This little-populated section of the Rio Negro - between Novo Airão and Rio Branco - includes some of the most beautiful and diverse locations in the whole of Amazonia. The Rio Branco contains a lot of organic sediment, which provides the basis for the rich flora and fauna of the area; and has created the many river islands of the Anavilhanas Archipelago.
Moreover, the left bank of the Rio Negro, around the Rio Apuaú, is a plateau, which has given rise to a number of stunning cataracts, as the water descends to the main waterways. This eight-day itinerary is ideal, then, for those looking to explore this magical region, in a comfortable riverboat, with plenty of contact with nature and adventure opportunities, such as swimming, canoeing, fishing and camping.
Please note that the Jacaré-Açu is the sister ship of the smaller Jacaré-Tinga. When a departure has fewer than eight 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.
Day 1: Manaus - Novo Airão - Anavilhanas
This morning at 9am we pick you up from your hotel or the airport in an air-conditioned van, and drive to the riverside town of Novo Airão. We arrive here at lunch time, and give you a briefing on the Amazon's biology, history and the things you may see, along the way.
After boarding the Jacaré-Açu, we start sailing through the spectacular Anavilhanas Archipelago while enjoying our first delicious lunch on board.
In the afternoon, we take a ride on the motorised canoes through the islands and lagoons of the archipelago. This is an area rich in wildlife, and we hope to see two species of river dolphin, as well as multiple species of birds, such as herons, egrets, macaws, parrots, caciques, oropendolas and jacamars
To cool off, there is the chance to jump overboard for a refreshing swim in the Rio Negro.
Once back on the boat, we set sail to the Rio Apuaú, as we have dinner and then spend our first night in the comfortable cabins.
Day 2: Rio Apuaú: Waterfalls & Camping
This morning, we awake in the beautiful Apuaú region. After breakfast, we take the motorised skiffs up Içana Creek, until we reach a series of waterfalls. Here we can swim, dive and enjoy the magnificent setting.
Lunch is a barbecue of grilled fish and side dishes, followed by a welcome nap in a hammock. Then, we start hiking through the primary rainforest, for about an hour and a half, to the Trovão Creek Waterfall. The boat crew will have already set up the campsite here, and so the rest of the afternoon can be spent in the natural pools.
Dinner is taken at the camp, around the fire, as we listen to stories and folklore from caboclo culture. We have the choice of sleeping in a tent or a hammock.
Day 3: Rio Apuaú: Waterfalls
We awake to the sound of the jungle coming to life, and have time to refresh ourselves once again in the pools and waterfalls.
After breakfast at the camp, we can choose how to return to the Jacaré-Açu: we can either take the motorised canoes all the way down Trovão Creek; or we can hike to Içana Creek, where we canoe downstream using the force of the current to propel us.
Once back on board the boat, we sail back to the Rio Negro, and we have the whole of the afternoon and evening to relax on board.
Day 4: Anavilhanas National Park
We awake this morning at the Anavilhanas National Park Ranger Station #2, which is located in terra firme rainforest. From here, we will visit an old orchard, which is a good place to spot primates and agoutis.
Once back at the boat, we continue sailing to the northern limit of the Park.
In the late afternoon, we set out in our expedition canoes to do some piranha fishing and then search for caiman which are particularly prevalent and sizable in this area.
Day 5: Rio Jauaperi & Caioé Traditional Community
The Jauaperi River is a black water river, but its flora and fauna shows some elements of a brown water ecosystem, owing to its proximity to the Rio Branco. A feature of this environment is the bird life, including the pre-historic hoatzin ... also known as the 'stinkbird', on account of its unsavoury odour, a result of its digestive system!
Here we use the canoes to explore the area and its wildlife, gather wild fruits and do a spot of fishing.
In the afternoon we get the opportunity to participate in a cultural exchange with the nearby Caioé community, a fascinating insight into their traditions and way of life.
After dinner on board, we set out in our expedition canoes to search for caiman and other nocturnal animals.
Day 6: Good Water Igarapé & Monkeys’ Igapó
Early in the morning we begin an aquatic trail through the Monkeys' Igapó, a large forest area flooded by the Jauaperi River, where we will scan the treetops in search of arboreal monkeys that like to feed here. Keep your eyes peeled for the Black Bearded Saki, Squirrel Monkey, Robust Capuchin monkey and the Howler monkey, all of which can commonly be spotted.
We continue our expedition on the Good Water Igarapé, a creek with crystal clean water, just perfect for an underwater snorkeling adventure.
In the afternoon we make our way to the Macuxi Lake, where, as well as the abundant wildlife, we can spot the giant and incredible Victoria Amazonica water lillies.
Day 7: Rio Branco & Moura Village
We return to the Rio Negro, today, in the area near the mouth of the Rio Branco. Here we stop at the village of Moura to stock up on supplies, and then we spend time at Tiao River Beach, which is an ideal place for swimming and exploring, followed by a beach barbecue and a nap in a hammock.
After lunch, we visit a giant kapok tree, beside the Rio Branco, that is over 500 years old.
The rest of the day is spent on board, as we sail back down the Rio Negro: a chance to relax, eat, talk about what we've seen and enjoy the views passing by from the sun deck.
We continue sailing through the night.
Day 8: Novo Airão
We have breakfast on board and then take a city tour of Novo Airão to see the ship-building, the craftsmanship and other attractions of this Amazon River town. Pink river dolphins can regularly be seen in the river near the town.
We have a farewell lunch on board, before taking the van 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.