Although most travelers think of Machu Picchu as the main attraction in Peru, the Amazon is gaining popularity as well. Although the Amazon was once very difficult to get to and maneuver around, you can easily fly from Lima to Iquitos, and then join a river cruise with a local guide or stay at a jungle lodge. Most of the lodging and tours are relatively inexpensive, although there are new luxury accommodations as well, such as upscale cruises by Aqua Expeditions, a company launched in 2007. Visitors can experience piranha fishing, excellent bird watching, unique animal sightings, and short hikes through fascinating terrain. Some visitors describe their experiences in the Amazon as being somewhat eerie at times, because of the distance from the hustle and bustle of cities, but also peaceful and relaxing in a way that is new to them. The Amazon will offer as much adventure as you crave, or just an escape from your usual routine. Either way, it’s an experience travelers never forget.
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Many people would love to travel down the Amazon, one of the most mysterious and intriguing areas of Peru. But with the wild terrain comes mosquitos, dangerous animals and the risk of getting lost or injured miles away from civilization. These deterrents keep most travelers away from the world-famous river and rainforest. However, a company called Aqua Expeditions is now offering luxury cruises aboard five star ships. Each trip is complete with guided excursions, upscale cuisine, and panoramic views of birds, pink dolphins and the surrounding jungle. The company’s first ship set sail three years ago with twelve suites. The newer ship has sixteen suites, a terrace jacuzzi and a gym. The ships are even equipped with air conditioning for the hot jungle nights. The combination of luxury and remote wilderness is one that will surely impress even the most well-traveled guests.
In recent years, teams from as many as 14 countries have competed in the Amazon Raft Race, traveling one of the world’s most exciting rivers. The Peruvian Amazon is known for being a remote part of this fantastic rainforest, and the town of Iquitos is a quiet one. However, in 1999 an Englishman who had recently moved to Iquitos teamed up with the region’s Director of Tourism to create the first Amazon Raft Race. 43 teams competed that year, and this year’s rafters will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the event. The race will last three days, from September 25th to September 27th, and the teams will cover 112 miles on rafts they will build themselves on September 24th. This is an especially exciting event for rafting enthusiasts, and a challenging one as well. I will not be competing in this event!
Photo courtesy of Jake G under Creative Commons License