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Pink Dolphins swimming in the Amazon River

Amazon Discoveries: Search for the Pink Dolphin

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Manatee
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Experience the Amazon's unique ecosystem and incredible biodiversity first hand! Board the Manatee for an 8-day adventure that begins and ends in Coca. Your journey includes the chance to see the famous pink river dolphin, visit local communities, kayak, watch for wildlife, and much more. 
Venture into the Amazon on a Manatee river cruiseTwo beautiful parrots are perched in a tree.Getting a guided tour through the Amazon.Three turtles hitch a ride on a log down the river.Pink Dolphins swimming in the Amazon River
Highlights
  • Watch for the legendary pink river dolphin
  • Interact with local children at a school located on the Napo River
  • Visit the Ecuadorian Amazon's flooded ecosystem by canoe
  • View the amazing Amazon Basin from the top of an observation tower
Places Visited
Activity Level: Variable
Activity options vary depending on destination and operator. Activity level is determined by the range and intensity of activities you choose to participate in. Discuss with your Trip Planner which options are best for you.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Quito | Fly to Coca | Embark

The journey takes you to Quito, the capital of Ecuador, and a brief 30-minute flight to the Amazonian city of Coca. Located in the province of San Francisco de Orellana, Coca serves as a gateway to the vast and mesmerizing Amazon rainforest. From the Coca docks, board a motorized canoe and begin the journey down the river, immersing yourself in the sights and sounds of the Amazon. The trip lasts for roughly an hour and a half before you finally arrive at the destination—the Manatee Amazon Explorer.

Board the Manatee Amazon Explorer and be greeted by knowledgeable local naturalist guides who will share an illuminating overview of the Ecuadorian Amazon. After this, begin to explore all the remarkable amenities of the cruise ship. The spacious social areas, cozy suites, and observation deck offer unparalleled comfort and stunning views of the dynamic rainforest scenery as you travel along the Napo River.

After dinner, you'll have the opportunity to embark on a thrilling adventure in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. Go on a nighttime forest walk where you can observe the fascinating nocturnal activity of the forest. This experience will allow you to immerse yourself in the vibrant and diverse ecosystem of the Amazon, where you can enjoy the vivid noises and aromas that come from the wildlife surrounding you.

Day 2: Yasuni National Park | Secoya Community

Visit Yasuni National Park in the Ecuadorian Amazon. This pristine region is relatively undisturbed, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in the beauty of nature. One of the most thrilling aspects of this visit is the opportunity to see the legendary Pink River Dolphin in its natural habitat. This dolphin is a beloved icon of the Amazon and is sure to leave a lasting impression on guests. Additionally, Yasuni National Park is home to a variety of other fascinating creatures, such as anacondas, river turtles, and various primate species. One bird species that is particularly unique to this area is the colorful Hoatzin, which is known locally as the "Stinky Turkey". Despite its unflattering nickname, this bird is an important part of the local ecosystem and a must-see for visitors to Yasuni National Park.

In the afternoon, embark on a canoeing adventure in a unique blackwater lake. The lake is renowned for being the natural habitat of giant otters and the elusive manatee. Take a leisurely hike through the Riparian/Gallery Forest. Here, you'll get to see a variety of birds and also witness the impressive organizational skills of a colony of leaf-cutter ants. The hike will lead you to the "Giant Fig Tree", which is home to a plethora of wildlife. This majestic tree is similar to the "Giant Kapok Tree" and is a natural wonder that's not to be missed.

Day 3: Visit to a Local Community | Life onboard

Begin with a visit to a genuine Quechua family, situated on the scenic banks of the Napo River. This unique cultural experience allows you to immerse yourself in the local community and learn firsthand from its members.

Join the Manatee Amazon Explorer as you journey upstream and indulge in a variety of exciting onboard activities. The expert chef will lead a cooking class where guests can learn to prepare exquisite traditional Ecuadorian dishes using fresh organic ingredients. Art enthusiasts can try their hands at traditional handicrafts, while those seeking relaxation can unwind with a massage at the Rainforest Spa or soak in the stunning Amazon Hut Tub with an ever-changing view. Visitors can also relish a cocktail or two at the well-stocked bar and lounge. For the adventurous, kayaking is a great way to explore nature. The endless activities don't end there, as the Observation Deck Lounge offers mesmerizing sunset and stargazing views at night. Onboard the Manatee Amazon Explorer, there is something for everyone to appreciate and cherish.


