After a year of quarantine, stay at home orders and social distancing, the feeling of being “cooped up” has taken on a new meaning. Unsurprisingly, as travel begins to open up again, there is a new demand for tourism to remote destinations, regions where one can take in a breath of fresh air, and truly feel tiny compared to their profound surroundings. Regenerative and restorative travel is on the rise.
In June 2021, I was lucky enough to travel aboard the Delfin III Amazon Cruise through the biodiverse Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. I was thrilled to see passengers from all around the world, looking for the same experience I was, disconnecting from the day to day and reconnecting to the incredible vast beauty of nature, feeling free, for the first time in over a year.
The journey to board Delfin Amazon Cruises begins in the Lima Airport, a quick 2 hour flight over the Andes Mountains later, you arrive to Iquitos, the largest city in the Peruvian Amazon. Iquitos and the Loreto province has been awarded the Safe Travels Stamps by the World Travel and Tourism Council, recognizing the destination for meeting the global health and hygiene protocols needed for a safe trip.
Once in Iquitos, the Delfin Amazon Cruises welcoming staff greets you and you are privately transferred over in an air-conditioned vehicle to the port city of Nauta (1h45 transfer). Once we arrive, we comfortably settle down in Delfin’s private VIP lounge prior to boarding, this is where the adventure begins!
Delfin Amazon Cruises takes care of you every step of the way, once we get onboard, our luggage is already sanitized and waiting for us in our rooms, we enjoy a beverage and light snack while going through the briefing and safety protocols. Then, the cruise vessel departs into the remote Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, and the number of activities on and offboard are never ending.
The Suites Onboard
The suites onboard the Delfin III take “room with a view” to a whole new level. Where else can you wake up to floor-to-ceiling windows with a view of the incredible Amazon rainforest? I heard passengers saying that they felt like they were looking out to a theatre screen, they couldn’t believe that the view was real. The wood paneling and local décor details really immerses you into the jungle’s atmosphere while enjoying the ultimate comfort.
The Social Areas Onboard
The spacious social areas onboard the Delfin III are ideal for socializing and social distancing. There is plenty of space for everyone, whether it’s lounging in the pool on the sun deck with a cocktail or enjoying a booking in the lounge with a coffee in hand, these areas are ideal to enjoy while taking in the passing by jungle scenery.
As much as you want to enjoy the large comfortable spaces onboard, nothing beats going out into the jungle with Delfin’s expert naturalist guides. The guides onboard know the ins and outs of this region, many of them grew up in the communities, making them the best Amazon Rainforest hosts. There are a variety of activities you may choose to take part in, some of the highlights are: early morning bird watching, pink river dolphin explorations, kayaking along the riverbanks, canopy jungle bridge walkway and the night safari. We were lucky enough to see caimans, various species of birds, monkeys and fish. We saw both pink river dolphins and grey river dolphins and the infamous piranha fish.
Partnered with Relais & Chateaux, Delfin Amazon Cruises brings guests a remarkable jungle to table dining experience. The dishes are all intricately created using local gourmet ingredients. The Amazon jungle is a five senses experience, tasting the exotic flavors and superfoods of this region is just as interesting as exploring through excursions. We tried many unique plates, my personal highlights were: Patarashca, Chonta Salad, Doncella Ceviche, Camu Camu Pisco Sours and the traditional “7 Raíces” cocktail. It’s amazing to know that many of these ingredients are endemic to the region, so you can literally only taste them here in the Upper Peruvian Amazon!
Health and Safety
Mentioning Delfin’s health and safety protocols is important, because the company goes above and beyond to make sure safety is the top priority. All staff onboard is PCR tested and is quarantined onboard prior to guest arrival. All guests are required to provide a PCR test and the hospitality team uses the latest cleaning technology to disinfect luggage and are constantly sanitizing suites and social areas. Disinfecting alcohol is available in each suite, as well as all around the public areas onboard. The airflow onboard is extremely well laid out, with each suite having its own air system, there is no central air onboard. I felt extremely comfortable onboard, the health and safety procedures were very seamless.
The Delfin Amazon Cruises staff made this journey a memorable one. From the captains to hospitality and the guides, all of the staff take care of you every step of the way. They are welcoming and enjoy sharing their interesting jungle stories with the guests. They excel in customer-service and make sure your trip aboard Delfin Amazon Cruises is one to remember.
The Importance of Travel for the Economy and Rainforest Preservation
The last thing I wanted to mention, is the importance of travel to remote destinations for the economy. In regions like the Amazon Rainforest, the jungle’s inhabitants rely on sustainable tourism for work. These are tourism dependent economies, and the job loss effects go far beyond the office. Tourism is a development pathway to prevent poverty, Amazon deforestation, over-fishing and other climate and social hardships we face today. It’s important to consider these places for your next post-pandemic travel as your impact will reach far beyond what you imagine.
For more information about booking a cruise aboard Delfin Amazon Cruises, please contact us.
(Photos by: Ana Elisa Sotelo)