MANATI Students Program
5 Days/ 4 Nights – 3 nights at Heliconia Lodge and 1 night at Iquitos City:
Your expedition to the Amazon River offers a rare opportunity to see a totally different world, very detached from urban development where you will discover an astounding sphere of sheer nature and an effervescent biodiversity of flora and fauna. To help you experience an astounding Amazon Adventure and make your enchanting rainforest foray worth its while, we have prepared this suggested itinerary
ITINERARY IN BRIEF:
Welcome to Iquitos, register and briefing at the Heliconia Office / Transfer to the Iquitos boarding wharf / Motorized boat ride / Arrival to the Lodge/ Welcome drink and check-in/ Lunch/ Afternoon excursion – Nature Trek / After sunset –Night Boat Ride/ Dinner/Overnight / Early morning Bird watching / Breakfast & Refresh / Native Fishing/ Return to Lodge for Lunch / Afternoon-Glimpse the Giant Water Lily / Night Hike / Dinner /Overnight/ Breakfast / Native Community Immersion / Pink Dolphin Sighting / Dinner / Overnight / Breakfast / Check out / Lunch / Transfer by boat to Iquitos City / City Tours/ Dinner /Overnight at Hotel/ Breakfast/ Transfer to Iquitos Airport.
Lima / Iquitos / Heliconia Amazon River Lodge (L,D)
You will be met and welcomed by our staff at the Luggage Claim area of the Iquitos Int’l Airport where our staff will assist you and transfer to our Office in Iquitos town proper. A briefing about our services, what to expect during your stay, the do’s and don’ts in the jungle and some essential tips will be carried out shortly. Soon after, you will transfer to the Iquitos Port, where you will board one of our speedboats to take you to the Heliconia Amazon River Lodge along the Amazon River.
During the boat ride observe the convergence of the brown turbid waters of the Amazon River with the dark waters of the Nanay River. Enjoy the impressive jungle landscapes with the rustic small houses of the riverside towns.After a 90 minute boat ride arrive at the Lodge where our staff will welcome you with an exotic jungle drink. Next check-in and settling in your room, at your leisure, taste your first Amazonia cuisine lunch.
In the afternoon, begin your first excursion: set out to a jungle hike into the Yanamono primary rainforest reserve, for approximately two hours accompanied by our expert guides. They will show you identify several flora species such as heliconia flowers, medicinal plants and giant trees. You will also have the chance to sight several birds species such as the Turkey Vulture (Cathartes Aura), Black Fronted Nanbird (Monasa-Atia), and with a little luck you will be able to view a family of small monkeys such as marmosets (Saguinus Fusicollis), the Titi (Callicebus Mollock Mollock) and the squirrel monkey (Saimiri Boliviense).
Return to the lodge for rest and relaxation and be enthralled by your first, must-not-miss Amazon Sunset. As the evening comes around, during high tide, take a boat ride along one of the Amazon River’s tributaries for an exciting evening in the jungle, with no lights, perhaps just some jungle flora and fauna sparkling in the dark. You will have to trust your expert boat guide to take you where you can appreciate and listen to the magical sounds of the jungle. If it is a clear night, you will see the bright magnificent moonlight, as well as observe the stars and constellations. With some luck you can also see some falling stars which are quite common in the area. Shortly, go back to the Lodge to rest and relax for an early wake up the next day.
Heliconia Amazon River Lodge (B,L,D)
Rise early for the Morning Bird Watching. In order to see the birds flocked together during their morning feeding time, you will start very early going by boat to one of the several streams (best on high tide) to look out for a number of variety of birds.You will be looking out for birds such as the Tuki(Jacana Jacana), Ringed Kingfisher (Ceryle-Torquata), Black-Collared Hawk (Busarellus nigricollis),among others. Thereafter, you will return to the lodge, for a scrumptious and energizing breakfast.
Take a little rest and then you will set off to a Native Fishing expedition unto one of the small tributaries of the Amazon River. Learn the local techniques of fishing and for the most daring you can try to fish for Piranhas. During this excursion you can also have the opportunity to look out for the Pink River Dolphin (Inia Geoffrensis). If you are lucky you have your catch cooked for lunch, when you return to the Lodge.
