Monday, July 6, 2009

Cruzin’ the Napo - River Cruise in the Amazon Basin

After our trip to the jungle in Borneo, we were pretty keen to get back to it here in Ecuador. Especially after learning that the east side of the Andes forms the headwaters of the mighty Amazon river.

And when we found an option to cruise the Amazon on the Manatee river boat, Julie was sold. Andrew also thought it sounded pretty neat so before we knew it we were jetting off into the jungle and then transported by mini-bus to the river’s edge, where our canoe awaited.

The boat itself and the entire concept was great. However while the weather was on our side (amazing lack of rain for a rainforest!), time was not. The boat moves along at a pleasant and leisurely pace it is relaxing but doesn’t get us deep enough into the jungle to see the best spots. So we spent a lot of time in the motorized canoe zipping further upstream to the protected park areas.

The tours kept us busy exploring the plants and wildlife of the area, led by our friendly and knowledgeable guides. Notably was the visit to Lago Limoncocha Natural Reserve where Lago Limoncocha sunset wildlife cruisewe traveled around the lake to see black caimans (mini crocodiles), observe several species of birds and try our hand at piranha fishing. 

The trip was memorable for the people we met - our dining partners were a couple from Sacramento who shared their stories of living in the South Pacific as rafting guides, the wildlife and scenery that surrounded us and unfortunately the stomach flus we caught!

All and all it was a pretty good tour – we’re glad we did it. The boat was nice, our quarters were comfortable, the food was tasty and the relaxing while cruisingexcursions were satisfactory. We probably would have rather spent more time cruising on the boat than off of it. For this reason perhaps the 5d/4n cruise is a better option than the 4d/3n we did.

Andrew’s most interesting part of the cruise (apart from the food of course!): seeing the clay licks that the parrots and parakeets use to aid their digestion. He’d never imagined that he’d be deafened by the chirping of parakeets as thousands of them descended from the trees to the patch of mud. Julie found the birds to be noisy and irritating, much preferring the cruising time aboard the grand boat.

This story’s photo gallery: 

The Manatee Riverboat

1 comment:

KGcopywriter said...

Hi Julie and Andrew:

I am writing a freelance story about summer chasers for and I'm wondering if you all would be interested in chatting with me about your adventures. I didn't see any contact information on this site so if you could contact me as soon as possible, I'd appreciate it. My email address is:

Kristy Griggs