We have just returned from a Saga holiday on the Manatee. The cabins were small (as expected) but the shower was great and the beds comfy - which is all you really need on such a holiday. I would advise soft luggage which can be stowed under the beds as there is limited storage for clothes. Long sleeved lightweight cotton shirts and trousers and walking shoes/boots and waterproofs are a necessity (though rubber boots are supplied on board which are surprisingly comfortable, as are waterproof ponchos!) Bit of a shock to the system to have a 5 am wake up call and breakfast at 5.30 am for a 6.30 am start but well worth it! Unfortunately Amazon birds wake with the sun and therefore, if you want to see them, you need to do the same! You soon adjust to going to bed at 9 pm! The chefs on board are superb with local produce served daily and lots of fresh juices, fruits and vegetables (some of which we had never heard of - let alone tasted!) The crew are fabulous! The boat runs very smoothly and efficiently and nothing is too much trouble! The boat's propeller/engine had problems while we were on board, but we were taken on alternative trips and speedboats were laid on to get us back to Coca in time for our flight. I hope this problem is now resolved as the crew really tried hard to make sure it did not spoil our holiday. The guides are nothing less than superb - we had a temporary guide called Delphin who was absolutely amazing - together with Milton and Raoul who were both informative, helpful, amusing and could not be faulted!
I was a bit apprehensive about the 'canoes' but no need to worry - they are easy to get on and off - help is available at all times. We saw loads of birds, insects, dolphin, monkeys, sloth, snakes etc etc and one of my most enduring memories will be of the cacophany of sounds in the rainforest at 6 pm when all the tree frogs and cicadas wake up! Totally amazing!
Every day is planned out according to the weather/river conditions with a short talk the previous evening after dinner on what to wear, take and what the wake up time will be, and the length of the trip. Take a torch, plenty of 50% Deet insect repellent and high factor suncream and especially do not forget a good camera and binoculars.
If you like dressing up for dinner, looking glamorous, wearing make-up then stay at home! If you are prepared to muck in (literally!) and crawl under logs, get wet, look like no-one ownes you, then go ahead and book - I guarantee you will have a whale of a time.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Although expedition cruising by its very nature is characterized as adventurous, the safety of our staff and passengers is of paramount importance to us. The brand new Manatee Amazon Explorer is fully equipped and maintained in order to handle the most challenging conditions and circumstances, and is manned by experienced and conscientious expedition staff and crew. The canoes used for daily shore landings are rugged and versatile and are operated responsibly by experienced personnel. Onboard you will be fully briefed on all pertinent safety issues and concerns, as well as our environmental policy; passengers also receive appropriate and detailed briefings before each landing. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Manatee Amazon Explorer Hotel Yasuni National Park
- Manatee Amazon Explorer Ecuador/Yasuni National Park