General

Nestled in its own private reserve, the Cristalino Jungle Lodge is situated in the southern Brazilian Amazon Rainforest on the bank of the Cristalino River, which is filled with clean and fresh water. Recognised as a significant area for biodiversity, the area around the lodge is one of the Amazon’s rich areas for seeing birds, mammals, butterflies and orchids in primary rainforest. There are also many species that only live in this section of rainforest.

The forested reserve around the lodge is located just outside the Cristalino State Park, which is an important conservation area containing 456,800 acres. This park is connected to other protected areas forming a huge conservation corridor in southern Amazonia.

The lodge adheres to sustainable practises and was built with the surrounding forest and region in mind. The small amount of rooms means guests are treated to a personalised and unique experience.

Available departures

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Alta Floresta

Alta Floresta

Alta Floresta is a small town near the mighty Tapajos river system. This river runs through the rainforest to emerge next to Santarem and join with the Rio Solimoes, a river you probably know better as the mighty Amazon.

Alta Floresta sits at the southern Brazilian boundary of the Amazon Rainforest in the state of Mato Grosso. This section of the Amazon has a very high number and diversity of Amazon animals and plants. Birding around this area is spectacular and many birding and Nature tours are led from the Cristalino Lodge, a wonderful tour lodge linked to the nearby protected area. The area is lesser known than other Amazon sections but with its crystal clear rivers, waterways and rainforest brimming with life, it is hailed by nature lovers the world over.

Cristalino Reserve

Quite recently, the land around Alta Floresta was covered with rainforest and in recent years this has been cleared both for wood and to make way for farmland. Fortunately, just north of the city is an ecotourism venture, which includes the Cristalino Lodge and Cristalino Reserve, protecting a large portion of Brazilian lowland rainforest. The idea of this venture is to promote ecotourism, research, and to educate local people about the importance of tourism and rainforest conservation.

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Brazil

Brazil

Brazil takes up half the area of South America and is bordered by every other South American country except Chile and Ecuador. It then meets with the Atlantic Ocean in the east. Because of its incredible size, the 5th largest nation on earth, Brazil includes a diversity of biomes including savannas, tropical and subtropical forest, and wetlands.

The Brazilian Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon Rainforest has been called the lungs of the Earth and contains the largest amount of the world’s most untouched tropical forest. Brazil contains the majority of the rainforest, around 60%, and here you can find protected areas aiming to conserve the Amazon and it’s wildlife against the continuing threats of deforestation.

The tropical north contains the largest portion of Amazon Rainforest in the states of Acre, Rondônia, Amazonas, Pará, Tocantins, Roraima, and Amapá with a smaller amount of the tropical forest stretching into the central state of Matto Grosso.

The Brazilian Amazon Rainforest is the largest section of Amazonia. From Tabatinga in the west to Belem in the east, the Brazilian Amazon is incredible. To put the Brazilian Amazon into perspective, Brazil contains 60% of the entire Amazon Rainforest with Peru holding the second highest amount of 16%. This translates to about 3, 300, 000 km of the Amazon Rainforest being contained by Brazil. Within this vast tract of forest, you can find incredible tropical rainforest life including Amazon icons, such as Jaguar, Tapir, Giant Ottters and Harpy Eagles. Many species of Amazon life are only found in Brazil, such as the Aracá uakari (Cacajao ayresi).

You can visit many different Amazon Rainforest lodges or cruise the Amazon River and take professionally guided walks into surrounding forest. Some of the Amazon base cities and towns include:

Manaus

Manaus is a busy industrial port of the Amazon River and is the largest city in the rainforest. Here you can visit several Amazon lodges and cruise the Amazon River itself. To help with any confusion, the Amazon River is known in Brazil as the Rio Solimões from Manaus (the confluence of the Rio Negro and Rio Solimões) east to its emergence into the Atlantic Ocean just above Belem.

Anavilhanas Reserve
The Anavilhanas or the Parque Nacional de Anavilhanas is a protected area near Manaus concentrated around the Amazon River and its banks. The Anavilhanas covers hundreds of Amazonian islands over an area of 100, 000 hectares as well as 260, 000 hectares of riverside forest.

