Manatee Amazon River Cruise

  • Overview
  • Itineraries
  • Dates/Pricing
  • Photos & Video
  • Extensions
  • Cabins
  • Boat Details
  • Testimonials
  • Physical Rating
The Manatee Amazon Explorer was built in Coca, Ecuador and was designed specifically to cruise the Amazonian waters of Ecuador.  The ship consists of three decks including a sun deck that provides a 360-degree view of the surrounding jungle.  With space for 30 passengers and 12 exceptional crew members, each cabin is complete with private bathrooms with 24-hour access to hot and cold water, air conditioning, and large windows.  Ample public space includes a large dining rooms serving international cuisine, a bar-saloon area for lectures and presentations, an additional park, and a boutique.  Activities offered onboard this Amazon River cruise include jungle hikes, canoe and kayak excursions, swimming, night excursions, community visits, an observation tower, as well as endless flora and fauna observations.  For those seeking an Amazon experience that allows visits to more than one area or for those looking for a little more comfort in Amazonia, the Manatee Explorer is the perfect Amazon cruise!

Ecuador

Traveling to this Location

Passport and visa requirements
A valid passport is required to enter and leave Ecuador. At this time, a visa is not required for US, Canadian and most European citizens if visiting for less than 90 days. Visas are required for citizens of some Asian, Central American and Eastern European countries. It is the passenger's responsibility to check with local immigration offices or the Ecuadorian consulate prior to departure to determine if a visa is necessary. For more information see www.americanpassport.com or www.ecuador.org

Immunizations
At this time, no vaccinations are required for visitors to the Galapagos Islands and most other parts of Ecuador.
A Yellow Fever immunization is required if arriving from an infected area and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) if traveling to certain jungle areas east of the Andes.
A prescription anti-malaria medication is recommended if traveling to elevations under 4,921 feet excluding Quito, Guayaquil and the Galapagos.
Depending on your itinerary, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Typhoid may also be recommended.
The Centers for Disease Control provides immunization information for travel in Latin America. www.cdc.gov

Customs
Entry During the flight to Ecuador, a flight attendant distributes an Ecuador entrance form to all passengers. At Customs, travelers are asked to show the completed form along with their passport and are asked how many days they plan to be in Ecuador. Normally, the passport will be stamped, indicating a permissible stay of 60 or 90 days. A copy of the Customs form will be returned to the traveler.
Exit There is an airport departure tax of $32US from Quito or Guayaquil for passengers departing on international flights (credit cards accepted).

Exchanging currency
The US dollar is now the official currency of Ecuador. Visa, MasterCard and Diners Club are the most recognized credit cards in Ecuador. American Express is not widely accepted. ATM machines (Visa/MasterCard/Cirrus/Plus), with directions in English, are widely available in all major cities and large towns including the Galapagos Islands and the only reliable method of obtaining money on Sundays but not at all locations. Hotels exchange money, and most offer safe-keeping for valuables. On trips of two weeks or less, we recommend carrying only US cash in denominations of $20s to exchange as needed. Before departure, we send booked passengers a packet of trip information that contains operating hours for money exchange offices (Casas de Cambio) and more money tips.

Using electricity
All of Ecuador uses 110-volt electrical outlets standard to the U.S. For video cameras, we suggest packing an extra set of charged batteries. Some Ecuador hotels and Galapagos boats have hair dryers for guest use, but most do not.

Weather
When to Visit
  • jan
  • feb
  • mar
  • apr
  • may
  • jun
  • jul
  • aug
  • sep
  • oct
  • nov
  • dec

Due to fairly stable seasonal weather conditions in Ecuador, travelers can enjoy year-round travel to the country. Some areas have better weather at certain times of the year, but it is always a good time to travel to Ecuador. Ecuador has a surprising variety of climates. The weather can be very localized and tends to change quickly because of the country’s unique geography. Located on the Equator, Ecuador is divided into four main regions: the Andes, the Amazon, the Coast, and the Galapagos Islands. Within these four regions of this small country, roughly the size of Colorado, elements of all four seasons can occur in a single day.

