Sunrise Birding LLC - Birding & Wildlife Tours
Home | Tours | Trip Reports | News |  Team |  Calendar | Links | Contact | Store | Mailing List
Amazon Sunrise by Dan Berard
Brochure (pdf)>     Itinerary>     MV Zafiro>     Trip Cost>  

Contact gina@sunrisebirding.com to reserve your space! Registration Form (pdf)>

Hoatzin by John Kricher.Amazon River Cruise
March 13 - 22, 2020

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 Squirrel Monkey.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 gina@sunrisebirding.com to reserve your space!


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

Photos above: Amazon Sunrise by Dan Berard, Squirrel Monkey, Hoatzin by John Kricher. Below: Aerial view of Amazon River.


Aerial view Amazon River. ITINERARY
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 • March 13, 2020 •
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.  (Dinner Aloft)

Day 2 • 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: John Kricher), 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 CCapped Heron (Photo: John Kricher)aquetá 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 • 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!

Early morning birding along the Amazon River from the upper deck where we search for Russet-backed Oropendola, Oriole Blackbird, Cocoi Heron, parrots and parakeets. Squirrel Monkeys and Saddle-backed Tamarins are also found in this area and often seen in the morning. After breakfast, we are out again for birding where we may observe along the river’s edge, some of the thick brush skulkers, like Red-and-White Spinetail, Parker’s Spinetail and Yellow-chinned Spinetail. More common in the rice and sedges are White-headed Marsh Tyrant and Black-capped Donacobius.  We will also keep an eye out for 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.

After lunch, we have time to relax and refresh in the early afternoon as our ship continues to sail upstream. As we continue our birding along Yarapa River, a good location for birds such as White-eared Jacamar, Capped Heron, Long-billed Woodcreeper, Bare-necked Fruitcrow, Masked Crimson Tanager, Black-collared Hawk, Yellow-rumped Cacique, as well as Tanagers and Trogons. Pink River Dolphins, Long-nosed Bats and Pygmy Marmoset Monkey are also commonly found here. We return to the riverboat late in the afternoon in time to freshen
up before happy hour and live music commences. (B,L,D)

 

Day 4 • Río Ucayali / Pacaya-Samiria Reserve
Plum-throated Cotinga by Dan Berard.Early in the morning we start from the highest observation point on the riverboat in order to see macaws from this higher elevation. We might expect Blue-and-Yellow Macaw and Red-bellied Macaw among other birds. Then we depart via skiffs to explore a small tributary where we can expect to see White-winged Swallow, Ladder-tailed Nightjar, Black-crested Antrshrike, Black-collared Hawk,
Plum-throated Cotinga (Photo: Dan Berard), Amazonian-streaked Antwren, Varzea Schiffornis, Bluish-fronted Jacamar, Paradise Tanager, Zimmer’s Woodcreeper, Ringed Kingfisher, Chestnut-eared Aracari. In addition, we may see Common Squirrel Monkey, Saddle-backed Tamarin, Night Monkey and Tree Rats. After breakfast we visit a small Amazon village before returning to the riverboat.

After an excellent lunch and welcomed siesta time, a briefing by our Expedition Leader provides us with a current map orientation of the river. This afternoon we head out for our birding excursion in Lake Yuracocha. Species found today could include almost any of those mentioned previously, as well as Horned Screamer, Wattled Jacana, Hoatzin, Gray-fronted Dove, Barred Antshrike, Mealy and Orange-winged parrots, Short-tailed Swift, Dark-breasted Spinetail, Pearly-Breasted Conebill, Shiny Cowbird, Social Flycatcher and Velvet-fronted Grackle. This is also a great place to see the Amazon water lilies. We are back on board the riverboat late this afternoon and prepare for the evening happy hour and music before dinner. (B,L,D)

 

