Amazon River Cruises

Amazon River cruises offer travellers a chance to explore some of Ecuador’s biodiversity hotspots, without compromising on comfort.

The Amazon is the world’s largest tropical rainforest and is incredibly rich in biodiversity. The massive rainforest is roughly 5.5 million square kilometres in size and spans across eight South American countries – Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana. The lifeblood of the rainforest is the mighty Amazon River and its countless tributaries. The vast ecosystem is home to over 1,300 bird species, 3,000 types of fish, 430 mammals and an incredible 2.5 million species of insects. It is also thought that there are between 400-500 indigenous Amazonian tribes that live within the huge forest – many of whom it is thought have never had any contact with the outside world.  

 The Ecuadorian Amazon, the part of the Amazon that spreads into Ecuador, offers visitors a taste of the rainforest’s wonders. Though small in comparison, the rainforest still covers a large part of Ecuador and is best accessed from the small city of Coca. One of the very best sections of the massive rainforest to explore is the magical Yasuní National Park – one of the most biodiverse areas on the planet. Coca is located at the confluence of the Napo and Coca rivers. It is also the starting point for several Ecuadorian Amazon cruises – including the M/V Manatee and M/V Anakonda – two luxury river boats. 

Amazon cruises aboard these vessels offer travellers a chance to explore further, visiting some of Ecuador’s biodiversity hotspots, without compromising on comfort. There are a variety of itineraries available including 4,5 and 8 days, providing guests with greater flexibility.     

  • The world’s largest rainforest spanning across 9 countries
  • Incredible biodiversity including over 1,300 bird species and 430 mammals
  • Home to some 400-500 indigenous Amazonian tribes
  • Travelling by riverboat allows you see more of the Amazon by area
  • Wide range of activities from guided walks and canoeing to cultural excursions
  • Extremely comfortable way of travelling with superb onboard accommodation

Generally, Ecuador has two seasons, wet and dry; however local weather patterns vary greatly depending on geography. In the highlands, the dry season is June-September and December, making these months (as well as January) a popular time to visit the country. The Ecuadorian Amazon can be visited year-round and can experience rainforest-like conditions (intermittent rain) at any time.    

Our Recommended Amazon River Cruise

The M/V Anakonda cruising down the Amazon River

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Amazon River Cruises FAQ

Ecuador has a number of extremely luxurious riverboats that offer guests a chance to explore the remarkable Amazon Rainforest on either 4,5 or 8 day itineraries. These itineraries offer in-depth exploration in total luxury and style. 

Compared to a comfortable eco-lodge, cruising through the Amazon Rainforest on a luxury riverboat allows visitors to see more of the Amazon Rainforest. Another benefit is that you can watch the world pass slowly by from the comforts of your private suite, an elegant lounge or spacious observation deck. Luxury riverboats also offer some of the highest standards of service, food and luxury within the Amazon ecosystem. 

Best Ecuador holidays

Galapagos Extravaganza

This 15 day/14 night itinerary combines the very best of the southern, north and central islands exploring Floreana, Espanola, San Cristobal, Santa Cruz, South Plaza and North Seymour islands.

Recommended places to stay in Ecuador

Casa Gangotena

Situated on Plaza San Francisco in the heart of Quito’s historic centre, Casa Gangotena is the city’s leading luxury hotel.

Finch Bay Hotel

Located on the south side of Santa Cruz Island, this stunning hotel is positioned in the heart of the Galapagos archipelago.

Mashpi Lodge

Hidden amongst pristine cloud forest in the Andean foothills, Mashpi Lodge is Ecuador’s premier eco-lodge.

Pikaia Lodge

Perched on the edge of an extinct volcano this remarkable lodge boasts some of the most spectacular views in the Galapagos Islands

Talk to one of our South America Experts

Taleen Gaidzkar

Senior Destination Specialist

Natasha Redondo

Destination Specialist

Ecuador Overview

What is the best thing to do in Ecuador?
Ecuador offers an incredible array of experiences within its borders; from heritage-rich colonial cities and luxurious rainforest lodges to opulent Amazon River cruises and exciting rail journey’s – there is something for everyone to enjoy. Most compelling of all is the wild beauty and unique fauna of the Galapagos Islands.

Ecuador Culture
From Amazonian frontier towns and Pacific fishing villages, to colonial cities and country markets, Ecuador is a blend of a many cultures. The country is famous for its excellent handicrafts, whilst Afro-Ecuadorians are known for marimba, a lively form of traditional music and dance.

What can I combine Ecuador with?
Mainland Ecuador can be easily combined with a cruise through the beautiful Galapagos Islands, located just under 1000 kilometres off the coast. Neighbouring Peru is the other county most easily (and best) to combine with Ecuador. Top highlights include Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley and historic Cusco.

How do you get to Ecuador?
Ecuador’s capital Quito, and the country’s largest city Guayaquil, are the major hubs for flights into the country. Both cities are serviced by a number of airlines directly such as KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, American Airlines, Air France and United. Latam Airlines (primarily based in Santiago, Chile), is the major airline in South America and offers direct flights to number of US and European cities. The Galapagos Islands are a 2 hour flight from Quito or 1.5 hour flight from Guayaquil.

US – Ecuador is very easy to fly to from the United States. There are plenty of direct flights to either Quito or Guayaquil from a number of US cities. Airlines that fly between the countries include United Airlines, American Airlines and Latam Airlines.

Europe – There are a number of countries that operate direct flights into Ecuador from Europe including France and the Netherlands. Alternatively Latam fly to European countries such as Germany and Spain.

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