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Amazon cruise

Thursday, July 2, 2009
The Amazon River — the world's largest. It's more than 6500km long and starts 100km upstream in the Andes. It proudly flows without a bridge crossing it and is home to more than 3000 species of fish.

Jason Dundas went on a Scenic Tours adventure down the Amazon, starting in the tiny town of Iquitos, a city isolated in the eastern corner of Peru, 105m above sea level.


This is the perfect place for lovers of eco-tourism who want close contact with the virgin nature of the Amazon forests. It's also the world's largest city which cannot be reached by road.

It's quite amazing to believe that all you see in houses, other buildings and vehicles were floated or flown in. Once inhabited by the wild Iquitos tribe, the city has been the centre of gold fever, cinnamon growing and rubber. Those three popular commodities made many people rich and splendid houses were built, some with tiles brought all the way from Portugal.

The markets are definitely worth checking out. They sprawl for blocks and vendors set up rickety tables to show their wares. Fruit, meat, bakery items, medicinal plants, aphrodisiacs, Western music, animals and many other things are available for sale. There is an almost tangible energy there as people not only go there to purchase their provisions, they go there to gather and musicians perform with their pan flutes and guitars.

MV Aqua

On board MV Aqua, the tour goes to some of the more remote parts of the river. The 39m-long luxury cruise ship was custom-built and has just 12 cabins accommodating a maximum of 24 guests. There are four master suites with ensuite, sitting areas and picture windows. Some interconnect to cater for families.

The vessel has comfortable lounge, à la carte dining room and bar and makes its way along the river with modern navigation technologies.

The Amazon Basin is home to an astonishing one-third of the animals on the planet and the majority of them don't come out until night.

Excursions deeper into the jungle are run twice a day and sharp-eyed guides spot wildlife most people might miss. More than half of the animals live below the surface and one of the rarest is the freshwater pink dolphin. Locals believe they are mermaids who have come to feed on the fruits of the jungle.

On Jason's journey he was lucky enough to see piranha, a baby caiman alligator which will reach 3m in length, a three-toed sloth and the Peruvian Amazon's largest butterfly. Called an owl butterfly, its large "eye-spot" confuses predators and protects it from being eaten.

Jason's adventure was in the middle of the wet season. The river's depth changes dramatically between seasons and while they were in 5m of water, in the dry season the same place would see hunters walking around.


Along South America's mighty Amazon River.


Scenic Tours has a 21-day Icons of South America Tour including the major sights of Peru, Chile, Brazil and Argentina, all accommodation, sightseeing, most meals and internal flights. They start at $10,845 per person twin share. You can add a four-day Amazon Cruise and Galapagos Islands extension to your tour.

Scenic Tours is offering a buy-on-get-one-free return ticket to South America with LAN Airlines. That's a saving of up to $3000 a couple. This offer is valid for various departures between February and May 2010.

Prices correct July 2, 2009.

For further information

Scenic Tours
Ph: 1300 723 642

Visas: Australians do not require a visa to enter Peru. They do need a passport and return ticket.

Electricity: 220V at 60Hz using plugs with two flat prongs.

Time zone: GMT -5.

Currency: The sol.

Telephone code: +51.

It is recommended travellers to South America see their doctor at least six weeks before departure. Prior to travel, travellers should be "up to date" with vaccinations for yellow fever, hepatitis A, typhoid fever, tetanus, diphtheria and hepatitis B. Depending on the time of year of travel and exact destination, other health precautions and preventions are recommended and are best discussed with your doctor. For further information, visit or

User comments
I completely agree with the comments regarding the handling of the wildlife including the sloth, don't encourage the locals to capture wildlife for the sake of tourist dollars. This might just be one show but just remember how many other travellers there are, all wanting this "experience" without realising the kind of impact it has on the wildlife, how do you know that that sloth wasn't captured and separated from its young? Sorry can't watch this show anymore, I've seen too many bad environmental practices in this and previous episodes.
Lighten up everyone . the sloth was not being miss handled , merly admired At least it is not in a zoo , its in its own habitat,,, free,,, occasionally being touched by tourists...No different than touching animals in our own zoos hrer in Australia , actually it much healthier.. We often have nice shows on China,,,Ummm,, lets have a closer look..they still, today, as we speak have LIVE fur skinning,,LIVE!!!!!!!..
I thought it was soo gorgeous, it made me realise even more how much i want to see that place! The animals and the people and the place! wonderful..!! That sloth was sooo cute! I believe that marcus guy above needs to get a life...! Im sure getaway would not do anything to hurt any animal on their show!
I'm in agreement with Marcus re the sloth. It was horrid watching Jason ridicule and man-handle that poor animal. Next time leave it in the tree.
Since when did animal rights extend to making fun of animals...? Lighten up Marcus. I thought it was a great segment and I thought the sloth was hilarious! I agree - I could've watched an hour of the amazon!
I do enjoy your show... however I was shocked and really disappointed to see the footage of the Sloth in the Amazon peice Thursday 2 July 2009 being handed around with the tour guide and Jason like a baby with a *** nappy and then put on the ground WHAT THE. I do feel this is very out of touch with todays morals on how we treat animals, and to add insult to injury we have just been told how special the Amazon and it's animals are. I do believe the Sloth's habitat is as a tree dwelling animal that rarely leaves the branches of the tree, maybe you should read up on the animal before you show your bad taste viewing. i'm sure a hell of a lot of people would agree with me. and why he was placed on the ground while ridiculed by Jason about his slow movements is beyond me. This does not smack of Eco friendly tourism or respect for the animal.Really poor form to have the sloth out of it's natural environment as a tourist attraction!!!! what happened to animal rights people.
Fantastic, If only you could have devoted the entire hour on it,but still it was great, as is the entire program, Congratulation to all who are involved in making & presenting the show. Thank You Peter Robinson

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