Anakonda 8 Day Itinerary A
Wednesday: Quito – Coca – Napo River
Departure from Quito. A short 30-minute flight takes us to the frontier town of El Coca (Francisco de Orellana) – and transfer to the dock, where we will embark on a motorized canoe and navigate down river about 1 hour, to board the M/V ANAKONDA AMAZON CRUISES.
Since safety on board is of upmost importance, our navigation will not begin until a safety evacuation drill has been completed. Throughout the journey we have a chance to admire the rainforest landscape and sand banks of the great Napo River.
Immediately after boarding the M/V Anakonda, we continue navigating downstream. This will be the first of many opportunities passengers will have to enjoy the exciting features of our cruise ship: the spacious social areas, comfortable suites, and an observation deck that offers spectacular views.
Once you have comfortably settled into the M/V Anakonda, we will be joined by local tour/-nature guides who will give us a complete and condensed introduction to the Ecuadorian Amazon. Following this Amazonian induction, we will enjoy dinner under the mesmerizing sunset. An evening walk is organized after sunset; giving us the opportunity to discover the forest’s nocturnal activity while listening to the incessant sounds of nature.
Thursday: Border with Peru (the heart of Yasuni)
Before disembarking, we will enjoy breakfast atop the cruise ship’s deck, accompanied by the bird’s melody. After this unique gastronomic experience, we disembark on land for our first daylight close-and-personal tropical rainforest experience. It is on this morning adventure, where we will learn about the relationship between plants and animals while closely watching out for samples of Amazonia’s fascinating biodiversity at every turn.
After this extraordinary encounter with the Ecuadorian Amazon, we will enjoy lunch aboard, the M/V Anakonda navigates to one of the most pristine and little explored sections of Ecuadorian Amazonia, home to the legendary Pink River dolphin, Black Caiman and Anaconda.
We may also find river turtles and various species of monkeys, as well as the primitive Hoatzin, a one-of-a-kind bird locally known as "the Stinky Turkey". The only way to actually visit this flooded ecosystem is by canoe, a ride that will reveal the beauty of a lush jungle world. Throughout the day, the M/V Anakonda will continue navigating alongside the Ecuadorian-Peruvian border. After such an incredible day in the Amazon, we will end the night accompanied by a delicious dinner and by local guides, ready to answer any and all questions pertaining to the Ecuadorian Amazon.
For our more adventurous passengers, please inquire about our glamping program.
Friday: Meeting the community – Activities on board – Island Exploration
The M/V Anakonda will continue upstream, en route to the Pañacocha Lake (Piranha Lake, in the native language Quechua). Here we will be marveled by the unique creatures that inhabit the area: Common Squirrel Monkeys, and of course the infamous Piranhas.
The ecosystem of the Pañacocha Lake and its surrounding areas make it the perfect habitat for the Piranha, as well as the Water Monkey Fish, known locally as Arawana and the White Caiman. Later, we will be given the once in a lifetime opportunity to visit an Authentic Indigenous home, belonging to the Oraco family.
After, we return on board the cruise for lunch and take a moment to relax while navigating upstream. After lunch we will offer various cultural lectures, documentary screenings, and hands on experiences regarding topics about: local handcrafts and cuisine. We will offer a lecture and documentary screening, and if time permits, learn about (and make) typical handicrafts of the area. In the afternoon, we explore one of the largest river islands of the Napo River, home to hundreds of Amazonian monkeys.
Unquestionably, after an entire day in the heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon, you will have more questions than answers about the amazon. Luckily for our passengers, we will host a dinner accompanied by local nature and cultural guides who will make sure everyone on board is an expert on Ecuadorian Amazonia. We visit a school located on the banks of the Napo River, where we will have the opportunity to interact with children of the area and learn about the educational system of a remote jungle community in Ecuador.
Saturday: Parrots’ clay licks – Sani Warmi & Yasuni National Park
After breakfast on board, we will have a chance to witness an astonishing natural phenomenon as we set out to visit one of the most amazing spectacles located on this side of the western Amazonia, commonly known as Parrot Clay Licks. These unique pools of mud are rich in minerals and attract hundreds of parrots, parakeets and Amazon birds every day.
Later we will visit the Sani Warmi Kichwa Interpretation Center, where a group of Kichwa women will speak and share about their customs, cuisine and daily life. Kichwa women created the center in order to showcase their culture. The visit to the Sani Warmi community is a unique opportunity to learn about Amazonian lifestyle along the Napo River. You will also have the opportunity to buy handmade crafts, local products and souvenirs.
Afterwards, we will enjoy lunch on board, as we navigate to Puerto Pedro. Weather permitting and as an optional excursion, we could make a short stop at the Yakukawsay Kichwa Interpretation Centre before sunset.
Today you have the option to kayak through one of the Napo River’s tributaries that goes into the Yasuni National Park, the Indillama River. This visit enables great excursions for wildlife observation, with kayaks which are the best silent vehicles to flow down river.
On the southern bank of the Napo River we visit a path that runs through the tropical forest. On the way we may visit the Yaku Kawsay Interpretation Center, which is a museum that provides information on the fauna that is found in the Amazon basin: pink dolphins, manatees, and paiches, among others.
Or you can choose to go on a canoe ride in search of more wildlife through the Napo River. It’s up to you!
Sunday: Indillama & Napo Rivers - Yasuní National
One of the most pristine black-water systems of the Amazon Basin is home to legendary pink river dolphins, black caimans and the enigmatic Amazonian anaconda.
We will continue our navigation downstream to the Pañayacu River delta; take a canoe trip up the river to experience the sights of this fascinating reserve. We will seek out Pink River Dolphins, Common Squirrel Monkeys and much more. Black water lakes are ecosystems previously flooded by white waters. The rivers and lakes here are the perfect habitat for the infamous Piranha, as well as the Water Monkey Fish (Arawana) and White Caiman. After a refreshing swim (for the courageous!), we will enjoy a delicious Amazon-style BBQ meal and refreshing beverages at a nearby camping site. In the afternoon, we will head out on exploration trails, and return onboard for dinner.
Monday: Pañayacu - Black water ecosystems
In the morning, our guests will disembark the M/V Anakonda in order to be transferred to El Coca by motorized canoe (1-hour ride); flight to Quito.
Tuesday: Observation tower – Limoncocha Biological Reserve
Today we will visit the Añangu Tower, which offers great photograph opportunities after climbing a ceibo tree in order to enjoy an astonishing view of the Amazon from this wooden tower. This is a great opportunity to do bird watching activities.
Weather permitting and as an optional excursion, a visit to the Yakukawsay Kichwa Interpretation Centre, and end with an interesting evening walk through the forest (depending on accessibility, river water levels). Our trip into Ecuadorian Amazon, ends here, as we will begin our trip back to Itaya. During our last night in the Ecuadorian Amazon our guests will enjoy a farewell cocktail with all our staff and a great dinner.