Cristalino Lodge has been offering sustainable nature and wildlife experiences in the southern Amazon since 1992, allowing guests to get to know the flora and fauna of this pristine forest – its birds, butterflies, mammals and of course the incredible diversity of the rainforest. This private reserve is managed by the Cristalino Ecological Foundation in partnership with Flora & Fauna International. Its vision is to conserve this important habitat with the help of ecotourism.
The lodge, which is set in 29,652 acres, has many miles of trails through a variety of forest habitats both close to the lodge and upstream (accessible by boat). The lodge has a large bird (550+ species) and butterfly (2000+ species) list. There is also excellent mammal fauna and the surrounding forest is home to Brazilian tapirs, capybaras, anteaters, opossums, neotropical river otters, giant otters, brocket deer, agoutis, tayra, and paca. There are also 7 species of primates - night monkey, dusky titi monkey, brown capuchin, red-handed howler monkey, white-whiskered spider monkey, and the endemic red-nosed bearded saki monkey.
As well as a mammal clay lick, overlooked by a screened viewing platform, the trails around the lodge lead to two spectacular 50m observation towers which lift you high above the rainforest canopy. A head for heights is a help when climbing the towers, but the view from the top is unbeatable, especially at sunrise and sunset when the forest comes alive with birds and monkeys.
The standard en-suite rooms have twin beds and a solar heated shower. The superior rooms and VIP bungalows are more spacious and have outdoor showers as well as larger ensuite bathrooms. All the accommodation been built and is run on strict environmental principles of sustainability.
Open: All year.
Location: The lodge is located in the middle of a private rainforest reserve in the southern Amazon, on the banks of the Cristalino River. From the town of Alta Floresta you drive along unsurfaced roads past cattle farms for about 45 minutes to the Telas Pires river where the road ends. From here cross the Telas Pires by motorised canoe and boat up the Cristalino River for 30 minutes to Cristalino Jungle Lodge.
Rooms: There are standard and superior rooms and bungalows, 18 rooms in total. All have en-suite bathrooms with 24 hour solar water heating. Standard rooms have ceiling fans. Superior rooms are larger and also have a small veranda with a hammock. The bungalows can accommodate families and groups of friends with two large beds plus a sofa bed. They have large verandas. The lodge facilities are arranged in three clearings, with the service facilities (dining room, kitchen, lounge etc) in one clearing, and accommodations in the other two. The accommodation consists of 2 blocks of double rooms, 2 blocks of superior rooms and VIP bungalows.
Activities: There are many trails, totalling over 22 miles in length. These include forest trail, hilly trails and special interest trails. They also range in difficulty from easy to moderate and vary in duration from 1 to 4 hours. They can only be walked with a guide. The lodge offers guided bird watching (with over 580 species in the reserve), butterfly observation, photography and family programmes. Other activities include hiking, canoeing and swimming, boat trips and wildlife watching from the treehouse canopy tower.
Facilities: There is a restaurant serving regional dishes, and a bar, plus a living room with a small library. The lodge has a floating deck, ideal for relaxation and as a swimming base. There is a screened treehouse in the forest for wildlife viewing. Canoes and inflatable boats are available. There is a rope bridge and rapelling wall for the adventurous.
Dining: Meals are taken at individual tables in the restaurant or on the rooftop terrace.
Children: Children 9 years of age and older are welcome.
Health: Malaria prophylactics are recommended for the Amazon.
Communication: There is free Wi-Fi internet access in the guest rooms and throughout the lodge.
Rio, the Amazon & the Pantanal - a fantastic wildlife odyssey in Brazil.
Cristalino Lodge, in the Amazon, covers the basics such as recycling, composting, solar power use and so on, but they also manage to conserve 24,000 acres of primary Amazon forest. And through their own foundation they back many local projects such as 'People and Jaguars'. Staying here you can be assured you really are helping this sensitive and special region.
"Everything about this lodge was excellent , the bungalow was very good, the food was excellent considering how far away from any town it was and our guide was terrific in all the work she did. Excellent viewing of wildlife on the river and from the towers but due to the dry weather limited viewing of wildlife on the trails in the forest."