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Why an Amazon river cruise is a once in a lifetime experience

From plush rainforests to piranhas, a river cruise down the Amazon is an experience like no other.

Spanning an impressive 6,400 kilometres, the Amazon River weaves through Brazil, Peru and Colombia. Though seeing all 6000 kilometres might be a little challenging, the best way to experience the majestic Amazon River is on river cruises. From luxury ships to quaint river boats, Amazon river cruises will take you right through the heart of the famous body of water, giving you unprecedented access to its famed rainforests, jungles, wildlife and villages that exist on the banks.

The best Amazon River Cruises 2024

01

Amazon & Caribbean Adventure

from $8,695 at Viking Cruises

When it comes to cruising, why just stop at the Amazon? This cruise from Viking Cruises will take you through the Amazon and up to Caribbean on what will be an unforgettable adventure. Over the next 13 days, you’ll drift your way in luxury to six incredible countries.

Starting in Manaus, Brazil, you’ll spend two days exploring the historic city’s colourful buildings and rich history before moving on to Partintins and Santarém. You’ll then float down the wondrous Amazon River as you make your way to the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean.

Once you arrive to the Caribbean, the ship will dock at French Guiana, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua and finally Puerto Rico.

Key stops:

  • Manaus
  • Parintins
  • Santarém
  • French Guiana
  • Barbados
  • St. Lucia
  • Antigua
  • Puerto Rico
Sunrise over the Amazon Rainforest near the junction of the Rio Negro and Amazon rivers, Brazil.

02

Exotic Trilogy: Rio de Janeiro, Iguazu Waterfalls and the Amazon

from $3947 at ETours Brazil DMC

If you don’t want to spend all of your time in the Amazon on river cruises, then this may be the perfect pick for you. This 11 journey will have you on buses, plains as well as boats. You’ll begin your trip in a hotel on Copacabana where you’ll get a chance to immerse yourself in the city of Rio de Janeiro. After a couple of days here, you’ll go to the Waterfalls of Iguazu where you can explore the Brazilian and Argentinian sides of the waterfall.

Next, you’ll get on board a boat starting at the iconic ‘meeting of the waters’ where muddy waters of the Solimões River and the black waters of the Negro River run side by side, without mixing. After this, an experienced guide will take you on a tour of the jungle where you’ll get an upfront glimpse at the incredible fauna and flora. During your time on the river you’ll also visit Caboclos house, go fishing and soak in the unique sounds and sights of the river before heading back to Rio.

Key stops:

  • Rio de Janeiro
  • Waterfalls of Iguazu
  • Manaus
  • Meeting of the Waters
  • Key features 5

03

Amazon Riverboat Adventure In Depth

from $2944 at G Adventures

Ready to cruise the Amazon in style? This nine day Amazonian adventure will take place on G Adventures’ purpose-built river boat. The boat boasts plenty roomy public spaces, a cheery upper deck so you’ll have ample space to take in the magic of the Amazon River. Starting in Lima, Peru, you’ll catch a flight to Iquitos and transfer to the Amazon Riverboat.

Here, you’ll get to experience mini excursions on the river on a motorised boat to Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, Piranha Creek and other expeditions lead by on-board certified naturalists. At the end of the trip, you’ll fly back to Lima, Peru.

Key stops:

  • Lima/Iquitos, Peru
  • Pacaya Samiria National Reserve
  • Piranha Creek
  • Nauta

04

4-day Amazon River Boat Tour From Manaus

from $1,809 at Viator

As far as Amazon river cruises go, this one is perfect for thrill-seekers. On board an intimate river boat, you’ll spend four days drifting down the Amazon getting stuck into a bunch of adventurous, hands-on activities. Starting in Manaus, you’ll hop off the boat for a day for a day of exploring Rio Negro and Solimões before heading to Paraiso village for a camping adventure. The next day you and the other passengers will dock at archipelago of Anavilhanas to explore its Igapós by canoe before returning back to Manaus.

Key stops:

  • Rio Negro and Solimões
  • Paraiso
  • Anavilhanas
  • Manaus

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