Jau National Park
Jau National Park is the largest national park in the Amazon region and is a protected area of tropical forest within the Rio Negro watershed. Jau National Park also protects the entire 1,000,000 ha watershed of the Jaú River. With a park of this size (2,272,000 hectares), the wildlife protected is incredible including many emergent trees, endemic and threatened species, and keystone animals. The park provides habitat for the Amazon’s top predators, such as Harpy Eagle, Jaguar and Mountain Lion as well as Giant Amazon Otters and Manatees.

Santarém

Santarém is a lesser known Amazon Rainforest gateway than its larger neighbours of Manaus and Belem, but offers a unique look at a variety of lakes formed near the city. As with many Amazon cities and towns, before European colonisation the area was inhabited by an indigenous community. The community here were known as the Tapajós, where the Rio Tapajós and the protected area accessible from the city got their names.

Aquarium Lakes
Santarém provides access to some beautiful ‘Aquarium Lakes’ where you can see many tropical fish in their natural habitat. These lakes surround Santarém due to geographical features, as well as the Tapajós River, which emerges just west of the city and combines with the Amazon River. This merger of a creamy brown Rio Amazonas and a darker Rio Tapajós means Santarém has its own meeting of the waters, a phrase more famously known in Manaus due to the merger of the Rio Amazonas and Rio Negro.

Floresta Nacional do Tapajós
To the south west of Santarém, along the Rio Tapajós, is the Floresta Nacional do Tapajós protected area where you can hike, canoe and stay for a few days to sample the Amazon and its wildlife. The Floresta Nacional do Tapajós is an example of community governed forest, which is separated in different uses, such as regeneration, sustainable harvesting (non-logging), total preservation, and logging research.

Pantanal Wetlands

The world’s largest continuous freshwater wetland (54,000 miles² | 140,000 km²), the Pantanal is home to incredible wildlife opportunities and ranks highly for ability to see some of tropical South America’s sort after nature sightings, such as Anaconda and Jaguar, which are often too elusive and difficult to spot in the rainforest. The Pantanal stretches across Mato Grosso do Sul and Mato Grosso states, also extending into Paraguay and Bolivia.

The Cerrado is a savanna-like environment that experiences a humid climate and an intense dry period. Many interesting animals are found here, such as Maned Wolves, Hyacinth Macaws and a unique population of tool-using Capuchin Monkeys. In addition to the animals, 44% of the plant life in the Cerrado is found nowhere else on Earth. The Cerrado is Brazil’s second largest habitat after the Amazon Rainforest mentioned above.

Atlantic Forest

One of the most threatened tropical forests on Earth, the Atlantic Forest is composed of tropical and subtropical habitats and extends down the Atlantic coast of Brazil. Very little of the original forest cover remains, but there is an extraordinary effort among businesses and NGOs to restore the area. Although severely deforested, around 50% of its animals and plants are only found in this forest making restoration and conservation a significant priority.

Cities of Interest

The main cities to base yourself for a Brazilian adventure are:

  • Brasilia | Brazil’s Capital, Culture and Itiquira Falls
  • Rio de Janeiro | Culture, Carnaval, Atlantic Forest gateway
  • Sao Paulo | Culture, Atlantic Forest gateway
  • Foz do Iguaçu | Iguaçu Falls
  • Salvador | Culture, History, Gastronomy, Atlantic Forest Gateway
  • Manaus | Amazon Rainforest Gateway
  • Santarem | Amazon Rainforest Gateway
  • Cuiaba | Pantanal Wetlands Gateway
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Amazon Rainforest

Amazon Rainforest

Earth’s largest continuous tropical rainforest, the Amazon contains more life than anywhere else. Spanning nine nations, you can take a tour in the Amazon Rainforest from a variety of places, some well known and others for the more adventurous. The main countries to access the Amazon are Peru and Brazil, which contain the highest amounts of the forest, but there are another 7 to choose from. We have selected the top tour operators for visiting this impressive forest where you will be shown the Amazon’s scenic beauty and its life within.

How impressive is the Amazon Rainforest?

The largest intact tropical wildernesses are the Amazon, the Congo in west Africa, and the rainforested landmass of New Guinea. If you combined New Guinea and the Congo rainforest, the resulting land area could fit snugly inside the Amazon Rainforest. Not only that, the Amazon contains 1/5th of the world’s fresh water, covers nearly half of South America (40%) and provides 20% of the planet’s Oxygen. This incredible forest contains 1/10th of all the species on Earth. The Amazon Rainforest is fed by the Amazon River, which is a remarkable natural feature in its own right. This is Earth’s largest river by volume and second longest after the Nile.

