The Amazon rainforest is one of the wildest places on the planet and is an excellent choice for a ecotourism family destinations. Families of Red Howler Monkeys sit high in the trees and greet the dawn with loud voices that echo through the forest. Long-armed Spider Monkeys move through the upper reaches of the forest in search of fruiting trees. Cute, little Dusky Titi Monkeys calmly sit in dense vegetation and vine tangles in the rainforest understory while spectacular Scarlet, Blue and Gold, and Red and Green Macaws fly above the jungle.
The Peruvian jungle is a wild, wonderful place for eco travel but animals aren’t the only beings who call the rainforest “home”. People also live in the rainforests of Amazonia and have been doing so for thousands of years. In the Tambopata region, the Ese-Eja tribe has lived in the rainforest for countless generations. During the twentieth century, people from other parts of Peru also moved to and settled in the rainforests of Tambopata. While some people came to the area in search of gold, most started small farms that produce a wide variety of crops.
Just five minutes downriver from Refugio Amazonas is one such farm. Situated in the riverside community of “Condenado”, Don Manuel grows a huge variety of fruits and vegetables, many of which can be seen in the delicious dishes offered to guests of Refugio Amazonas on a family eco vacation. Guests of this Amazon jungle lodge are offered the opportunity of experiencing an authentic, working jungle farm to get a taste of local, Tambopata life. The owner of the farm will show you how he cultivates Amazonian crops such as Manioc, Cocona, Copuazu, Plantains, and other fruits and vegetables in a sustainable manner rather than slash and burn methods that would destroy the rainforest. Since his farm is situated right next to the rainforest, don’t be surprised if you also see flocks of parrots or macaws fly overhead as you learn about local Amazonian crops.