Day 5 • Pacaya-Samiria Reserve
Cream-colored Woodpecker by Dan Berard.After an early breakfast we go out to the Sapote River where we visit a communal reserve. Here the local community works to preserve and protect the area for the residents as well as the wildlife. We hope to see Great Black Hawk, Green-backed Trogon, Cream-colored Woodpecker (Photo: Dan Berard), Green Kingfisher, Black-collared Hawk, White-throated Toucan, Masked Crimson Tanager, Great Kiskadee, Paradise Tanager, Lesser Kiskadee, Chestnut-eared Aracari, Swallow-winged Puffbirds and others. This tributary is good for raptors and sometimes we even see Scarlet and Chestnut-fronted Macaws. This is a great habitat for Monk Saki Monkey, (a very peculiar looking primate) as well as other monkey species.

After lunch and a welcomed power nap, we enjoy a special presentation on the Pacaya Samiria Reserve by the naturalists in the air-conditioned lecture room.

Late this afternoon, we depart for more birding before the sun sets, however this time, we stay out on the river for night fall for a special excursion along Pacaya River. This is a different habitat and here we commonly find Wattled Jacana, Jabiru Stork, Large-billed Tern, Yellow-billed Tern, Horned Screamer, Anhinga, and Neotropic Cormorants. As night falls, nocturnal species like Boat-billed Heron, Common Potoo, Great Potoo, Ladder-tailed Nightjar, and Common Pauraque may be observed as they are found due to their very bright eye-shine in the spotlights. The evening is a special time to experience the jungle without the city lights where we can witness true star gazing and search for those creatures normally hidden in the light of day. This is also a great place to see an amazing diversity of frogs, as well as caimans, snakes, tarantulas and many insects. The very large Greater Bulldog Fishing Bats are commonly observed as they cruise the water surface searching for small fish on which they feed. We return to the boat for a late dinner before relaxing onboard. (B,L,D)

Day 6 • Pacaya-Samiria Reserve
Horned Screamer by John Kricher. This part of the river and reserve is a particularly wild area, so we again have an early start along Pacaya River. Often observed are Orange-winged Parrot, Dusky-headed Parakeet, Short-tailed Parrot, Festive Parrot, Sungrebe, Muscovy Duck, Wood Stork, Horned Screamer (Photo: John Kricher) Hoatzin, Anhinga, many Egrets, Herons, Cormorants and Jabiru stork. We may see pairs of Scarlet Macaws, Red-and-green Macaws, Blue-and-yellow Macaw and Chestnut-fronted Macaw. The Black Caracara is often observed in this area and it requires very sharp eyes to spot one as they remain very still under the canopy of the rainforest. This area is also the best place to see Red Howler Monkey, Brown Capuchin Monkey and with luck, Yellow Spotted River Turtle and Pink Dolphins are very Group on boat.common in the black-water area of the reserve.

After lunch and a siesta, we have a second map orientation of the river and update our bird list. Later, we enjoy a cooking class led by the on-board Chef where we learn to create a local Peruvian dish to share with family and friends when we return home.

In the afternoon we depart for more birding and/or fishing in the Dorado River. We experience part of life in the Amazon as we fish for piranha from our boat. As we return to the riverboat, we are on the look-out for some of the species we may have missed earlier in the day. This evening we enjoy some social time on the upper deck. (B,L,D)

 

Day 7 • Río Ucayali / River Islands / Rio Marañón
This morning before breakfast we have two options along Supay Creek, the first one is birding where we might see: Green Ibis, Yellow-bellied Dacnis, (a canopy species) Golden-bellied Euphonia, Red-throated Caracara, Black-tailed Tityra, Squirrel Cuckoo, Masked Crimson Tanager (Photo: John Kricher) as well as other birds. The other option is kayaking along calm waters as we look for more wildlife. Back onboard we enjoy a talk of “Amazon Tales” by the naturalists or go out looking for more birds on the islands along Ucayali River so we can make it all the way to the Yarapa River for the afternoon excursion.