Conservation

While you’re reading this, there is an intense struggle going on in the Amazon between people who see the rainforest as a resource to be exploited and used up for its huge amounts of timber, precious metals, meat, pets, and oil and those of us who think its existence is worth its weight in oil and timber. The Yasuni National Park in Ecuador is at the moment sitting on the world’s largest untapped oil reserve. This is creating a bit of tension between our fellow humans who live inside the national park and oil prospectors constantly trying to penetrate the forest. If this is important to you, you can convince people to de-invest in oil companies who don’t play ball. If deforestation continues at current rates, the WWF estimate 55% of the Amazon Rainforest will be gone by 2030.

Size of the Amazon Rainforest

To get geographical, the Amazon Rainforest spans 2, 300, 000 square miles (6,000,000 square km) and is contained by the mountain ranges of the Guiana Highlands in the north, the Andes in the west and then the Brazilian plateau in the south.

Amazon Habitats

Although dominated by rainforest, the Amazon also contains many other vegetation types, such as seasonal, flooded and deciduous forests, as well as savannahs. This vegetation is fed by the Amazon River and occurs in the Amazon’s drainage basin

Amazon Rainforest Animals

As the world’s largest container of life, you can see many different animals in the Amazon including the famed Scarlet Macaws and Toucans, more easily seen at clay licks in the Manu or Madidi National Park or the Tambopata National Reserve in Peru and Bolivia. Tapir are the largest land mammal in the Amazon and these strange looking mammals can also be seen at the Amazon’s clay licks where they come to feed off nutrient rich clay. As well as Tapir, the other main animals Amazon tourists like to see are the Giant River Otters and Jaguar. However, there is an incredible diversity of other animals to amaze you as you wander or canoe Amazonia with your professional Amazon guide. They will spot Sloths clinging to the branches high the trees and draw your attention to the Monkeys following you through the forest.

The Amazon River

The Amazon River is the planet’s most voluminous, with a mouth of 300 miles, which drains 500 billion cubic feet of water each day. The river and its 1000 or more tributaries contain an incredible diversity of fish as well as aquatic mammals like Manatees and River Dolphins. On the Amazon River, you will find the main bases for the Amazon Rainforest such as the port cities of Iquitos in Peru, and Manaus and Santarem in Brazil.

Amazon Rainforest Tourism

Tourism in the southern Amazon Rainforest of southern Peru and Bolivia is at its most developed whereas in the north it is still in its infancy. The small Peruvian town of Puerto Maldonado gives you access to the edge of the Madidi National Park in Bolivia, the Tambopata National Reserve close to town, and the famous Manu National Park, the most pristine national park in the Peru. These areas are fantastic for clay lick to see Macaws, Toucans, Tapir, as well as Jaguar, which prey on the mammals. These areas are also a good choice to see the endangered Giant River Otters. If, however, you would like a cruise or to see the rainforest near the Amazon River itself, you can choose the forests of Ecuador, Peru and Brazil. Here you can see the abundant Monkeys and many different Amazon Birds. So what are you waiting for? Jump in and TourTheTropics!

Amazon Tours from Peru

Iquitos
Iquitos is the largest Peruvian city in the Amazon Rainforest and is the Amazon gateway for visits to Peruvian rainforest along the Amazon River. Iquitos is also the largest city in the world unreachable by road, which means to access Iquitos you are likely to enter the region by air. To see the breathtaking carpet of green spanning the horizon as you fly over the rainforest is a spectacle in itself. From Iquitos, you will have access to cruises along the Amazon River focusing on the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve and Amazon Rainforest lodges. To fully enjoy this region, we advise choosing tours that take you far from the city (~150 km) to see the incredible diversity of animals and plants this region boasts. We have selected the best tours in the region to make sure you make the most of your visit to this fun and welcoming Amazon Rainforest gateway. Continue to Iquitos Tours >>

