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.
Today you have the option to kayak trough one of the Napo River’s effluents that goes into the Yasuni National Park, the Indillama River. Great excursions for wildlife observation, kayaks are great silent vehicles to flow down river.
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.
The detailed itinerary above is a standard model of our operation. We intend to offer everything as planned, but it is important to note depending on technical or operational difficulties beyond our control, the M/V Manatee Amazon Cruise reserves the right to modify the itinerary without notice.
The Manatee Amazon Explorer with more than 10 years of experience navigating through the Napo River able to take up to 30 passengers into the most pristine areas of the Ecuadorian Amazon, where they are able to experience the natural wonders of wildlife undisturbed by modern life.
Our itineraries have been customized by our CEO, Raul Garcia, who was Capitan of the Orellana Flotel for over 15 years. No one, aside from locals, knows the area better than Raul, which is why we are able to offer perfectly-balanced itineraries including onboard activities such as Ecuadorian cooking classes, how to make Ecuadorian handicrafts, napkin and towel folding, along with Amazon excursions during the day and night,combined with recreational activities like kayaking and canoeing, swimming, bird watching, and observation tower visits, to name just a few! All activities are led by our local nature guides who have been in the Amazon cruising business for over 20 years.
Our 30 guests aboard the 98.5 foot-long M/V Manatee Amazon Explorermay enjoy a wide variety of wine and fine dining, complete with the all-inclusive comfort of a first class hotel. Our 14 cabins are fully equipped with all necessary commodities. The observation deck and our al fresco lounge are ideal places to have a cocktail, to relax with a good book or simply enjoy the spectacular view. Travelers may book four, five, or eight-day cruises. All departures are guaranteed.
The Manatee Amazon Explorer was the first ship originally designed for cruising on the Napo River. Its 14 cabins, each with an area of 97 square feet, are equipped with air conditioning and 24-hour electricity, each with a private bathroom with hot water and all necessary amenities, allowing our guests to enjoy their cruise with nothing to worry about.
Passengers can socialize in the dining room, bar, observation deck, and in the outdoor lounge. There is also a small boutique where one can purchase souvenirs, or perhaps some vanity products that may have been left behind at home. Our guests will be assisted by our 15-person crew, including a purser, paramedic, three skilled nature guides, and 3 local guides.
Our guests may choose from four, five and eight-day itineraries, each one of them with spectacular highlights that are sure to make every passenger’s trip a memorable experience. On our 8D/7N itinerary, we visit Yasuni National Park, the CuyabenoWildlife reserve, and the Limoncocha and Pañacocha biological corridors, giving our passengers the opportunity to connect with the Ecuadorian Amazon and experience its wonders.
Travelers on board the Manatee Amazon Explorer will enjoy a wide variety of national and international fusion cuisine. We take traditional and well-known cuisine from all over the world and adapt it using fresh, local products. It’s not unusual for our guests to enjoy unique fare such as Quinoa Risotto or fish prepared in coconut sauce.
The Manatee Amazon Explorer operates year round. . Every trip is unique, based on the changing seasons. During the high water season, when the water levels of rivers and inlets grow, launch boats are able to venture deeper into the flooded forest. During the low water season, the river recedes to form beautiful sandy river beaches.
The Manatee Amazon Explorer departs from the port city of El Coca, Ecuador. Cocahas 3 daily flights from Quito, Ecuador’s capital. The flights are 45 minutes long.
850 College Street,
Toronto, ON M6H 1A2
Monday to Friday
9:30am – 5:30pm