In the afternoon we visit one of the local villages to see how people live in this part of the Amazon. Children love to welcome the visitors and may share some of the songs or games they are most proud of. We may also be able to see and learn about some of the water systems funded by past guests to the Amazon and how they are helping the communities along the river. Barred Antshrike, Short-Tailed Parrot, Spotted Tody Flycatcher, Red-and-White Spinetail and two very large woodpeckers, the Lineated Woodpecker and Crimson-crested Woodpecker. Late in the afternoon, we freshen up before happy hour and a sumptuous dinner on board. (B,L,D)

 

Day 8 • Rio Marañón / Terra Firma / Amazon River
Night Monkeys by John KricherEarly this morning we visit a local river town and the fresh markets there before we return to the ship for breakfast. Following, we have a different birding habitat to explore. It is a “Terra firma” high ground forest located along the Marañón River, which also means there are many more plant species than we find in the more seasonally flooded forests of the reserve. During our hike, we may hear the incredible calls of Screaming Piha, a type of cotinga with a tremendously loud call.

Back onboard, we welcome lunch and siesta before our final map orientation and slide show by the Expedition Leader. A local fruit tasting provides us with another fresh, authentic experience.

An afternoon wildlife excursion takes place but this time by skiff, searching for birds along the banks of the main course of the Amazon River. Here we look for birds such as Point-Tailed Palmcreeper, (monotypic genus) Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Red-capped Cardinal, and a variety of flycatchers.

Back on the riverboat we enjoy a festive happy hour followed by a special farewell dinner as the riverboat travels on the swift current of the Amazon towards Iquitos. Later this evening we complete our Amazon checklist before relaxing on our final evening onboard Zafiro. (B,L,D)

Bluish-fronted Jacamar by Dan BerardAbove photo: Night Monkeys by John Kricher.
Right: Bluish-fronted Jacamar by Dan Berard.

Day 9 • Iquitos / Lima / Depart
Awakening back in Iquitos, we place our luggage outside our cabin. After breakfast, depart for a visit to Pilpintuasi Butterfly Farm and Rescue Center. Return to Zafiro for a snack and to pick up a boxed lunch before heading to the airport. We check-in for our return flight to Lima. Upon arrival in Lima, depart for the Wyndham Costa del Sol this afternoon. Rooms are provided until time for your flight check-in late this evening. Assistance to the airport is provided for international flight check-in. Connect with your international flight home (B)


Day 10 • Arrive Home

 

Brochure (pdf, 3 mb)>     Itinerary>       Trip Cost>       Registration Form (pdf)>

Amazon River Cruise
March 13 - 22, 2020
Contact gina@sunrisebirding.com 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.

2020 Pricing

Lower Deck Suites

Upper Deck Suites

Master Suite

Zafiro Suite

In-Country Airfare

Double Occupancy
per person

$6498

$7098

$7698

$8698

$409

Single Occupancy
per person

$8298

$8998

Please inquire

Please inquire

$409

Triple, age 13+
per person

n/a

n/a

n/a

$7632

$409

Deposit: $1000.00 per person. Note: Tour deposits can be paid by credit card via PayPal.  Use this link to make your credit card payment.  Please advise gina@sunrisebirding.com 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 $1000.00 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 gina@sunrisebirding.com 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 November 13, 2019.  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: Sunrise Birding, LLC recommends that you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. Travel protection plans can include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more.

For more information on the available plans or to enroll, click on the link below or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 07-0025.

The product descriptions provided here are only brief summaries. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. Travelex CA Agency License #0D10209. All products listed are underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company. 11.17 E7N

Questions? Contact Gina Nichol at gina@sunrisebirding.com 
Phone: 203.453.6724
Back to top>
MV ZAFIRO

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.

OBSERVATION DECK
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.

SUITES (16)
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.

MASTER SUITES (2)
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.

ZAFIRO SUITE (1)
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, 3 mb)>     Itinerary>       Trip Cost>       Registration Form (pdf)>

 

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


Back to top>