Our adventure begins in the city of Quito, Capital of Ecuador. After taking a short 30- minute flight from Quito to the Amazon city of Coca, located in the Province of San Francisco de Orellana, we will transfer to the dock and board our motorized canoe to begin our 90-minute journey down the river, taking in the first sights and sounds of the Amazon. Soon, we will reach the Anakonda Amazon Cruise and receive our welcome aboard.
Once we have settled into the Anakonda Amazon Cruise, we will be joined by expert local naturalist guides who will provide us with a brief and informative introduction to the Ecuadorian Amazon. After, guests will have their first opportunity to discover the exciting features of our cruise ship: spacious social areas, comfortable suites, and the observation deck that allows us to admire the changing rainforest landscape as we glide down the Napo River.
After dinner, we will plunge straight into the Amazon rainforest by going for a nighttime forest walk (optional excursion) to observe the forest’s nocturnal activity and experience the thrill of the vivid noises and aromas that come from so much biodiversity.
After a delicious breakfast, we will go on a motorized canoe to spend some time exploring one of the large islands where we could see eagles, oropendolas, woodpeckers, and many other birds.
We will then board the Anakonda Amazon Cruise for lunch and enjoy of the onboard experiences such us a spectacular ever-changing scenery view from the Amazon hut tub, a delicious cocktail at the bar and lounge, or admire the breathtaking landscapes from the observation deck.
Later in the afternoon, we will visit 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.
Near Yasuní live the Secoyas, a minority community that our guests will have the opportunity to visit and share their traditions and lifestyle.
We will start the day off by visiting an authentic Kichwa family located on the banks of the Napo River, where we will have the opportunity to learn directly from members of the local community.
We will then board the Anakonda Amazon Cruise for some leisure time as we continue our navigation upstream. At this time, 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. After lunch, guests are also invited to try their hand at making traditional handicrafts and attend an ancestral cultures lecture with one of our local guides. For our more active guests, a kayaking activity is the best choice to explore the surrounding nature. There is an option for everyone!
Our guests can relax and enjoy the Anakonda Amazon Cruise during the morning. After, they will disembark to visit an observation tower in the rainforest canopy, which offers astonishing 360-degree vistas. The perspective at the top of this observation tower is truly glorious, looming above the lush treetops and providing a view of the sheer vastness of the Amazon Basin. This is the perfect photo opportunity! Birdwatchers and bird-lovers alike will especially enjoy this outing.
In the afternoon, we will explore the nearby forest for a walk to discover a myriad of different animals and plant species that can only be found in the Amazon basin. A kayak activity is also available to explore this area.
This is where our adventure ends! Enjoy the last part of our return journey onboard and then disembark the Anakonda Amazon Cruise to take the motorized canoe back to Coca (90 minutes ride approximately).
The Ecuadorian Amazon basin is a special place, teeming with natural life and adventure at every turn. There is no telling what you will see or experience, and the unexpected is most certainly one of its treasures.
Of course, there are constants as well. The Amazon is located in the lowland equatorial tropics in a humid environment. Excursions on land usually take place in the mornings and afternoons, as the temperature rises at midday when we regularly are on board the Anakonda Amazon Cruise. The weather is relatively constant throughout the year (we’re on the equator, so there are no sharply demarcated seasons).
It is a rainforest, so rain is a regular occurrence and is what makes the area so lush and beautiful. Rain showers are often short-lived and serve to cool the air, which is always welcomed and refreshing. The insects here are a unique, colorful, and natural part of the environment. Like most everywhere in the world, you’ll find mosquitoes, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that they are quite manageable with a little repellent from time to time.
Forest trails can be uneven (a sturdy walking stick is helpful if you do not feel steady on your feet), and one can expect to encounter mud and puddles on specific segments. While a good pair of hiking boots with appropriate traction might be helpful, they are not always the best footwear. Usually, you are better off with rubber boots and a waterproof poncho (both of which we provide onboard). By the way, the clothes you bring along should be lightweight and quick-dry. (Please refer to our packing list below).
When we say that things are unexpected in the Amazon, we mean it! You never know what you will encounter, and there is always something new. The Amazon is so unique and magical that for those who experience this environment for the very first time, it can prove to be a profound and life-changing experience.
The sound of the forest is unbelievable. When paddling along one of the winding black-water streams, we invite you to close your eyes and try to take in the plethora of fascinating sounds that fill the air. We invite you to slow down, live in the present, and experience the natural beauty and richness all around you. Just let go, enjoy, and allow the spirit of the Amazon to envelope and enthrall you.
Medical and Health:
Good physical health is required to best enjoy an Amazon River Cruise. Visitor sites are accessible by small, motorized boats, and will possibly need wet landings. Uneven terrain may be present during hikes and daily nature excursions, and a degree of physical effort is occasionally required while embarking and disembarking. Travelers do not need vaccinations for malaria and yellow fever, although we recommend you consult your physician.
Anakonda Amazon Cruise requires written notification 30 days before departures from travelers requesting specific nutritional needs. Every effort will be made to cater to the requested dietary needs, as long as the products are available in Ecuador.
We strongly recommend that you plan to arrive in Quito an extra day before the cruise departure date, given that no refunds are applicable in the unlikely event that weather-related flight cancellations cause you to miss your embarkation. Flight cancellation is beyond our control, and as a cruise operator, we must adhere to strict operating standards which include our schedules. We advise travelers to purchase trip cancellation insurance, to reimburse the cost of air tickets and other non-refundable fees incurred during trip reservations in the event of unexpected cancellations. Standard international medical, baggage loss, and airline delay insurance are also recommended.
Anakonda Amazon Cruise reserves the right to replace the cruise vessel when required (i.e., force majeure or inclement weather). Should travelers not agree with the adjustment, Anakonda Amazon Cruise reserves the right to cancel the trip, offering a pro-rata refund per cruise night not used or offer a credit toward a future cruise onboard the Anakonda Amazon Cruise.
Visits to the Amazon Communities and Natural Reserves:
A portion of our excursions take place within protected areas, and visitors are required to comply with these areas’ rules and regulations. Naturalist guides will inform guests about these rules. Anakonda Amazon Cruise, represented by its onboard guides, reserves the right to deny access to any guest who ignores, violates, or is unable to comply with these regulations. We appreciate your understanding.
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