Manatee Rainforest Cruise offers the following itineraries

  • 8 day itineraries: Starts on Mondays & on Fridays
  • 5 day itineraries: Monday through Friday
  • 4 day itineraries: Friday through Monday

Day 1 - Friday: Arrival to Manatee Amazon Cruise

Departure from Quito. A short 30-minute flight takes us to the frontier town of Coca and transfer to the dock, where we will embark on a motorized canoe and navigate down river about 1 hour, to board the MANATEE AMAZON CRUISE. Throughout the journey, we have a chance to admire the rainforest landscape and banks of the great Napo River. Immediately after boarding the Manatee cruise, we continue navigating downstream. 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 2 - Saturday: Visit the Pañacocha Forest

Inside of the Amazon Rainforest, 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.

Day 3 - Sunday: Clay Lick & Amazonian communities

Breakfast on board. We set out to visit one of the most amazing spectacles this side of western Ecuadorian Amazon known as parrot licks, these unique pools of mud become rich in minerals and attract hundreds of parrots, parakeets and amazons every day. 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 4 - Monday: Indillama River Exploration

Today you have the option to kayak through one of the Napo River’s effluents that goes into the Yasuni National Park, the Indillama River. Great excursions for wildlife observation, kayaks are great silent vehicles to flow down river. Amazing chances to see wildlife! Or you can choose to go in a canoe ride in search of more wildlife through the Napo River. It’s up to you! There is always the chance to stay on the boat to enjoy the luxury facilities as well.

Day 5 - Tuesday: Deep Jungle Border with Peru

After a delicious breakfast, we disembark on land for our first daylight close-and- personal rainforest experience, where we will learn about the relationship between plants and animals while watching out for samples of Amazonia’s fascinating biodiversity at every turn. After lunch, we navigate to one of the most pristine and little explored sections of Ecuadorian Amazon forest, home to the legendary pink river dolphin, black caiman and anaconda. The only way to actually visit this flooded ecosystem is by canoe, a ride that will reveal the beauty of a lush jungle world.

Day 6 - Wednesday: Local Community Visit

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 Anakonda 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 7 - Thursday: Limoncocha Reserve

Breakfast on board. 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 Amazon rainforest, looming over the treetops and the Amazon Basin. In the afternoon, we visit Limoncocha Biological Reserve, 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 Anakonda for dinner.

Day 8 - Friday: Departure Day

Last morning in the middle of the forest get ready to go back to Coca. We will have a great jungle breakfast to start the day of travelling. Say your last goodbyes to the crew and guides and get on the canoe for the 2 hours ride back to Coca town. On the way don't forget to have your camera, you might still get to see more wildlife and of course the last photos of the beautiful landscapes. We will drop you off at the airport right on time for your flight back to Quito, you will take life-lasting memories from this amazing Amazon Rainforest Tour!

Manatee Rainforest Cruise Activities

Cooking lessons

Our guests will be delighted with our life onboard activities and participate in a cooking lesson 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. The richness of the soil in Ecuador and especially in the Amazon Rainforest, will provide tasty ingredients and the knowledge of the onboard chefs will transform them into spectacular dishes ready to meet the highest standards of the pickiest foodie.

Camping experience

The Manatee Amazon Cruise has selected the very best campsite – the Pañacocha Protected Forest Reserve! Pañacocha is classified as a Humid Tropical Forest, with abundant wildlife throughout, including 9 species of primates, 500 bird species and more than 100 fish species. Our guests will enjoy their overnight stay in special huts near the Pañacocha Lagoon. Recharge your spirit with the power of nature. We invite you to take advantage of your trip to this region of the world and escape for an unforgettable night of Camping in the Amazon. We promise you – there is nothing like it!

Wildlife observation

The 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. The itineraries include visits to observation towers, where, above the top of a thousand trees guests will have panoramic views of the whole forest.

Pink dolphin encounters

On board the Manatee Amazon cruise guests will visit the Yasuní National Park, 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. The tour guides leading the expedition will provide you with amazing information about the National park as well as the wildlife of the area.

Manatee Rainforest Cruise Travel Tips and Resources

Read our Amazon Rainforest Trip Planning Guides for information and tips on visiting the Ecuadorian Amazon Basin and on taking the perfect tour with Manatee Amazon Cruise

4 Days 5 Days 8 Days
Upper or Main Deck per person (2024 Prices)
$2,294 $2,865 $4,585
Deluxe Cabins per person (2024 Prices)
$2,871 $3,581 $5,728

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