The Andes (Highlands)
Visitors can experience the Andean Highlands year-round, though June to September and late November to mid-January tend to be the drier months. February to May and October to mid-November are considered the rainier season. During the rainier months, one will find warm sunny weather in the morning followed by almost daily showers in the afternoon. Temperatures show little variance throughout the year with averages in the 60s during the day and 50s at night, though sunny days may get into the 70s and cooler nights may drop into the 40s. Despite these averages, it is common to have rainy streaks in the dry season and nice sunny weather in the wet season. It is best to come prepared for both rain and sun, as visitors will likely run into both during any month of the year. Warm days and cool nights are normal so packing layers is essential.

The Amazon
The Amazon basin is what you would expect of a tropical rainforest: wet, hot and humid. January marks the beginning of the less rainy period, which extends through March. Calling this the dry season would be a misnomer as it still rains quite frequently. March through July tends to be rainier than the first two months of the year, with July tending to be the rainiest. August through December is known as the fluctuation season. During this time, it is nearly impossible to predict weather patterns. One minute could be hot and sunny with clear blue skies and then the next minute a heavy downpour could begin. Temperatures year-round range in the 80s (27-33°C) and rain, sometimes even cool rainstorms, can be expected most days in the afternoon, as the Amazon basin is truly a rainforest. Any time of year is great to visit the Ecuadorian Amazon despite the level of rain. Contrary to what one may think, the months with higher averages of rainfall are great times to visit. Higher levels of rain increase fruit production, which results in more activity from monkeys and other fruit eating species. The Amazon is an unpredictable environment from both a weather and wildlife standpoint. The best approach for visitors to have an excellent Amazonian experience is to come prepared for the unexpected and to have an open mind!

The Coast
On coast, the dry season runs from about June to December with a temperature drop to the high 70s. The garua, a damp mist, has a tendency to cast itself over the coastline and the sun. The sun can disappear for three months at a time. Then in January to June, temperatures go up and despite the occasional heavy rain, the days will be bright and sunny.

The Galapagos
The great weather of the Galapagos Islands makes them a fantastic destination for travel year-round. Every month of the year is a good time to enjoy a tour of the region. The Galapagos Islands have a subtropical climate that is almost completely determined by sea currents. Although most believe the Galapagos to be a very hot destination, the cool water currents in the area keep the climate fairly temperate year-round. The mild variations in weather from month to month result in an overall climate of warm days, cool nights and low humidity. Anytime is a great time to travel to the Galapagos; while visiting one can expect to see plenty of sunshine, blue skies and a possible chance of light rain.
 

QUITO

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN 50-66 4.5
FEB 50-66 5.1
MAR 50-66 6.0
APR 51-66 6.9
MAY 51-66 4.9
JUN 49-67 0.8
JUL 49-67 1.0
AUG 49-67 1.0
SEP 49-68 3.1
OCT 49-67 5.0
NOV 49-67 4.3
DEC 50-66 4.1

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches
 

GALAPAGOS ISLANDS

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN 70-84 1.0
FEB 74-86 1.0
MAR 73-88 2.0
APR 72-86 1.5
MAY 72-82 0.8
JUN 66-78 0.3
JUL 67-76 0.5
AUG 64-75 0.3
SEP 62-75 0.5
OCT 64-77 0.3
NOV 66-78 0.5
DEC 68-80 0.5

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches
 

4 Day Itinerary (Fri - Mon)
Day 1: Quito - Coca - Napo River
Day 2: Sani Warmi Kichwa Culture & Observation Tower
Day 3: Yasuni National Park - Yakukawsay Kichwa Culture
Day 4: Return to Quito
5 Day Itinerary (Mon - Fri)
Day 1: Quito - Coca - Napo River
Day 2: Border with Peru - Heart of Yasuni
Day 3: Kichwa Culture & Island Explorations
Day 4: Parrot Clay Lick & Limoncocha Biological Reserve
Day 5: Return to Quito
8 Day Itinerary (Fri - Fri)
Day 1: Quito - Coca - Napo River
Day 2: Panacocha Biological Corridor
Day 3: Parrot Clay Lick - Sani Warmi & Yasuni National Park
Day 4: Indillama - Napo River - Yasuni
Day 5: Border with Peru (The Heart of Yasuni)
Day 6: Kichwa Culture & Island Explorations
Day 7: Observation Tower & Limoncocha Biological Reserve
Day 8: Coca - Quito
8 Day Itinerary (Mon - Mon)
Day 1: Quito - Coca - Napo River
Day 2: Border with Peru (The Heart of the Yasuni)
Day 3: Kichwa Culture and Island Exploration
Day 4: Observation Tower & Limoncocha Biological Reserve
Day 5:Indillama - Napo River - Yasuni
Day 6: Panacocha Biological Corridor
Day 7: Parrot Clay LIcks - Sani Warmi & Yasuni National Park
Day 8: Napo - Coca - Quito

