- Travel with one of the world's greatest explorers and meet three distinct Amazonian tribes
- Exclusive voyage to Steppes Travel and The Telegraph, sailing into the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve
- Spend a night under canvas in the Amazon jungle on a luxury camping excursion
- Explore the Yasuni National Park, one of the most biologically diverse places on earth
Swim and kayak with pink river dolphin in the Napo River, camp out on the shores of the Amazon, encounter extraordinary wildlife in Yasuni National Park and the remote Cuyabeno wildlife reserve and meet with local Amazonian communities to understand their distinct way of life.
Join Steppes Travel on our exclusive river cruise through the Ecuadorian Amazon, accompanied by Benedict Allen. Benedict is a remarkable explorer and adventurer and the only known person to have crossed the Amazon Basin at its widest points, immersing himself in the jungle with remote indigenous people and learning skills to survive along the way. Benedict will accompany the cruise along the Napo River, the largest tributary of the mighty Amazon, and along the Aguarico River, travelling deep into the Amazon rainforest. This is a unique itinerary - no other boat travels to all of these areas.
Meet with three indigenous communities – Cofan, Siona and Kichwa, each with their own language and customs. On this trip, Benedict, our naturalist guides and the indigenous people you will meet will give insight into the knowledge and resourcefulness required to survive in the rainforest. Learn how to identify and use medicinal plants; learn which plants (and animals) are edible and how best to cook them; and learn how to craft the natural resources of the jungle into the materials needed for producing everything from hammocks to cooking pots. Explore both the UNESCO Yasuni National Park, the most biologically diverse spot on earth, and the remote and little visited Cuyabeno wildlife reserve. There will be time for exploring on foot and by kayak looking at the many birds, primates, caiman, pink river dolphin and other animals that live in the area. With three English speaking naturalist guides on board in addition to Benedict Allen you can be assured of receiving personalised and insightful narrative on Amazon wildlife, ecology and anthropology.
Why should I join this group?
This is an exceptional opportunity to travel to remote areas of the Ecuadorian Amazon, accompanied by Benedict Allen. A unique trip in terms of communities and regions visited but also travelling with Benedict, bringing with him his passion and wealth of knowledge of the Amazon and indigenous people.
Spend a night in the jungle on a luxury camping excursion
While in the Amazon, there will be the opportunity to sleep a night off the boat as part of a small group. While the service, comfort and atmosphere on board the Anakonda will be hard to resist, a night under canvas in the Amazon gives an opportunity for complete immersion in the jungle environment. To wake in a rainforest to a chorus of bird-song is a memorable start to anyone’s day. This experience has been refined to offer a comfortable sleepover in state of the art deluxe tents. While we encourage everyone on board to make the most of this opportunity, the jungle camping experience is optional and so should you prefer to stay on board the Anakonda, there will be staff on board to look after you.
What wildlife will I see?
There will be the opportunity to see a rich diversity of wildlife. Yasuni National Park is home to at least 596 bird species (one-third of the total native bird species for the Amazon) and in a single hectare, there are over 100,000 different species of insects, the same amount found in the whole of North America. The numbers are mind-boggling and difficult to comprehend. Only when you have seen, felt, smelt and heard it for yourself, will you begin to appreciate the sheer scale and bio-diversity of the Amazon.
By its very nature, the wildlife of the jungle is not always easy to see. For best results, patience is required along with the skill and knowledge of naturalist guides and a bit of luck of course! During the voyage, you will likely see pygmy marmosets, saki, spider, capuchin, howler and woolly monkey; an incredible variety of birds, which include blue and yellow macaw, scarlet macaw, toucan, cormorants and heron; and marine life may include pink dolphins, caiman, charapa turtle and if lucky, manatee.
What is the boat like?
The Anakonda is a traditional Amazonian riverboat in design but with the atmosphere and decor of a boutique hotel. There are 18 suites with wall to wall panoramic windows allowing you to lie in large comfortable beds and watch the rainforest glide by. There is also an expansive observation deck, an outdoor jacuzzi and outdoor lounge. Two large canoes (with seating for 18) are used for excursions and activities and 10 double kayaks are available for use during the trip.
Meals are served either in the dining room or in the outdoor lounge area. Breakfast is buffet style whilst lunch and dinner are a la carte. The food is fresh with a tropical influence, and borrows from many of Ecuador’s national dishes for its flavours and presentation.
In short, the Anakonda is an exceptional, high-end base from which to explore the Amazon. See what Steppes’ Latin America product consultant thought of the boat and the experience board by reading Kate’s blog.
What will the weather be like in August in the Amazon?
The weather at the Ecuadorian Amazon basin is mainly humid and warm with rain likely at any time. Whilst downpours can be heavy they rarely last long before the sun comes out again. Temperatures are likely to range between 22oC and 27oC.
Can I extend my stay in Ecuador?
Yes of course and there are many more things to see and do in Ecuador. Spend time in the highlands visiting local markets where the Andean communities come together to sell their produce; stay in a traditional hacienda; travel through the Avenue of the Volcanoes, a road that winds its way through some of the most impressive volcanoes in the country; or for more wildlife head to the Galapagos Islands located one and a half hours off the coast.
For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.