QUITO & MANATEE AMAZON EXPLORER
8 days / 7 nights
This is a journey that takes you into the endless heart of biodiversity, the Amazon Basin. Given the remote and pristine nature of this jungle, the very best way to explore it is by navigating down the Napo River on a carefully - designed vessel set to explore the Amazon in style.
The M/V Manatee Amazon Explorer allows all 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.
Day 1: Arrival at Quito International Airport – Hotel
- Transfer from airport to the hotel.
Day 2: Middle of the World Monument – Colonial Quito
- 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
- 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: Border with Perú (The Heart of Yasuní)
- 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 the glamping program.
Day 5: Meeting the Community – Activities on Board – Island Exploration
- 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 6: Observation Tower – Limoncocha Biological Reserve
- 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 7: Return to Quito
- 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 at a hotel near the airport in Quito.
Day 8: Hotel – International Airport of Quito
- 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.