Jacaré-Açu: 4-Day Anavilhanas Cruise

Anavilhanas 4-Day  Itinerary Map

4-Day Anavilhanas Archipelago Cruise

This four-day trip really packs a punch offering a wide range of activities, wildlife attractions and cultural interaction, in a short time. Imagine yourself climbing giant Amazon trees, parasailing, swimming with pink dolphins, interacting with the local Tuiuka peoples, while sailing up the Rio Negro to the heart of Anavilhanas. 

It is the world's largest river archipelago and, for obvious reasons, a protected region. Moreover, the Rio Negro has almost no mosquitoes on account of the natural insecticide in its waters!


Please note that the Jacaré-Açu is the sister ship of the smaller Jacaré-Tinga. When a departure has fewer than seven passengers, the Jacaré-Tinga is used.

The itinerary below is dependent on the river water level, weather conditions, wildlife behavior, and accessibility to locations, so may vary.

Jacare-Acu Amazon Cruise Itinerary

Day 1: Manaus - Rio Solimões - Rio Negro

Embarking at 9am from the Tropical Hotel Pier in Manaus, we welcome you aboard the Jacaré-Açu, and give you an introductory briefing about the itinerary and the background to some of the incredible things you will witness.

Our first excursion is in our expedition canoes at Lago Janauary, a rich ecosystem fed by the waters of the Rio Solimões, which is abundant in organic nutrients, and therefore supports an abundance of Amazon birds, reptiles, exotic plants and giant trees. You are likely to see Tucuxi River Dolphins, Pink River Dolphin, Cocoi Heron, Great Egret, Blue-Yellow Macaw, Festive Parrot, Rufescent Tiger-herons, Yellow-rumped Caciques, Crested Oropendola and Jacamars, among many others.

Once back on board, we sail along the Paraná do Paracuuba to the Rio Solimões, enjoying our first lunch on board as we do so.

In the afternoon, we arrive at the famous Meeting of the Waters, where the black Rio Negro meets the clearer water of the Solimões and they run parallel for more than nine miles.

Then it’s time to search for pirarucu, the largest scaled fish in the world, nicknamed the Lion of the Amazon.

While we have dinner on board, the boat sails up the Rio Negro towards the Anavilhanas Archipelago.

Jacare-Acu Amazon Cruise Itinerary

Day 2: Rio Negro - Rio Ariaú - Acajatuba Lake 

At daybreak, we can watch the sun rise over the Tupé Beach settlement, beside the high Rio Negro.

After breakfast on board, we visit the village where we will have the opportunity to witness their well-preserved history, customs, dance and handicrafts. The villagers communicate in two indigenous languages, Tuiuka and Tukano.

Once back on board the Jacaré-Açu, we have lunch and then sail to the Rio Ariaú, a beautiful blackwater river enclosed by giant trees and dense vegetation. Here we have the option of climbing one of the trees - or at least, some of it - using ropes.

We continue to Lago Acajatuba to see the iconic pink Amazon river dolphin up close, in an area where the locals live in floating houses region.

After dinner on board, we set out in our expedition canoes to search for caiman and other nocturnal animals.

Jacare-Acu Amazon Cruise Itinerary

Day 3: Anavilhanas Archipelago 

Upon waking up, we are in the heart of the Anavilhanas River Archipelago - 100,000 hectares of islands and canals within the Rio Negro and a further 260,000 hectares of riverside forest. So, after breakfast, we take to the canoes to explore this stunning region of creeks, lagoons and river beaches. Under the shadow of a Macacarecuia tree, we swim with inflatable tubes in the refreshing waters of the Rio Negro.

Later we'll try our hand at fishing for piranha in the Igarapé of Jaraqui. How many can you catch?

After lunch on board, we visit an Amazon farmhouse in the Santo Antonio community, where the owner will explain his way of life, his ancestry, and the crops he raises, such as manioc and fruit.

We then make a 2-hour guided trek through the rainforest, to spot and learn about the flora and fauna.

Finally, this evening, we set sail though the heart of Anavilhanas National Park and after dinner embark on a night-time aquatic trail full of wildlife.

Jacare-Acu Amazon Cruise Itinerary

Day 4: Anavilhanas - Novo Airão - Manaus

The day starts with the sound of the jungle - and especially its birdlife and primates - waking up. After breakfast on board we will spend the morning on another aquatic trail looking out for the wildlife, especially monkeys, along our way through the archipelago.

We return to civilization and a city tour of Novo Airão, famous for its crafts, artisan workshops, shipyards and pink river dolphins.

After a farewell lunch at the 'Flor do Luar', a floating restaurant in the national park we are transfered by road back to Manaus, arriving at approximately 3.30pm.

  • 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

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