Ecuador contains several origins of the great Amazon River, a river that moves more water than any other on Earth. The Amazon winds its way through the world’s largest tropical forest and splits apart then regroups constantly, until finally gushing into the Atlantic Ocean at the far side of the continent. Because the river splits off into tributaries and waterways, it is a great way to get into the forest to see Amazon Rainforest animals and plants.
On Amazon cruises, you will relax in the ambiance only a tropical rainforest can provide. For adventurous relaxation while enjoying this wonderful forest, it especially doesn’t get better than a cruise and we have selected two of the best small group Amazon vessels for this section of forest.
From the main cruise vessel, you will explore on small boats, rainforest walks and kayaks led by some the best guides in the Amazon. You will be spotting incredible wildlife in one of the world’s most wildlife-rich protected areas. Then, after your adventures, you can retire to your comfortable quarters or social areas looking over photos from the day and simply enjoying being in the middle of Amazonia.
Yasuni National Park
The Amazon area you will explore is called the Yasuni National Park, which is often regarded as one of the most diverse places on Earth. Within the Yasuni there are a number of tributaries which flow into the Amazon River and we will explore some of these for an abundance of forest life. We will be scouting for some of the 11 different monkeys, 600 bird species, 6 different Amazon cats, and fascinating frogs and reptiles.
Manatee Amazon Explorer
A great choice for a tours of the rainforest is the Manatee Amazon Explorer. Aboard the Manatee Amazon Cruise, you will cruise the Yasuni National Park to enjoy colorful parrots at the clay licks, many different animals, such as fascinating and curious monkeys, river dolphins, and a tall canopy tower to spot toucans and other colorful birds. Choose from 3 to 7 night cruise itineraries aboard the Manatee where you can enjoy various activities.
As well as rainforest walks, motorised canoe tours, kayaking, and night expeditions, we will explore a fantastic canopy tower. The tower stretches 50 meters high through the trees and provides great views over the canopy. We will be trying to spot nesting birds, monkeys, colorful toucans and parrots.
The parrot clay lick is one of the favorites. We will enjoy many colorful parrots and parakeets visiting these specific areas of clay, which the birds eat to help deal with toxins found in their food. This provides great chances to simply watch the birds and to take fantastic photographs.
Aboard the cruise vessel itself you can find 14 comfortable and modern double-twin and single-twin cabins. These are fitted with air conditioning, closets, and a private bathroom complete with a massage shower. Your suites feature hot and cold water, 24-hour electricity and 110-voltage outlets and switches. The vessel provides a comfortable base to relax after your daily activities exploring the Amazon.
Anakonda Amazon Cruise
For a more luxurious cruise on the Amazon River, the Anakonda Amazon Cruise is the only luxury vessel in Ecuador. The cruise has been meticulously designed to provide a high quality Amazon River experience. Enjoy large panoramic windows fitted throughout the vessel, attractive and spacious cabins with private balconies, jacuzzis, and very comfortable beds. You can also relax in the social areas like the al fresco lounge, solarium and outdoor jacuzzi, which are great places to retire after your explorations into the Amazon Rainforest.
The Anakonda Amazon Cruise Dining experience involves the cruise’s exquisite dining room with fantastic views of the rainforest. You will enjoy refreshing and tropical Ecuadorian cuisine through to international classics.
Rainforest activities aboard the Anakonda Amazon Cruise mirror the Manatee. We will scout this incredible forest looking for abundant wildlife, such as monkeys, colorful toucans, relaxed-looking reptiles, and playful river dolphins. We will visit the parrot and parakeet clay lick to see colorful displays, the 50 metre canopy tower to see far over the canopy, and explore the waterways on motorized canoes and kayaks. The difference between the two vessels is apparent when you return, as aboard the Anakonda Amazon Cruise you can relax in a higher level of comfort or choose a treatment in the onboard spa.
An extra activity offered on both the Manatee Explorer and Anakonda Amazon Cruise is Glamping. Never heard of it? Think of it like camping for people who don’t like camping. That is to say camping with more glamour. For a night of your choosing, the cruises will set up a very comfortable campsite for you in a romantic and interesting section of forest. The cruise will also bring you all your meals so you don’t miss out on service. As this is an additional activity, there is an additional charge but if you want a little more adventure, glamping is a great experience. To add the glamour element, the cruises use state-of-the-art deluxe tents on a wooden raised base, provide gourmet meals, champagne and hot showers.
Both of these cruises are operated with a responsible approach to tourism and an understanding that the vessels exist in one of Earth’s most precious and fragile environments. The cruises involve locals in their operations and return the benefits of tourism to local communities. In addition, both vessels were designed to cause the least impact possible on the surrounding environment with particular attention paid to areas such as waste management. The Manatee Amazon Explorer specifically is environmentally responsible and is certified by both Rainforest Alliance and Smart Voyager.