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All reviews pink dolphins day cruise great trip the river ecuadorian amazon flora and fauna crew members excellent cruise motorised canoe clay licks recommend this trip plenty of hot water local family daily excursions english speaking guide first rate raul
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Reviewed January 5, 2012

What a great trip. Travelled with Saga and spent 7 nights on board. The on board guides Ernesto and Milton were fantastic and very knowledgeable on the wildlife and fauna (as was Carlos our Saga guide). Saga even provided a doctor for the trip.

If you go on this trip you must be physically fit not only for walking in the jungle, clambering in and out of the canoes, but for getting around the boat between decks. The trips out can be quite tiring due to the temperature and the humidity and sometimes getting very wet. It is the rain forest! Wellies and ponchos are provided.

The beds were comfortable. The air conditioning was good. The shower was problematic because we were on the top deck and everyone tended to shower at the same time and the lower decks got the water. As another writer said soft luggage would be preferable.

The food was good. There was no choice as such but you will not starve. If you have any culinary issues speak to the chef beforehand and he will conjure something up. Coffee, tea and water is available all day and night.

You can use a credit card to settle your on board expenditure (bar bill).

Don't forget your swimsuit, you wouldn't want to miss the swimming opportunities ( swimming towels provided).

An experience of a lifetime and whilst you are in Ecuador, you must follow up with a trip to the Galapagos. That will give you two experiences of a lifetime on the same trip.

Room tip: For a better showering experience get a room on the lower deck.
Date of stay: October 2011
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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4  Thank PooleyNorthampton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed December 31, 2011

We took the 5 day / 4 night trip on the Manatee. It's a unique opportunity to see a part of the world in relative comfort, that not many people get to see at all. It's a great way to extend a trip to the Galapagos, but be sure to start with the Amazon first. Otherwise, the Galapagos will spoil you for wildlife sightings, which on the Amazon are much more typical.

We were pleasantly surprised by 3 things on the Manatee: the food, the shower and the availability of WiFi. The food was typically Ecuadorian and very good. The futuristic new shower capsules are right out of the Jetson's. In the evenings after they tie up along shore, they provide WiFi access throughout the ship.

You'll want to take a lot of pictures on the walks and powered canoe rides. Be sure to bring your longest lens. I'm attaching a picture taken from the clay licks with a 300mm (6x) lens. I would recommend a mega-zoom camera with a 25x or 35x lens. To take movies at the clay lick bring a tripod.

Overall, I felt the crew and guides worked very hard to be sure we had a great experience!

Room tip: Ask for a room with the renovated shower/bath.
Date of stay: December 2011
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
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2  Thank LarryUSA0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed December 25, 2011

We just returned from a four day trip on the Manatee Explorer. It is an experience which we will cherish for a very very long time.

Food - excellent. You will surely gain a bit of weight as the Chef makes some delicious food. We are vegetarians, so the options for us were a bit limited. The special yellow sauce is awesome and we even took the recipe for it from the Chef.

Cabins - are a bit small. Ensure that you have only the relevant clothing with you. It can take a while before the water gets hot in the shower.

Daily activities - your typical day starts early morning at around 5.00am and by around 6.30 you are out on the canoe. These guys know how to keep your day fully packed. The trip to the Cuyabeno reserve, Yasuni National Park were excellent. We saw a lot of wildlife (pink dolphins, parakeets, tucans, snakes, all kinds of insects and birds) etc. The weather changes quite suddenly and you have to be ready for it. These guys accordingly change the plans to suit the weather.

Milton, our guide was great. He has a great eye and is a good asset for the Manatee Explorer. At the end of the trip, he made a CD of all the photographs that he clicked of us and not to mention, he had some fantastic shots as well.

Luckily for us, we were only 6 guests for the whole trip. We had the most amazing time with two couples from the UK and had some fascinating conversations.

Our regret - couldnt do the 7 day trip rather than the 4 day trip. Highly recommend that you should do the 7 day trip rather than the four day one. HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMEND THE TRIP!!!!

Date of stay: December 2011
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Madhurrao
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed December 4, 2011

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.

Room tip: Avoid the top deck if possible as the water pressure in the shower is low when everyone rushes back to their cabins after a trek through the rainforest.
Date of stay: November 2011
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Dunpubbin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed October 24, 2011

I have just returned from a week's cruise on the Manatee. What a wonderful experience, although I was apprehensive as it was my first trip since being widowed.The itinerary was full of varied interesting places, the guides were excellent, explaining the varied flora and fauna of the rainforest.
The food was wonderful, the crew super efficient, and I was very impressed with the high standard by everyone. They really try to ensure that each passenger has a truely wonderful experience, far better than I could ever imagined

Date of stay: September 2011
  • Trip type: Travelled solo
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Thank Chris S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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