4 Day Itinerary (Fri - Mon)

Pricing
Per Person
$1,215
Standard Cabin: $1,215

Amazon Community Fee: $50

A single supplement applies to single travelers in a private cabin.
Trip Dates
Weekly departures. Please contact us for availability.
Thursday, January 1, 2015 to Saturday, December 31, 2016
Included in tour cost
  • Round Trip Airfare Quito/Coca
  • Round trip transfers from Quito
  • All airport/hotel transfers
  • All hotel accommodations
  • All listed activities
  • English-speaking certified guides
  • Entrance fees for all scheduled tours, national parks & archaeological sites
  • Meals as indicated
  • Southern Explorations pre-departure services
  • Naturalist guide while on cruise
Excluded from tour cost
  • Airport taxes, international and local
  • Domestic airfare within South America
  • International airfare to and from Central & South America
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Medical & travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Sea kayak rental
  • Bar tab on cruise
  • Hiking boots and other necessary sports gear

5 Day Itinerary (Mon - Fri)

Pricing
Per Person
$1,445
Standard Cabin: $1,445

Amazon Community Fee: $50

A single supplement applies to single travelers in a private cabin.
Trip Dates
Weekly departures. Please contact us for availability.
Thursday, January 1, 2015 to Saturday, December 31, 2016
Included in tour cost
  • Round Trip Airfare Quito/Coca
  • Round trip transfers from Quito
  • All airport/hotel transfers
  • All hotel accommodations
  • All listed activities
  • English-speaking certified guides
  • Entrance fees for all scheduled tours, national parks & archaeological sites
  • Meals as indicated
  • Southern Explorations pre-departure services
  • Naturalist guide while on cruise
Excluded from tour cost
  • Airport taxes, international and local
  • Domestic airfare within South America
  • International airfare to and from Central & South America
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Medical & travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Sea kayak rental
  • Bar tab on cruise
  • Hiking boots and other necessary sports gear

8 Day Itinerary (Fri - Fri)

Pricing
Per Person
$2,165
Standard Cabin: $2,165

Amazon Community Fee: $60

A single supplement applies to single travelers in a private cabin.
Trip Dates
Weekly departures. Please contact us for availability.
Thursday, January 1, 2015 to Saturday, December 31, 2016
Included in tour cost
  • Round Trip Airfare Quito/Coca
  • Round trip transfers from Quito
  • All airport/hotel transfers
  • All hotel accommodations
  • All listed activities
  • English-speaking certified guides
  • Entrance fees for all scheduled tours, national parks & archaeological sites
  • Meals as indicated
  • Southern Explorations pre-departure services
  • Naturalist guide while on cruise
Excluded from tour cost
  • Airport taxes, international and local
  • Domestic airfare within South America
  • International airfare to and from Central & South America
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Medical & travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Sea kayak rental
  • Bar tab on cruise
  • Hiking boots and other necessary sports gear

8 Day Itinerary (Mon - Mon)

Pricing
Per Person
$2,165
Standard Cabin: $2,165

Amazon Community Fee: $60

A single supplement applies to single travelers in a private cabin.
Trip Dates
Weekly departures. Please contact us for availability.
Thursday, January 1, 2015 to Saturday, December 31, 2016
Included in tour cost
  • Round Trip Airfare Quito/Coca
  • Round trip transfers from Quito
  • All airport/hotel transfers
  • All hotel accommodations
  • All listed activities
  • English-speaking certified guides
  • Entrance fees for all scheduled tours, national parks & archaeological sites
  • Meals as indicated
  • Southern Explorations pre-departure services
  • Naturalist guide while on cruise
Excluded from tour cost
  • Airport taxes, international and local
  • Domestic airfare within South America
  • International airfare to and from Central & South America
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Medical & travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Sea kayak rental
  • Bar tab on cruise
  • Hiking boots and other necessary sports gear

One Day

Multi-Day

Cabins
Boat Details
Registry: Guayaquil, Ecuador
Built: 2002 Coca, Ecuador
Length: 26.30 m
Breadth: 7.0 m
Gross Tonnage: 214.04 grt
Max Speed: 15.0 knots downstream
Downstream Cruising Speed: up to 15 knots
Upstream Cruising Speed: up to 5.0 to 8.0 knots
Capacity: 30 passengers
Crew & Staff: 15 (officers, crew and expedition staff)
Communication: Telephone, HF and VHF radio
Satellite internet
DECK PLAN
The vessel features three decks: The MAIN DECK features a dining area, kitchen, the crew’s cabins, and the engine room. The UPPER DECK has 10 cabins including crew cabins. The SUN DECK houses the bridge, 4 cabins, the bar and lounge, and an outdoor dining area.