Cusco
Cusco is the main tourist destination in Peru. Hundreds of thousands of tourists travel to Cusco each year to visit the very well marketed Machu Picchu and other archaeological sites in the region. Natural wonders are also on the list of activities, however, as Cusco provides a base to visit the Amazon Rainforest Cloud Forest in the Andean Mountain Range. Manu National Park is regarded as the most pristine protected in Peru and contains both lowland and Cloud Forest habitats containing an incredible diversity of Amazon plants and animals. You can combine both the lowland and Andean rainforest from an Amazon tour from cusco and take advantage of three excellent lodges in the region. Continue to Cusco Tours >>

Puerto Maldonado
A short flight from Cusco will bring you to this unassuming Amazon Rainforest gateway. As well as Cusco, the Puerto Maldonado region has access to one of the most developed tourism industries in the Amazon Rainforest. Here you can visit the Manu National Park, Madidi National Park (Bolivia) and the Tambopata National Reserve — the closest protected area to Puerto Maldonado (only 45 minutes), which contains exceptional Amazon wildlife. Puerto Maldonado is your best choice for short tours into the Amazon (~3 Days) as you can quickly get in and out. We have collected the best tours for visits to the Amazon, the majority of which have environmental certification. Continue to Puerto Maldonado Tours >>

Amazon Tours from Brazil

Manaus
Manaus is the main Amazon Rainforest gateway in Brazil, where you can visit the impressive Central Amazon Ecological Corridor — a mega-reserve that incorporates several protected areas. The closest of these protected areas to Manaus is the Anavilhanas. From Manaus you can organise cruises on the Amazon River or Rio Negro, the meeting of these rivers creates one of the main short tours near the city. Manaus is a bustling industrial port boasting incredible architecture from the rubber boom period of Amazon history. Continue to Manaus Tours >>

Santarém
Another Brazilian gateway to the Amazon Rainforest, Santarém is surrounded by impressive lakes fed by the Amazon River and 100 kms of attractive beaches. Like Manaus, in Santarém you can find impressive architecture and many historical buildings.

Amazon Tours from Ecuador

Sitting in the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest is the Yasuni National Park occupied by various indigenous groups and to the north is the Cuyabeno Reserve. The Yasuni region contains the highest amount of life anywhere on Earth, but sits on one of the largest remaining untapped oil reserves. This places a considerable threat on the heads of many of the world’s animals and plants, but also on the indigenous population. Some communities have adopted ecotourism as a way of showing visitors the extraordinary diversity of this region and why it should be protected, as well as communicating their ongoing struggle against oil companies. Continue to Ecuador Tours >>

Amazon Tours from Colombia

Leticia is the Amazon Rainforest gateway in Colombia and is one of the safest places in the country, but we always advise checking with your country’s government for the latest news. Leticia will be a stopping point on cruises and ferries between Iquitos (Peru) and Manaus (Brazil).

Amazon Tours from Venezuela

The Amazon Rainforest in Venezeuala is mostly known for the Yanomami indigenous group, who occupy the largest tract of land of any native community. The Yanomami occur on the border between Venezuela and Brazil and have accepted tourism as a means to communicate their struggle for forest protection.

Amazon Tours from Bolivia

The Bolivian Amazon Rainforest is mostly known for the Madidi National Park, an impressive protected area containing a high diversity of Amazon wildlife. Your entry point for the Bolivian Amazon Rainforest is the town of Rurrenabaque and here you can take tours to the surrounding rainforest. Madidi had a history of misusing the power of tourism as too many tourists resulted in park degradation, a big no no when it comes to eco tourism. With much improved park management and regulations, tourism is now being used to protect the forests.

Amazon Tours from Guyana

These last three countries (and parts of countries–French Guiana is actually in France) are the smallest and most neglected areas to visit the Amazon Rainforest. They are included in an area of South America known as the the Guianan Shield (geological section of the South American plate) that encompasses all three nations as well as parts of Brazil, Venezeuala and Colombia. Guyana is the largest of the three nations and probably the most well known. Although, because French Guiana is part of the European Union, it isn’t as popular as a tourist destination as French Guiana and neighboring Suriname. Guyana is growing in popularity with nature lovers and is especially haled by birdwatchers worldwide.

Amazon Tours from Suriname

Tourism in Suriname remains important for the economy and is centered around the Amazon Rainforest. The largest protected area in the country is the Central Suriname Nature Reserve and is also its most popular. Suriname presents exceptional wildlife experiences with over 30% of the country protected in wildlife reserves.

