Explore the Amazon
This is a journey that takes us into the endless heart of biodiversity, which extends its fabulous prism of life throughout the Amazon Basin. As detailed below, the very nature of this jungle realm teaches us that the best way to explore it is through a unique means of transportation: by navigating down the river on a fabulous, state-of-the-art vessel set to explore this truly unique environment. The inspiring adventure will provide many unexpected, astonishing encounters. We will discover the Yasuní (the largest of Ecuador’s continental National Parks), a wild and untamed realm in the heart of the Ecuadorian Rainforest. We will climb observation towers to enjoy unique perspectives of the forest and explore black water rivers escorted by otters and turtles. We will hike trails learning about the wonderful flora that makes up the eternal green of Ecuadorian Amazonia.
QUITO – COCA – NAPO RIVER – YASUNÍ NATIONAL PARK
Departure from Quito. A short 30-minute flight takes us to the frontier town of Coca (Francisco de Orellana) – and transfer to the dock, where we will embark on a motorized canoe and navigate down river about 1 ½ hour, to board the M/V MANATEE AMAZON EXPLORER. Throughout the journey we have a chance to admire the rainforest landscape and banks of the great Napo River.
Immediately after boarding the M/V Manatee, we continue navigating downstream. 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 forest’s nocturnal activity and listen to the incessant sounds of nature.
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.
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).
In the morning, disembark the M/V Manatee and transfer by motorized canoe to Coca (1 ½ hour ride) – flight to Quito.