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Manatee: 8-Day Cruise

8-Day Oriente Cruise

This epic 8-day adventure cruise takes its passengers deep into both the untamed realms of the Yasuní National Park and the diverse Limoncocha Biological Reserve.

Witness the amazing spectacle of a parrot's clay lick, climb an observation tower to enjoy unique perspectives and encounter the wonderful indigenous people of the Oriente.


The itinerary below is Friday-Friday, but an 8-day itinerary can also be done Monday-Monday. Please note that the itinerary is dependent on the river water level, weather conditions, wildlife behavior, and accessibility to locations, so may vary. All times indicated are approximate, and are also subject to change.

Manatee Amazon cruise day 1

Quito - Coca - Napo River

Departure from Quito in the morning, to board the flight to Francisco de Orellana (Coca), which arrives in Coca after 40 minutes.

From here, transfer to the Napo River port, where a motorized canoe will take you downstream for approximately one and a half hours; during the trip we will provide important information about the region.

Once on board the Manatee, we will start navigating down the Napo River.

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 mysteries of this unique environment and see how life emerges in the dark, right before your eyes.

Manatee Amazon cruise day 2

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.

Manatee Amazon cruise day 3

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).

Manatee Amazon cruise day 4

Indillama & Napo Rivers – Yasuní National Park

Today you have the option of kayaking through one of the tributaries of the Napo River that goes into the Yasuni National Park, the Indillama River. As one of the quietest forms of transport, kayak excursions are great for wildlife observation, as you float with the current near the river banks. Alternatively you can choose to explore in the comfort of a canoe ride in search of wildlife. It’s up to you! 

An evening walk is organized after sunset; it gives us the opportunity to discover the mysteries of this unique environment and see how life emerges in the dark right before your eyes.

Manatee Amazon cruise day 5

Border of Peru (The Heart of Yasuní National Park)

This morning, after a delicious breakfast we will disembark to visit one of the local family homes. During the visit, we will have the opportunity of meeting representative members of the Amazonian community, learning from their culture, talents and ways of life. We will understand how these giving and joyful people live, utilize and protect their resources, and how they cherish the fragility of their ecosystem.

After lunch the Manatee continues navigation to one of the most pristine black-water systems of the Amazon Basin. We take the canoes to explore the smaller tributaries to observe exotic plants, colorful birds and unique wildlife.

Some of the species we hope to see in this black water system include Pink River Dolphins, River Turtles, Black Caimans and the enigmatic Amazon Manatee. Moreover, the vegetation on the shores is home to Red Howler, Black Tamarind and Squirrel Monkeys, Three-toed Sloths, and the Hoatzin - a pre-historic,leaf-eating bird, known locally as 'Stinky Turkey'!

For our more adventurous guests, there is the opportunity to go Glamping for the night. Please enquire for more details.

Manatee Amazon cruise day 6

Meeting The Community - Activities On Board - Monkey Island

This morning after 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. 

In the afternoon, while the Manatee sails upstream, there is time to relax. There is plenty to do on board, though: our chef gives cooking lessons in Ecuadorian and Amazon cuisine; locals give classes in making fiber handicrafts; and the naturalist guides give lectures on a variety of Amazon-related topics such as culture, biodiversity, geography, the oil industry and sustainability.

Later, we will spend some time exploring one of the large islands, where many surprises of the primate variety can be found!

Manatee Amazon cruise day 7

Observation Tower - Limoncocha Biological Reserve 

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 beautiful and fascinating protected area home to more than 478 bird species as well as a variety of monkey species.

After nightfall, we go in search of Black Caiman, before returning to the Manatee for dinner. 

Manatee Amazon cruise day 8

Amazon - Coca - Quito

Today we head back to the city of Coca, to take the morning flight back to Quito. The boat ride upstream will take around two hours.

  • Please note that all cruise itineraries are subject to change due to seasonal weather conditions (and resultant variations in river and tributary water levels) affecting accessibility to locations. Thus navigation routes, times and excursions may need to be modified at the cruise captain’s discretion.
  • Passengers should also be aware that animal sightings cannot be guaranteed due to the unpredictability of wildlife behavior. 

About Rainforest Cruises

Rainforest Cruises is a boutique travel company specializing in Amazon river cruises and tours, providing you with the finest collection of cruises in Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands and Panama. As South American travel experts we have all the advice you need to help you find and book your dream cruise and an unforgettable adventure of a lifetime.


Geri Daniel loved her vacation with Rainforest Cruises.
We had an absolutely fabulous time on the cruise. Thank you again for the trip of a lifetime.
— Geri Daniel, Austin, TX
The Johannson family encounter a sloth on their rainforest cruise.
We had a wonderful time. We were all impressed with the efficiency and organization of the trip from start to finish.
— Jeanette Johannson & Family, USA