Not so long ago, if you’d mentioned the words ‘eco-tourism’, most people wouldn’t have known what you were talking about. Now however, eco-tourism is the latest buzz word, with more and more travellers choosing to go green. With the multitude of luscious locations in Brazil, it’s hardly surprising that eco-tourists are heading there in droves. Below is a guide to some of Brazil’s best eco-hotels.
The Juma Lodge
23 quaint bungalows perched on stilts and nestled amongst the Amazon Rainforest make up the romantic Juma Lodge. Located near Manaus in Northern Brazil and reachable only by boat or hydroplane, the lodge is perhaps at its most picturesque during the flood season, when the water level rises up to 15 metres (hence the stilts). The lush surroundings provide countless opportunities for entertainment and the eco-tourism activities available at the Lodge include alligator spotting, an overnight stay in the jungle and even piranha fishing. Juma Lodge was constructed mostly using materials from the surrounding forest. Timber from trees such as the Angelim and Tintarana were used for everything from the walls to the stilts, and Babacu leaves make up the roof.
For the eco-conscious holiday-maker who doesn’t want to have to skimp on the finer things, Pousada Picinguaba is the answer. Located half-way between Rio and Sao Paulo, Picinguaba achieves the difficult balance of being remote whilst still being easy to get to. The hotel is located in the Natural Park of Serra do Mar and is nestled beachside. Though Picinguaba is luxurious the focus is on enjoying nature at its finest, hence the fact that there is no air-conditioning, internet, TV or telephones provided in the rooms. From a green perspective, the hotel currently uses energy saving motion-sensor lighting and hopes to soon be completely solar powered. Showers are limited in an effort to conserve water and the hotel has its own, entirely ecological, septic tank. Plastics and glasses are recycled and any organic material is disposed of at the hotel’s compost heap.
Cristalino Jungle Lodge
Located in the Southern Amazon, Cristalino Jungle Lodge boasts its very own private reserve, spanning 29,652 acres. Guests can choose between private bungalows or shared rooms for their accommodation. The guest capacity at Cristalino has been intentionally kept small so that visitors get maximum attention from the staff. The garden at the hotel is made up entirely of native plants so as to not disrupt the region’s ecosystem. Cristalino’s policy is one of maximum interaction with nature with minimum impact. Trails can only have eight people on them at any given time and where possible canoes are used rather than motor boats.
Do Lado De La Eco Lodge
The Do Lado De La Eco Lodge is perched in the mountains of Aiuruoca (inland from Rio) and the climate is such that wildlife abounds. At this simple lodge food is cooked on wood stoves and most of the water comes from the nearby river. Some of the activities on offer are horse riding, mountaineering, mountain biking, trekking and bird-watching. Do Lade De La holds their environment dear and they protect it by recycling, using a compost system and having a hydroelectric generator for energy. Environment and culture obviously go hand in hand and for travellers wishing for a truly holistic experience, learning the language of your destination country is a great idea. For those British travellers wishing to take Portuguese classes London is a great place to start. Language schools such as can help – what better way to prep for a trip to Brazil than to learn a few phrases in Portuguese?
(photo credit: 1)