The Brazilian Amazon Rainforest

The Brazilian Amazon Rainforest

The Brazilian Amazon Rainforest – an Ecological Eldorado

The Brazilian Amazon Rainforest is mankind’s heritage, an ecological Eldorado for environmentalists. It produces a fifth of the planet’s oxygen and contains a fifth of the earth’s fresh water.  There are 15,000 known animal species, 1800 species of butterflies, 2000 species of fish, and four types of big cats. One quarter of the world’s 8600 bird species live in the Amazon.  The Amazon River system is the planet’s largest body of fresh water, and besides the Amazon River, there are 1100 tributaries with over 48,000 miles of navigable rivers.

Explore traveling to the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest in this multi-media presentation.   Two of the top lodges are highlighted, The Anavilhanas Jungle Lodge and the Cristalino Lodge.

Travelers Say:

“We contacted Jill with a request for a vacation that would be very focused on the nature of the Amazon forest. She came back with a recommendation for a river cruise up the Rio Negro, which was a great match to our request. We had a terrific trip; all arrangements were well handled, and when bad weather threatened our departure, Jill was working with us on a back-up plan (fortunately unneeded, but reassuring to know there was one). We would love to work with Jill again for a trip to Brazil. We had a very special experience there.”
CRAIG OWENS (CFO Campbell’s Soup Company)

“I know of no one who has been involved longer or more successfully with ecotourism in the Amazon than Jill Siegel. I recommend her enthusiastically!”
Mark Plotkin, Ph.D. –  Author “Tale’s of A Shaman’s Apprentice”
Ethnobotanist and President,
Amazon Conservation Team

Feel free to contact Jill for a custom designed itinerary to the Amazon and beyond.



Caiman Ecological Refuge

 

The Caiman Ecological Refuge is a sustainable eco-lodge located on a 53,000 hectare ranch in the heart of the Brazilian wetlands called the Pantanal.  The flood plane is a birdwatcher’s paradise, home to more than 650 species, thousands of varieties of butterflies, 80 species of mammals and more than 250 species of fish.  In 2000, the Pantanal wetland was designated a World Natural Heritage and World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.

Caiman Lodge macaw

 

Guests staying at the Caiman Lodge have the unique opportunity to see the elusive jaguars.  Projeto Onçafari is a non-profit conservation initiative that aims to promote ecotourism in the Pantanal by habituating Jaguars in order for guests to witness the fascinating behavior of these beautiful animals from a safari vehicle.

Jaquar Caiman Lodge

Jaguar Caiman Lodge

Most recently, clients of mine saw four jaguars on their very first day at the lodge and I was thrilled to receive the following photo from them.

Jaguar at Caiman Lodge by Steve Ice

The Caiman Ecological Refuge is considered the premier lodge in the region and is a must stop on any wildlife enthusiasts’ itinerary.  I recommend at least 3 nights and 4 days at the lodge.

Baiazinha Caiman Lodge

Contact Jill for itinerary planning and reservations.

Villas de Trancoso – Bahia, Brazil

Trancoso-Cliffs1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overlooking one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Brazil, Villas de Trancoso offers guests superb private luxury accommodations that are sophisticated, exquisite and perfectly idyllic.  Look no further for a perfect honeymoon or relaxed week long retreat, Villas de Trancoso succeeds on every level.

Each of the 5 one and two bedroom luxury villas is surrounded by lush gardens with access to a white marble pool, alfresco dining restaurant, and pristine beach area with shaded palms, showers and lots of comfortable furnishings and cushions.

 
Luxury-on-the-beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each Villa has its own private deck or outdoor lounge and spacious bedrooms as well as  bathrooms furnished with rare and exotic Brazilian hardwoods.  Other amenities include beds draped in mosquito nets, Direct TV, DVD, CD players, cordless phones, refrigerators, safes and of course air conditioning.

Beach-at-Villas-de-Trancoso

Villa Sky is a dramatic two story villa with dining and entertainment on the first level and the master suite on the second level.  In the center of the home is an atrium that rises to a glass skylight on the second level. From the master bedroom one can gaze into a star filled sky throughout the night.
Water sports, boating, fishing, diving, hiking to secluded beaches, horse back riding and access to Trancoso’s world class Terra Vista Golf Course are just some of the many activities available.  There is also a health and fitness centre, personal trainers, cycling, kayaking, body surfing and massage.

Villas de Trancoso has one of the areas best restaurants.  Chef Sidnei’s dishes coupled with his caring and attentive staff make dining under the stars and around the pool an unforgettable experience.

