Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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Travel

June 5, 2012

Eco-travel is an experience like none other

— Machu Picchu might be Peru’s headliner, but there’s an eco-lodge you can visit in the Amazon jungle just named an international Sustainable Standard-Setter for 2012.

I was there a few years ago and my memories are sustainable too. Incredible experience. Posada Amazonas is the name.

Rainforest Expeditions is the overarching company, one of 10 receiving the 2012 Sustainable Standard-Setter award recently in New York City.

Isn’t it grand to travel with intention and purpose, along with the fun? Rainforest Expeditions crossed my radar after I booked an adventure in the Peruvian guesthouse called Willka T’ika in the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

That’s when I added another week of travel, flying from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado on LAN Peru and boarding a 20-foot roofed canoe for the 45-minute journey on the Tambopata River.

Lunch was served — a rice mixture in a banana leaf. Recycling is a sustainable practice, right? Into the river was acceptable for that leafy plate.

The boatman kept my juice glass for later filling. Juice and water abundant throughout the lodge; hammocks too.

Doors are curtains, and walls are made of local cane. No need for one facing the jungle because this is all about the view. Wide open to the monkeys and toucans and parrots kind of view.

Dark really means something on this jungle vacation because the stars in the Southern Hemisphere sky are the main lights. Orion was just beginning to appear for me.

Kerosene lamps can be lighted in the hallway but lights out is 9:00 p.m. Sharp. I learned fast to be under my mosquito netting by 8:59.

Private baths with each of the 30 rooms; showers cool which was always welcomed. Hammock naps happen in your own room, or the common hammock lounge.

Staying awake is good too because the tamarind and red howler monkeys play grand games within view of the hammocks.

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