Summary : Journey into the endless heart of biodiversity, which extends its fabulous prism of life throughout the Amazon Basin. The very nature of this jungle realm teaches you that the best way to explore is through a unique means of transportation: by navigating down the river on a fabulous, state-of-the-art vessel set to explore this truly unique environment. This inspiring adventure will provide many unexpected, astonishing encounters. Discover the Yasuní (the largest of Ecuador’s continental National Parks), a wild and untamed realm in the heart of the Ecuadorian Rainforest. Climb observation towers to enjoy unique perspectives of the forest and explore black water rivers escorted by otters and turtles. Hike trails learning about the wonderful flora that makes up the eternal green of the Ecuadorian Amazonia.
Activities : Birding, Camping, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Dedicated Solo Cabins, Triple/Quad Cabins
$4,390 to $5,487
Depart from Quito. A short 30-minute flight will take you to the frontier town of Coca (Francisco de Orellana) and transfer to the dock, where you will embark on a motorized canoe and navigate down river about 1 hour, to board the M/V Anakonda Amazon Cruise. Throughout the journey you will have a chance to admire the rainforest landscape and the banks of the great Napo River.
Immediately after boarding the M/V Anakonda, continue navigating downstream. Passengers will have their first opportunities to enjoy the exciting features of the 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 you the opportunity to discover the forest’s nocturnal activity and listen to the incessant sounds of nature.
Continue navigating downstream to the Pañayacu River delta; take a canoe trip up the river to experience the sights of this fascinating reserve. You 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!), you will enjoy a delicious Amazon-style BBQ meal and refreshing beverages at a nearby camping site. In the afternoon, head out on exploration trails, and return to the ship for dinner.
Enjoy breakfast on board this morning. Then 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, you will have a chance to marvel at this astonishing natural phenomenon.
Later you 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. 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, make a stop at the Yakukawsay Kichwa Interpretation Center, and end with an interesting evening walk through the forest (depending on accessibility, river water levels and weather conditions).
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. This is a fabulous excursion for wildlife observation—kayaks are great silent vehicles to flow down river. Or you can choose to go in a canoe ride in search of more wildlife through the Napo River. It’s up to you!
After a delicious breakfast, you will disembark on land for our first daylight close-and-personal tropical rainforest experience, where you 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 Anakonda will navigate to one of the most pristine and little explored sections of Ecuadorian Amazonia, home to the legendary pink river dolphin, black caiman and anaconda. You 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.
The M/V Anakonda will continue upstream, en route to the Pañacocha Lake (Piranha Lake, in the native language Quechua). Here you will be marveled by the unique creatures that inhabit the area: Common Squirrel Monkeys, and of course the infamous Piranhas.
The ecosystem of the Pañacocha Lake and its surrounding areas make it the perfect habitat for the Piranha, as well as the Water Monkey Fish, known locally as Arawana and the White Caiman. Later, we will be given the once in a lifetime opportunity to visit an Authentic Indigenous home, belonging to the Oraco family.
Afterwards you will return onboard the cruise for lunch and take a moment to relax while navigating upstream. Enjoy lunch onboard then join various cultural lectures, documentary screenings, and hands-on experiences on topics ranging from local handcrafts to traditional cuisine. We will offer a lecture and documentary screening, and if time permits, learn about (and make) typical handicrafts of the area. In the afternoon, explore one of the largest river islands of the Napo River, home to hundreds of Amazonian monkeys.
Unquestionably, after an entire day in the heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon, you will have more questions than answers about the Amazon! Luckily, you will have a chance to join a dinner accompanied by local nature and cultural guides who will make sure everyone onboard is an expert on Ecuadorian Amazonia. Visit a school located on the banks of the Napo River, where you will have the opportunity to interact with children of the area and learn about the educational system of a remote jungle community in Ecuador.
Enjoy breakfast on board. After breakfast, visit an observation tower 100 feet high, built against a giant kapok tree. From the top of the tower, you will be blessed with this unique perspective of the forest, looming over the treetops and the greatness of the Amazon Basin.
In the afternoon, 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 you will have a chance to spot black caiman with the help of flashlights. Return to the M/V Anakonda for dinner.
In the morning, you will disembark the M/V Anakonda and return to Coca by motorized canoe. From Coca, catch your flight back to Quito.
Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to weather conditions—and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Enjoy camping in luxury on comfortable beds in fully sealed, above ground tents. The glamping experience includes a kayak excursion, gourmet meals, champagne, and hot showers. Possible locations include: Cocaya, Jatum Cocha, Huririma, and Sani. Your guide will determine the location based on the cruise, weather conditions, and position of the boat. In the evening, you will stay at the camp with a local guide and members of the crew. A special dinner will be served. In the morning, kayak along secret rivers to observe nature and wildlife. After a delicious breakfast, you will return to the M/V Anakonda. Please inquire with ExpeditionTrips for more details.
Transfers to/from vessel when arriving on recommended flights; shipboard accommodations; programmed visits according to itinerary with a certified naturalist guide; unlimited water, coffee, and tea; all meals onboard the ship. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; transfers to and from airport in Quito; community entrance fees; alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (except water, coffee, and tea); tips and gratuities; Wi-Fi; personal expenses; fuel surcharge may apply.