Pacaya Samiria National Reserve 9 Days 8 Nights: El Dorado

If one week isn’t enough we got you covered. This tour is part of our new itineraries only for adventurers!

El Dorado. Those two words have been in the mind of many explorers that came to Peru, looking for the marvels and hidden beauties of the mythical place.

Most people thought that El Dorado was all about gold, sculptures, and jewels. The reality is that this place is indeed a treasure, but a natural one. A gorgeous big lake, with stunning landscapes and wide biodiversity.  Caimans, jaguars (Otorongo), anacondas, monkeys, many bird species and lots of fishes, reptiles and amphibians call this place home.

This place is located very deep inside the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, taking many days to reach it, and at least two days for coming back.

Are you ready to embrace your inner explorer?

DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATIONPickup from your accommodation or airport, Iquitos, Perú
DEPARTURE TIMEPick-up from 8:00 AM to 8:30 AM
RETURN TIMEApproximately 6:00 PM. (8 days after departure)
WEARComfortable athletic clothing, hiking boots or shoes, hat, light jacket, sunglasses and sunscreen.
Professional bi-lingual guide (English/Spanish)Private transfer from airport or accommodation
All ground transportation neededAll boat transportation needed
Typical village house accommodationPacaya Samiria entrance fee
All meals (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)Purified water
First aidRubber boots
All camping equipmentAll fishing equipment
Camping tentSleeping bags
Individual mattressesAntiophidic serum
Solar batterySolar panel
Guide gratuity
Alcoholic drinks
Hotel in Iquitos city

Tour details

We are very grateful about our latest recognition by Tripadvisor, being awarded the Travelers’ Choice 2024, and we wanna celebrate with you!

This is why all our tours will be discounted for a limited time as a way of thanking everyone who chooses us to experience the magic and beauty of the Amazon jungle.

All our tours price are in United States Dollars (USD) and are based on a minimum of 2 passengers. If you are a solo traveller please contact us for a price quotation.

If needed more flexible tours could be arranged, as well as special tours for honeymooners, big groups, students promotion and organizations.

We cater to vegetarians and vegans, and encourage them by offering a 5% discount (per person) on the tour price. When you book make sure to let us know about your dietary preference to apply the discount. For non-vegetarians our meals include local fish, chicken or meat. We also offer gluten free meals by request. If you have a gluten intolerance condition (or any other food allergy) let us know in advance.

We try to keep a low usage of plastic so we would highly appreciate if you bring your own personal water container to be refilled.

If you have any questions please refer to the FAQs and don’t hesitate to Contact Us

You can also reach to us directly on WhatsApp here.

Pacaya Samiria Tour

We’ve been conducting eco-tourism activities in Pacaya Samiria National Reserve since 2016 with all our proper permits up to date by the SERNANP.

Pacaya Samiria entrance permit for Amazon Experience tours

As a responsible traveler, we encourage you to choose tour operator companies that are approved by this national entity which is in charge of protecting and taking care of our natural areas.

This also benefits you and gives you peace of mind knowing that you are going to enter, explore and enjoy the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve in a safe, fun and authentic way.

Ask for this permit, it is your right as an informed traveler.

Payment methods for booking a Tour

The price of this tour is 997 897 USD per person (based on a minimum of 2 passengers).

We are flexible, you can choose how to pay for your tour.

We accept PayPal, VISA online payment, Mastercard online payment, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies (Ethereum) for online payments and reservations. If you prefer to pay with VISA/Mastercard online or with cryptocurrencies contact us for details on how to proceed.

We accept payments in Peruvian Soles (PEN), United States Dollars (USD), and Euro (EUR).

Ready for adventure?

Pacaya Samiria National Reserve 9 Days 8 Nights: El Dorado


Day 1: Departure between 8:00 am and 8:30 am

Morning pickup from your accommodation in Iquitos, or our office, in private car or mini-van (depending on group size). We will drive south for 1 hour and 45 minutes (approx.) to arrive at Nauta town. In our way there you will get a brief description of Iquitos city, its surroundings and some of its main attractions.

Departure by private boat from Nauta port, continuing upriver for 3 hours, enjoying the beautiful landscapes and the possibility to see river dolphins (gray and pink), herons, turtles and many other species along with spectacular flora.