According to owner Galen Briggs – “The great thing about being small is we can do exactly what the guest requests.  Our starry nights are amazing!  We have even had guests that asked to sleep under the stars on the beach.  A starry night combined with the soft crashing of waves is a most amazing experience!”

Airport:  Porto Seguro

Facilities: Swimming pool,  golf, horse back riding, health and fitness centre, personal trainers, cycling,  kayaking, body surfing, massages.

Weather: All year round destination

 Reservations: Contact Jill

Ponta dos Ganchos Exclusive Resort – Santa Catarina, Brazil

h4u2ol4x

 

 

 

 

 

Located on Brazil’s stunning emerald coast, Ponta dos Ganchos offers the ultimate in romance and world class sophistication.   The 25 private bungalows afford guests with sweeping views of the sea, each one decorated in lush, rustic and refined style featuring Brazilian hardwood and natural stone.
Each bungalow comes with luxury linens, fireplace, state of the art music systems, internet connections and flat screen TVs.  Most bungalows also feature private plunge pools affording the spectacular views of the emerald sea below.

 
Romantic and private dinners may be enjoyed on your own private island illuminated by tropical torches and serenaded by a guitarist or simply by the gentle lapping waves.   All meals are included in the packages and are served at any hour of the day.    Casual lunches and gourmet evening meals are served in the tri-level Beach Restaurant.  The contemporary regional cuisine features freshly caught fish, prawns, oysters and mussels.  The extensive wine list features over 250 labels including Chilean, Brazilian, Portuguese and Argentinian wines.

h4u2ol9m

 

 

 

 

 

Scuba diving in the Marine Reserve of Arvoredo as well as chartered schooner cruises and sailing are available.  Guests have use of all resort amenities including heated indoor pool, fully equipped fitness room, an oceanside tennis court, billiard game room, kayaks, canoes and laser dinghies, ecological trails and running track and a secluded beach for swimming and snorkeling. The resort also has an on-site cinema with a library of 300 films for guests enjoyment.

h4u2ol3d

 

 

 

 

 

Wedding packages are available.  Packages include 02 massages or Dior Spa Treatments, hairdresser and manicure, make-up artist, wedding ceremony on the island, Veuve Clicquot champagne, dinner on the island, breakfast served in the bungalow the next day, live music – guitar and violin, and red rose bouquet.

Jill can also arrange one of Brazil’s top wedding photographers to capture the magic of your special day.  Most recently  photographer Lauro Maeda photographed the gorgeous wedding of Donald Graham and Ingrid Schau at Ponta dos Ganchos.

Ingrid and Donald Wedding picture

 

Reservations: Contact Jill

Closest Airport: Florianopolis International Airport, 50-min drive

 

 

Exclusive Hideaway Beach Villa – Trancoso, Bahia – Brazil

villa-dining-romtrancos-villa-living-space

With a privileged location on a bluff overlooking the sea, this spectacular private villa was designed by Robert Novogratz  to reflect Trancoso’s laid back atmosphere and lifestyle.  Secluded and private, the large interior spaces all open to the breathtaking natural landscape that surrounds the villa.

Sip caipirinha’s poolside, horseback ride on the beach or walk to Trancoso’s famous Quadrado to enjoy the hip boutiques, restaurants and impromptu musical performances and parties.  You will never want to leave this place.


villa-ocean-views
villa-trancosoThis hideaway sleeps 12 guests comfortably and is ideal for a large family.
Includes: 4 air conditioned Bedrooms with private decks, large living and dining rooms, flat screen TV / DVD room with A/C, modern kitchen, poolside bar, swimming pool, CD player, 6 bathrooms, 5 showers and English Speaking Housekeeper.

 

 

villa-bedroom-and-deck

villa-poolPlease contact Jill for availability and prices. (Daily, weekly and Christmas rates available)

Closest Airport: Porto Seguro

 

Pousada do Quadrado – Trancoso, Bahia Brazil

pousada-do-quadradoLocated on the historic square in the tiny seaside village of Trancoso, Pousado do Quadrado offers the perfect escapes for those seeking privacy and comfort surrounded by luch tropical gardens and only steps away from some of the best beaches in Brazil.

In 2001, internationally renowned Brazilian designer Sig Bergamin took time out from transforming the Hamptons homes of the rich and famous to completely refurbish and redesign the interior of Pousada do Quadrado.

