Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Travel

June 5, 2012

Eco-travel is an experience like none other

(Continued)

A canopy tower offers vast views of the river and forest if you’re willing to climb the scaffolding. I say do it, and did.

Four little communities in this Peruvian region called Infierno provide all the staff.

Ese’eja the people are called and Rainforest Expeditions shaped a 20-year contract with them in 1996.

The Standard-Setter Award explores the improvements those relationships have brought to the region.

Superb hiking guides and bird watchers. Skilled healers, willing to stroll medicinal gardens to teach visitors like me about ancient plant-based traditions.

For instance, I learned that I should never boil the vine of the una de gato plant longer than 15 minutes or it might cause blindness instead of treating cancer.

Posada Amazonas has enough trails to hike before and after every meal, and after dark with a flashlight to light up many-legged creatures.

Family farms can be visited, up close with machete-farming. No mechanization here amidst the yucca, avocados, plantains, mangoes, bananas and star fruit.

Rainforest Expeditions added two lodges after I stayed at the Sustainable Standard-Setter recipient Posada Amazonas, so I ought to go again.

Refugio Amazonas is a three-and-a-half hour boat ride and the more remote Tambopata Research Center is four hours beyond that.

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Christine Tibbetts is a travel writer for The Valdosta (Ga.) Gazette. Contact her at www.TibbettsTravel.com

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