Most everyone is well-aware of the Amazon Rainforest’s slow and steady disappearance.
“Save the Rainforest!” has been the motto of environmentalists for decades, but rates of
deforestation seem to be increasing of late, indicating that one of Earth’s most precious
ecological regions will soon vanish forever ― unless we do something about it.
Unlike most folks, who can do little more than donate money to rainforest protection
initiatives, travelers have a handful of unique opportunities to explore and expand
1. Cristalino Jungle Lodge, Brazil
Tucked deep in the southern Brazilian Amazon, next to the serene River Cristalino,
this lodge was built to bring visitors closer to nature.
Though the accommodations are sumptuous, the wild rainforest is present in every
view, so guests never forget where they are or why they came.
The private forest reserve surrounding the lodge is home to more than six hundred
species of birds, as well as a wide variety of friendly butterflies and some especially
exotic wildlife, including capybaras, agoutis, and jaguars.
The lodge’s guides will take guests on a variety of tours through the wilderness,
teaching them about the Amazon while they explore.
Additionally, much of the proceeds from the lodge feed the Cristalino Foundation,
which works to educate locals on the importance of conservation and mitigate the
impact of unsound practices in the region.
2. Chalalan Lodge, Bolivia
One of the most ambitious ecotourism projects in the Amazon, this lodge is built
entirely from natural materials found in the surrounding rainforest, and it is managed
by the indigenous Quechua-Tacana community.
The result is an utterly spectacular congregation of huts surrounded by a beautifully
placid oxbow lake deep in Bolivia’s Madidi National Park.
It is difficult to ignore the chorus of animal sounds, which accompany visitors wherever
The lodge’s guides lead journeys through the untouched wilderness, on foot or by boat,
pointing out medicinal plants and locating seldom-seen wildlife.
3. Iwokrama River Lodge, Guyana
A collaboration between the native Makushi people and the International Centre for
Rainforest Conservation and Development created this astonishingly remote lodge in
the center of Guyana’s Iwokrama Forest.
Consisting of a mere five cabins, visitors are sure to find solitude and the sublime in
this rainforest retreat.
Despite its small size, this lodge offers plenty of activities for adventurous travelers.
Visitors can explore miles of trails twisting through the rainforest, learning about the
800-plus species of birds in the region.
4. Napo Wildlife Centre, Ecuador
Committed to conservation, this luxurious lodge is owned by an indigenous community
called the Añangua Quichua, who strive to safeguard Yasuni National Park, the largest
tract of tropical rainforest in Ecuador.
Visitors to the center have dozens of opportunities to experience the natural environment
and interact with the native community.
The wildlife center is perched on the banks of the Napo River and surrounded by clay licks,
which attract all manner of colorful, talkative parrots and macaws.
Additionally, a 20-minute trek through forest trails leads to a canopy tower, which provides
opportunities to see all manner of rainforest fauna.
Plus, the entire facility runs on solar power and hybrid diesel generators ― as well as a unique
water treatment system ― which limits guests’ carbon footprints and has little impact on the
10 Tips to Make Any Amazon Trip Eco-Friendly
These four trips offer unique opportunities to experience and assist the Amazon Rainforest,
but reservations can be expensive and exclusive.
Fortunately, any traveler can make an economical ecological trip to the Amazon with some
smart travel tricks.
First, using travel rewards cards can provide discounts on costly plane tickets overseas, and
staying far from touristy resorts will also save cash.
Meanwhile, the following tips will help anyone enjoy an environmentally friendly Amazon
• Get vaccinated before you go.
• Ask before you book. How does your guide promote responsible, sustainable behavior?
Do research and delve into all companies’ environmental past.
• Pack it in, pack it out. Pick up every scrap of waste you bring into the rainforest.
• Take only memories. Avoid taking natural souvenirs, including flowers and stones.
• Stay on the path.
• Travel in small groups.
• Conserve natural resources. Avoid taking long showers or dumping out potable water.
• Be respectful of local and indigenous communities.
• Spend money locally. Avoid supporting international corporations, which often contribute
• Discourage animal trade. Forbid your guide from hunting during your trek, and refuse to
purchase animal products, like big cat pelts and monkey hands.
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