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“A Complete Amazon Adventure”

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Manatee Amazon Explorer
Panama City, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“A Complete Amazon Adventure”
Reviewed October 16, 2011

I selected this river cruise solely by reviews. It met all expectations. I took the 8 day / 7 night itinerary and would suggest the same to anyone who chooses this venue. The 4 day / 3 night itinerary misses some of the most excellent sites. The days begin early and every day is filled with a morning and afternoon/evening excursion on different parts of the Nap River, a major tributary of the Amazon. The events and meals go like clockwork. I was impressed given the variables of weather and river conditions in this region. The region is an especially biodiverse area unrivaled in the entire Amazon basin. Be prepared to get wet and have some fun. I saw both species of river dolphin, several species of monkey, sloths, a multitude of birds, caimans, amphibians, reptiles, and, of course, insects. DEET 50% is not a recommendation; it is a necessity, as is sunscreen. Laundry can be done very inexpensively on board the ship, so I suggest packing modestly since the rooms are compact, especially if you are sharing. A waterproof pack is another necessity. The Manatee suppies rain ponchos and rubber boots, and you will use them. The food on board was excellent. It was European style fare with Ecuadorian highlights. Service was prompt and courteous. Guides were excellent. I was impressed both with the depth and breadth of their knowledge. They pointed out wildlife that only a lot of experience could have seen. Safety was always first, and no age or "courage level" should have any concern. There was a stop at a children's elementary school and the Napo Wildlife Center where indigenous people produce an adequate but, as always, somewhat contrived experience of local life. I would like to have had more anthropological interaction in the region personally, but I was satisfied with my experience. Birdwatchers, of which I am not one, will be enthralled. I highly recommend this experience and the value is excellent.

Room Tip: All rooms are the same, however, ask for a mid-deck room to avoid any possible water pressure issues...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank ronspeer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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128 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
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English first
new jersey
Level 6 Contributor
116 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed August 23, 2011

A wonderful way to tour the rainforest of the area - relaxing and comfortable, but still enough adventure for most. Reuben and our guide Raoul took care to make our experience one to remember. The cabins are quite small, but there is a large covered deck as well as an air-conditioned lounge with bar and library to spend time in. Most of the time is spent walking or canoeing through the forest, spotting wildlife and meeting local families. A night hike with flashlights was particularly enjoyed by the children in our group. The food is excellent and plentiful. Thank you to the staff of the Manatee for giving us a great experience!

Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
Helpful?
3 Thank drfaith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quito
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 21, 2011

The Ecuadorian Amazon is a paradise of the world but sailing the
waters of the Napo river is the best choice, because you can stay in touch
permanently with nature and not in an single area, you know
a floating hotel gives you the opportunity to know all the places all the
wonders of the region, is like you unite several trips into one. The service
is great, the food is delicious is actually in the hotel where I have had the best food the rooms are very cozy and really comfortable we
hope to return soon because we could only go a short journey but
everything is so magical that I want to make a longest cruise with Manatee this was the adventure of a life time thank Manatee I had the best time ever

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank PATRICIOPONCE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed August 8, 2011

The three of us decided to reserve the Mantee for the 4 night/5 days as this was our first trip to the Amazon rainforest and wanted to see different places within the Amazon basin that a lodge wouldn't provide us. We definitely felt we made the best choice.

We were welcomed aboard with a refreshing drink and after every excursion thereafter were provided with a drink and treat on our return. The excursions were varied such as a canoe excursion to the Cuyabeno Reserve where we saw monkeys, tons of birds including scarlet macaws, 3 toed sloth, morpho butterflys (my favorite) and amazing wasp and bird nests in various shapes. We also toured by canoe the Limoncocha Reserve where we saw the stinky turkey hoatzin birds, monkeys, a huge black caiman 10 feet in length which we saw in the daytime which is very rare and fireflies at night which were very beautiful indeed. There was also a night hike where we got to see so many cool and colorful insects and my favorite the conga ant and a baby tarantula. Our guide Raul was great - vast knowledge of the rainforest and animals and a very keen eye.

