The most typical way to view and experience the Peruvian Amazon is by boat, and the only luxurious options are through Rainforest Cruises. The Delfin I and II riverboats (the same boats National Geographic uses to charter trips in theAmazon) are floating hotels that will give you the opportunity to see the ecosystems of the rainforest up close, but also enjoy many five-star amenities and comforts that you are used to.
The Delfin boats boast fine dining prepared by some of the top Peruvian chefs, massages, private rooms and bathrooms, hot showers and air conditioning (something you don’t realize is a luxury until you’re down there), and numerous activities the crew offers.
From the second we stepped aboard what would be our floating home for the next 4 days, we were treated like royalty. They took off our shoes and cleaned them while greeting us with welcome cocktails and showing us to our suites. Our suite was aptly named, The Anaconda Suite, since I was determined to find one during our adventures down there. As we settled into our cabin which had a private wrap around balcony and windows, I laid on the bed to relax and read and had front row seats to watching the famous Pink Dolphins jumping and frolicking in the Amazon river around us! It was such a magical sight.
What is so cool about living aboard the Delfin I is that you are constantly moving from one location to another, reaching remote destinations in the Amazon that you otherwise couldn’t get to. One evening we would sail to have the best sunset, or find the best spot to fish for piranhas and by morning, we would be further downstream at a reserve where we could canoe into a hidden spot for breakfast where a table of local fruits, pastries, and coffee would already be laid out for us. While moving, you are not disturbed by mosquitos and you have this constant breeze as you pass by quaint villages or just snooze and relax.
Although living on a boat was magical and romantic, some of the highlights of the trip were when we were able to take a small skiff boat down some of the narrow tributaries to see the river teeming with wildlife and birds or getting to go hiking through the rainforest to some of the nearby villages. I loved practicing my Spanish and speaking with the locals, learning about their lives, and even playing soccer in the evenings with the men and crew of the ship.
Everyone we encountered was kind and welcoming and eager to tell us all about their lives and explain the mysteries of the jungle. My inner Indiana Jones self-loved spending days hiking, taking photos, and getting dirty exploring the jungle, but then my alter ego self on vacation was able to return to the luxury of a hot shower and 5-star meal. The evenings would literally sail by with the bartender serving cocktails under the stars while we traded survival stories with the other guests. Every day’s stories would outdo the day before and it was the perfect blend of adventure, exploration, and comfort.