If you are thinking about visiting the Amazon, and enjoying great birds, a bit of luxury, relaxation, and good food, then you should consider coming to Ecuador and gliding over the Napo River on the Manatee Amazon Explorer .  They offer multiple packages and we took a five day trip that took us right down to the border with Peru.

My wife and I took a little vacation back in February to scout this river boat service; it was one of those experiences that will always bring back many good memories and great birds.  We combined this wonderful trip with a few day stay at Sani Lodge and this tour made a great birding package to explore the Lower Napo River endemics.

The Manatee itself prove to be a great place to relax and watch many birds from the top deck as you stroll slowly up and down the Napo River.  They have an excellent staff, food service, and comfortable air-conditioned cabins that assure a great night sleep even in the hottest and most humid days in the Amazonian jungle!

Here are some of the best bird photos I took from the top deck:

Ornate Hawk-Eagle

Blue-and-yellow Macaws

Large-billed Tern

Hundreds of Parrots and Parakeets

Here are your cuarters and observation deck:

Manatee Amazon Explorer

Every day they organize two trips that take you further into the jungle where you get a chance to experience some of the local culture and see other birds that don’t hang out by the river edge. These day tours are also very good to see wildlife and experience the deep jungle beauty with its noises, smells, and mysteries.

Here are some of my best photos on the day expeditions:

Black Skimmer

Capped Heron

Greater Ani

And the legendary Hoatzin

Written by Renato
Renato was born in Quito, Ecuador and quickly flew to the USA to learn all about engineering and climbing company ladders. After getting his engineering degree from the University of Minnesota he worked in the Standard-American-Rat-Race-Company for fifteen years. After climbing the ladder to where he could no longer see the ground, he decided to jump off the ladder and migrate south like all normal birds do. To his surprise home did not look like it did when he left as a young fledgling; the towns were bigger, most of his friends had nests of their own, and the countryside was changed. Shocked by all the change he searched for a new life and a new wife. He stumbled across a vivacious young chick who would accompany him inside a volcanic crater to set up a love nest. So, after eight years of nesting inside the crater a new love for nature and birds has sprung a career in environmental conservation and birding tours. Finally this bird has come home to roost!