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Amazon Wildlife Cruise

Tour Code: BRA07

A 10-day wildlife holiday, including a 7-night cruise into the heart of the Brazilian Amazon, visiting the Anavilhanas Archipelago and Jaú National Park.

10 days from £4295(inc flights) Land Only Price: £3795 SRS: £450

A staggering 10% of all species known to science occur in the Amazon, and we have designed this new Amazon cruise specially to maximise the chances of encountering some of this superb tropical wilderness’s most prized fauna! We begin with a flight to Sao Paulo and then to Manaus, in Brazil. We will then board the ‘Iracema’, our comfortable river cruiser, which will be our floating home for the next seven nights. We will head deep into the Amazon rainforest, visiting two of Brazil’s finest national parks in search of its superb birdlife, including Festive Parrot, Hoatzin and Agami Heron. Next we head to the remote Jau National Park where an incredible variety of wildlife awaits us including 14 species of primate, macaws, King Vulture and Guianan Toucanet. Equipped with camera-traps, an onboard drone and spotlights, we will look for wildlife at a wide range of times of the day during our cruise. After a wonderful eight days along the Amazon, we will visit a small traditional village before returning to Manaus and our onward journeys.

  • Over 400 mammal species & 1,300 bird species occur in the Amazon!
  • Exclusive charter aboard ‘Iracema’, a comfortable river cruiser with en suite cabins
  • Maximum of 18 passengers (on a boat with capacity for 22)
  • Led by expert local (English-speaking) naturalist guides
  • Includes an 7-night guided Amazon River cruise
  • See 3-metre wide Giant Water Lilies & travel deep into the Amazon rainforest
  • Explore the Anavilhanas Archipelago National Park in small motorised canoes
  • Agami Heron, Festive Parrot & Amazonian Umbrellabird, Anavilhanas waterways
  • Both Pink and Grey River Dolphins, Squirrel Monkey, Golden-backed Uakari, Hoatzin, Great Jacamar, Toco Toucan & Harpy Eagle among possible avian highlights
  • Jau Night-time cruises to spotlight for nocturnal wildlife
  • Visit to the Tukano tribe to enjoy ceremonial dancing & a banquet
  • Onboard drone & camera-traps to increase the range of wildlife seen


All included in the price with the exception of meals in Manaus. Allow £20.


For this cruise Naturetrek has exclusively chartered the 'Iracema', a comfortable 22-berth river cruiser which features 11 comfortable twin cabins, each with upper and lower berths and private facilities. Whilst the 'Iracema' can carry up to 22 passengers, our cruise will be limited to only 18.

Pink River Dolphin

Pink River Dolphin

Outline Itinerary Download

Day 1 Depart London.

Day 2 Arrive Manaus & begin cruise.

Day 3 Anavilhanas Archipelago.

Day 4/6 Jau National Park.

Day 7/8 Anavilhanas Archipelago.

Day 9 Disembark in Manaus and fly London.

Day 10 Arrive London.

The Amazon. The very name conjures up images of endless tropical wilderness and of lost worlds awaiting discovery by intrepid explorers. The Amazon basin is vast, covering an area as large as the lower 48 states of the USA, and, even today, 78% is still covered in lush rainforest.

A staggering 10% of all species known to science occur here, amongst them over 400 species of mammal and an incredible 1,300 bird species! To actually see any of this natural abundance is, however, an altogether different matter, and the unfortunate reality of many Amazon cruises is that very little wildlife is actually seen … until now, that is! Through a combination of field research and analysis of academic studies undertaken in the region, Naturetrek has pioneered a new wildlife cruise which maximises our chances of encountering some of the Amazon’s most prized fauna.

Our adventure begins with a flight to São Paulo in Brazil, then another to Manaus. Here we board the delightful 30-metre ‘Iracema’, our exclusively chartered liveaboard river cruiser and our home for the next seven nights. First, we will journey a short distance downstream to witness one of Brazil’s natural wonders, the ‘Meeting of the Waters’. This is the point at which two titan tributaries of the Amazon River, the light-coloured Rio Solimões and the darker Rio Negro, converge to form a remarkable bi-coloured stretch of water that flows for several miles before the waters mix to become one colour. Leaving this unique aquatic spectacle behind, we will spend the late afternoon viewing the magnificent 3-metre-wide Giant Water Lilies before continuing our journey up the Rio Negro, leaving the hustle and bustle of Manaus behind and cruising into the early hours.

