MANATEE AMAZON RIVER EXPLORER

Manatee Amazon Explorer is fully equipped and maintained in order to handle the most challenging conditions and circumstances, and is manned by experienced and conscientious expedition staff and crew.  Although expedition cruising by its very nature is characterized as adventurous, the safety of our staff and passengers is of paramount importance to us.The canoes used for daily shore landings are rugged and versatile and are operated responsibly by experienced personnel. Onboard you will be fully briefed on all pertinent safety issues and concerns, as well as our environmental policy; passengers also receive appropriate and detailed briefings before each landing.

The M/V Manatee Amazon Explorer allows our guests to experience unparalleled adventures in total comfort. Journey with us down freshwater rivers, both whitewater and black water, and encounter different Amazonian ecosystems, including the possibility to observe fascinating animals such as pink river dolphins, manatees, caimans and piranhas, as well as hundreds of native bird and primate species.

ITINERARIES

4D/3N5D/4N8D/7N
Friday to MondayMonday to FridayFriday to Friday

CRUISE ACTIVITIES

Birdwatching

There is no need to embellish the marvelous reality of Amazonia in terms of birds. With over 580 recorded species, including raucous parrots, glorious eagles, patterned herons, blindingly bright tanagers and cotingas, peculiarly unique hoatzins and umbrellabirds —and everything in between —birds are always a highlight of neotropical rainforests. Ecuadorian Amazonia, as we’ve mentioned before, is quite attractive because of its accessibility… whereas other parts of Amazonian South America may take a day or more to actually reach, here, the wait to find yourself birding in some of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth is much shorter! But one of the great things about birding with us at Manatee, is the fact that we can travel across the gamut of Amazonian ecosystems during a single trip, from the flooded forests of the Peruvian Border, the lake habitats of Limoncocha and Pañacocha, and extremely remote areas near the Peruvian border, to the record-breaking ever-diverse Yasuní, giving you the most complete version possible of bird life in the Ecuadorian Amazon Basin. We walk forests, climb observation towers, hide behind blinds, or silently canoe inside black water streams and out in open blackwater lakes, seeking out as many birds as possible: you’ll be amazed at the variety, beauty and fascinating singularities of hundreds of different species.

Jungle Hikes

A lot goes on on the ground in the rainforest. So much, we couldn’t write enough books about it to describe it all. This realm, the easiest realm to actually explore inside jungle habitats, is so teeming in life not even the most expert scientists could wish to identify it all. Some creatures are perfectly camouflaged, like walking sticks, sphinx moths, dried-leaf katydids, and glass frogs, others are quite the opposite, bright and perky like rainbow katydids, orchid bees, Morpho butterflies or poison-arrow frogs… antbirds closely following army ants, leafcutter ants creating enormous highways from one point of the forest to another, sculptural buttress roots towering above the tallest humans, the most unbelievable colors and shapes of fungi growing on fallen tree trunks… We walk and hike the rainforests under towering trees —as towering as a city full of skyscrapers—, the light trickling down in layers, smelling the aromas of a million different plants, feeling the presence of innumerable creatures filling every corner of the forest. The understory is a world within itself… Every plant holds a universe. Imagine every tree… imagine the entire forest… We program different walks for both inside forest exploration or lounging riverbanks and lakes, on longer, shorter, harder or easier trails, depending on interest or difficulty level, together with guides that enlighten us with their knowledge on life in the forest, the faunal communities that inhabit them, the medicinal plants that grow inside them, and much more…

Observation Tower

Observation towers are spectacular vantage points that give us a sense of the forest’s overall scale. We climb several hundred steps (over 50 meters) up one of the enormous emergent trees traveling through the vertical stratification created by the forest’s spectacular height and diversity. We move towards the light, reaching the subcanopy and later the canopy, noticing the different biological realities of each level, and then higher still, above the tree tops to a most spectacular view from where one can spot nesting birds, undulating mountain ridges, or monkeys swinging from trees. There is amazing activity up in this “neck of the woods”. Scientists have explored little of these upper areas of the forest, mainly because of the difficulty of getting to them: which means thousands upon thousands of hectares of undiscovered territory.

Canoe Excursions

Perhaps the closest sensation to penetrating paradise when visiting the Amazon Basin takes place on canoe, inching down a black-water stream with the forest gyrating above you in a million sounds… These waters are full of vitamins and minerals, and like tea, they obtain their color from the vegetation that falls in them. You may suddenly surprise a pair of macaws preening each other, monkeys cackling while they feed or find enormous 2-meter long Giant Otters swimming up a creek with the entire family. The ancient inhabitants of these lands mastered the region’s waterways, surely the most efficient way to transport themselves and their necessities to and from their homes and communes, and you will be able to experience, with them, the inspiring, ageless practice of paddling in the midst of forest life. At night you can seek out caiman and in the day the spectacular Pink River Dolphins or our very emblem, the elusive Manatee… For special, remote exploration, we use motorized canoes to get to and back from the site in time to unwind and dine onboard.

  • Includes:
    • Transportation to and from Coca airport and M/V Manatee Amazon Explorer
    • Onboard Accommodation
    • Scheduled visits according to the itinerary with a certified nature guide
    • Unlimited supply of hot water, coffee and tea
    • All meals on board
  • Not Include:
    • Transportation to and from Quito airport.
    • Air Ticket Quito – Coca – Quito ($200 per person). (The rates include private & personalized assistance for Quito – Coca – Quito flights at both airports. Transfers to/ from the vessels when arriving on our flights. Exclusive access to our VIP Lounge (before and after the cruise), with modern and well-equipped facilities, where we will provide our guests with complementary coffee, tea, water and light snacks)

      *Subject to change without notice.

    • Admission to local communities, natural reserves and observation towers ($70 per person for 4&5-day cruises / $80 per person for 8-day cruises)

      *Subject to change without notice.

    • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
    • Gratuities
    • Wi-Fi Internet (Due to the remote area of navigation, satellite internet is only available in certain zones and during certain times.  Should our guests require this, we are able to offer it for the price of $15 for the entire duration of the cruise).
    • Personal Expenses
    • Other services not specified in the program
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