Amazon Tours from French Guiana

French Guiana is the wealthiest of these three regions and contains 31, 000 square miles (8 million hectares) of tropical forest with a large fraction protected in ecological reserves.

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South America

South America

A continent of contrasts, South America split from the African landmass and joined with North America to merge a distinct set of flora, fauna and geographical features. The South American continent is bound by the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Pacific Ocean to the west and is the jumping off point for Antarctica to the south. After the merger with North America, the Isthmus of Panama in the north would be the land bridge by which many different animals, including humans, migrated south into this diverse continent. Welcome to South America.

South American Rainforest

The largest tract of continuous rainforest on Earth is found in South America. The Amazon is larger than the other largest rainforests, the Congo Rainforest in West Africa and the New Guinean Rainforest in Australasia, combined. This incredible forest has filled the hearts and minds of naturalists and explorers for hundreds of years and can be accessed from any one of the nine nations it crosses. For the majority of Amazon tourists, the two countries to base themselves for an Amazon Adventure are Peru and Brazil, which contain the largest portions of the rainforest, but there are lesser known adventurous alternatives…

The Brazilian Cerrado

The Brazilian Cerrado is the country’s 2nd largest habitat after the Amazon Rainforest. The Cerrado is a tropical savanna habitat that experiences a humid climate. The habitat is home to many endemic species found nowhere else on Earth. Here you will see incredible wildlife, such as Endangered Maned Wolves, Hyacinth Macaws, and tool-using Capuchin Monkeys.

The Pantanal

The Pantanal Wetlands allows a higher chance of seeing some of the Amazon Rainforest’s most sort-after wildlife, such as Jaguar, Giant Otters and Capybara. The open and often treeless habitat means Capybara can roam the grasslands in huge numbers and animals cannot easily hide from view. Although lesser known than the Amazon, the Pantanal houses an equal concentration of wildlife to the densest areas in Africa.

Brazilian Atlantic Forest

When the Portuguese first set foot on South America over 500 years ago, they were met with the Atlantic Forest. One of the most threatened tropical forests, the Atlantic forest in southern Brazil is home to many highly threatened animals and plants. Over 85% of the original forest cover has been deforested, but because of its significance as a home for many endemic species, hundreds of businesses, NGOs and charities are working to restore this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

South American Countries

The main countries that make up South America are, in order of highest population, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Venezuela, Chile, Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uraguay, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana (France).

Eco Regions in South America

Tourists can explore the different eco-regions in South America, which offer a chance to view breathtaking scenery, amazing wildlife and contrasting environments. You can explore the Amazon Rainforest or Atlantic Forest previously mentioned, the wetlands, which are home to abundant animals and plants, Andean Cloud Forest to see incredible bird life, the Atacama desert, Earth’s driest area, the Andean mountain range, the world’s longest mountain range, and the famous Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador to see uniquely famous animals and plants.

Wildlife and Protected Areas

Within these Bio Regions are the main National Parks that protect South America’s famous and world renowned wildlife for future generations. View the famous macaws of Tambopata National Reserve and Manu National Park and see Jaguar in the Pantanal.

Tourist Attractions – Culture, History and Nature

In addition to South America’s cities and bio regions, tourists flock to South America to see its rich cultural heritage for a glimpse into a land before the modern world as well as natural wonders, such as Angel Falls in Venezuela, the world’s highest waterfall.

South America History

Like the pyramids of Egypt, South America is home to its own archeological sites of now vanished societies. Machu Picchu in Peru alone draws hundreds of thousands of tourists each year to visit this mystical Incan ruin. As well as Machu Picchu, Peru is home to other archaeological sites like the Cradle of Gold and the latest tourist destination, the Northern Kingdoms.

There have been many different civilizations in South America, such as the Chavin, which spanned 900 BC to 300 AD, the Moche, from 100 BC to 700 AD, the Chachopayas, from 1000–1450, but none that have caught the public attention as much as the Inkas, which dominated the Andean region from 1438 to 1533 and were invaded by the Spanish in one of the most significant periods in South American history. To explore South America’s rich and interesting Archeological sites, travel to one of our popular Ancient Destinations.

