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THE MANATEE AMAZON EXPLORER

Welcome to the Amazon region of Ecuador. Now you can really enjoy an adventure deep in the Amazon with comfort and safety aboard the new River Boat "The Manatee". It accommodates 30 passengers in  double bedded cabins.

Below you will find sample  itineraries for  4, 5 and 8 days.  Departures are on Mondays and Fridays.


ITINERARIES:

 

4 days/3 nights

 

DAY 1 - FRIDAY : QUITO – COCA – NAPO RIVER – YASUNÍ NATIONAL PARK
Morning departure from Quito (a short 30-minutes flight) arriving at the city of Coca (Francisco de Orellana); transfer to the Río Napo port; journey by motorized canoe downstream (ninety minutes) to board the M/V MANATEE, all the while observing the ever-changing forest-clad riverbanks of the silty-brown headwaters of the Amazon River. Soon after boarding, the M/V Manatee will start navigating downstream, a great opportunity for observing from our sundeck the amazing flora and fauna of the region. After lunch, an initial outing on one of our trails will introduce you to the wonders of the tropical rainforest, an easy walk that will bring you to your first encounters with the Amazon Basin. After dinner, enjoy an optional nocturnal walk into the forest to discover the mysteries of this unique environment and see how life emerges in the dark right before your eyes.
DAY 2 - SATURDAY: VISITING THE 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.
DAY 3 - SUNDAY: KURY MUYU & PARROT CLAY LICK
Breakfast served on board. Today we will enjoy a cultural & ethnic encounter with the locals. We will spend some time at one of the forest communities to learn about their everyday lives. Take advantage to shop for local handcrafts and souvenirs. Later we head over to the Parrot Clay licks, a great place to witness one of the most exciting wildlife spectacles in Amazonia.
After lunch, explore one of our local jungle trails as we head to a most unique water museum, where you will learn about many of the creatures that inhabit this environment. After the visit, conditions permitting, paddle your way downstream back to the Napo and enjoy more opportunities to observe wildlife.
DAY 4 - MONDAY: RETURNING HOME
Early departure from the Manatee and transfer back to Coca (two-hour canoe ride); return flight to Quito.

 

 

5 days/4 nights
DAY 01 MONDAY
Quito / Manatee Amazon Explorer
Depart from Quito in the morning (11:00), flight to Francisco de Orellana (Coca), arriving to Coca at around 12:00. Transfer to the Napo River port then the motorized canoe ride downstream will be approximately one hour and 30 minutes. Once aboard the Manatee Amazon Explorer will start navigating downstream. The courteous crew will attend to your needs and the guides will introduce you to the surprising Amazon world, its people, more than 600 species of birds, and hundreds of botanical wonders. The Manatee sails along different ecosystems and important natural reserves such as the Yasuní National Park and the Limoncocha Biological Reserve.

DAY 02 TUESDAY
Terra Firmae Forest, Lakes and Gorges
Morning disembarkation for a stroll on terra firma forest, towards an internal lagoon on the Yasuní National Park, observing the different ecosystems and accompanied by the naturalist guide. The excursion includes the opportunity to swim and fish for the famous piranha, time to rest and lunch. The return to the mighty Napo River will be on board a native canoe, rowing along a small black water creek or gorge.

DAY 03 WEDNESDAY
Parrots and the Limoncocha Biological Reserve
Early departure by motor canoe to visit a very special corner of the jungle, the clay banks of the river where different species of parrots gather daily to eat this clay that helps them digest the seeds they feed on, it is quite a sight, colorful and noisy! Then, back aboard the Manatee to sail upriver and reach one of the tributaries of the Napo to observe the flora and fauna, the surprising pygmy monkeys and then a trek to the facilities of what used to be South America's Summer Institute of Linguistics in Limoncocha, currently the only Biological Reserve of Ecuador.

Upon reaching the Limoncocha Lake, we will board a canoe and travel along the banks of this marshy ecosystem, where over 470 species of birds have been recorded. There is a possibility to fish for piranha, and for a short walk. At night, it is possible to observe the black caimans that inhabit the lagoon; quite an experience... Late return to the Manatee for dinner and overnight.

DAY 04 THURSDAY
Culture / The Amazonian man / Giants of the Forest
The adventure today begins with a visit to the Museum of Pompeya, a small archaeological sample with Amazonian funeral urns that date back several centuries, as well as utensils and ways of life of the ancient denizens of the rain forest, which can still be seen today. We will also have the opportunity to see the giant trees of the Amazon, like the kapok, which rises over the forest canopy to more than 40 meters high, with huge, protruding roots. Guests can also try rowing the canoes on a tranquil tributary of the Napo River up to the house of a native family, to share a moment with them and learn their ways of life.

DAY 5 FRIDAY
The Return
While the Manatee navigates upriver, the guides wrap up our knowledge of the great Amazon region. Then transfer to the airport for the flight to Quito.

MANATEE 2015 COST PER PERSON:

 

 DBL  TRP  SGL  Children

5 days

1194 1016 1792 598

4 days

956 812 1433 478

8 days

1915 1624 2867 956

Plus: local airfare Quito/Coca/Quito ...about $200 per person ($90 child) and National Park entrance fees of $50 per person for the 4 and 3 night cruise ($60 for the 8 day trip) .

