QUITO & MANATEE AMAZON EXPLORER
11 days / 10 nights (Fri-Fri / Mon-Mon)
The Amazon Basin is a magnificent place full of treasures waiting to be discovered by the passengers of the Manatee Amazon Explorer. With this navigation experience, you literally dive into the Rainforest, where we will be marveled by its beauty and biodiversity.
The number of wildlife, flora and fauna species that inhabit this environment is mesmerizing. Everything from our newly renovated, state-of-the-art vessel, to our passionate and experienced travel guides make this an unforgettable experience. As detailed below, the journey begins and ends at El Coca. From dolphins to manatees, every kilometer that we navigate through the Napo River reminds us why thousands of guests come to visit us each year. Don’t wait? Join us aboard the New M/V Manatee Amazon Explorer!
Day 1: Arrival at Quito International Airport – Hotel (Wed)
- Transfer from airport to the hotel.
Day 2: Middle of the World Monument – Colonial Quito (Thu)
- Departing from the hotel early in the morning, we begin the tour driving to the north of the city to visit the Equatorial monument “Mitad del Mundo” (Middle of the World), situated at 0o0’0” latitude where the French Geodesic Expedition according to planet calculations, designated the center of the world. Visit the Intiñán Museum. After this visit, we will drive back to downtown Quito, making a stop at the Botanical Garden, a project for protection, conservancy and education for Andean flora of Ecuador.
- For lunch, we will have a typical delicious menu, and then we will go to visit the colonial site of Quito and its churches and cathedrals: the gothic Basilica, the Compañía de Jesús, the Convent of San Francisco, among others. We will visit the Plaza Grande where is located the Presidential Palace, the Major’s Office, the Cathedral, and the Archbishop Palace. Back to the hotel.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch
Day 3: Quito – Coca – Napo River – Yasuní National Park (Fri)
- 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 hour and a half, 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.
Day 4: Visiting the Pañacocha Biological Corridor (Sat)
- 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.
Day 5: Parrots’ Clay Licks – Sani Warmi & Yasuní National Park (Sun)
- 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).
Day 6: Indillama & Napo Rivers – Yasuní National Park (Mon)
- In this day, you have the option to kayak trough one of the affluents of the Napo River that goes into the Yasuní National Park, the Indillama River. Great excursions for wildlife observation, kayaks are great silent vehicles to flow down river. Or you can choose to go tin a canoe ride in search of more wildlife through the Napo River. It’s up to you!
Day 7: Border with Perú (The Heart of Yasuní) (Tue)
- After a delicious breakfast, we disembark on land for our first daylight close-and-personal tropical rainforest experience, where we will learn about the relationship between plants and animals while closely watching out for samples of Amazonia’s fascinating biodiversity at every turn. After lunch, the M/V Manatee navigates to one of the most pristine and little explored sections of Ecuadorian Amazonia, home to the legendary pink river dolphin, black caiman and anaconda. We may also find river turtles and various species of monkeys, as well as the primitive Hoatzin, a one-of-a-kind bird locally known as "the Stinky Turkey". The only way to actually visit this flooded ecosystem is by canoe, a ride that will reveal the beauty of a lush jungle world.
- For our more adventurous passengers, please inquire about our "Glamping" program.
Day 8: Meeting the Community – Activities on Board – Island Exploration (Wed)
- Breakfast on board. We visit a school located on the banks of the Napo River, where we will have the opportunity to interact with children of the area and learn about the educational system of a remote jungle community in Ecuador.
- We return on board the M/V Manatee for lunch and a moment to relax while we navigate upstream. We will offer a lecture and documentary screening, and if time permits, learn about (and make) typical handicrafts of the area. In the afternoon, we explore one of the largest river islands of the Napo River.
Day 9: Observation Tower – Limoncocha Biological Reserve (Thu)
- In the morning after breakfast, visit an observation tower 100-feet high, built against a giant kapok tree. From the top of the tower, we will be blessed with this unique perspective of the forest, looming over the treetops and the greatness of the Amazon Basin.
- In the afternoon, we visit Limoncocha Biological Reserve, a fascinating protected area where more than 478 bird species and several monkey species have been recorded. This activity will extend into the evening, when we will have a chance to spot black caiman with the help of our flashlights. Return to the M/V Manatee for dinner.
Day 10: Return to Quito (Fri)
- In the morning, disembark the M/V Manatee and transfer by motorized canoe to Coca (1 hour and a half ride); flight to Quito. Accommodation in a hotel near the airport of Quito.
Day 11: Hotel – International Airport of Quito (Sat)
- Transport from the hotel to the International Airport Mariscal Sucre of Quito. End of the tour.
IMPORTANT: Please note the detailed itinerary specified above is an example of the operation; due to technical and operational factors, Manatee Amazon Explorer reserves the right to change it without previous notice.