forthcoming about timings for arrival and departure schedules.

RESERVATIONS: To reserve your place on this tour, complete the Registration & Release Form and mail it with your deposit of $750.00 per person to Sunrise Birding, LLC.  Instructions are on the form. Reservations are held with a deposit on a first-come, first-served basis.   
>Download & print the Registration Form 

Contact to reserve your space!  Then follow up with your completed registration form and deposit within two weeks to secure your place.  Final payment is due December 5, 2018.  Check or bank transfer are preferred but credit card payments are possible (surcharges of up to 5% are added depending on amount to cover credit card company fees).  Please inquire.

Please note: Tour prices are based on quoted costs from ground operators, estimated fuel costs, and the rate of exchange the time of itinerary publication. The erratic nature to financial markets makes it difficult to predict changes in costs over the long term. Since tours are priced well in advance of the actual operation of the tour, tour costs, and fuel costs can change, sometimes drastically. Depending on the extent of such changes, it may be necessary to implement a surcharge on this tour. If a surcharge is necessary, every effort will be made to minimize the amount. Note, we have rarely had to do this but we need to be clear what could happen due to changing costs.

Cancellations and Refunds:  All cancellations must be made in writing.  In the event that you must cancel your booking at any stage, all payments you have made to Sunrise Birding, LLC will be retained by us, except at our discretion. Please ensure that you take out adequate insurance to cover this and any other eventuality as early as possible. You may have the opportunity to transfer your booking to another tour or another person, provided you are unavoidably prevented from coming on the tour. In this case, you will bear any extra costs that such changes may incur. There are no refunds once the trip is confirmed to go ahead and no refunds will be made for unused meals, accommodations, or other trip features. 

Insurance:  The purchase of trip cancellation insurance to cover any eventuality is strongly recommended.  Sunrise Birding, LLC cannot accept liability for airline cancellations or delays or penalties incurred by the purchase of non-refundable airline tickets or other expenses incurred by tour participants in preparing for this tour. 

Questions? Contact Gina Nichol at 
Phone: 203.453.6724
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The 38 passenger MV Zafiro offers the latest in luxury river cruising and is fast becoming known as the finest five-star hotel on the Amazon River. At 163 feet long the MV Zafiro features large well appointed guest suites with contemporary furnishings and finishes. All 19 suites on the Zafiro feature magnificent views from the floor to ceiling windows. Other amenities include air conditioning and a private en suite bathroom with 21-23 square feet of comfort, privacy and tranquility. Two cabins feature a view of 90° and 1 suite has a full 180° view. Nine suites have independent balconies. You can observe nature from an intimate and exclusive setting, surrounded by a classic style.

Take in gorgeous river views and fresh air from the most luxurious observation deck cruising the Amazon. Observe wildlife firsthand from the open deck from cushioned loungers under a soaring canopy without concern for the sun’s glare or from the Indoor Lounge, with its fully stocked bar at one end and library at the other. The Observation Deck has an entertainment area, an outside bar, lounge chairs, and a Jacuzzi.

  • Zafiro Deck PlanCapacity: 39 passengers
  • Crew & Guides: 21
  • Number of Cabins: 19 Suites:
    8 on Upper Deck, 8 on Lower Deck
    Master Suites: 2 on Lower Deck
    Zafiro Suite: 1 on Upper Deck
  • Bathrooms: Private en suite facilities in each cabin with a basket of toiletries, cotton bathrobes, hot water 24/7, and hair dryer.

Location: Upper & Lower Decks Size: 226 Sq. Ft.
Beds: Orthopedic beds, pure cotton sheets, and pillows of 100% pure natural latex. All sets are convertible between twin beds and California King-sized beds.
Windows: Panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows
Balcony: Suites on the Upper Deck have balconies
Features: All have a sitting area, smoke alarms, desk, safety deposit box, mini-fridge and 110V & 220V electricity. 4 are inter connectable.

Location: Lower Deck Size: 248 Sq. Ft.
Beds: Orthopedic beds, pure cotton sheets, and pillows of 100% pure natural latex. All sets are convertible between twin beds and California King-sized beds.
Windows: Panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows with 90° view and a Balcony. Both have a sitting area, smoke alarms, desk, safety deposit box, mini-fridge and 110V & 220V electricity.

Location: Upper Deck Size: 480 Sq. Ft.
Beds: Orthopedic beds, pure cotton sheets, and pillows of 100% pure natural latex. Convertible between twin beds and a California King-sized bed. Windows: Panoramic floor to ceiling windows with 180° view Balcony: Yes
Features: Sitting area, smoke alarms, desk, safety deposit box, mini-fridge and 110V & 220V electricity. Best of all - your own Jacuzzi-style bathtub!

MV Zafiro

Brochure (pdf, 7 mb)>     Itinerary>       Trip Cost>       Registration Form (pdf)>


Pre-trip Lima & Machu Picchu extensions possible. Please inquire.

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