Many of us want to give up the rat-race and live a better life, but not many of us do. It is a dream most of us have, but unfortunately, can’t put into practice. The nearest thing to it that most of us can manage is a good holiday. Of course, that depends on your definition of a good vacation. Some like the perpetual party type holiday, involving discos, bars and dancing to the early hours of the morning. Others prefer the adventure kind, which centers on extreme sports, all the things you have no time to do or are too scared to do at home. If that’s the way you like to burn out the tension, that’s ok, but what if you want relax and do something that is interesting, at the same time? Something that will take you out of your own environment? Someplace exotic, but which isn’t an exquisite beach lined with tourist hotels? You may find the answer in the Ecuadorian Amazon jungle.
As many of us live and work in the cities, we forget the benefits of nature. Nature programs on the TV are the nearest any of us get to it anymore. We forget how soothing a simple walk in the countryside can be or how pleasant it is just to stroll around the local plant nursery. The kids, if they’re lucky, may get a school trip to the zoo, but that’s probably the nearest they are going to get to any wildlife. A little time spent in harmony with nature can work wonders.
If you are contemplating plunging back into nature this holiday, why not explore the jungle? It will do you good and if you have kids, they will love you for it. A holiday of this kind ticks off all the points: emersion in nature, far from the crowds, quiet and relaxing, but with the added bonus of the chance to see exotic wildlife in their own environment.
Amazonia stretches over nine different countries and within the Ecuadorian part lies the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve. The government has taken to heart the idea of conservation and sustainable tourism. There are different parks to choose from and each has its charm. The local indigenous tribes are the owners of these small, but luxury tourism projects, they use it as a means of economic sustenance and a sustainable alternative to keep intact their natural environment and cultural richness. You will be guests in what is their homeland and they are vigilant in keeping the balance between commercialism and the rainforest environment.
Although the onus is on relaxation and recharging your batteries, there are plenty of gentle activates to take part in. Different tours will take you to places where you can see all the wonderful fauna and flora of the Amazon. Such wonders include different species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, fish and insects.
Miguel Andy is General Manager of Napo Wildlife Center. Napo Wildlife Center is an eco-lodge offering unforgettable experiences in the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador, inside Yasuni Biosphere Reserve, which is managed by the Añangu kichwa aboriginal community.