How to Combine an Amazon Cruise with a Galapagos Tour
Planning a trip to Ecuador? A country known for one of the world’s richest natural environments, it may seem like there’s too much to see in just one trip. Consider combining a trip through two of the country’s most impressive sights, and you’ll get a good taste of it: Cruise through the Amazon Rainforest and Galapagos Islands.
The Amazon, home to the greatest biodiversity of flora and fauna in the world, is a feast for the senses. Sail through dense rainforest on a luxury cruise ship as you spot exotic species in the river, or explore the untamed jungle by foot on day excursions. Charles Darwin’s infamous Galapagos Islands offer another look at Ecuador’s unparalleled nature, home to rare and endemic species, such as the Galapagos turtle and blue-footed boobies.
Combining an Amazon Cruise with a Galapagos Cruise in Ecuador
1. Cruising the Amazon
Though Ecuador may be one of the smaller South American countries, it is home to one of the greatest varieties of species, many of which reside within the Amazon. In the river you’ll see exotic animals such as pink dolphins and piranhas swimming alongside you, as monkeys, sloths and a gorgeous array of birds and butterflies move through the dense greenery of the rainforest itself. Try to spot an elusive black caiman, or the king of the jungle: the jaguar.
There are many ways to explore the incredible natural environment of the Amazon rainforest, but there’s no better than on a cruise, sailing the infamous waterways without sacrificing any modern comforts. Take day excursions into the depths of the jungle, kayaking through tributary rivers, wildlife spotting with expert guides, and then return to the comfort of a custom-crafted boutique cruise ship, with a staff waiting ready to assist you.
The two cruises sailing the Ecuadorian Amazon route are the Anakonda and the Manatee.
The only luxury boutique riverboat sailing through the Ecuadorian Amazon, The Anakonda is one of the best cruises for experiencing Ecuador’s natural beauty in complete style and comfort. This 40-passenger riverboat is supremely crafted with sophisticated facilities, and is known for the utmost in customer service and attention to detail.
With 18 suites, 14 standard and 4 deluxe, guests will love returning to their rooms to relax in private Jacuzzi baths on their balconies, or in their personal sitting areas in front of floor-to-ceiling windows with breathtaking views of the passing scenery.
Other on-board facilities include the outdoor observation deck, al fresco cocktail lounge, kayaks for use, knowledgeable travel concierge, gourmet Ecuadorian meals prepared fresh daily, and kid-friendly accommodations (such as child-specific activities, games, and a kid’s meal menu).
Off-board, explore the Amazon on a 4, 5 or 8-day itinerary, sailing through the ‘El Orient’ region, Limoconcha Wildlife Reserve and Yasuni National Park.
Trust expert guides to take you ashore for wildlife spotting, canoeing, trekking and more as you explore Ecuador’s largest protected animal reserve.
With over 20 years’ experience in the Amazon, the Manatee Amazon Explorer is exclusively-designed to provide travelers with all of their favorite comforts while adventurously exploring the Amazon rainforest.
This comfortable boat has many incredible amenities, such as the interior and exterior dining areas, located on the Main Deck and Sun Deck, respectively. Enjoy the well-stocked bar and conference room of the Sun Deck, and the incredible Ecuadorian and international dishes prepared by the on board chefs daily.
Explore off the ship with an incredible variety of excursions, with everything from glamping in luxury tents in the jungle one evening, to kayaking up close to the exotic wildlife, to exploring on foot with some of the Amazon’s most knowledgeable nature guides (complete with informative talks beforehand).
The Manatee will take you past incredible wildlife and bring you close to the local people of the Amazon, as it explores the upper basins of the Napo and Aguarico Rivers around the Limoncocha Wildlife Reserve and Yasuni National Park on 4, 5 and 8-day itineraries to accommodate all budgets and timescales.
2. Cruising the Galapagos
A paradise for any nature lover, the Galapagos Islands offer some of the rarest animal sightings in the world amidst a gorgeous background of volcanic landscapes and glimmering blue waters. And what better way to explore the mythical marine habitat than by sailing through it?
For those seeking comfort and luxury as they uncover the gems of the Galapagos, the only question left is: Which Galapagos cruise is right for you?
With a selection of 9 state-of-the-art catamarans and sail boats to choose from, you’ll have the option to choose the time frame, ship, and itinerary that suites your needs, with exceptionally-trained staff that are prepared to accommodate you.
On every Galapagos cruise, days will be spent sailing on aqua seas, relaxing on the deck or in your custom-built suite, enjoying the sundeck or kicking back in the air conditioning as you approach the next island on the horizon. Naturalist guides will brief you before disembarking the boat, so you know what you can expect from each island before you arrive.
Off the boat, you can expect to see something new every day. Follow your guide on shore to observe each island’s unique species, such as Darwin’s famous finches, sea lions, giant tortoises, and iguanas, amongst many others. Get up close and personal as you hike through the foliage or snorkel along the reefs, connecting with the pristine natural environment in a variety of way that few ever have the chance to. Each itinerary has opportunities for hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, and small boat rides to give you a full range of experiences within the Galapagos Islands.
Make sure to read more about the Anahi, Mary Anne, Galaxy, Cormorant, Petrel, Passion, Ocean Spray, and Nemo II to find the Galapagos Cruise you’ll never forget.
3. How to Get from the Amazon to the Galapagos Islands
Whichever destination you plan to explore first, you can be sure to encounter plenty of convenient options for traveling between your cruises in each destination. We recommend starting off with an Amazon cruise, and then heading over to the Galapagos.
To connect to the Amazon, you will want to fly through the capital city of Quito, Ecuador. From Quito, you’ll fly to Francisco de Orellana (Coca), a 40-minute flight. TAME and Avianca fly this route for a combined total of six times per day. Your Amazon River cruise will depart from Coca.
There are three main airlines operating out of the Galapagos Islands, TAME, Avianca, and LAN, and they run through two different airports (on the islands of Baltra and San Cristobal). To get to the Galapagos from the Amazon, you can fly through the capital city of Quito, Ecuador or Guayaquil. The flight to the islands from Quito is approximately two and a half hours long. From Guayaquil the flight time is around 2 hours.
Combine cruises through the Amazon Rainforest and Galapagos Islands for a unbelievable trip through Ecuador’s most dramatic natural environments that you’ll never forget. Contact us for more information about which Amazon and Galapagos cruises are right for you, and how you can visit them both in one remarkable trip. Ecuador awaits you!