Manatee Amazon Explorer
Ecuador: Manatee Amazon Explorer (4 - 8 days)
The Manatee Amazon Explorer journeys through Ecuador's Napo River twice a week. This thrilling adventure, explores the tropical rain forest and its native communities.
More than 560 species of birds have been recorded in the area and hundreds of botanical wonders. The Manatee sails along different ecosystems and important natural reserves such as the Yasuni National Park and the Limoncocha Biological Reserve.
2017 Departure Dates & Costs
Anakonda 5 Star Boutique Amazon Cruise
Every Wednesday from Quito
Manatee Amazon Explorer will finish its last cruise in March 2017
Renovations on the new Manatee currently underway. Cruise dates and prices tba
Friday to Monday (4 days/3 nights): $ 995 USD (includes full board & community entrance fees)
Monday to Friday (5 days/4 nights): $ 1,125 USD (includes full board & community entrance fees)
Monday to Monday or Friday to Friday (8 days/7 nights) $ 1,550 USD (includes full board & community entrance fees)
Airfare from Quito to Coca (return) is additional $170 USD
Anakonda 5 Star Boutique Amazon Cruise
Every Sunday from Quito
Itinerary - 4 day Anankonda program
Day 1 SUNDAY: QUITO – COCA – NAPO RIVER
Departure from Quito. A short 30-minute flight takes us to the frontier town of Coca (Francisco de Orellana) – and transfer to the dock, where we will embark on a motorized canoe and navigate down river about 1 hour, to board the M/V Anakonda Amazon CRUISE. Throughout the journey we have a chance to admire the rainforest landscape and banks of the great Napo River.
Immediately after boarding the M/V Anakonda, we continue navigating downstream. Passengers will have their first opportunities to enjoy the exciting features of our cruise ship: the spacious social areas, comfortable suites, and an observation deck that offers spectacular views. An evening walk is organized after sunset; it gives us the opportunity to discover the forest’s nocturnal activity and listen to the incessant sounds of nature.
DAY 2. MONDAY: VISITING THE PAÑACOCHA BIOLOGICAL CORRIDOR
We will continue our navigation downstream to the Pañayacu River delta; take a canoe trip up the river to experience the sights of this fascinating reserve. We will seek out Pink River Dolphins, Common Squirrel Monkeys and much more. Pañacocha (Piranha Lake, in Quechua) is an ecosystem flooded by white waters. The rivers and lakes here are the perfect habitat for the infamous Piranha, as well as the Water Monkey Fish (Arawana) and White Caiman. After a refreshing swim (for the courageous!), we will enjoy a delicious Amazon-style BBQ meal and refreshing beverages at a nearby camping site. In the afternoon, we will head out on exploration trails, and return onboard for dinner.
DAY 3. TUESDAY: CLAY LICKS – SANI WARMI & YASUNI NATIONAL PARK
Breakfast on board. We set out to visit one of the most amazing spectacles this side of western Amazonia known as parrot licks, these unique pools of mud become rich in minerals and attract hundreds of parrots, parakeets and amazons every day. If weather permits, we will have a chance to marvel at this astonishing natural phenomenon.
Later we will visit the Sani Warmi Kichwa Interpretation Center, where a group of Kichwa women will speak of their customs, cuisine and everyday life. They have created the center in order to showcase their culture, and it is a unique opportunity to learn about Amazonian lifestyles along the Napo River. You will also have the opportunity to buy crafts, local products and souvenirs.
After lunch, we will make a stop at the Yakukawsay Kichwa Interpretation Centre, and end with an interesting evening walk through the forest (depending on accessibility, river water levels and weather conditions).
In the morning, disembark the M/V Anakonda and transfer by motorized canoe to Coca (1-hour ride); flight to Quito.
5 day Manatee Program
Morning transfer from your hotel to the airport. Departure by plane from Quito to Francisco de Orellana (Coca), a center of oil production, named in honor to the Spanish Conqueror who discovered the Amazon River in 1541. The Manatee will be awaiting near this river port and guests reach it by motor canoe on the Napo River.
TUESDAY (B,L,D): Terra Firmae Forest, Lakes and Gorges
Morning disembarkation for a stroll on terra firmae forest, towards an interior lagoon on the Yasuni National Park, observing the different ecosystems and accompanied by the Naturalist Guide. The excursion includes the opportunity to swim and fish for the famous piranha, time for rest and lunch. The return to the mighty Napo River is with a native canoe, rowing on a small black water creek or gorge.
Parrots and the Limoncocha Biological Reserve. Early departure by motor canoe to visit a very special corner of the jungle, the clay banks of the river where different species of parrots gather daily to eat this clay that helps them digest the seeds they feed on, it is quite a sight, colorful and noisy! Then, back aboard the Manatee to sail upriver and reach one of the tributaries of the Napo to observe the flora and fauna, the surprising pigmy monkeys and then a trek to the installations of what was the Summer Institute of Linguistics of South America in Limoncocha, currently the only Biological Reserve of Ecuador. Upon reaching the Limoncocha Lake, we will board a canoe and travel along the banks of this marshy ecosystem, where over 470 species of birds have been recorded. There is a possibility to fish for piranha, and a short walk. At night, it is possible to observe the black caimans who inhabit the lagoon, quite an experience... Late return to the Manatee for dinner and overnight.
THURSDAYS (B,L,D): Culture / The Amazonian man / Giants of the Forest
The adventure today begins with a visit to the Museum of Pompeya, a small archaeology sample with Amazonian funeral urns that date back several centuries, as well as utensils and ways of life of the ancient denizens of the rain forest, which can still be seen today. We will also have the opportunity to see the giant tress of the Amazon, like the kapok, which rise over the forest canopy to more than 80 meters high, with huge roots. Guests can also try rowing the canoes on a tranquil tributary of the Napo River up to the house of a native family, to share a moment with them and learn their ways of life.
FRIDAY (B,L): Manatee/Quito
While the Manatee navigates upriver, the guides wrap up our knowledge of the great Amazon region. Then transfer to the airport for the flight to Quito. On arrival transfer to your hotel.
Note: Every night there will be additional activities such as conferences, review of the flora and fauna and night outings.