But if you are just traveling to see the Amazon, consider this:
The Ecuadorian amazon has less population than Manaus in Brazil and Iquitos in Peru - the start points for most cruises. The most populated city in the Ecuadorian amazon has 48,000 inhabitants. Manaus in Brazil has a population of 1.9 million people and Iquitos in Peru has a population of 457,000 inhabitants.
Most of the Ecuadorian territory is owned by the government. There are 10 protected areas where no private investment is allowed and the territory belongs to the local communities:
- Cofan-Bermejo Ecological Reserve
- Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserve
- Antisana Ecological Reserve
- Sumaco Napo Galeras National Park
- Limoncocha Biological Reserve
- Yasuni National Park
- Cuyabeno wildlife production reserve
- Condor Park
- Wildlife refuge el Zarza
- Biological Reserve el Quimi
In these protected areas hunting and clearing of trees is prohibited, so wildlife should be plentiful.
In Ecuador’s Amazon there are 12 different ethnic groups:
Siona, Cofan, Secoyal, Huarani, Zaparo, Quichuas, Achuar, Shuar, Shiwiar, Andoas, Zaparas, Los Tagaeri.
There are really only 2 cruise boats that operate in the Ecuadorian Amazon - the Manatee Explorer and the Anakonda. The Manatee is a moderate cruise, while the Anakonda is more of a deluxe cruise. If you compare prices with cruises in Peru or Brazil, you will note that the prices for the Ecuadorian Amazon cruises look pretty good.
- fuel costs in Peru are about 3 times higher and they are about 4 times higher in Brazil
- most supplies can be driven overland in a day to Coca and transferred to the ships, while they have to be flown to Iquitos or Manaus or shipped long distances by boat
- roundtrip flights from Quito to Coca are shorter and cheaper than those from Lima to Iquitos or from Rio/Sao Paulo to Manaus
On the 8 day / 7 night cruise itinerary they can visit 4 protected areas: Yasuni National Park, the Cuyabeno Reserve, Limoncocha and Pañacocha Biological Corridor. Since their operation involves 15 communities of the Amazon Region, theirr passengers have the opportunity to really connect with the
destination and generate memorable experiences by interacting with local people and with the wildlife on the same trip.