Anakonda Amazon Cruises Useful Information
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Thursday 14 December 2017

Useful Information


Preparing for Ecuador

Preparing for Ecuador

Ecuador is a deeply layered country. It holds spectacular natural diversity from snow-clad volcanoes to steamy tropical beaches and the verdant Eden of the Amazon rainforests found just east of the spectacular Andes mountain range. With this natural diversity comes extreme cultural diversity as well. Over 13 different languages are spoken in an area as large as the U.S. State of Colorado, although, like most Latin American countries, Spanish is the official language, together with Quechua, of ancient Incan descent, which is widely spoken in the rural highlands.

Three-centuries of Spanish colonial rule established an important Roman Catholic heritage, evident in a cluster of churches, cloisters and monasteries found in the major cities, especially Quito and its historic center, the largest and best preserved in South America. On the other hand, village life reveals deep-rooted ancient cultural traditions and a most fertile agricultural reality that produces fruit at both temperate and tropical climates, from apples to pineapples, from roses (the most vibrantly colored in the world) to orchids, as well as many crops that are believed to have originated here, such as maize, countless varieties of grains, potatoes, and arguably the best chocolate in the world! When you visit Ecuador be prepared to experience the unexpected, changing landscapes, and diversity in both nature and culture… all in one…

What to Expect?

What to Expect

  • Ecuador’s currency is the U.S dollar, which avoids the headache of currency conversion and exchange rates for Americans… and is quite user-friendly for Europeans as well.
  • ATMs are found in most major cities and in many towns (where there is at least a bank). All US dollar bills and coins are accepted (including the Sacajawea dollar coin), but there are also 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 cent coins made locally (which, conversely, are not accepted anywhere else but in Ecuador). Most stores are always fetching for ‘change’ (sueltos), so think about bringing enough coins and one dollar bills, or change when you can, because 50 or 100 dollar bills can be refused in certain places, especially rural towns.
  • English is the most common foreign language people can communicate with visitors in, especially within the tourism industry. Much less so, German and French, for which you may want to think of hiring a special guide. Other languages need some level of interpretation.
  • The fact that Ecuador is in Latin America doesn’t mean you need only warm weather clothing. The highlands get chilly, especially at night (when visiting the Amazon, you still have at least an overnight in Quito). The Amazon is warm and humid, but strong breezes and rain make it wise to bring a light sweater or raincoat.
  • Getting around in Ecuador has become easier as highways have been impressively revamped. There is no full service train to different cities (although the enjoyable Quito to Guayaquil train, recently refurbished, is an interesting tourism attraction). One can travel by car (taxis aren’t excessively expensive), by bus (by far the cheapest way to travel, but very time-consuming), or plane between major Ecuadorian cities, to both the coast and the Amazon.
  • People are friendly and humble throughout Ecuador. Like any major city, there is petty crime in certain parts of town, but if you stick to the important visitor sites, there should be no problem.
  • There are virtually no tourism visa requirements to visit Ecuador.

Do's and Dont's

Do's and Dont's

  • Try avoiding bright colored or white wear, so as not to distract (or frighten) certain animals. The more camouflaged you dress the better!
  • Make sure your electronic equipment is at least somewhat waterproof or packed in a waterproof bag or pouch, especially if you plan to use it in the field during excursions.
  • Try and refrain from speaking loudly when on forest trails or canoe trips.
  • Try and be as quiet and cautious as possible.
  • Watch your step and follow the group. Don’t try to get ahead of the guide or tour leader, and don’t lag to far behind.
  • Always tell your guide if you see something and don’t hesitate to ask questions. That’s what we are here for!
  • Don’t litter! Bring a backpack or plastic bag in which you can discard plastic, wrappers, paper, or other synthetic waste.
  • Don’t believe how others have depicted the Amazon Basin in the past! Trust us, we have decades of experience showing people of every walk of life the wonders of the Amazon. We are here with you to not only show you around, but take care of you and make you feel at home!
  • Take advantage of as many outings as possible… the adventure lies ‘out there’. We guarantee that, given the right conditions, every outing we have chosen on our itinerary is fit to offer unique, astounding experiences… but many factors may influence just how spectacular each outing will be. Don’t be discouraged… we guarantee that our itineraries are designed to bring our guests unforgettable, life-changing experiences.
  • If you have physical limitations or concerns, don’t hesitate to ask our guides if trails and activities are right for you. Most activities don’t require excessive effort, but please let us know when you are feeling uncomfortable during an outing, or would like to know more about difficulties you may encounter on an outing once you have been explained what it entails.
  • Don’t hesitate to express your interests to our staff! It is important to us that you make this adventure, your adventure. We have the ability to offer a certain level of flexibility in terms of the alternatives to our daily activities. Although it is not always possible, we will do what we can to personalize your Amazon cruise experience.

Operational Terms and Conditions


Operational Terms and Conditions

Guests should be in good physical health in order to be able to make the most of their Amazon Cruise. Visiting the area involves the use of small motorized boats, and at times may possibly include some wet landings. The daily nature excursions may include walking on irregular terrain, and getting in and out of the boats occasionally requires a degree of physical effort. Walking excursions and hikes may last up to one hour. Malaria and yellow fever vaccinations are not required for travelers coming into the region, but they are recommended.

