IN THIS ISSUE:
|Our newest destination: Brazil!
We're excited to announce the new Brazil section of our website (click on link to view), covering some of the most extraordinary areas of this gigantic, fascinating, and beautiful country. Our trips all start with some time in Rio de Janeiro, a city with an unparalleled natural setting. From there you can go to one of the most renowned jungle lodges in the entire Amazon (the Uakari Lodge; see our Spotlight below), observe exceptional wildlife in the Pantanal, explore mesmerizing Salvador de Bahia, stand in awe of Iguazu Falls, and more. As always, we can customize any of our "suggested itineraries" to perfectly match your travel dates and interests. Send us an email to email@example.com or give us a call at (800) 342-1796 if you have any questions or would like any additional information.
Christmas in the Galapagos
Finding space on a first class yacht in the Galapagos for the end of the year holidays is always nearly impossible.... so we're happy to announce that we have a charter on the Seaman, a great 16 passenger catamaran for Dec 21-28, 2009. The vessel has 8 cabins, each with private bath, and an outstanding and fully certified naturalist guide and dedicated crew ready to help you make the most of your experience. The Galapagos is one of the world's premier nature destinations, and this boat has an exceptional itinerary. Prices start at $3499 per person. If you're interested in a trip to the Galapagos for the end of the year holidays, just let us know!
Spotlight: Uakari Lodge
The Uakari Lodge in the Brazilian Amazon is one of the most inspiring examples of ecotourism that one can find in South America. The lodge was founded and established by José Márcio Ayres, a Cambridge-educated Brazilian primatologist and conservationist whose tireless efforts resulted in the creation of the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve in 1996, followed by the Amanã Sustainable Development Reserve in 1997. The two reserves are located in the central region of the Brazilian state of Amazonas, and are joined by adjacent Jaú National Park to form a massive corridor spanning over 20,000 square miles of protected rainforest.
Ayres devoted his life to the preservation of the unique ecosystems of the Amazon, as well as to developing a method by which local populations would benefit from the conservation of natural resources. He realized that the Uakari monkeys he had been studying for his doctorate thesis would stand no chance of survival unless new community-based models of natural resource management were applied to the much exploited Amazon River flood basin. As part of the larger project to esablish the Reserves, Ayres worked to get local communities involved in the protection of the piraracu, the world's largest freshwater fish, which was being threatened by overfishing from outside interests. With rights to protect the area as a "sustainable reserve," the locals became active participants in the protection of the entire ecosystem, actively working to patrol the Reserve from poachers.
The "floating" lodge, was established as a way to start an ecotourism project in the area, creating additional incentive for the preservation of the forest and its wildlife. The lodge sits on a seasonally flooded river that rises as much as 30 feet during the rainy season. The area is home to an astonishing array of wildlife, including the Uakari monkey, an unforgettable sight with a white wooly coat, bright red face and bald head (pictured above at left). Several other species of primates, countless species of birds, pink freshwater dolphins, the piraracu, and a wide variety of other flora and fauna make this one of the top places to spot wildlife in the entire Amazon.
In 2003, the Mamirauá Reserve won the Best Ecotourism destination Award granted by Conde Nast Traveler Magazine, along with the prize for Sustainable Tourism granted by Smithsonian Magazine. We are proud to be one of the only companies actively promoting this less visited, but extraordinary, Amazon lodge. The lodge is located near the city of Tefe, about one and a half hours by plane from Manaus. For an itinerary that includes this lodge, please check out our Rio de Janeiro, Salvador de Bahia & Amazon itinerary. If you have any questions or need any additional information, please give us a call or send us an email!