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Accommodation

The lodge accommodation blends in with the surrounding rainforest. The highlights of the lodge are the bungalows and the superior rooms. These buildings were carefully designed in wood, with ceramic tile floors, and offer the perfect balance between design and comfort. The rooms have solar water heating and biological waste treatment meeting sustainability requirements, which also feature in the gray-water treatment system, black-water treatment system and in the roof design with air-escapes to maintain a cooler temperature.

The Cristaline lodge has four levels of accommodation: Special Bungalow, Bungalow, Superior Room and Standard Room.

The Special Private Bungalow:

Similar the private bungalow, but with an added outside bathtub in a private garden setting. An ideal place to relax after taking walks in the jungle. The rooms are 68 sq meters (731 sq feet) creating a higher level of privacy. The bungalows can accommodate one to four people (two adults with two teenagers) with comfort.

The Bungalows:

The Cristalino Lodge bungalows are an ideal choice to experience the rainforest environment and is a perfect choice for families, couple or groups of friends. The bungalows feature master bred with a choice of queen size or twin, and two extra sleep sofas for children or small adults, a ceiling fan, large screened windows and natural ventilation. Spacious modern bath facility with separate wash basin, toilet and glassed-in shower. This bungalow also has an outdoor cold shower with garden view. In the entrance there is a spacious private veranda with a hammock.

The rooms are 66 sq meters (710 sq feet) having a higher level of privacy than other rooms and can accommodate from one to four people (two adults with two teenagers) with comfort.

The Superior Rooms:

Slightly smaller than the private bungalows without sofas, these rooms have two comfortable beds -- with a choice of queen size or twin -- a reading table, ceiling fan, large screened windows and natural ventilation. Each of these rooms have modern bath facilities, a separate wash basin, toilet, glassed-in shower, and a private outdoor cold water shower. The entranceway is complete with a small veranda and hammock.

These rooms are 45 sq meters (484 sq feet) and accommodates from one to two people. Each block has two rooms with opposite entrances.

Standard Rooms

The standard rooms include two or three best and has a rustic and simple regional design with a fan ceiling and private bathroom.

The rooms are 23 sq meters (247 sq feet) and accommodates from one to three people. Each block has four rooms with opposite entrances.

Facilities

The restaurant and bar provides a friendly atmosphere to relax at the lodge where you can enjoy regional appetizers and meals, including the famous Caipirinha. If it’s a special night, the lodge features a thatch roof patio where we can provide candlelit dinners. The lodge also features a common living room for presentations and meeting and we have a small, carefully selected library.

At the lodge, you will find a floating platform of 144 sq mt (1,550 sq) feet situated above the river, which is great for swimming and resting when you have free time. Canoes & inflatable boats are available at any moment.
For the adventurers there is a station with Rope Bridge and Rappelling-Down (booking required).

Wildlife Tower

The Cristalino Lodge incorporates two 50 meter (164,04 feet) high galvanized Canopy Towers located in different points of the Cristalino Rainforest Reserve where you can view into the rainforest. Many canopy inhabiting birds and mammals, such as macaws, toucans, cotingas, and monkeys can be seen from the towers.

Trails

Taboca Trail: Easy access from the lodge. This trail passes through several different habitats, including seasonally flooded areas near the Cristalino River and bamboo-dominated areas. Level: Easy.
Ficus Trail. The Ficus Trail passes a giant Ficus Tree in the Terra Firme Forest. Good opportunities to observe primates such as the capuchin monkeys. Level: Easy.

Caja Trail: Also located close to the lodge, this trail begins along the Cristalino River and then crosses other trails. It is excellent for observation of primates, who feed on the "caja" fruit, such as the endangered White Whiskered Spider Monkey and the rare White-nosed Saki Monkey. Level: Easy to Moderate.

Cacau Trail: This trail has large trees that can be found in the Terra Firme Forest and Tropical Semi-Deciduous Submontane Forest. Streams can be seen in some periods of the year along the trail. Many species of birds and primates inhabit this area. Level: Easy to Moderate.

Brazil Nut Trail: Located in the lodge's private reserve, this trail is accessed by a 40 minute boat trip up river. This trail is famous for its huge Brazil nut trees that can be observed in the pristine Terra Firme Forest. When fruiting, you can taste fresh Brazil Nuts collected in the wild. This area is the home of specialty birds and primates, including the Uirapuru. Level: Easy to Moderate.