Travelers on the M/V Anakonda Amazon River Cruise are strongly advised to purchase trip cancellation insurance, which will reimburse the cost of air tickets and other non-refundable trip payments. International medical, baggage loss, and delay insurance are also recommended. Unfortunately, if you miss the vessel because of a weather-related flight cancellation, we will not reimburse the cost of the reservation, since flight cancellations are beyond our control and we have to comply with our schedules.

M/V Anakonda Amazon River Cruise reserves the right to replace the vessel if considered necessary (i.e. force majeure or mechanical failure). Should travelers not agree to this option, M/V Anakonda Amazon River Cruise reserves the right to cancel the trip upon a pro rata refund per cruise night not used or, as an alternative, will offer credit toward a future cruise on board M/V Anakonda Amazon River Cruise.

Some of the visits programmed on the different itineraries are within protected areas, and visitors are required to comply with local rules and regulations. Naturalist guides will inform passengers of these rules. M/V Anakonda Amazon River Cruise, represented by its onboard guide, reserves the right to deny any passenger disembarkation for visits should any of these regulations are ignored or violated.

M/V Anakonda Amazon River Cruise requires written notification 30 days prior to the cruise with regards to any travelers’ specific dietary needs. Every effort will be made to cater to special dietary needs, and to accommodate special requests, subject to a given products’ availability in Ecuador.

Preparing for the Amazon

Preparing For The Amazon

The Ecuadorian Amazon Basin is a special place, unlike most visitor sites in the world, filled with teeming nature and adventure at every turn. There is no telling what you will see or experience. The unexpected is certainly one of its treasures.
Of course, there are constants as well. The Amazon is located in the lowland equatorial tropics. This is a humid environment. Excursions on land usually take place in the mornings and afternoons, as the temperature rises at midday when we will usually be taking R&R aboard the Anakonda. Weather is relatively constant throughout the year (we’re on the Equator, so there are no strongly demarcated seasons). It can certainly be hotter in New York or Paris in summer than it ever is in Ecuador’s corner of the Amazon Basin.

This is a rainforest, so rain is a normal occurrence. That’s what makes it so lush and wonderful. Often, showers are short-lived and they actually serve to cool the air, which is always welcome and refreshing.

The insects here are marvelous, colorful, bizarre and unique, just like everything else is… Like most everywhere in the world, you’ll find mosquitoes, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised that for the most part they are manageable with a little repellent from time to time. Remember, this is a very intact ecosystem and birds and other animals take care of maintaining a balanced environment, unlike other more developed parts of the world.

Forest trails can be uneven (a walking stick is helpful if you do not feel that you are sturdy on your feet), and in certain segments, can be muddy or flooded. Good traction state-of-the-art mountain hiking boots might be helpful, but are not the best answer. Usually you are better off with rubber boots (which we provide onboard, as well as waterproof plastic ponchos). By the way, clothes should be lightweight and quick-dry (check out our packing list).

When we say that things are unexpected in the Amazon, we really mean it. You can’t really know just what you’ll come across. There is always something. The environment is, in general, so different from anything most people have witnessed, that living it for the first time can be a deep life-changing experience. Sound is unbelievable. When paddling along one of the winding black-water streams, we invite you to close your eyes and try to take in the plethora of fascinating sounds that fill the air. The sheer mass and diversity of trees, their amazing height, the ground (we also invite you to take a moment and just look under the leaves… it is here where an important part of the secret of what makes the Amazon such a rich and successful ecosystem lies), just enjoy it, let go, feel the spirits of the Amazon envelope you at every turn…

Packing Checklist

Packing Checklist

  • Passport (and a color copy)
  • Comfortable walking or tennis shoes
  • Walking stick (optional)
  • Several lightweight pants (more than two)
  • 3 or so long and short-sleeved shirts or blouses
  • Vests with pockets are useful for carrying camera equipment and other accessories.
  • A windbreaker or sweater for breezy afternoons on deck
  • Waterproof cotton socks, one pair per day
  • Small, sturdy umbrella – 1  
  • Shorts – 1 or 2
  • T-shirts – 3 or 4
  • Bathing suit
  • Cotton underwear
  • Hat or cap
  • Plastic bottle for water
  • Sunscreen lotion
  • Sunglasses
  • A flashlight and extra batteries
  • Binoculars (available on board as a rental item)
  • Small waterproof backpack
  • Insect repellant
  • Camera and extra batteries, enough film and memory cards
  • Personal first-aid kit
  • Plastic bags for storing wet clothing
  • Cash – we also accept credit cards on board


Dining Experience

Dining Experience in the Jungle

Amazon cruises have never set such romantic riverside tables as we have proudly managed to, here on the Anakonda. A spectacular al fresco experience lies at the crossroads of the breezes that swirl on deck from every corner of the forest.

Contact Information

ECUADOR: +593 2 336 0887
USA: +1 786 220 3251

Skype: Advantage Travel

Advantage Travel Ecuador
Gaspar de Villarroel  N40-143 and 6 de Diciembre
Ritz Plaza corner

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