After lunch, you will board the boat towards a lake in Yanamono island (best on high tide) where you will be able to glimpse the Giant Water Lily, the Victoria Regia, the “Queen of water lilies”. Now renamed Victoria Amazonica, these native flora in the shallow waters of the Amazon River basin are mostly found in oxbow lakes and bayous. You may see some flowers that are white as they bloom on the first night some that have turned pink on the second night after blooming. They can grow to 40 cm in diameter, and are pollinated by scarab beetles. Victoria Amazonica is well known for its huge circular leaves, which are often pictured with a small child sitting at the center of its leaf to display their size and strength.
Then consider the Nature Night Hike. Go on an enchanting evening trek within the secure periphery of the Lodge and you will witness the entrancing transformation from daytime to a night atmosphere. As you adjust to the dark environment you will appreciate the rainforest takes on a very different character and be aware of the existence and habits of nocturnal jungle animals. It’s the best time to see stunning tree frogs, shy snakes, and other rainforest creatures that only come out at night. Discern a range of completely distinctive fauna from the day as you listen to magical sounds of insects, birds, jungle cats and night owls. Back to the Lodge for Dinner.
Native Community Immersion in a Riverside Town (B,L,D)
Wake up late or rise early — the choice is yours. Breakfast begins at 8:00 a.m., for those who want to avoid the heat, and enjoy nature at its fullest. After breakfast, we will visit a riverside town to see an indigenous tribe of the Yaguas community where you will have the opportunity to learn and see their way of life in the Amazon River. See their homes, school, church, shops and interact with the people, learn their techniques of fishing and farming. Observe their customs and tradition and get enlightened by their unaffected and austere way of living.
Once at the lodge, you may rest and relax or enjoy a sunset exotic juice at the bar (on your personal account). Dinner starts at 7:30 p.m. and a restful overnight at the Lodge.
Iquitos / City Tour / Manatee rescue center / (B,L,D)
After Breakfast transfer to Iquitos City. Once you arrive to the city, you will be transferred to the Hotel of your selection, receiving a brief of the services and some advice about the attractions in the city. In the afternoon , City Tours , having the opportunity to visiting the Casa de Fierro, or Iron House, which was designed by Gustave Eiffel or the Malecón Tarapacá facing the Amazon River, lined with several exquisite 19th-century mansions, relics from the rubber heyday, lined with Portuguese glazed tiles, or azulejos. City Tour including visit to the Plaza de Armas, The Mother Church, La Casa de Fierro, and other mansions that takes us to the time of the Rubber Boom.
Visit the Museum of Iquitos which has a modern infrastructure where you can appreciate different times and events that had in the city of Iquitos, displays current information about the heyday of rubber boom , the social context of the time and the problems experienced by native communities. Visit to the Museum "Ayapua" , vessel built in Hamburg, was one of the typical steamships that reached the Amazonian river ports.
Return to Hotel. Dinner and.overnight at the selected Hotel.
In the afternoon Transfer to Manatee Rescue Center, where they can observe closely the efforts made by the Rescue Center Amazon (CREA) conservation of these gentle endangered mammals.
Return to Hotel. Dinner and.overnight at the selected Hotel.
Iquitos/LimaBreakfast at the Hotel and then check-out and transfer to the airport.
- Beverages: juices, sodas, soft drinks and any alcoholic drinks. (Tea and coffee are complimentary)
- Flight tickets Lima/Iquitos/Lima and airport taxes.
What to wear
It is important that you bring only necessary clothing and travel gear to the lodge. Due to weight and space limitations on the domestic flight and on the boat to the Lodge, passenger luggage is limited to 10 kg. (22 lbs.) per person. You may store some of your luggage in our office in Iquitos City and take only the most essential during your stay.
- Light cotton clothes, pants and long sleeve shirts (preferably in earth colors: olive green, light brown/khakis of light, breathable, quick-dry material; please avoid using white color in the jungle)
- Hiking boots or walking tennis shoes resistant to humidity; cotton socks.
- Bathing suit
- A light water proof parka jacket, raincoat or sweater (when the temperature goes down considerably or when it rains)
What to bring:
- Hat / Cap (preferably with large visor)
- Sunscreen / Sunblock.
- Insect Repellent (with DEET)
- Personal Medicines /medications; first-aid kit
- Portable converter, rechargeable batteries, electrical adaptor for your charger
- Camera with big memory card; preferably in waterproof case.