Technical Specifications

Type of vessel: River motor yacht
Capacity: 30 passengers, 12 crew
Length: 27 meters (89.1 feet) Beam: 7 meters (23.1
feet)
Speed: 12 knots
Electricity: 110 and 220 volts, 60 hertz
Generators: 2 Iveco, 60 kw
Engines: 2 John Deere, 250 HP each
Safety: Fire detectors, life jackets, 2 life boats
Decks: Main deck, Cabin deck, Sun deck
Navigation equipment: Furuno GPS, deep sounder and radar
Communications: VHF, HF, satellite phone
Facilities: Bar, restaurant, boutique, guest laundry, air conditioning, boots and rain ponchos.
Crew: 12 (include Naturalist Guide) Yasuní River Amazon Rain Forest Excursion


 

 

PROGRAM EIGHT DAYS - SEVEN NIGHTS

Special departures for Groups

Day 1
Quito – Coca – Yasuní National Park
Depart from Quito in the morning (8:30 am), flight to Francisco de Orellana (Coca), arriving to Coca at around 09:00. Transfer to the Napo River port then the motorized canoe ride downstream will be approximately two hours, during the trip we will provide of a box lunch and important information about the region. Once on board the Manatee Amazon Explorer will start navigating down the Napo River for the whole afternoon. At night our first live experience with the Ecuadorian Amazon basin will begin (night walk or canoe ride will depend on the river level, climatic conditions, wildlife behavior and accessibility to a location).

Day 2
Visiting the Yasuní National Park
On the second day of our cruise, we will explore one of the fantastic tributaries of the Napo River that comes from the core of the Yasuní National Park. At this river, we will navigate upstream in search of the evasive Giant River Otter, the mysterious Jaguar and the timid Spider Monkey. After our return from the excursion, the manatee will continue its navigation to arrive near the international boundary with Peru. At night, there will be an excursion into the Yasuní N.P. to look for large rodents like Capybaras and reptiles of the night like Caimans (South American alligators). We may stay camping overnight to enjoy the jungle at night.

Day 3
Peruvian Border & Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve
After a morning excursion to observe plants, birds and more wildlife in the Yasuní N.P. The Manatee will navigate into the Aguarico River, the largest tributary of the Napo River to get through the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve, one of the highlights of our exploration. On our way to Cuyabeno, we will visit a Peruvian town and meet local people.

Day 4
Cuyabeno W. R. – The Forest Dwellers
A full day visit to the Indian Community will give as an idea of how indigenous people live in the forest. At the community, a local guide accompanied by our expedition leaders will enlighten you with the use of plants for medicinal use and other purposes. After a walk, you will stop at a local house where these true forest dwellers will bring into the light their way of life and traditions. This will be an opportunity to buy handicrafts made by the local people. There will be plenty of traditional food and hospitality.

Day 5
Cuyabeno W. R. - Lagartococha
This remote area is accessible to you only through the Lagarto (Alligator) River, a black water river surrounded by freshwater mangroves (Coussapoa trinervia), Macrolobium trees, and Palm trees adapted to flooding conditions. Lagartococha (Alligator Lake) is not one but a system of lakes situated along the Ecuadorian-Peruvian boundary.

This black water system is the home of the legendary Pink River Dolphins, River Turtles, Black Caimans and the enigmatic Amazon Manatee. Moreover, if we look at the vegetation on the shores, we may well see Red Howler Monkeys, Three-toed Sloth, the leaf-eating bird locally known as Stinky Turkey (Hoatzin) and other wildlife. The canoe trip upstream will reveal the overwhelming beauty of this aquatic region. An overnight in the forest could be arranged for this day.

Day 6
Navigation and exploration along the Napo River
From this day, we will start our return to the point where we boarded the Manatee Amazon Explorer for the first time. There will be navigation throughout the entire day to relax and observe the Napo River banks, the forest and perhaps some wildlife. Late in the afternoon, after a relaxed morning, we will explore the Napo River banks and tropical river islands in quest of birds like the ornamented Umbrella Bird, the colorful Blue-Gray Tanagers, Kingbirds, Social Flycatchers and many more.

Day 7
Navigation along the Napo River – Pañacocha
(Piranha Lake) Protected Forest
We will continue our navigation upstream to arrive at the mouth of the Pañayacu (Piranha River). After arrival, there will be a canoe trip through the Piranha River to see the sights of this interesting protected forest. There is a possibility to observe Pink River Dolphins, the agile Common Squirrel Monkeys and much more.

The Piranha Lake area, contrary to Lagartococha, is an ecosystem flooded by white waters. The rivers and lakes of that place are perfect habitat for the infamous Piranha, the Water Monkey Fish (Arawana) and White Caimans. At night, there will be an optional excursion to explore the forest and river banks.

Day 8
Yasuní N. P. – CICAME museum and return home
The Manatee Amazon Explore will arrive to the point were we started our adventure. Early morning, we will visit the most accessible Parrot and Parakeet clay licks in Ecuador. There are blinds or hides to watch and enjoy this nature show so close! It is difficult to imagine hundreds, sometimes thousands of parrots and parakeets coming all together at once into the clay licks. This area is also located inside of the Yasuní N.P.

Early afternoon visit the CICAME Archeological Museum that preserves pottery from the Omagua Culture, one of the first forest pre-Columbian residents of the Napo River basin. After the visit continue to the city of Coca to take the flight back to Quito.