Arrive at Santo Domingo community, the checkpoint for entering the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Here we register and show tickets to the officer in charge. The entrance to Pacaya Samiria is controlled and regulated by the SERNANP (Servicio Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas).

Continue navigation by boat for 30 minutes to reach the community of Buenos Aires. On our way there we will be observing flora and fauna by the riverbanks. Be on the lookout for birds, especially herons (like the capped heron or the snowy egrett) and kingfishers.

Walking expedition around the primary jungle to look out for some wildlife and enjoy nature.

Nocturnal hike looking for spiders, snakes, lizards, frogs or rodents, hearing the different sounds of nocturnal animals.

Overnight at typical village house in Buenos Aires community. We will sleep on individual beds with mosquito nets.


Day 2

We get up early to enjoy the sunrise in the rainforest and then, start our expedition. We will be on the lookout for monkeys and sloths. After that, we will hop on a canoe and explore the riverbanks, always attentive to movements and sounds so we can see fauna in their morning routines by the river.

Navigation around 3 hours in the Yanayacu river, getting deeper and deeper into the primary jungle reaching a spot for camping in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve called Renaco by the local people.

Jungle walk in the virgin rainforest where we can observe the flora and the fauna of the Amazon. Here we will also look for the Lupuna (Ceiba pentandra), the biggest tree in the Amazon rainforest. After walking in the jungle we are gonna swim in the river as near as we can with river dolphins like the pink dolphin (Inia geoffrensis) and grey dolphin (Sotalia fluviatilis).

Exploration of Renaco cocha (lake). We will be on the lookout for many animals in this place, like Shansho (Hoatzin), different turtle species as Charapa (arrau river turtle), Cupiso (Six tubercled Amazon river turtle) and Taricaya (Yellow spotted Amazon river turtle), Ronsoco (Capibara), Majaz (Paca agouti paca) and different monkey species like Woolly monkey (mono choro) and Squirrel monkey (mono fraile), among others.

Nocturnal expedition to find and see white and black caimans (big river lizards).

Set up camping site. Camping in the primary jungle. We will sleep in camping tents.


Day 3

We get up very early and start looking for primates while we explore in our canoe. There is the chance to see Manatees (Vaca marina) by the river with some luck. Pack our camping stuff and get ready for going deeper into the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve.

We will navigate approx. 3 hours until our next destination: Zapotal by the local people because of the big quantity of Zapote trees in this area.

Expedition looking out for primates and other animals in their habitat. The deeper you get into the Amazon rainforest, the more chances you have to see wildlife. In the surroundings of Zapotal there are Paiche (Arapaima Gigas), the biggest fish in the Amazon rainforest. If the river is low the possibility of seeing those spectacular fishes is higher.

Jungle walk looking out for Macaws. We will be on the lookout because this place is a good one for spotting macaws (red and green macaw or ara chloroptera, blue and yellow macaw or ara ararauna). In the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, we can find 2 of the 8 species of macaws found in Peru. In this jungle walk, we will also look for a bird called Camungo by the locals (Horned screamer), with its characteristic sound and Shansho (Hoatzin), a prehistoric bird.

Dawn observation, enjoying the beautiful landscape and having time to chill and relax for a while. Nocturnal expedition looking (and hearing) for nocturnal animals, including caimans, frogs, snakes among others.

Set up camping site. Camping in the primary jungle. We will sleep in camping tents.


Day 4

Early morning canoe excursion to wake up your senses. Time to see the sunrise in the Amazon jungle. We will go bird watching. This is the best time to see wild birds in its own habitat by the riverbank and inside the jungle.

Boat trip of approx. 3 hours to reach our next camping area, deeper into the virgin jungle, in a local zone called Chingana by the locals. The deeper we go into the Jungle, the more chances we have to see more different species of animals, birds, and fishes.

Excursion to find and observe some giant river otters.

Botanical walk. You will get to know different medicinal plants of the Amazon jungle.

Night canoeing excursion, looking for wildlife.

Nocturnal expedition to find and see white and black caimans (big river lizards). In this place, we can see bigger caimans (up to 6-8 meters). We will also look for other nocturnal animals, insects, and spiders.

Camping in the virgin jungle. We will sleep in camping tents.


Day 5

Early morning canoe exploration to find and observe monkeys (like howler monkey or woolly monkey) and other animals.

Boat trip of approx. 3 hours to reach our next camping area, deeper into the virgin jungle, in a local zone called Tambo German.

