MANATEE EXPLORER

When you enter the Ecuadorian Amazon, you are entering a world that few people have the opportunity to experience. The smells, sounds, and tastes are all different.Of course, so are the cultures that live within the communities. In 2003, García launched his own river cruise, the Manatee, named after the vulnerable river species. García’s vision for the river cruise was much larger than simply bringing in tourists to see the sights. He set up his operation as an alternative form of income for the communities of the Ecuadorian Amazon. By hiring and training community members as crew on board the vessel and collaborating with others to protect different areas of the forest, García developed a sustainable tourism model that helped to preserve the wildlife and provide compensation for the local communities. In 2013, García had another vessel built, the Anakonda, and in the summer of 2017, a new Manatee was launched to replace the older model and create the only cruise line in the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest.
García believes that working closely with the communities is an essential part of preserving the rainforest. Ecuador’s protected national parks are crucial for the conservation of the Amazon, but collaborating with the people who live in and around the parks is imperative. “We could do our operation without them, but it would be an operation without spirit,” says García, who is quick to point out the balance required in including the communities but not selling them as part of his product. “I want it to be a collaboration and for them to get part of the benefit. I really don’t want to use them. I always try to make new itineraries that involve the people,” he says. 

DECK & SUITE LAYOUT

FIRST DECK
Includes lobby, dining room, and crew quarters.

SECOND DECK
Where you’ll find the boutique and standard suites.

THIRD DECK
Features the bar, lounge, and deluxe suites.

OBSERVATION DECK
Where you’ll enjoy the outdoor hot tub, lounge, and extraordinary views.

STANDARD SUITE
14 Standard suites (20 m² / 215 ft²) with private balconies

DELUXE SUITE
4 Deluxe suites (24 m² / 258 ft²) with whirlpool bathtub and private balconies

SERVICES

Staff

Our friendly staff form the backbone of the Anakonda Cruises experience, and are always available to cater to any special needs you may have..

Food

You will enjoy a wide variety of national and international fusion food, as the kitchen staff combines international culinary traditions with the practices of regional Amazonian cuisine, and uses fresh local products for each dish. Our guests can enjoy unique dishes, such as Quinoa Risotto or fish prepared in coconut sauce.

Jacuzzi and sun deck 

Enjoy the comfort, amenities and service of a boutique hotel aboard the Anakonda in the middle of the Ecuadorian Amazon jungle.

Electricity

Throughout the Lodge, 24-hour electricity is provided by a distant, nearly inaudible generator.

Boots & Ponchos

Clean and disinfected bubber boots and rain ponchos are available for all of our guests at the Lodge, free of charge.

Water

Purified, safe drinking water is available at multiple points around the Lodge – there’s no need to bring your own bottled water.

The launge bar

It is also a perfect place to have a cocktail, relax, socialize and listen to the talks given by the expert multilingual naturalist guides.

Fans & Screened Windows

To protect from mosquitos, the windows are screened and a fan is provided in your room to refresh yourself after a day of activities. 

4 DAYS / 3 NIGHTS

FRIDAY - MONDAY

BOOK NOW
DAY 1 

FRIDAY: QUITO – COCA – NAPO RIVER
Our adventure begins in Quito, the capital of Ecuador. After a 30-minute flight from Quito to the Amazonian city of Coca, we will transfer to the dock and board our motorized canoe for a 90-minute journey down the river, taking in the beauty of the Amazon, until we reach the Manatee Amazon Explorer and receive our warm welcome aboard. On the Manatee, we will be joined by expert local naturalist guides, who will provide us with a brief, informative introduction to the Ecuadorian Amazon; and afterwards guests will have the opportunity to explore our cruise ship and admire the rainforest landscape as we glide down the Napo River. After a delicious dinner, we will take a nighttime forest walk to hear the sounds of the rainforest and observe the nocturnal wildlife.

DAY 2 

SATURDAY: PAÑACOCHA, THE MYTHICAL PIRANHA LAGOON
We will travel downstream to the Pañayacu River delta, where we will embark on a canoe trip to Pañacocha Lake (“Piranha Lagoon” in the native Kichwa language), an ecosystem flooded by blackwater river water. The surrounding protected rainforest is home to primates and birds and is the perfect habitat for piranhas, the Paíche or pirarucu (one of the world’s largest freshwater fish), the white caiman, and hundreds of other aquatic animals. The surrounding protected rainforest is home to primates and various bird species, which we will be able to spot during a walk with our guides. We will then recharge our energy with an Amazon-style barbeque at a community camp, and after a short rest, we will take part in aquatic activities such as kayaking and/or swimming. Back on board the Manatee, we will build on what we learned with an interesting talk about the region given by our guides.

DAY 3 

SUNDAY: PARROT CLAY LICKS AND AMAZON COMMUNITIES
We will set out on our motorized canoes early in the morning to witness one of the most incredible sights on this side of the Western Amazon - the famous parrot clay licks. This unique place is rich in minerals and attracts hundreds of colorful parrots, parakeets, and Amazon birds who meet up here to lick the clay which provides a healthy boost to their digestion. In the afternoon we will visit the Kichwa women’s community project, where we will learn about the indigenous lifestyle along the Napo river, their ancestral culture, and their community, and will have the opportunity to support them by purchasing handicrafts, local products, and souvenirs, as well as the opportunity to participate in the Charapas Turtle Conservation that we support together with the community.

DAY 4 

MONDAY: RETURN
This is where our adventure ends! But first, we will enjoy our return to Puerto Providencia where we will disembark the Manatee Amazon Explorer and ride back to the city of Coca in the motorized canoe.