The food was served for breakfast, lunch and dinner and each meal was much better than what I expected - delicious and creative! The service was A+ with most of the staff knowing your name after the 2nd day. There were only 12 of us on the boat from different countries such as Australia, France and New Zealand and we all had a great time.

Oh, and can't forget about the bartender - he was awesome and served us a shot of fire water I believe it is called in English and some mean capirinhas.

All in all we had a wonderful time and would highly recommend. We booked this trip through Advantage Travel and our representative Andrea was more than helpful responding quickly to my constant questions and e-mails. We coudn't ask for a better first trip to the Amazon Basin!!!!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank moonpie67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed June 9, 2011

Initially I planned on booking a lodge and then discovered the Manatee. I never knew when I booked our trip on the Manatee that it would become one of our most memorable experiences. We travel quite a lot and our Manatee experience was far beyond our expectations. The Ruben and his crew went above and beyond to make our experience superb! The service we received on the Manatee rivaled any first class cruise line. The boat was perfect, the meals outstanding, the cabins were above expectations, the service was amazing, the naturalists were extremely knowledgeable, the crew so friendly and fun. Trip canoe excursions and treks were interesting, fun and educational! There is no doubt that Ruben and his crew love the Amazon and love sharing it with their guests. There is no better way to experience the Amazon than with Ruben and his crew on the Manatee!

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank Gralam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Corrales, New Mexico
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed February 27, 2011

My husband and I spent a week on the Manatee with 15 other friends. We had read reviews and knew we would have a wonderful time, but we had NO IDEA how good it was. From the minute we were met in Coca we felt perfectly at ease. The motorized canoe and driver got us every place we wanted to go. Fausto and crew greeted us each time we came and left the vessel. The chef and asssistants dished up outstanding meals with taste, color, and flare. The naturalists were well educated and extremely knowledgeable. The entire week was five stars. There is NO reason to hesitate about going. If you have to stay connected to the outside world there is wi-fi while docked! Do it...you willl NOT be sorry.

  • Stayed January 2011
    • Value
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Helpful?
8 Thank Suz304
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver
Level 6 Contributor
120 reviews
71 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2011

We did the 3 day excursion. Loved it! Excellent service and accomodations. Nice cabins. Great food. They do an excellent job of describing and educating guests about ecological/environmental issues.
Our naturalist guide, Raul, was really amazing. Extremely knowlegable, helpful, pleasant, calm, never got rattled. He deserves a big raise in salary. Without him, our excursion would have been greatly diminished.
On the other hand, the woman (Andrea Fierro) at Advantage Ecuador that handled our reservation and coordinated the details of setting up our excursion was miserably incompetent. Dealing with her was like dealing with a distracted self-consumed 16 year old in charge of organizing and coordinating your three day $3000 excursion. If she's involved with your reservation, double and triple check everything she does (and should do).

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank raymagee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Advantagetravel, Public Relations Manager at Manatee Amazon Explorer, responded to this review, January 4, 2011
Dear Mr. Ray, Thank you very much for your kind comments about our Jungle River Cruise, we are glad to hear you enjoyed your trip with us.
On the other hand, we are concerned to hear about your discontent with the booking process. We understand that sometimes is not so easy to keep a fluid communication via email but we have a very capable staff and we are very open to receive your specific point about your inconvenience in order to improve our booking process.
Our main goal is to provide the best experience in Ecuador for our clients from the very beginning.
You can contact us directly to marketing@advantagecuador.com Thanks again for letting us know your comments and have a wonderful 2011.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Manatee Amazon Explorer

Property: Manatee Amazon Explorer
Address: Quito Office: Gaspar de Villarroel 1100 y Av. 6 de Diciembre Edificio Ritz Plaza, Yasuni National Park 17-11-6646, Ecuador
Location: Ecuador > Yasuni National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Yasuni National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 15
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 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

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