Long distance Amazon jungle hiking. Be prepared to walk and explore the primary jungle. During this jungle walk, we will be looking out for animals but also for traditional medicinal plants like Cat’s claw (uña de gato), Jungle garlic (ajosacha) and many others. We will extract all the knowledge possible from our local guide. Here we are gonna go in a jungle hiking expedition looking for animal prints, like Jaguar (Otorongo), Tapir (Sachavaca), Red brocket deer (Venado colorado), Majaz (Paca agouti paca), among others. In this place, there is also the chance to see Anacondas and Tigrillos (Ocelot)

Nocturnal walk looking out for Sajinos (Collared peccari), Añuje (Black agouti), Ronsoco (Capibara), Majaz (Paca agouti paca), Oso hormiguero (Giant anteater), Carachupa (nine banded armadillo), among other nocturnal mammals.

Camping in the virgin jungle. We will sleep in camping tents.


Day 6

Early morning canoe excursion to wake up your senses. At this point you will be starting getting used to the pace of the jungle, putting into practice the skills you have been learning during the expedition. Trying to differentiate animals and birds by their sounds and looking for them with the first rays of the sun.

Boat trip of approx. 4 hours to reach our next camping area, deeper into the virgin jungle, in a local zone called Achon. After arriving and setting up our camp we will start hiking in the Amazon jungle, focusing on trying to find and track animals by their prints and by their sounds. We will also keep our ears wide open to recognizing birds.

Once we are back in the camp we will go canoeing by the riverside looking for river otters, turtles and bird species like Macaws, Sacha Pato (Muscovy duck), Cushuri (Olivaceeous cormorant), among others. At night we will go on our boat or in our canoe looking for white and black caimans. Here there is a higher chance to see black caimans, as we are very deep into the Pacaya Samiria.

Camping in the Amazon jungle. We will sleep in camping tents.


Day 7: El Dorado

We will explore with the first rays of sun in our canoe. Feeling the fresh air and hearing all the jungle sounds, knowing that this place we are visiting is only reached by only a few adventurers. Enjoy nature with all your senses.

After filling up our energy tank with a delicious jungle breakfast we will start our journey, by motorboat, to arrive at the mythical “El Dorado”. This will take approximately 3 hours. Arriving at El Dorado is an accomplishment in itself. Not many people on the planet can tell that they have been there.

While we are in El Dorado we will explore it by boat, by jungle walking or both. It all depends on the weather conditions and the season we are in. During the dry season or reflux (from May to September) it’s possible to do more jungle treks. And during the wet season or crescent (from October to April) the water level is higher, so most excursions are done by motorboat or canoe.

You can read more about the weather and seasons in Pacaya Samiria National Reserve in our blog post. The diversity of landscapes and its abundant aquatic fauna makes this place truly unique. There is the possibility to see a lot of different bird species, including macaws, toucans, kingfishers, herons, among others. In El Dorado there is also the possibility of seeing some of the most famous Amazon jungle animals, like anacondas, boas, jaguars (locally called otorongo) and manatees, to name a few. A little luck is involved of course. This place is also great for seeing monkeys, snakes, frogs and many other animals.

Watching the beautiful sunset in El Dorado. Have your camera ready!

Nocturnal boat exploration looking for nocturnal lake animals, especially caimans. In this zone of the Pacaya Samiria Reserve, you can find white and black caimans. There are reports of caimans of up to 6 meters long!

Camping in the surroundings of El Dorado lake, in the heart of Pacaya Samiria, Amazon jungle. We will sleep in camping tents.


Day 8

We wake up very early in the morning, around 4:30 AM. If you have come this far, you don’t want to miss the sunrise in this place.

We will keep exploring El Dorado, by trekking, navigating, or both. All depending on the weather and the season we are in. Keep on the lookout for wildlife. This place is full of it.

Around midday, we will start our return. As we are very deep into the National Reserve it’s gonna take us more than 1 day to come back. That’s why we are gonna navigate 5 hours downriver to reach a middle route point where we are gonna set our camping for the last night of our excursion.

We are gonna arrive in the afternoon to Fariña Sua. We will take you by boat to try some artisanal piranha sport fishing, the way locals do it. The guide will instruct you, help you and provide you with all the equipment needed. If you are skillful you can even catch Acarahuazu (Oscar fish), Fasaco (Common trahira) among others. In this zone of the Pacaya Samiria Reserve, it’s possible to find pink dolphins and river otters while touring on the boat. We will try our best to find them. Keep your eyes open and practice all the skills you have learned along the journey to try finding and differentiating bird and animal species.

