The Yasuní National Park, a wild and untamed realm in the heart of the Ecuadorian Rainforest, and the diverse Limoncocha Biological Reserve, await passengers embarking on this 5-day adventure.
We will climb an observation tower to enjoy unique perspectives of the forest, explore black water rivers and hike along trails, learning about the wonderful flora, fauna, and indigenous people that inhabit this part of the world.
Please note that the itinerary below 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.
DAY 1: MONDAY
Quito – Coca – Napo River
Our adventure begins in the city of Quito, Capital of Ecuador. After taking a short 30- minute flight from Quito to the Amazon city of Coca, located in the Province of San Francisco de Orellana, we will transfer to the dock and board our motorized canoe to begin our journey down the river for approximately an hour and a half, taking in the first sights and sounds of the Amazon. Soon, we will reach the Manatee Amazon Explorer and receive our welcome aboard.
Once we have settled into the Manatee Amazon Explorer, we will be joined by expert local naturalist guides who will provide us with a brief and informative introduction to the Ecuadorian Amazon, after which guests will have their first opportunity to discover the exciting features of our cruise ship: spacious social areas, comfortable suites, and the observation deck that allows us to admire the changing rainforest landscape as we glide down the Napo River.
After dinner, we will plunge straight into the Amazon by going for a nighttime forest walk to observe the forest’s nocturnal activity and experience the thrill of the vivid noises and aromas that come from so much biodiversity.
DAY 2: TUESDAY
Border of Peru (The Heart of Yasuní National Park)
Early in the morning, we will visit Yasuni National Park. This is a pristine and relatively undisturbed region of the Ecuadorian Amazon. Our guests will be pleased to learn that this is the home of the legendary Pink River Dolphin! In this area we can also find anacondas, river turtles and various primate species, as well as the colorful Hoatzin, a unique bird that is known locally as the “Stinky Turkey”.
Later in the afternoon, we will go canoeing in a blackwater lake, home to giant otters and the magnificent, albeit elusive manatee. We will also enjoy a pleasant hike in the Riparian/Gallery Forest, where we have the chance to spot a flock of birds and marvel at the intricate organization of a colony of leaf-cutter ants by the “Giant Fig Tree”, a truly majestic tree that is home to an abundance of wildlife, much like the “Giant Kapok Tree”.
DAY 3: WEDNESDAY
Meeting The Community - Activities On Board - Monkey Island
We will start the day off by visiting an authentic Quechua family located on the banks of the Napo River, where we will receive cultural immersion and the opportunity to learn directly from members of the local community.
We will then board the Manatee Amazon Explorer for lunch and some leisure time as we continue our navigation upstream. At this time, our guests will be delighted with our life onboard experiences and participate in a cooking class with our expert chef who will share recipes and techniques using fresh and organic ingredients to prepare exquisite traditional Ecuadorian food that you can replicate at home. Guests are also invited to try their hands at making traditional handicrafts or enjoy our onboard facilities such as: a relaxing massage at the Rainforest Spa, a spectacular ever-changing scenery view from our Amazon Hut Tub, a delicious cocktail at our Bar and Lounge or just admire the amazing sunset or the stargazing at night from our Observation Deck Lounge. For our more active guest a kayaking activity is the best choice to explore the nature around. There is an option for everyone!
• This day we are pleased to offer a camping program for our adventurous guests which is an alternative manner to explore this enchanting destination (Optional activity for the 5 & 8 days Itinerary).
DAY 4: THURSDAY
Observation Tower - Limoncocha Biological Reserve
Our guests can relax and enjoy the Manatee Amazon Explorer during the morning and disembark to explore the nearby forest for a walk to discover a myriad of different animals and plant species that can only be found in the Amazon basin.
In the afternoon, we will visit a canopy tower, built against a giant Kapok tree. The perspective at the top of this observation tower is truly glorious, looming above the lush treetops and providing a view of the sheer vastness of the Amazon Basin.
In the evening, we will bravely venture into the river on a canoe to search for black caimans with the help of our flashlights.
DAY 5: FRIDAY
Amazon - Coca - Quito
This is where our adventure ends! Enjoy the last part of our return journey onboard and then disembark the Manatee Amazon Explorer to take the motorized canoe back to Coca (one-and-a-half-hour ride).
- 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.