 

pousada-do-quadrado-veranMixing furniture and materials typically Bahian with touches of South East Asia, he created an eclectic and relaxing atmostphere that some have called the most beautiful pousada on the Bahian coast.
The pousada’s chef, Leticia Pimenta, has become a local celebrity in her own right earning high quadrado-deckmarks for serving the best Bahian cuisine in the region.

Rooms: 2 duplex apartments with verandas, 11 suites

Services: Restaurant do Jacaré

Activities: Local shopping on the square, beach swimming, beach excursions, horse back on the beach, kayaking

Rates: Please contact Jill for current rates.

Closest Airport: Porto Seguro

Etnia Pousada – Trancoso, Bahia – Brazil

etnia-maroccos-suite etnia-overviewLike stepping into an exotic edition of Architectural Digest, each of Etnia’s five bungalows will transport you to a different far off land.  Step into the Arabian Nights in the Maroccos Suite or lose yourself in the African inspired Tribal Suite.  If you prefer the local Brazilian flavor, the Trancoso Suite’s rustic style will feel like home.

Surrounded by banana, mango and Pau Brasil trees, Etnia Pousada enjoys a unique location.  Close enough to Trancoso’s Quadrado to enjoy festive Brazilian nights and close enough to the ocean for an early morning dip before breakfast.
etnia-poolA modern swimming pool surrounded by a wooden sun deck is the perfect place to enjoy your afternoon snack or a light meal.  Take a yoga class in the afternoon or luxuriate with a relaxing massage in the Etnia Therapy Center.

Services: Restaurant, pool and bar, antique boutique shop

Activities: ocean or pool swimming, horse back riding, eco-tourism, boating
etnia-chair-detailRates: Please contact Jill for current rates.

Closest Airport: Porto Seguro

Estrela d’Agua, Trancoso – Bahia, Brazil

estrela-entranceestrela-dagua-ocean-viewAchieving a perfect balance between sophistication and informality, Estrela d’Agua is a tranquil ocean front retreat surrounded by 20 kilometers of pristine beaches, cliffs and natural pools.  Suites and tastefully appointed bungalows are built around Brazilian tropicalismo singer Gal Costa’s former beach home.

Enjoy long lazy hours beach combing, swimming, fishing or just curling up in a hammock on a sun drenched verandah.  The muted natural tones of the airy interiors counterpoint the vivid colors of the tropical gardens.  Estrela’s native chef will indulge you in divine cuisine prepared from fresh local produce including fantastic seafood from an abundant daily catch.  In the evening stroll to the village “Quadrado” and join in the nightly festivities.

estrela-verandahRooms: 14 Suites, 2 Master Suites, 2 Bungalows w/minibar, TV, telephone, air conditioning, verandah and hammocks.

Services: 2 pools, gardens, verandah bar and beach bar, massage, gym and internet.

estrela-cabanaActivities: Boating, Horse back riding, ultra-light flying, tennis, golf course, eco-tours through the Atlantic Rainforest, boat tours to Espelho and Curuipe beaches.

Rates: Contact Jill for current rates.

Closest Airport: Porto Seguro

Txai Resort – Itacaré Bahia, Brazil

txai-bungalow txai-detailSet among a 100 hectare coconut grove, Txai Resort’s private bungalows offer guests the ultimate in laid back sophistication and barefoot luxury. The flavor and colors of Brazil are everywhere here from the mesmerizing sea views to the unspoiled Atlantic Rainforest. Enjoy exploring the endless secluded beaches, trekking to waterfalls, horse back riding, surfing or a game of tennis.

txai-girlsTxai’s restaurant features the same Bahian delicacies made famous by Brazil’s beloved literary giant – Jorge Amado in “Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands.” Savor the flavors of a “moqueca de peixe”, fish stewed with coconut milk, or the Bahian shrimp favorite, “Bobó de Camarão” all the while taking in the breathtaking natural setting.

txai-bungalow-interiorRooms: 10 Suites and 16 private bungalows.  5 bungalows with jacuzzi, built individually on stilts and surrounded by wooden decks spread out among the coconut groves to ensure maximum privacy. 1 triple bungalow accommodates up to 8 guests in three adjoining suites – the largest of which is a loft with mezzanine, accommodating up to 4 guests.

 

 

txai-beachtxai-poolServices: Restaurant, living room, 25m swimming pool steps from 4k beachfront, children’s pool, TV and internet access, 2 illuminated tennis courts and spa.

