The Cristalino Jungle Lodge is nestled in the middle of a private rainforest reserve in the southern Amazon, with more than 46 square miles – that’s twice the size of Manhattan – just beyond the borders of the Cristalino State Park (another important conservation area, with 456,800 acres).
The Cristalino River, with clean and beautiful water, lies just in front of the lodge, which offers three types of en-suite accommodations – private bungalows (with both indoor and outdoor showers), superior rooms, and standard bungalows. The lodge has a friendly restaurant serving delicious regional dishes and a bar serving the best Caipirinhas.
The number of species, exceptional even by Amazonian standards, makes this one of the best places in the region for watching birds, mammals, butterflies, and orchids in a primary forest environment.
In 1999, the Cristalino Ecological Foundation (FEC), based in Alta Floresta, was formed as an environmental non-profit to promote conservation and sustainable use of natural resources, as well as the development of sustainable livelihoods. The foundation works in three main areas: environmental education, research, and landscape planning.
The educational programs like School of the Amazon focus on activities that create a positive relationship between student and forest. More than 2,000 people from primary and secondary schools in Brazil and abroad have already participated.
The research programs gather important information about the flora and fauna of the Cristalino region, a place with enormous biodiversity but little scientific research. Many initiatives have been started, including a study being done in partnership with the British Royal Botanic Gardens that has already recorded more than 1,370 species of plants.
The landscape planning programs cover issues such as the restoration of degraded areas, the management of protected areas, and the planning of urban spaces that stimulates sustainable use of natural resources.
The lodge is committed to employing and supporting people from the neighboring communities. The local guides know the region well and are trained to lead birdwatchers, tourists, photographers, and families. As they speak only Portuguese, an English-speaking interpreter joins the groups.
In Their Own Words
“The Cristalino Jungle Lodge is a unique destination … where guests learn about the flora and fauna in a very personalized way. Our strong commitment towards conservation and responsible tourism is now inspiring others to develop sustainable initiatives in our region. By visiting Cristalino you are helping the conservation of the Cristalino region and the local communities.”
(Photos by Will & Gill Carter, Jorge Lopes, Katia Kuwabara, Edson Endrigo)