Over the next four days we will travel ever further into the depths of the Amazon, passing through pristine rainforest and visiting two of Brazil’s finest Amazonian National Parks. The first of these is the stunningly beautiful Anavilhanas Archipelago. Occupying an area of over 300,000 hectares, which includes over 400 river islands, Anavilhanas is the world’s largest freshwater archipelago and a haven for birdlife. Taking to small motorised canoes we will navigate our way through the maze of waterways and uninhabited islands, hoping to find such species as the stunning Agami Heron, the localised Festive Parrot and the bizarre looking Amazonian Umbrellabird. As dusk falls we can expect to see large numbers of Band-tailed Nighthawks descending on the river in search of flying insects.

Continuing our cruise up the Rio Negro we enter the remote and little-explored Jaú National Park where we spend three nights. Covering 2.3 million hectares, Jaú National Park is the largest forest reserve in South America and home to an incredible array of species from both Pink and Grey River Dolphins to Jaguars. Though we would have to be very fortunate to encounter the latter, it is possible to see dolphins throughout the cruise; indeed several pods have become habituated to humans and offer the chance of an incredible close-up experience. Over 14 species of primate have also been recorded in the park and we have an excellent chance of finding Squirrel and Red Howler Monkeys, Golden-faced Saki and the stunning Golden-backed Uakari. Avian delights are likely to include several species of colourful macaw, plus Hoatzin, Great Jacamar, Guianan Toucanet, Toco Toucan and, with luck, a King Vulture or the elusive Harpy Eagle.

During our time in Jaú National Park we will head out at first light and in the late afternoon, either by canoe or on foot, taking advantage of the most productive times of the day and then retreating to the comfort of the ‘Iracema’ in the midday heat. We also plan to undertake several cruises after dark, giving us the opportunity to spotlight for the creatures of the night. It is at this time that the rainforest can seem at its most alive and we will immerse ourselves in the sights and sounds of the forest after dark. Equipped with camera traps and a drone on board, our efforts to see and record the wildlife will extend well beyond the limitations of the human eye and ear.

Our return journey back to Manaus will allow us to explore Anavilhanas Archipelago further, and we will conclude our cruise with a visit to a small traditional village of the Tukano tribe, where we will be treated to a display of ceremonial dancing and a dinner banquet — a fitting tribute to a unique and special journey into the very heart of the Amazon basin.