5 DAYS / 4 NIGHTS

MONDAY - FRIDAY

BOOK NOW
DAY 1 

MONDAY: QUITO – COCA – NAPO RIVER
Our adventure begins in Quito, the capital of Ecuador. After a 30-minute flight from Quito to the Amazonian city of Coca, we will transfer to the dock and board our motorized canoe for a 90-minute journey down the river, taking in the beauty of the Amazon, until we reach the Manatee Amazon Explorer and receive our warm welcome aboard. On the Manatee, we will be joined by expert local naturalist guides, who will provide us with a brief, informative introduction to the Ecuadorian Amazon; and afterwards guests will have the opportunity to explore our cruise ship and admire the rainforest landscape as we glide down the Napo River. After a delicious dinner, we will take a nighttime forest walk to hear the sounds of the rainforest and observe the nocturnal wildlife.

DAY 2 

TUESDAY: HOME OF THE LEGENDARY PINK RIVER DOLPHIN AND THE SECOYA COMMUNITY
In the morning we will explore the lower part of the Napo River, where we will spot different bird species such as eagles, oropendolas and the celebrated woodpeckers. In the afternoon we will visit Yasuni National Park, one of the most biodiverse places on the planet and home to the legendary pink dolphin. This is the perfect opportunity to participate in our pink dolphin conservation program, which we are involved in together with the Martinica community in the Cocaya area, providing a safe haven where these dolphins can live and feed without the risk of being hunted. The Secoyas people, a minority ancestral culture, live near Yasuni and will show us how to prepare traditional cassava bread during our visit.

DAY 3 

WEDNESDAY: KICHWA FAMILY AND LIFE ONBOARD
We will begin the day by visiting an authentic Kichwa family on the banks of the Napo River, where we will have the opportunity to learn directly from members of the local community about their lifestyle. We will then board the Manatee and participate in a cooking class with our expert chef, who will show us how to prepare exquisite traditional Ecuadorian fare. Guests are also invited to try their hand at traditional handicrafting or to take in the magnificent Amazon environment from our open-air hot tub, enjoy cocktails at our Bar and Lounge, or delight in some nighttime stargazing from our Observation Deck. Our more active guests will have the opportunity to explore nature in this area by kayak.

DAY 4 

THURSDAY: FOREST ADVENTURE AND CANOPY OBSERVATION TOWER
We start the day by visiting an observation tower built in a giant millenary kapok tree, where guests can marvel at the impressive 360° view from the top overlooking the treetops of the forest canopy and contemplate the sheer vastness of the Amazon. In the afternoon, we will explore the primary forest and spot the different plant and wildlife species endemic to this ecosystem. We can also find the strange and unique bird known as the hoatzin, or as it’s known locally, the “stinkbird”.

DAY 5 

FRIDAY: RETURN
This is where our adventure ends! But first, we will enjoy our return to Puerto Providencia where we will disembark the Manatee Amazon Explorer and ride back to the city of Coca in the motorized canoe.

STANDARD SUITES 

10 river facing suites (19m² / 204ft²) 10 Standard Suites (20 m²/ 215 ft²) 5 suites with 1 queen bed and 5 suites with 2 twin beds.

  • Ceiling-to-floor windows
  • Balcony
  • Air conditioning system.
  • Private bathroom with hot water.

ALL RATES ARE PER PERSON 

PROGRAM PRICE PER PERSON
4 DAYS / 3 NIGHTS $2294
5 DAYS / 4 NIGHTS $2865
8 DAYS / 7 NIGHTS $4585

FAQ

What is included in the programs?

  THE TOUR INCLUDES:

  • Accommodation in a Standard Suite or Deluxe Suite room with private bathroom.
  • All meals during the cruise 
  • Free Water, tea & coffee
  • Excursions and activities according to itinerary.
  • Bilingual English/Spanish speaking Naturalist Guide.
  • Rubber boots (only up to size # 43) 
  •  water poncho
  • Transfers to / from the vessel when arriving.
What is not included in the tour?

    NOT INCLUDED:

  • Transportation Quito - Cruise - Quito
  • Visit to indigenous Community 
  • Alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks
  • satellite internet
  • Personal expenses and tips
What to bring?

Lightweight pants and long sleeved cotton shirts are ideal for walks in the forest. However, if you are more comfortable wearing short sleeves, remember that exposed skin may need a light dousing with insect repellant.


During the rain, full waterproof clothing can be uncomfortable as it often gets you wet with sweat instead of water, but rain ponchos are recommendable for tropical cloudbursts. Plenty of ponchos are available at no charge if you do not have your own, and we also supply rubber boots up to men’s size 14 for walks in the forest interior.


Comfortable shoes (or sandals), shorts and t-shirts are fine for walking on boardwalks and around the Lodge during meals and free time. And don’t forget your bathing suit!

  • Passport
  • Binoculars
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Camera, memory and flash
  • Insect repellent
  • Sun protection (cream / sunglasses / hat or cap)
  • Light long pants and long-sleeved shirts for walks
  • Shorts, short sleeve shirts and swimsuit for the Lodge
  • Comfortable shoes and extra socks
  • Small day backpack
  • Plastic bags to protect cameras, binoculars, batteries, etc... from rain
Children policies:
  • Third guest 45% discount (adult rate) in triple suite with additional sliding bed.
  • Single occupancy rate: Adult rate + 50%.
  • Children under 12 years old will receive 50% discount (one child per suite).
  • Maximum 3 guests per suite
What facilities are there in the room?
  • Minimum recommended age: 6 years 
  • Maximum availability for Triple Suites: 4 triple suites (1 queen bed and 1 additional sliding bed).
  • Please inquire about availability for single-use suites