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ABOUT CRISTALINO JUNGLE LODGE - in their own words:
The Cristalino Jungle Lodge is nested in the middle of a Private Rainforest Reserve in the Southern Amazon, allowing visitors to have a great immersion in this ecosystem. The pristine Cristalino River, with clean and beautiful water, lies just in front of the lodge.
This region is recognized as an important area of the Amazon in terms of biodiversity. The exceptional number of species, even for the Amazonian standards, makes this one of the richest places in the Amazon for observing birds, mammals, butterflies and orchids in a Primary Forest environment. There is a great variety of endemic species (i.e. that only inhabit this particular region).
The lodge forest reserve is located just beyond the borders of the Cristalino State Park, an extremely important conservation area with 456,800 acres. The park is connected to other protected areas forming a huge conservation corridor in the Southern Amazon.
The lodge has a Private Reserve with more than 29,652 acres (46 square miles), an area two times larger than Manhattan island. This pristine forest reserve is home to a large variety of habitats and natural communities, allowing our guests to see wildlife in its natural state of being.
The lodge is located in the highlands of the Southern Amazon, in the municipality of Alta Floresta, Lato Grosso. There are daily regional flights from Cuiaba to Alta Floresta airport. From the airport there is a 1 hour transfer in 4-wheel drive vehicle followed by a 30 minute motorlaunch transfer.
The lodge has a friendly restaurant with bar serving delicious regional dishes and appetizers including the famous Caipirinha. For special nights there is a thatch roof patio where candlelight dinners are served. A common living room is used for presentations and meetings, having a small but carefully selected library.
A floating deck with 144 sq mt (1,550 sq) feet above the river is great for swimming and resting on your free time. Canoes & inflatable boats are available at any moment.
The lodge also keeps a rustic Screened Tree House in the forest which is used for spotting tapirs and peccaries.
For the adventurers there is a station with Rope Bridge and Rappelling-Down (booking required).
The rooms were built in order to promote a close contact in between the visitors and the surroundings. They have been designed to offer both comfort and a pleasant stay. Sustainable practices are present in the solar heating, gray-water treatment system, black-water treatment system and in the roof design with air-escapes to maintain a cooler temperature.
The lodge accommodations include: (click here for complete details)
- Private Bungalow Special
- Private Bungalow
The lodge has a 50 meter (164,04 feet) high galvanized Canopy Tower located in the middle of the Rainforest Reserve. There are three different stations at 20, 30 and 50 meters high.
The tower allows the viewing of many rainforest layers and, on the top, you stand above the canopy. The sight is remarkable, especially during sunset and sunrise. Many birds and mammals that inhabit the canopies such as falcons, macaws, toucans, cotingas, monkeys and coxius can be seen from there.
This tower is considered one of the most important in the Neotropics due to its geographic location, height and usefulness. The Canopy Tower was built with funds from Chip Haven, Stanford University, USA.
PROGRAMS & ACTIVITIES
The lodge offers a variety of programs from 3 to 8 nights in length, each with a different focus. Click here for more details.
FLORA & FAUNA - click here for complete details
The Cristalino Jungle Lodge offers one of the most unique and exciting opportunities for wildlife viewing in the entire world, containing a great variety of medium to low altitude eco zones, different types of forest cover, lakes, micro habitats, around 600 species of birds and diverse neo-tropical wildlife. From the carnivorous predators at the top of the food chain such as the Jaguar, Harpy Eagle and Giant Otter to the herbivores at the bottom of the pyramid like the Capybara and Agouti, all of the organisms which took thousands of years to evolve and which make Amazonia unlike any other biome in the world are still alive and doing well within the reserve.
The lodge has a large trail system with over 22 miles of length. The trails are distributed in a variety of natural communities, or ecotons, that represent micro ecosystems with particular characteristics and species. The lodge's trails are located in the following types of vegetations:
Tropocial Ombrophilous Alluvial Forest. This is the forest formations found on the Cristalino riverbanks
Terra Firme Forest (Tropical Ombrophilous Submontane). This type of forest is never flooded and is usually found in most trails. The leaves are always green
Tropical Semi-Deciduous Submontane Forest. This type of forest is quite similar to the Terra Firme Forest, but the canopy reduces its foliage during some months of the year
Campinarana - Forestry. This vegetation is found in fragmentary stands, presenting a rich biome with particular species of birds
Drought-Deciduous Submontane. This type of forest is found on the top of hilly and rocky landscapes, creating a special environment with endemic species and beautiful sight-seen areas.
The level of difficulty for the trails varies from easy to moderate and the average amount of time to walk each trail varies from 1 to 4 hours, depending on the length, group pace and wildlife observation.
Easy access from the lodge. The trail starts with a short hike in the Terra Firme Forest and then suddenly goes up-hill until it reaches the Drought-Deciduous Submontane Forest, found on the top of hilly landscape. Level: Moderate, demanding familiarity to walk on hilly landscapes.
The trail goes through a beautiful hilly landscape until it reaches a dryer but high forest that grows in between rock outcrops (Drought-Deciduous Submontane Forest). There is an astonishing scenario with beautiful wildlife and graceful trees. The trail then leads to three different rocky places where it is possible to see the valley below. Level: Easy to Moderate, demanding familiarity to walk on hilly landscapes.
The trail starts on an old forest, with large Brazil Nut trees. Then the trail eventually reaches a hilly landscape and climbs uphill for one of the highest peaks in the Cristalino Region. The forest becomes drier with orchids and bromeliads, reaching a rock outcrop. From the top it is possible to see a beautiful sight of the hilly landscape below in a completely new perspective. Level: Moderate, demanding familiarity to hiking and walking on hilly landscapes.
SPECIAL INTEREST TRAILS:
Trail located on the Forests of the Teles Pires River, presenting a different scenario. Many species of butterflies and skippers can be observed on this area. Access by motor boat. Level: Easy. Open from May to November.
Dr. Haffer Trail.
Discovered by Dr. Jurgen Haffer, this trail crosses different habitats such as extensive bamboo stands. This trail is especially designed for birding groups since many special types of birds are only found here. Level: Easy.
Amazon Kawallis Trail.
The Dr. Haffer's trail is linked to Amazona Kawalli's trail, where the endemic Kawalli's Parrot was first found at Cristalino. This trail is designed especially for birders. Level: Easy.
Ariosto Island Trail. The lodges reserve extends to an island by the Teles Pires River with 1,400 acres of preserved rainforest. This is home to the Cristalino Ecological Foundation's field camp. You will be able to watch parakeets, macaws and many other birds. Marvellous sunsets can often be seen by Teles Pires River. There is the chance to observe nocturnal birds and caimans as you go up river after dark on the way back to the lodge. Level: Very Easy.
This is not a trail, but a long boat trip that can reach a well protected lake which is the nesting place of the pre-historic bird named Hoatzin. Floating into this sanctuary enables you to observe and take photograph of these incredible birds. On the way back, there is a chance to stop by a sandy river bank for a picnic and a swim in the clean waters of the Cristalino River. Level: Very Easy