Duration: 8 Days
Type: Luxury Cruiser Ecuador
Destinations: Quito, Coca, Napo River, Yasuní National Park, Limoncocha Biological Reserve, The Pañacocha, Sani Warmi
First class River Cruiser Ecuador.
This is a journey that takes us into the endless heart of biodiversity, which extends its fabulous prism of life throughout the Amazon Basin. As detailed below, the very nature of this jungle realm teaches us that the best way to explore it is through a unique means of transportation: by navigating down the river on a fabulous, state-of-the-art vessel set to explore this truly unique environment.
The inspiring adventure will provide many unexpected, astonishing encounters. We will discover the Yasuní (the largest of Ecuador’s continental National Parks), a wild and untamed realm in the heart of the Ecuadorian Rainforest. We will climb observation towers to enjoy unique perspectives of the forest and explore black water rivers escorted by otters and turtles. We will hike trails learning about the wonderful flora that makes up the eternal green of Ecuadorian Amazonia.
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 ½ hour, to board the M/V MANATEE 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 Manatee, 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.
After a delicious breakfast, we disembark on land for our first daylight close-and-personal tropical rainforest experience, where we will learn about the relationship between plants and animals while closely watching out for samples of Amazonia’s fascinating biodiversity at every turn. After lunch, the M/V Manatee navigates to one of the most pristine and little explored sections of Ecuadorian Amazonia, home to the legendary pink river dolphin, black caiman, and anaconda.
We may also find river turtles and various species of monkeys, as well as the primitive Hoatzin, a one-of-a-kind bird locally known as “the Stinky Turkey”. The only way to actually visit this flooded ecosystem is by canoe, a ride that will reveal the beauty of a lush jungle world. For our more adventurous passengers, please inquire about our glamping program.
Breakfast on board. We visit a school located on the banks of the Napo River, where we will have the opportunity to interact with children of the area and learn about the educational system of a remote jungle community in Ecuador. We return on board the M/V Manatee for lunch and a moment to relax while we navigate upstream.
We will offer a lecture and documentary screening, and if time permits, learn about (and make) typical handicrafts of the area. In the afternoon, we explore one of the largest river islands of the Napo River.
Breakfast on board. In the morning after breakfast, visit an observation tower 100-feet high, built against a giant kapok tree. From the top of the tower, we will be blessed with this unique perspective of the forest, looming over the treetops and the greatness of the Amazon Basin.
In the afternoon, we visit Limoncocha Biological Reserve, a fascinating protected area where more than 478 bird species and several monkey species have been recorded. This activity will extend into the evening when we will have a chance to spot black caiman with the help of our flashlights. Return to the M/V Manatee for dinner.
On this day you have the option to kayak trough one of the affluents of the Napo River that goes into the Yasuni National Park, the Indillama River. Great excursions for wildlife observation, kayaks are a great silent vehicle to flow downriver. Or you can choose to go in a canoe ride in search of more wildlife through the Napo River. It’s up to you!
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.
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 Manatee and transfer by motorized canoe to Coca (1 ½ hour ride); flight to Quito.
NOTE: Please note the detailed itinerary specified above is an example of our operation, due to technical and operational factors; Manatee Amazon Explorer reserves the right to change it without previous notice.
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