Discover the beauty of the destination in a unique way by taking part in the adventurous camping program. This optional activity is designed to provide you with an alternative approach to exploring the wonders of your surroundings. Whether you are on a 5- or 8-day itinerary, this program is the perfect opportunity for adventurous guests to experience the enchanting destination in a whole new way. ‚Äč

Day 4: Forest Adventure | Observation Canopy Tower

As you embark on the Manatee Amazon Explorer, you'll have the opportunity to explore the nearby forest during a morning walk, where you'll encounter various animals and plant species that are exclusive to the Amazon Basin.

In the afternoon, visit a canopy tower that's nestled against a giant kapok tree. From the top of this tower, you'll be treated to a breathtaking view overlooking the dense treetops, providing a glimpse of the vastness of the Amazon Basin.

In the evening, set out on a canoe ride to search for black caimans with the help of flashlights. This thrilling experience will allow you to get a closer look at these creatures while exploring the river.

Day 5: Indillama and Napo River | Yasuni National Park

For a unique and unforgettable experience, start your day with a kayaking adventure along the Indillama River, a tributary of the Napo River that flows through Yasuni National Park. The kayaks are designed to be smooth and silent, ensuring that you can observe wildlife without causing any disruption. However, there are also canoes that can take you further in search of exotic creatures. Be prepared to be amazed by the lush greenery that surrounds you.

To end your day on a high note, you can choose to relax on the observation deck, where you can unwind while enjoying a magical view of the stars. Alternatively, if you're feeling more energetic, you can join a night walk through the jungle to witness the beauty of nocturnal creatures. Whatever your preference may be, you're guaranteed to have the adventure of a lifetime.

Day 6: Panacocha Biological Corridor

Continue down the Panayacu River delta. Stop for an exploratory canoe trip and experience the sights and sounds of this fascinating reserve. Seek out pink river dolphins and common squirrel monkeys. Flooded by white waters, the rivers and lakes that comprise the Pañacocha ecosystem provide the perfect habitat for water monkey fish, white caiman, and the infamous piranha. After a refreshing swim (for the courageous!), enjoy a delicious Amazon-style BBQ meal and refreshing beverages at a nearby camping site. In the afternoon, disembark and hike the trails that circle the area.

As you indulge in a delightful lunch, get ready for the thrilling kayaking experience that awaits you. For adventurous souls, a refreshing swim in the Piranha Lake is an option worth considering. Don't worry; it's not as ominous as it may sound!

Later, once you're back on board the Manatee Amazon Explorer, expand your knowledge about the region with a lecture presented by the concierge. Additionally, you get to watch an informative documentary that will enlighten you about the Amazonian ecosystem.

Day 7: Parrot's Clay Licks | Amazonian Communities

In the morning, set out on canoes to observe one of the most incredible sights on this side of the Western Amazon, the parrot clay licks. This unique place is rich in minerals and attracts hundreds of colorful parrots, parakeets, and Amazon birds. Afterward, visit a Quechua Cultural Center, where you can learn about Amazon communities and their ancestral culture, traditions, and cuisine. Members of the local community will teach you about indigenous lifestyles along the Napo River, and you have the opportunity to support the community by purchasing handicrafts, local products, and souvenirs.

Visit an observation tower before sunset. From this vantage point, visitors are treated to an unobstructed 360-degree view of the vast Amazon basin. Nature lovers and birdwatchers will find this excursion particularly fascinating, with an opportunity to observe a variety of bird species in their natural habitat.

Day 8: Disembark | Coca | Fly to Quito

  • 1 Breakfast
Return to the city of Coca to take the morning flight back to Quito. The canoe ride upstream takes around an hour and a half.

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Per person starting at
$4,585 2-3 travelers
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Standard
20 sq meters, 10 cabins, 8 with twin single or double beds and 2 triple occupancy cabins with a twin bunk and a single bed. Each cabin features large picture windows and a balcony. Equipped with air conditioning, closets, bedside table, 24 hours of electricity and 110-voltage outlets and switches.
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Deluxe
24 sq meters, 4 suites with twin single or double beds, or a double bed and a single pull out bed in the triple occupancy cabins. Each cabin features large picture windows, a balcony, and private Jacuzzi style baths. Each cabin is equipped with air conditioning, closets, bedside table, 24 hours of electricity and 110-voltage outlets and switches.
Included
  • 7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 7 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Transfers to/from the vessel when arriving on recommended flights.
  • All excursions, rain ponchos, and rubber boots.
  • Exclusive access to VIP Lounge in Coca city (before and after the cruise).
  • Private & personalized assistance for Quito - Coca - Quito flights at both airports on the recommended flights.
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Transportation to and from Quito airport.
  • All alcoholic & Non-alcoholic drinks
  • Satellite internet
  • Contribution to local communities

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Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
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