AMAZON REGION

AMAZON RAIN FOREST

Tropical rainforests can be found around the Earth’s equatorial zone, between the tropics of Capricorn and Cancer, where rainfall is abundant year-round. There are more species of plants and animals in tropical rainforests than in all the rest of the world’s ecosystems combined. Tropical Rain Forest is the most complex ecosystem on earth! It is an association of producing, consuming and decomposing organisms, all ultimately deriving their energy from sunlight. The producers are the plants, the consumers are the animals, and the decomposers consist of bacteria, fungi and certain small animals like millipedes and termites, which break down dead organic material so that minerals, carbon, nitrogen and other important elements can be recycled. The crowns and foliage of the rain forest trees form several strata or stories. A major division exists between the canopy, which is exposed to almost full sunlight, and the undergrowth, which is much less brightly illuminated. There is a strong contrast between the microclimate of the canopy and that of the strata closer to the ground, as well as intermediate microclimates at middle levels. Of all natural terrestrial ecosystems, none accomplish more photosynthesis than tropical rain forests. Rainforests cover a mere 7% of the Earth’s land surface, but they contain at least 50% of its species. Woody vines or lianas are abundant, as are orchids, mosses and bromeliads, which grow on other plants. Tropical forests, particularly plants, have already supplied humankind with an abundance of useful items for food and agriculture, medicine and industry. Pineapples, bananas, cocoa, coffee, and spices like cardamom, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and black pepper, all have originated in the tropical forests. Of the 3,000 plants identified by the US National Cancer Institute as having anticancer properties, 70% are from tropical rainforests.

AMAZON LODGES

The lodges and programs we have selected offer the unique opportunity to visit pristine areas of the Amazon wilderness. Each lodge is located in a different ecosystem. Our programs are designed to show the visitor as much of the rainforest’s biodiversity as can be comfortably fitted into each day. Travel will be by motorized canoe, dugout paddle canoe and on foot, along black and white water rivers and vast lakes to explore parts of the Amazon headwaters where human presence is virtually unknown. This expedition caters to a wide variety of guests, from jungle neophytes to experts and explorers with special interests. Activities are very flexible and can be adapted to the travelers’ needs and physical condition. Small groups accompanied by a naturalist guide will explore lakes and streams, terra firma forest and flooded areas; take short walks and longer hikes during the day and at night as well. The lodges are build in the native tradition with local materials, palm thatch, bamboo, vines and wood, in keeping with local designs that blend with the surrounding jungle. To ensure that the lodges operations are run on a sustainable basis, electricity is generated by solar energy and waste is treated using bio-digesters.

CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE

This reserve is located in the northeastern corner of Ecuador and protects 603,000 hectares (2.47 acres = 1 hectare) of mostly untouched terra firma and flooded forests. It is part of a Pleistocene Refuge one of several areas of Amazon rainforest that survived the last Ice Age. These islands of vegetation, surrounded by ice, which served to repopulate the forest with species of plants and animals, evolved in isolation, and were new and unique to the area. The Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve is one of the “hot spots” of biodiversity on Earth. Nowhere else in the world can you encounter such an impressive diversity of living creatures in such a concentrated area. Scarlet, blue and yellow macaws, cobalt-winged parakeets, burbling oropendolas and spectacularly colored tanagers share the skies with leisurely soaring vultures, hawks and the great harpy eagle. The air, heavy with the moist smells of the rainforest, carries the calls of invisible frogs and the wind-like voices of howler monkeys, as well as a constant chorus of a million humming and chirping insects. Frequently a butterfly of breathtaking beauty will paint the green foliage with dazzling blue or orange. Caimans, freshwater dolphins, piranha, catfish and the giant paiche inhabit the rivers, streams and lakes. Over a hundred species of mammals roam the forests and along the rivers of the reserve, careful not to attract attention from potential predators or prey. University trained guides, experts in the secrets of the rainforest, will assist you in spotting the wildlife, masters of camouflage, almost invisible to an untrained eye, on the alert to find food or avoid becoming it. The Cuyabeno Reserve is not only wildlife. It is an intense socio-cultural experience, an endeavor to protect and conserve the culture of human beings who have shared the rainforest with the animals and plants through the centuries. The Cofan people, ancient inhabitants of this area, will enrich you with their profound knowledge of medicinal plants as they guide you through the rainforest.

YASUNI NATIONAL PARK & WAORANI ETHNIC RESERVE

The Yasuni National Park is located between Napo and Curaray rivers in Napo and Pastaza provinces in Ecuador’s Amazonia; south and east of town of Coca to near Nuevo Rocafuerte and Peru. (Yasuni National Park: 9820 km2. Waorani Ethnic Reserve: 6100 km2.) The area vegetation is mostly tropical moist forest: tierra-firme, várzea, swamp and igapó forests. It is equally reach in fauna. 4000 species, high diversity; potentially high in regional endemics, Medicinal, ornamental and timber species. Large wilderness, diverse fauna including regional endemics and threatened species, potential genetic resources, Amerindian land, watershed protection, ecotourism. The park and reserve provide extensive habitat for many animals, e.g. harpy eagles, macaws, jaguars, primates, freshwater dolphins and anacondas. The area’s great expanse provides a rare chance to conserve un-fragmented and undisturbed ecosystems and populations functioning naturally, including threatened species. The Waorani Ethnic Reserve protects tribal land of the Waorani (“Auca”) Indians, some of whom have fiercely resisted all outside efforts to contact them. The Waorani ethno-botany is notably different from that of neighboring peoples, suggesting their past conservation efforts

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G T TOURS OFFICES:

Plantation, Florida  
13494 NW 7th Street
Plantation, Florida 33325

Miami, Florida 
9930 SW 142 Street
Miami, Florida 33176

Toll Free USA & Canada:
(800) 666 8687
Local Number: 
(305) 436 0933 
Fax:     
(305 436 0843

Send us a Message

ENQUIRE NOW

We will be happy to answer your questions or comments.

G T TOURS OFFICES:

Plantation, Florida  
13494 NW 7th Street
Plantation, Florida 33325

Miami, Florida 
9930 SW 142 Street
Miami, Florida 33176

Toll Free USA & Canada:
(800) 666 8687
Local Number: 
(305) 436 0933 
Fax:     
(305 436 0843

Send us a Message

ENQUIRE NOW

We will be happy to answer your questions or comments.

G T TOURS OFFICES:

Plantation, Florida  
13494 NW 7th Street
Plantation, Florida 33325

Miami, Florida 
9930 SW 142 Street
Miami, Florida 33176

Toll Free USA & Canada:
(800) 666 8687
Local Number: 
(305) 436 0933 
Fax:     
(305 436 0843