Secret Garden: Located close to the lodge, this beautiful place is a natural garden, where amazonian ferns, philodendrons, orchids, bromeliads, wild pineapples, ginger and many trees covered with orchids growing on top of granite outcrops can be found. It is a peaceful place to rest and appreciate nature. Level: Very Easy.

Teles Pires Trail: This extensive trail connects the lodge to the Teles Pires River crossing a Terra Firme Forest area with occasional streams in some periods of the year. Primates and many species of birds can be found on this track. Level: Moderate, demanding familiarity with longer tracks.

Rocky Trail: The trail passes through low rocky formations in the middle of the forest that are covered with ornamental plants, bromeliads, and orchids. It is often a good trail for observing primates and some birds that specialize on bamboo. The trail is mostly flat. It ends in a loop, and provides access to the tree house. Level: Easy

Sustainability

The lodge has a serious approach to sustainable tourism, having the following initiatives:

Habitat Conservation
Conservation of 24.000 acres of Private Primary Rainforest, which is connected to other conservation areas forming a huge corridor with millions of acres.

Education and Social Responsibility
Support to education, preservation and research projects in the Cristalino Region through the Cristalino Ecological Foundation in partnership with Fauna & Flora International.

Minimum Impact
The following activities are held to promote minimum impact from our tourism activities:

  • Composting of all organic disposal
  • Recycling of all non-organic material - aluminum, plastic, metal and paper - which is
    separated and brought back to the local community to be recycled
  • Solar water heating for all rooms
  • Effluent grey-water treatment with organic system
  • Effluent black-water treatment with filters and evapo-transpiration system
  • Hydrokinetic energy generator which provides a small amount of power from the river
  • Smart architecture buildings with wide windows and roof air-escapes, providing a
    better air circulation inside the rooms
  • Use of biodegradable cleaning products
  • Rational use of towels to avoid waste of water and energy
  • Staff training programs related to the rational use of resources
  • Use of canoes instead of motor boats when possible
  • Use of organic fruits and vegetables when available
  • Trail usage respecting the carrying capacity limits with a maximum of 8 people per
    guide
  • Personalized guest experience with low impact through the limited number of only 20 rooms
  • No feeding wildlife at no circunstances to avoid disturbance in the ecossistem
  • Use of regional plants in the landscape design to prevent disturbance in the flora
  • Responsible management of the Private Rainforest Reserve through the Cristalino Ecological Foundation

Tour

Tours are led by experienced and trained guides who have a fantastic knowledge about the rainforest and its wildlife. Guides are equipped with long distance radio (Motorola) with direct contact to the lodge while they are taking tourists outdoors.

We offer two options of guiding services:

Local guide with Interpreter:
The lodge is committed to employ and support people from the neighboring communities. The local guides have years of familiarity with the natural world and are trained to guide birdwatchers, ecotourists and butterfly watching, photographers and family trips. As they only speak Portuguese, an English-speaking interpreter will join the group. A local naturalist guide with German descent can attend those who speak German only.

English speaking guide
The lodge also offers English-speaking guides, either resident Brazilian biology guide or foreigners with long experience in Cristalino Lodge, who are specialists in birdwatching, butterfly and natural history tours. Information about the time of stay of the foreign guides can be obtained with our reservation staff.

The lodge is a destination for nature lovers of all types, offering activities for people who want to see wildlife in its natural habitat. There are five types of programs offered by the lodge:

Birdwatching
Cristalino is a premier destination for bird lovers with a multitude of opportunities for observing, photographing, and learning about the amazing Southern Amazon Birds.

Ecotourism
These programs are designed for nature lovers seeking a memorable experience in the Amazon. Participants will learn about the wildlife in general, mammals, trees, butterflies, reptiles and flowers — and its importance to the equilibrium of nature.

Butterfly Obervation
These programs are focused on observing the vast number of butterflies and skippers that inhabit this region.

Photography
Cristalino Lodge is an ideal place for photographers who wish to capture the hidden secrets of the Amazon forest.

