Depart Quito - Arrive in Coca - Embark on CruiseDepart from Quito in the morning and after a 30 minute flight arrive at Francisco de Orellana (Coca). At the airport, meet your naturalist guides who will accompany you on a short transfer to the Napo River port. Embark on a motorized canoe ride downstream for approximately one and a half hours. During the trip listen to important information about the region. Once on board the Manatee Amazon Explorer, enjoy lunch and begin navigating down the Napo River. In the evening, there will be a welcome cocktail and a presentation about the trip, and an optional nocturnal tour by canoe or walk.
Parrot clay Lick and Observation TowerBreakfast will be served on board. Then embark on your excursion to the Parrot Clay lick, a great place to see a lot of bird species. Back on board enjoy your ready lunch. In the afternoon explore the Chaullacocha black water system, and depending on the river´s water level you may access this wonderful system either by walking or by paddling a canoe. Then an exploration of the lake shores looking for wildlife, such as turtles, herons, and caymans, and later in the day, a visit to the canopy tower, which is more than 30 meters high, from which an impressive view of the forest can be seen from the top. From this perspective, you can appreciate the secrets of this vast ecosystem that cannot be seen from another angle. The tower has 300 steps that will be worth climbing to get to the top, where the most amazing view awaits you. Return to the Manatee at night, after searching for caymans on the lake Chaullacocha Lake.
Visiting the Pañacocha Biological CorridorContinue your navigation downstream to arrive at the mouth of the Pañayacu (Piranha River). After arrival, there will be a canoe trip through the Piranha River to see the sights of this interesting protected forest. There will be the possibility to observe Pink River Dolphins, the agile Common Squirrel Monkeys and much more. The Piranha Lake area is an ecosystem flooded by white waters. The rivers and lakes of that place are the perfect habitat for the infamous Piranha, the Water Monkey Fish (Arawana) and White Caymans. After a refreshing swim in the Piranha Lake, enjoy a delicious Amazon-style BBQ and a cold drink at a nearby camping site. In the afternoon, embark on an exploration walk, and later on, when back on board, have dinner and receive a briefing about the next day's program.
Island Exploration – Yasuní National ParkEarly in the morning go for a walk in one of the Napo River Islands for bird watching, then return on board and start navigating down the Napo River. This afternoon enjoy a canoe excursion to explore the Tiputini River inside of the Yasuni National Park. At dusk, enjoy another real-life experience with the Ecuadorian Amazon basin with a choice of night walk, visit to a native dweling or canoe ride, depending on the river level, climatic conditions, wildlife behavior and accessibility to the location.
Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve and Yasuni National Park
Early in the morning, explore one of the most pristine rivers in the Ecuadorian Amazon, the Cocaya River. Here have the opportunity to observe exotic plants, colorful birds and unique wildlife that lives in the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve. This black water system is home to the legendary Pink River Dolphins, River Turtles, Black Caymans and the enigmatic Amazon Manatee. Moreover, if you look at the vegetation on the shores, you may see the Red Howler Monkeys, and other species such as the black tamarin, squirrel monkey, Three-toed Sloth, the leaf-eating bird, locally known as Stinky Turkey (Hoatzin), and other wildlife. The canoe trip upstream will reveal the overwhelming beauty of this aquatic region.
In the afternoon, in the heart of the Yasuni, visit one of the major black water lakes of the upper Amazon basin, the Jatun Cocha. Here there will be opportunities for walking and paddling and watching the giant otters; amazing water mammals and an endangered species. In addition, the observation of local flora and fauna is an unforgettable sight that will take your breath away.
Kichwa Culture and Swamp Forest hikeOn this morning, visit one of the local indigenous community centers, specifically, one of the Kichwa Culture schools. On this visit, have the opportunity to meet the local people and learn about their culture. Guests can meet the children and visit their native huts, and understand how these friendly people live, use the resources of this unique world, and how they have learned to deal with the fragility of this ecosystem. In the afternoon, guests can enjoy an afternoon of relaxing navigation onboard the Manatee, while resting up for the next day. There is also the opportunity to learn how to make Ecuadorian food in one of several cooking lessons directed by the onboard chef, and locals will teach you how to make fiber handicrafts too. Sit in on onboard lectures given by your naturalist about the different Amazon topics such as culture, biodiversity, Amazon formation, oil and sustainability. You will also walk over a wooden pass through the Morete (moretefleuxisa palm) swamp, where you may see frogs and parrots.
Parrot Lick – Limoncocha Biological Reserve
Breakfast will be served on board. Then begin your excursion to the Parrot Clay licks, the perfect place to see numerous bird species. Or, begin your excursion to the Yaku Kawsay or live underwater museum, inside of the Yasuní National Park. This interesting project from one of the Kichwa Communities that shows the fauna that lives underwater in the Amazon rivers and lakes.
Back on board your lunch will be ready, and in the afternoon, there will be a visit to the Limoncocha Biological Reserve, an incredible area to find lots of birds, some monkeys, and at night a search for the black cayman. Return to the Manatee at night.
Disembark in Coca and Fly QuitoReturn to the city of Coca to take the morning flight back to Quito. The canoe ride upstream will take around two hours.