Nocturnal walk looking for the nine banded armadillo (carachupa or Dasypus novemcinctus), Ronsoco (Capibara) and rodents like black agouti (añuje or Dasyprocta fuliginosa) and paca agouti (majaz). We will also look for other nocturnal animals, insects, and spiders like Tarantulas.

Camping in the Amazon jungle. We will sleep in camping tents.


Day 9: Return

Early morning canoe excursion to wake up your senses. We will go bird watching. This is the best time to see wild birds in its own habitat by the riverbank and inside the jungle.

We start our way back, approximately 6 to 7 hours on the motorboat, stopping at PV1 (Point of vigilance), located in Santo Domingo to stretch out our legs and get the chance to contribute to the community by buying their hand-made handicrafts if you decide to do so.

Return by boat to Nauta town. Ground transportation from Nauta to Iquitos. Arrival at our office, or if you prefer we will bring you to your accommodation in Iquitos or the airport.

Brief details by day:

1. Iquitos departure by van / Nauta port / River navigation / Pacaya Samiria National Reserve entrance / Buenos Aires community / Jungle walking expedition / Nocturnal hike

2. Sunrise / Yanayacu river navigation / Renaco / Jungle walk / Pink dolphins observation / Swimming in the river / Lupuna / Renaco cocha (lake) / Wildlife spotting / Nocturnal caiman expedition

3. Canoe Primate spotting / River navigation / Zapotal / Animal spotting walk / Macaw spotting jungle walk / Nocturnal expedition

4. Early morning canoeing / Sunrise / Bird watching / River navigation / Chingana / Giant river otters / Botanical walk / Night canoeing / Nocturnal big caiman spotting

5. Early morning canoeing / Monkey spotting / River navigation / Tambo German / Long distance jungle walk / Medicinal plants / Animal prints tracking / Nocturnal animal spotting

6. Early morning canoe / Wildlife recognition / Achon / Jungle hike / Canoeing by the riverside / Nocturnal big caiman spotting

7. Early morning canoe exploring / River navigation to El Dorado / Exploring El Dorado / Wildlife spotting / Sunset in El Dorado / Nocturnal big caiman exploration

8. Early morning canoe or boat exploration / Sunrise in El Dorado / Wildlife spotting / Start return / Fariña Sua / Piranha fishing / Wildlife spotting / Night trekking looking for animals

9. Early morning canoe / Morning bird watching / Return / Buenos Aires community – Nauta – Iquitos

Tour disclaimer:

– The order of the activities may change depending on weather conditions and logistic or operational decisions. Be mindful that we are exploring a far away zone of the Amazon jungle, so it’s imperative that you trust your guide’s judgment, any modification will always be justified and for your own safety. – If you don’t like:

  1. Long trekkings inside the jungle.
  2. Being in contact with insects, spiders, and mosquitoes.
  3. Not having wi-fi, cellphone signal or any communication with civilization for over a week (this includes social media).
  4. Going to a place where not many people have been.

Then this tour is definitively not for you.

The good news is that we have a whole variety of other tours that we are sure you will enjoy. Pro tip: If you like comfort then pick Amazon lodge tours or if you still prefer a more adventurous camping experience without committing to this amount of days, you can choose a shorter Pacaya Samiria tour.

Pacaya Samiria National Reserve 9 Days 8 Nights: El Dorado

Camping inside the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, located approximately 180 kilometers to the south of Iquitos. First, we take a private van from Iquitos to Nauta. It takes approx. 1 hour 45 minutes. From Nauta, we take a motorboat upstream for 3-4 hours to arrive at Buenos Aires community, inside the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. To reach El Dorado lake we need to get very deep inside the Pacaya Samiria Reserve. For this reason is that we need at least 2 days for the way back.

What to wear:
A sturdy pair of broken-in trail shoes, boots, or sneakers
Long sleeve shirt
Long pants

What to bring:
Personal hygiene items
Daypack or small backpack
Personal prescription medicine (if that’s the case)
Rain coat

Mosquito repellent
Your own personal water container, to be refilled at any time. This way we can reduce the usage of plastic.

Enjoy your trip!

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