An Amazon River Cruise makes exploring the Rainforest in style a reality, where fine dining, first class accommodations, and engaging excursions await intrepid explorers & nature lovers.
In Ecuador you’ll find some of the very best live-aboard Amazon Cruise options, with quick, easy and affordable access into one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet. Both the Anakonda and Manatee Explorer Cruise Boats offer a means to visit the Amazon Basin in luxury.
Keep reading for a glimpse of what you can expect when cruising the rivers of the Ecuadorian jungle.
The Ecuadorian Amazon, or the Oriente, is a place that has captivated the imagination of adventurer’s, presidents, explorers, scientists, and travelers since the Spanish colonial occupation.
In 1542, Francisco de Orellana’s journey down the Rio Napo to the mouth of the Amazon River, put the Amazon on the map. Orellana, a conquistador, was a companion of Francisco Pizarro during his conquest of Peru, and his dream to traverse the Amazon to it’s source began in Quito, Ecuador.
The nine-month journey found the small group of Spanish facing fierce river tribes and near starvation, before discovering friendly tribes who helped with provisions and ship repairs, while enduring to successfully reach the mouth of the Amazon River in Brazil.
Today, the jungle of Ecuador still thrives, boasting more flora and fauna in one place than virtually anywhere else in the world. Amazon Cruising, of course, has changed rather a lot since Orellana’s day, now offering a unique chance to follow in the footsteps of those Spaniards, but with touches of luxury along the way, and without unknown dangers lurking around every bend.
Taking a trip down the Napo River to the dense primary forests puts you up close to the myriad of creatures that call the Jungle home. Monkeys, Caiman Alligators, Pink River Dolphins, Sloths, and a dizzying variety of Bird species greet you in the lush forest and murky waters, while the spectacular Rainforest landscapes and sunsets make unforgettable trip photos, and friendly local tribes wait to share their cultural traditions.
Ecuador has two luxury Amazon Cruise Boats in operation, offering a truly unique alternative to the traditional jungle lodge tours, providing a greater variety of destinations and activities, as well as a superior level of luxury and refinement.
The Anakonda Amazon River Cruise runs four, five and eight-day itineraries taking you deep into the jungle, slowly cruising downstream towards the border with Peru, where each day you wake up at a new destination, where new adventures await.
Imagine dugout canoe rides in search of wildlife, forest treks to learn about medicinal plants and their uses, exploration of tributaries in the famously biodiverse Yasuni National Park, kayaking or swimming in Amazon waters, incredible views from atop canopy observation towers, night safaris looking for caiman alligators, and cultural interchange with local tribes. It is the diversity of activities that makes the Anakonda cruise such a rich travel experience.
The 148ft-long luxury vessel has eighteen suites, each with wall to wall panoramic windows, so you won’t miss any of forest views along the way.
The elegant rooftop observation deck comes complete with jacuzzi, comfortable lounge chairs, and al fresco bar – the perfect spot for a sundowner beer or cocktail. The Anakonda’s restaurant serves top shelf, fine dining cuisine, using traditional Ecuadorian dishes and locally sourced ingredients to show you the rich gastronomy of the country.
Naturalist English-speaking guides lead daily excursions, and are quick to point out the hidden-in-plain-sight animals in the forest. This cruise is well-suited for all ages, and there are special activities available for families with children.
The Manatee Explorer Cruise boasts over a decade of Amazon Cruising experience, a true pioneer of Ecuadorian tourist endeavors. The 98ft long boat has 14 suites with floor to ceiling windows, balconies, and amenities including jacuzzi showers. Itineraries range from short 4 day trips to more extensive 8 day-journeys.
Day excursions by motorized canoe and kayak take you into the Yasuní National Park, one of the most bio-diverse areas of the world. Naturalist guides walk you through the flora and fauna of the jungle, stopping at parrot licks and observation towers before returning to the boat for elegant meals, and relaxation on the observation deck with a cocktail and the sounds of the jungle all around.
There are also opportunities to visit local communities living along the river. These people and their customs have survived for centuries, keeping their traditions intact while investing their energy into preserving the jungle for future generations.