Family Trips
An ideal program for families who wish to share a great experience with an educational element with their children (the lodge recommends children above 9 years old).
The activities in each of these programs may include:

Cristalino Lodge Activities

Hiking
The extensive trail system allows for wildlife observation according to the group’s needs and desires. The hikes take place on a variety of different habitats and trails.

Canoeing
The pristine Cristalino River is fabulous for canoe excursions

Swimming
The floating dock or the river rapids are safe, refreshing, and outstanding for bathing.

Butterflies
Watching butterflies during sunny hours is a highlight

Boat Trips
Accompanied by guides for observation of wildlife on the riverbanks.

Tree House
A spot where mammals such as tapirs and peccaries feed on natural salty earth.

Canopy Tower
Hiking to and climbing the canopy tower at down or sunset for observing the forest landscape and canopy wildlife such as monkeys, toucans, macaws, and other birds from above the canopy is a must at Cristalino Lodge.

Group Sizes

The group size for most of our activities is limited to 8 people in order to increase the chances of encountering wildlife. Larger groups are usually divided into smaller groups. Every morning and every afternoon, guests may join their group and embark on one of these activities. Our diverse and flexible itineraries allow for a remarkably personalized experience.

Wildlife

The Cristalino Jungle Lodge provides a fantastic base to see wildlife as you can tour different habitats of the forest, lakes and micro habitats. Over 600 species of birds have been seen in the reserve as well as large predators, such as Jaguar, Harpy Eagle and Giant Otters.

The lodge is gifted to be located near both a black water and white water river, which creates a diversity of different soil types and raises the diversity of animals and plants found in the area. The reserve contains a diversity of orchids, bromeliads and different trees, which are inhabited by several different monkeys.

Activities

We provide a series of package options designed for you to make the most of your stay in the Amazon Rainforest as we understand for many people this will be your only visit to the world’s largest container of wildlife. We adjust each package to guest interest and activities include:

Pink Dolphin Feeding Spot and Craft Shops in Novo Airão (2,5 hs aprox.): We take the guests to a floating deck where wild river dolphins come everyday. Then, the tourist will go to 2 craft shops, where local workers offer original natural products. Offered in all packages

Jungle Hike (2,5 h aprox.): Trekking through the upland forest, toured by local guides who will reveal some of the mysteries of the Amazon Jungle. Knowledge about trees, herbs and fruits, jungle survival orientation and natural medicine notions are transferred to the tourist. Offered in all packages

Tour through Anavilhanas Archipelago (2,5 h aprox.): The many channels (paranás), lakes, and islands of the world’s greatest freshwater archipelago are explored in regional boats. Offered in all packages

Piranha’s Fishing (2 hs aprox.): A fun fishing experience, where the tourist will have the opportunity of fishing and taking piranhas and other small fishes, while enjoys the beauty of rivers and streams. Offered in all packages

Night Spotting (1,5 hs aprox.): The unique sensation of living the Amazon Forest during the night in motorized canoes is experienced in search of night birds, sloths, snakes, caimans and sounds. Offered in all packages

Sunrise contemplation (1,5 hs aprox.): Leaving early morning in canoes, the tourist will watch the colorful sky changing with the sun rays, see the birds moving and hear the noise of the waken forest. Offered in all packages

Paddling through the surrounding waters (2 hs aprox.): In small wooden canoes, the tourist can explore the Igapós and Igarapés next to the lodge, enjoying the sounds, smells and surprising views of the flooded woods. Offered in the 4D/3N package or longer

Local community visit (2 hs aprox.): We will visit an isolated community in the middle of Rio Negro where the tourist can understand their way of life and their social organization. Offered in the 4D/3N package or longer

Bow and Arrow practice (1,5 hs aprox.): A fun and safe practice on appropriate targets using original Waimiri-Atroari Indian weapons. Offered in the 5D/4N package or longer

Madadá’s Full Day Tour (7hs aprox.): The day starts at 8:30 when the guests get into a fast motorized canoe and cross 50 km of the Archipelago. An incredible jungle hike takes place among some impressive rocks; picnic is served for lunch at belvedere and the islands are explored on the way back to the Lodge. Offered only in the 6D/5N package

Awards & Credentials

The Cristalino Lodge was elected as one of the best hotels in Brazil by National Geographic Traveler, combining authentic experiences, sustainability ethic and a strong community involvement.

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The Cristalino Lodge
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