Our trip was rather complex with three different sections (Amazon, Galapagos, and Machu Picchu (Peru)).  There were a number of internal flights as well as trains, boats, and more.  We also had coordination of people joining us part way through, special guides, and special activities for some people.  I was very impressed that all of the transfers, activities, and connections occurred without a hitch.  There were ample opportunities for things to go wrong, but the whole trip went exceptionally smoothly.  All of the guides were outstanding - knowledgeable, personable, with good communication skills, and a good sense of humor.  I appreciated the very small groups, which afforded just the right balance.  We were able to see more than expected.   It couldn’t have been better.   -Linda Tredupp, Wisconsin (Amazon, Galapagos Island Cruise & Peru)


I have traveled many places in the world but the trip put together by Southern Explorations may well be the best. The amazing biology we saw on the Galapagos and in the Amazon, wonderful guides both on the Eclipse and at Sacha lodge, excellent food, and great coordination of the different parts of the trip made for an incredible journey.   -Marilyn Parsons, USA (Galapagos Island Cruise & Amazon)


Please consider strongly using Southern Explorations to book your trip to South America. These folks are well organized and provided excellent preparation materials. The two tours that I took (Galapagos Islands and the Amazon) were outstanding, in part due to the people working with Southern Explorations. There was excellent communication between Southern Explorations staff and myself which helped markedly in planning the trip, the exact locations to be visited, and the accommodations. Do not miss this opportunity to work with this wonderful group!   -Renée Leboeuf (Galapagos Island Cruise & Amazon)


Thank-you for the trip of a life time and I have already recommended you to everyone who asks!   -Wendy Williams, Canada (Amazon, Machu Picchu & Galapagos Island Cruise)


Southern Explorations did a superb job creating an individual guided trip for us to the Amazon, Cusco, Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. The guides were terrific - well-informed, friendly and flexible. The accommodations were excellent. The trip was a thrilling experience for us - exceeded our expectations at all of the locations. Thank you!!   -David Bergen & Rhea Feldman, USA (Amazon & Peru)


We had an outstanding time on our Galapagos Adventure + stay at the Sacha Lodge. Everything ran seamlessly and our guides were fun and knowledgeable. It was the perfect mix of activity, education, and relaxation! We also highly recommend the Sacha Lodge.  - Eric & Leah Monson, USA (Galapagos Island Land & Amazon) 

 

This Trip is Rated: Moderate

Our moderate trips require an average level of fitness. Itineraries may include walks or short hikes of up to two to three hours with little elevation gain, sustained walking at higher altitudes, and/or other similar level physical activities. Many activities are optional.

Physical Rating Legend

Easy: Our easy tours generally require fairly little exertion. Each day will involve walking, sightseeing and general travel-related activities such as getting in/out of vans, planes, boats, and zodiacs.

Moderate: Our moderate trips require an average level of fitness. Itineraries may include walks or short hikes of up to two to three hours with little elevation gain, sustained walking at higher altitudes, and/or other similar level physical activities. Many activities are optional.

Difficult: Our difficult trips may involve hiking over uneven terrain, with some hikes including significant elevation gain or loss and at higher elevations (up to 12,000 ft). Itineraries may include three to six hour hikes and other activities such as horseback riding, mountain bicycling, rafting and kayaking, which require no previous experience. On many trips, passengers may elect to skip a day's activity, depending on logistics.

Most Difficult: Our most difficult expeditions are for the adventurer who is in good physical condition. Itineraries may involve multi-day hiking and trekking excursions over steep, rugged terrain and/or where altitude may exceed 14,000 feet. Many trips include camping in remote areas and/or high altitude sites in varying temperature and weather conditions. Trips may also involve many days of demanding Class IV-V rapids, longer sea kayaking trips, horseback riding, and/or mountain bicycling. Training for the physical demands of these tours is highly encouraged. 

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