It was precisely some 30 years back that we first decided to head out to these jungles and discover how truly wonderful the Amazon was and how fascinating it became to show this to others in all of its splendor. Today, in this environmental age, Amazon travel has never been so pertinent and we proudly present the new Anakonda Amazon River Cruises as the most tweaked, ergonomic and thought-out way to discover the mystery, spirit, life, and multicolored infinity of the most biodiverse corner on Earth.
The vessel comes complete with an expansive observation deck, an outdoor Jacuzzi and one al fresco lounge; ideal for cocktails, relaxation, reading or simply enjoying the spectacular view. The vessel also features 3 canoes for guest transportation to land excursions and activities and also 10 kayaks. The Anakonda offers hammocks, naturalist tour leaders and a travel concierge, who will go out of his way to personalize your experience, making the Anakonda Amazon River Cruise a savory, unforgettably and exciting treat!
Our adventure begins in the city of Quito, Capital of Ecuador. After taking a short 30- minute flight from Quito to the Amazon city of Coca, located in the Province of San Francisco de Orellana, we will transfer to the dock and board our motorized canoe to begin our journey down the river for approximately an hour and a half, taking in the first sights and sounds of the Amazon. Soon, we will reach the M/V Anakonda Amazon Cruises and receive our welcome aboard.
Once we have settled into the M/V Anakonda Amazon Cruises, we will be joined by expert local naturalist guides who will provide us with a brief and informative introduction to the Ecuadorian Amazon, after which guests will have their first opportunity to discover the exciting features of our cruise ship: spacious social areas, comfortable suites, and the observation deck that allows us to admire the changing rainforest landscape as we glide down the Napo River.
After dinner, we will plunge straight into the Amazon by going for a nighttime forest walk to observe the forest’s nocturnal activity and experience the thrill of the vivid noises and aromas that come from so much biodiversity.
We continue to travel downstream to the Pañayacu River delta, where we will take a canoe trip to experience the sights of this fascinating water reserve. Pañacocha Lake is an ecosystem flooded by blackwaters. Pañacocha means “Piranha Lake” in the native Quechua language. The surrounding protected Rainforest is home to 9 species of primates, 500 species of birds and more than 100 fish species. This is the perfect habitat for Piranhas, the Water Monkey Fish (Arawana) and the White Caiman.
In this little piece of paradise, we will participate in nature walks led by our local naturalist guides, and relax at a nearby campsite where we will enjoy a delicious Amazon-style BBQ and refreshing beverages.
After lunch, we will do some kayaking, and the bravest among us will enjoy a nice refreshing swim in the Piranha Lake! We promise it’s not as dangerous as it sounds!
Back on board the M/V Anakonda Amazon Cruises, our guests will have the opportunity to attend a lecture given by our concierge and watch an educational documentary about the region.
This morning, we will 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, every day.
Later, we will visit a Quechua Cultural Center, where we will learn about Amazon communities and their ancestral culture, traditions, and cuisine. Members of the local community will teach us about indigenous lifestyles along the Napo River and we will have the opportunity to support the local community by purchasing handicrafts, local products, and souvenirs.
Before sunset, we will visit an observation tower in the rainforest canopy, which offers an astonishing 360-degree view of the Amazon basin and is the perfect photo opportunity! Birdwatchers and bird-lovers alike will especially enjoy this outing.
We will begin the day kayaking along the Indillama River, one of the Napo River’s tributaries, which leads us into Yasuni National Park. Kayaks are smooth and silent, providing the very best opportunity to observe wildlife. Canoes can also be used to travel in search of more wildlife. The choice is yours! In these waters, you will find yourself surrounded by lush greenery.
After an adventure-filled day, you may choose to take advantage of our observation deck where you can relax and experience a magical view under the stars.
Our more energetic guests may choose to unwind with a night walk through the jungle to observe nocturnal creatures.
Early in the morning, we will visit Yasuni National Park. This is a pristine and relatively undisturbed region of the Ecuadorian Amazon. Our guests will be pleased to learn that this is the home of the legendary Pink River Dolphin! In this area we can also find anacondas, river turtles and various primate species, as well as the colorful Hoatzin, a unique bird that is known locally as the “Stinky Turkey”.
Later in the afternoon, we will go canoeing in a blackwater lake, home to giant otters and the magnificent, albeit elusive manatee. We will also enjoy a pleasant hike in the Riparian/Gallery Forest, where we have the chance to spot a flock of birds and marvel at the intricate organization of a colony of leaf-cutter ants by the “Giant Fig Tree”, a truly majestic tree that is home to an abundance of wildlife, much like the “Giant Kapok Tree”.
We will start the day off by visiting an authentic Quechua family located on the banks of the Napo River, where we will receive cultural immersion and the opportunity to learn directly from members of the local community.
We will then board the M/V Anakonda Amazon Cruises for lunch and some leisure time as we continue our journey upstream. At this time, our guests are invited to participate in a cooking class with our chef who will share recipes and techniques for preparing exquisite traditional Ecuadorian food that you can replicate at home. Guests are also invited to try their hands at making traditional handicrafts.
Our guests can relax and enjoy the M/V Anakonda Amazon Cruises during the morning and disembark to explore the nearby forest for a walk to discover a myriad of different animals and plant species that can only be found in the Amazon basin.
In the afternoon, we will visit a canopy tower, built against a giant Kapok tree. The perspective at the top of this observation tower is truly glorious, looming above the lush treetops and providing a view of the sheer vastness of the Amazon Basin.
In the evening, we will bravely venture into the river on a canoe to search for black caimans with the help of our flashlights.
This is where our adventure ends! Enjoy the last part of our return journey onboard and then disembark the M/V Anakonda Amazon Cruises to take the motorized canoe back to Coca (a one-and-a-half-hour ride).
For those interested in shorter trips, there are also 4 days/3 nights and 5 days/4 nights itineraries that include highlights from this itinerary.
Suites and cabins on the Anakonda Amazon River Cruise are groundbreaking in every sense. For some reason, no one ever thought it possible, or even convenient, to bring all the perks of comfort to Amazon cruising in Ecuador. The Anakonda now does, offering up to 20 square-meters worth of space to unwind in suites, with private balconies, Jacuzzis, and full-frame panoramic windows that offer you much more of the Amazon’s sights and spectacles. We have limited access to internet via satellite-serviced Wi-Fi internet.