Ever wondered what it’s like to explore the Amazon on board the luxurious Delfin III?
Craig Deuchar from Chimu Adventures recently experienced the 3-night/4-day cruise and is here to offer his insights.
Author: Craig Deuchar
After a long plane ride from Boston – LA – Lima and onto Iquitos it was great to be met by the friendly staff of Delfin Amazon Cruises at the arrivals area of Iquitos airport. After our luggage was collected and transferred to the bus we were on our way to the port on a lovely air-conditioned bus. On the bus, we met the first of our friendly Delfin III guides Neal (named after Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon). We drove on the only sealed road in Iquitos and it was amazing to see the rest of the town with only dirt roads. On arrival (1-hour transfer) to the Delfin office at the port, we were welcomed with a refreshing local juice where we were assigned our cabin numbers and boarded the beautiful Deflin III.
Entering my cabin, I was greeted with an immaculate room presented with a towel origami elephant on my bed and a Welcome Note. We were given 30 minutes to relax, settle into our cabins and explore the ship before our first Introductory meeting in the bar area where met the rest of our guides and hospitality staff. After a brief outline of how each day would work and safety briefing, we were off on our first excursion in the skiffs that would whisk us around the Amazon over the next few days. The first skiff excursion was all about getting out on the river, exploring and searching for the many bird species in the area and pink river dolphins. That first skiff excursion was a great example of what to expect from our guides as they expertly pointed out the many bird species along the river. We finished the excursion with all the skiffs coming together and a celebratory champagne and snack with an amazing sunset.
The first night’s dinner continued the wonderful experience as we were presented with a 3-course meal of 5-star quality with paired wines. We were continually amazed by the culinary delights throughout the 4-day cruise with local cuisine, matching wines, beautiful table presentation with each meal and an explanation of each meal from our waiters.
After dinner, we were advised of the plan for the next day where the early birds could get up for a 6 am bird watchers excursion. I opted for a good night’s rest, taking advantage of the beautiful suite.
After a great buffet breakfast, we were fitted for our gumboots and then headed off on the skiffs to do a short walk through the jungle where our local community guides were experts in finding the local wildlife. We were able to see snakes (boa constrictors), a tarantula, a variety of different frogs, and even a sloth. The local village also had a local market where we could purchase their locally handmade souvenirs. After the excursion back on the boat, I was able to grab a beer from the well-stocked bar and relax in the pool before another great 3-course lunch.
In the afternoon after lunch, there was a cooking class demonstration on ceviche making with one of the Delfin’s MasterChef’s. I love ceviche, and this was well worth attending. The ceviche was delicious. After the cooking class, I headed up to the bridge of the boat where I could see pink river dolphins and the point where the different river waters met. I was incredibly surprised to see how clear the separation of the different coloured waters (black and brown) of the Amazon was. In the afternoon, we headed out for another excursion with the added option of kayaking which we had signed up for on night one. After an hour or so of exploring the waters for wildlife, we were able to jump into our twin share kayaks and paddle down one of the most famous rivers in the world. On a beautiful sunny day, this is one experience I will never forget, paddling on the famous Amazon. After kayaking, we piled back into the skiffs and visited a local village where we learnt about how the local communities used various local plants for medicinal purposes. Despite an unexpected monsoonal downpour of rain, we were welcomed by the village where we able to check out their local handmade souvenirs.
For our last full day of excursions, we were up early for a 6 am skiff excursion and breakfast on the Amazon. You would think maybe the picnic breakfast wouldn’t be as good as on the boat but typical of Delfin Amazon Cruises everything and everyone was catered for with a wide range of options supplied on the skiffs. What an experience to be able to say you’ve had breakfast on the Amazon to a beautiful sunrise and sounds of the Amazon’s wildlife accompanied by a cheeky morning glass of champagne. After breakfast, our guides broke out the fishing gear as we went fishing for piranha’s, a must do experience in the Amazon. Within a few minutes of baiting up our hooks, everyone in our skiff was pulling in the local fish famous for those razor-sharp teeth. Next up was a swim in the Amazon for those brave enough after fishing for piranhas. I made sure we were much further downstream and checked with our guides if it was safe to jump in. This was by far one of my favourite experiences on the trip as my guide passed me two floaties and a beer so I could chill out as I floated down the famous river with pink river dolphins surrounding me. On our final night, we met all the crew, Captain and hospitality staff which had provided us with such an amazing experience. We were serenaded by the crew with some local music and topped off our last night with a few pisco sours.
I would recommend Delfin to anyone looking for a unique cruise experience on the Amazon. Every interaction I had with the Delfin staff from arrival to finish was perfect- from the amazing guides, hospitality staff and crew. Everything ran like clockwork and not a thing went wrong on the whole cruise. All the guides were experts in wildlife spotting and spoke with passion and enthusiasm.
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