Is South America on your bucket list? If not, it might make its way to the top after reading about an ancient tribe running an ecolodge deep within the Ecuadorian Amazon.
The Huaorani Ecolodge is located in the Yasuni National Park, a UNESCO reserve where previously uncontacted indigenous tribes reside. This sustainable lodge gives travelers the opportunity to visit one of the most remote corners of the earth and interact with one of the most fascinating cultures in the world, the Huaorani people.
The Huaorani Ecolodge is run by the Huaorani people and operated by Tropic Journeys in Nature, an award-winning Ecuadorian eco-travel company that specializes in community-based tourism. The Huaorani people have (until recently) avoided contact with modern society and have sustained in the Amazon for ages by living off natural resources found in the rainforest. They are the main employees at the lodge and were involved in the initial construction and recent modernization of the facility.
The partnership has proven to be good for all involved including the Huaorani, Tropic, travelers, and the local environment.
“The region is showing signs of regeneration with more sightings of giant river otter, jaguars, giant armadillos, and the very rare short eared dog,” mentions Tropic founder Jascivan Carvahlo.
The partnership also allows the Huaorani to maintain their ways of life, help protect their land, share their unique culture, and earn a living at the same time.
Carvahlo began Tropic in 1994 when he set out to create a sustainable business that would include indigenous people maintaining their environment and sharing their land with travelers. The business also merges with economic and political efforts and is involved with community tourism in the Galapagos, Andes, and the Pacific coast region of Ecuador.
Tropic extends to travelers the opportunity to interact with this isolated tribe and experience the Amazon like never before. Guests have the chance to trek through the jungle with a skilled Huaorani guide and view rare wildlife, discover their timeless survival skills, and learn about conservation efforts in the region.
Recent renovations to the lodge include a gift shop, walking paths, and new roofs made from Chova, a material made in Ecuador that keeps moisture away and enables roofs to sustain for 20 years.
“Using Chova diminishes pressure on the forest by precluding the need to cut down palm trees from which thatch originates,” says Carvahlo.
This is in addition to the already wonderful eco-friendly efforts being put forth, such as the use of environmentally-friendly soaps and shampoos, locally bought produce, and solar powered lighting. There are also plans for a solar refrigerator and new wood surfaces in kitchens and dining rooms.
Three and four night packages are available from $690 per person and for an additional price can include meals, an English speaking guide, and guided activities.
If you are looking for an adventure in the Amazon and a chance to directly interact with a remarkable indigenous tribe, check out the Huaorani Ecolodge and start packing!
Photo Credit: www.destinationecuador.com