HoatzinHoatzinIvory-billed AracariKing Vulture AmazonKing VultureMeeting of the Rio Amaturá (black water) and Rio Solimoes (muddy water), Amazon.Red Howler MonkeySpectacled OwlWhite-throated ToucanHarpy EagleExploring the Amazon River (Lee Morgan)Amazon River (Lee Morgan)Amazon River (Lee Morgan)Amazon River Dolphin (Lee Morgan) (2)Amazon River Dolphin (Lee Morgan)Capuchin (Lee Morgan)Night Monkey (Lee Morgan)Orchid (Lee Morgan)Potoo (Lee Morgan)Sloth (Lee Morgan)Tarantula (Lee Morgan)Golden-Backed Uakari (Gerrie Rall)Iracema
The Netherlands
I thoroughly enjoyed the many canoe trips at dawn, dusk and during the day, making this holiday a leisurely conducted intense wildlife experience. The Iracema crew were an outstanding group of dedicated, kind and helpful people, and the overall experience is one to remember and cherish for many years to come, even well after all next Naturetrek trips I hope to join in the future.
Many highlights but best was being taken through flooded forest in small canoes to search for golden backed uakaris under the guidance of local expert, Siba. Boat owner Mo's characterful persona was a distinct plus! A predawn ride in small boats under the stars was conducted in an hour's silence - rare with a Naturetrek (or any) group and all the more precious for that reason. The number of small boat excursions was good.
I found the exploration of the vast Amazon wilderness an exhilarating experience. I enjoyed the feeling of isolation, peacefulness, calm waters - an antidote to the business and stress of life. The crew, the guides and the experience of our boat home was great. Swimming with pink river dolphins was wonderful.
Mr & Mrs E
The opportunity to experience Amazonia and all the resident wildlife, and to share the experience with like-minded travellers.
The boat was wonderful - the owner and crew couldn't have been more helpful, and it was all quite perfect. I loved having the dawn trips in the canoes, setting off at dark in perfect silence, just the quiet splash of the oars in the water, and watching the sun rise and birds start to fly and sing - and hear the howler monkeys roaring. I also loved being in the water with the pink river dolphins. But I also liked cruising on the boat - it was all really good.
Paulo Barreiros was brilliant as was his knowledge. This trip was absolutely fantastic. Loved every second of the experience. I enjoyed everything about this holiday and the Amazon from swimming in the Meeting of the Waters and with the Pink River Dolphins, to the wide variety of bird life and animals especially the Sloths. The word that I use to describe my experience is simply WOW.
The trip was well organised by Paulo, the crew worked hard to make it a great success. Good sightings of birds and mammals from ship and canoes, everywhere was so green and lush. I enjoyed the night trips by canoe, it was so quiet and peaceful and to see nocturnal wildlife was magic.
It was fantastic travelling so far up the Rio Grande, we didn't see another tourist after leaving the outskirts of Manaus until our return. I felt very privileged to see the golden-backed uakari monkeys as well as another 5 monkey species. Sloths seemed to be everywhere and we saw lots of wonderful wildlife. The guide, Paulo, was very knowledgeable. Like-minded people in the group and a good tour leader and local host made this a very enjoyable week.
The Amazonia experience of wildlife, so much water and trees. Not seeing another tourist for the whole week was great. The way local villagers are being encouraged to conserve wildlife rather than eat it all. The whole timetable ran very much to timetable and all transport was where it should be at the right time.
Mr & Mrs M
The variety of both mammals and birds as well as cultural interest made this a great trip. The flashlight spotting after dark was particularly enjoyable. Paulo, our leader, was so knowledgeable and sensitive towards the creatures. He greatly enhanced our experience.
Greater Manchester
I think the itinerary was exactly what was hoping for, i.e. genuine exploration of remote, pristine wilderness. This to me was very exciting. The boat was very comfortable, the food excellent. Tripsout in small canoes was definitely a highlight. The other highlight was a trip to the rapids. Unforgettable sunrises and sunsets- a very special experience.
The boat crew and catering were outstanding but the star for me was Paulo Barreiros who was always available with his encyclopaedia knowledge and good humour. The canoe trip with Eduardo in the Amazon was not just incredible but totally magical and enchanting.
Paulo Barreiros in particular was brilliant! He is both very knowledgeable and has a very friendly, engaging manner. His help did not end at the end of the cruise, as he also travelled with those of us transferring to the 'Just Jaguars' tour and stayed with us on the flights until we met our driver in Cuiaba. The combination of the riverboat and the smaller canoes used for wildlife viewing enabled us to see a great variety of wildlife (with the expert help of our tour leaders). The most enjoyable part for me was the opportunity to visit such remote and rarely seen parts of Amazonia. Overall an excellent tour.
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Thu 9th August 2018 - Sat 18th August 2018



more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: More info

Land only cost: £3795 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Wed 31st July 2019 - Fri 9th August 2019



more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: More info

Land only cost: £3795 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Visiting: Brazil

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Tour Reviews

I thoroughly enjoyed the many canoe trips at dawn, dusk and during the day, making this holiday a leisurely conducted intense wildlife experience. The Iracema crew were an outstanding group of dedicated, kind and helpful people, and the overall experience is one to remember and cherish for many years to come, even well after all next Naturetrek trips I hope to join in the future.
J.D.K., The Netherlands