Activities: Canoeing, eco-tourism, fishing, horse back riding, nature trails, snorkeling, surfing, swimming and white water rafting.

Rates: Please contact Jill for current rates.

Closest Airport: Ilhéus in Southern Bahia State

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” — Mark Twain

Pousada Maravilha – Fernando de Noronha – Brazil

maravilha-for-blog3Located 200 Nautical miles off Brazil’s northeastern coast, Pousada Maravilha is the first 5 star luxury inn located on the tiny island paradise – Fernando de Noronha. Blending seamlessly with its natural surroundings, Pousada Maravilha’s 5 private bungalows and 3 suites offer breathtaking views of the stunning turquoise bay. Muted tones with colorful accents highlight the simple interiors and set a mood of quiet tranquility and reflection. This beautiful island is the perfect destination for those who love diving, snorkeling, wind surfing, hiking or honeymooners who want to escape from it all and enjoy some of the best secluded beaches in South America.

 

maravilha-pool maravilha-viewRooms: 5 private bungalows and 3 suites. Cable TV, AC, balcony

Services: Restaurant, swim up pool bar, massage, tour services, transfers, excursions

Activities: Diving, snorkeling, surfing, kayaking, fishing, boating, bird watching, horse back riding, island tours, and bicycling.

mirante-do-forteClosest Airport: Flights daily from Natal and Recife airports

Google Maps: Fernando de Noronha

Image Gallery: Fernando de Noronha

Rates: Please contact Jill for current rates.

Back in the Trees Again – Ariau Amazon Towers

ariau-best-arial-viewIt had been two years since my last visit to Ariau Amazon Towers Hotel and I was more than eager to get back in the trees! Upon my arrival I was greeted by the “welcome committee”, a playful troop of woolley monkeys with the irrepressible Natalie in the lead. She immediately took to my shoulders and gave me the appearance of a Russian with one of those funny fur hats!

 

natalie

suite-divina-sunlitThe staff had fun making sure the rest of the rambunctious troop did not enter the reception area and kept them distracted on the boat launch. After convincing Natalie I would be around for a few days she released the monkey grip she had on my head and let me check-in and find my suite. This time I had the pleasure of the “Suite Divina”, with a 360 degree panoramic view into the rainforest canopy! This is truly heaven, three days with only the sounds of tropical birds and monkeys howling in the distance! Good-bye phone, fax, computer! Hello! Piranha fishing!

 

 

amazon-sunsetFinding my way down Tower 5 and onto the catwalk suspended over Ariau Creek, I spotted two bright red macaws perched on a tree. Spider monkeys scurried playfully at my feet as I carefully and quickly entered the restaurant on top of Tower 4, making sure none of my little friends would slip in as well. One of the absolute delights of Ariau is the regional Amazonian cuisine served up buffet style three times a day. At breakfast, an array of tropical fruits that are not even known outside of the region are displayed beside a large selection of warm homemade Brazilian pastries, breads and soft cheeses. A delicate white manioc pancake the color and texture of lace is enjoyed lightly spread with sweet butter. Homemade jams and jellies with exotic Indian fruit names such as cupuaçu, jaca and acai add just the right touch. Then there is the Brazilian Cafezinho.  Need I say more?

jimmy-and-roslyn-carter-at-ariauLunch and dinner feature the absolutely exotic Amazonian fresh water fish, the two-meter long pirarucu and the delicious tambaqui both prepared in the regional manner. On one wall of the restaurant are displayed hand carved plaques honoring illustrious guests who have also been initiated into Ariau’s magic – Bill Gates, Isabel Allende, Jennifer Lopez, Prince Frederick of Denmark and Jimmy and Roslyn Carter among many others.

After lunch our little international group pile into a motorized canoe with Ricardo our guide and we’re off for the afternoon to explore the flooded forest. As we leave Ariau Creek and approach the Rio Negro an indescribable feeling of vastness fills me with wonder as we approach the mouth of the Anavilhanas Archipelago – the largest grouping of fresh water islands in the world. Here the river becomes an ocean at 17 miles from shore to shore. Pink dolphins leaping from the water create a magical landscape only equaled by a Peter Max painting. The sky seems to go on and on forever. We enter the flooded forest and the motor is turned off, all at once the wonder of the rainforest explodes around us as we navigate the backwaters. The primordial forest, vines, lianas, bromeliads, butterflies – this is why I came, it is all right in front of me. I have returned to the place that I love. post by Jill Siegel

ariau-global-aerial-new

 

http://www.ariauamazontowers.com/