Each week we run a section in the Guardian newspaper's travel section, asking for readers to send in tips on a particular subject. The best tip wins a digital camera courtesy of Jessops. Find out more here
______________________________________________________________Cuyabeno Eco Lodge, Ecuador
Posted by tombolton
A wonderful rustic lodge situated on the banks of a lagoon which forms part of a flooded forest in the Cuyabeno nature reserve, this is a truly special location offering visitors a unique chance to sample life in the depths of the Ecuadorean amazonic region. It's an eight-hour drive from Quito (or a short flight and three hours by minibus) followed by three hours in a motorised canoe to arrive but the trip is well worth it and the journey itself affords incredible scenery and the chance to see anacondas, many different species of monkey, alligators and myriad butterflies in their natural habitat. It's also a must for bird watchers.
The guides are highly knowledgable about the biodiversity of the region and there are also local guides from the nearby Siona indigenous community.
Activities include day and night walks, piranha fishing, a visit to an indigenous village to make cassava bread (you dig up the root and then help them prepare it - from the ground to the table in under an hour and absolutely delicious!) as well as swimming in the lagoon with fresh water dolphins. The cabins are comfortable and the food simple but fresh.
The real find is that there are no mosquitoes! The flooded forest and the subsequent rotting vegetation below the waterline means the ph of the water is slightly acidic and so mosquito larva cannot survive. The cabins are therefore open and cool, and really give you the feeling of being in the jungle.
Swimming in the lagoon while watching the sunet remains one of the highlights of my time in Ecuador. I can't recommend it highly enough.www.neotropicturis.com
Cuyabeno Nature Reserve
Oficina Neotropic Turis
Pinto E4-360 y Amazonas
______________________________________________________________Pethers Rainforest Retreat, Australia
Posted by fishin832
We’ve just got back from a wonderful trip to Australia and I have to say Pethers set deep in the Queensland rainforest is simply stunning. You feel as though you are truly in the heart of the jungle with all the bird sounds around you plus you are totally private enough to take a double jacuzzi bath overlooking the foliage with no chance of being overlooked! The treehouse room was bigger than our London apartment and we enjoyed our daily breakfast (delivered to the room each morning) on a huge balcony in the midst of the trees. We loved watching the parrots swoop overhead! It’s run by a great couple Tim and Ilena who were really friendly and made us so welcome. We had dinner one night and it was the best meal of the trip and reasonably priced. It’s not far from Brisbane -probably an hour and a half but you really feel as though you are miles from civilisation.
28b Geissmann Street
PO Box 117
North Tamborine, Qld 4272
Phone: +61 7 5545 4577
Google map: tinyurl.com/y9vojgt
______________________________________________________________The Jungle Lodge, Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Posted by CornishJay
The only way to reach Costa Rica’s Jungle Lodge in the Tortuguero National Park on the Caribbean coast is by river launch, which takes you on a two hour journey right into the heart of dense rainforest. We were warned not to dangle our hands in the water - crocodiles are lurking. Howler monkeys serenade your arrival at the lodge, a charming and comfortable one storey wooden affair with long trellised veranda. The purpose of the overhanging roof was explained when a hammering tropical downpour woke us at 5am. Doors opened and one by one we guests abandoned sleep and enjoyed the warm rain together in the swimming pool. My daughter will always remember the jungle walk where two people’s shoes squelched off in the mud (they do lend you wellies), tiny green frogs that sat on her hand, and the boa constrictor in a tree. My favourite was the 'just after dawn' silent boat rides where our guide pointed out iguanas on the bank, spider monkeys and toucans high overhead in the jungle canopy. The richness of the exuberant foliage around the lodge itself was overwhelming, and just sitting around the pool or watching butterflies from the veranda was enough to experience the jungle and its creatures, barely restrained on all sides.www.anywherecostarica.com/destinations/tortuguero-costa-rica/hotels/tortuguero-jungle-lodge
Tortuguero, 26-1017, Costa Rica - 223 1200
Google map: tinyurl.com/ycg2zlr
______________________________________________________________Karanambu Lodge, Guyana
Posted by geneo3
Karanambu Lodge is in the south/middle Guyana, on the banks of the Rupununi river, the edge of the rainforest and besides the savannah.
Karanambu Lodge was established in 1927 and has been the home of the McTurk family. The lodge is home to Dianne McTurk and her adopted son and some other interesting characters.
Once you settle in you are treated to copious amounts for rum punch – on demand and as a matter of course. You are then likely to watch Dianne McTurk take her daily swim in the water with her pet giant otter, which is blind, as well as any she may be rehabilitating.
In two days we went monkey, jaguar, giant otter, caiman and bird spotting with Dianne and a guide via boat. Additionally, there is the chance to track giant anteaters in the savannah as well as watching a giant Victoria Amazonica open. And these are just the activities for a two day stay. With more time you can see the wider area and more of the local wildlife.
Sorry, I lifted this part from the website as it says it best: We are dedicated to conservation of the Rupununi savannah and wetlands ecosystem and preservation of the traditional way of life of the indigenous Amerindians who make the area their home. Karanambu is a nature lovers paradise and we welcome visitors to this remote corner of South America to experience its untouched natural beauty.
True Guyana is found only outside of Georgetown. Home to a select few English settlers, environmental and wildlife researchers and, of course, the local Amerindians; you are welcomed from the outset and doted on as a matter of course. Couple that with the umpteen anecdotes up the sleeves of everyone you meet and you will find yourself awe struck and full of smiles.
Dianne is just as much a draw than the wildlife and location are! Before we met Dianne we were informed by everyone on our journey to Karanambu that she is truly one of a kind. And this was true. Her aristocratic charm and kindness are evident from the outset as you quickly realize that Guyana and her are truly one while her life story is utterly remarkable Moreover, the fact that she can call David Attenborough a friend is quite special. Oh yes, and then there's the pet raccoon as well... ;o)
We booked through Last Frontiers, who were very helpful and extremely passionate.www.lastfrontiers.com/
We booked our own flight from Gatwick to Barbados with Virgin, before taking the connecting flight(s) arranged by Last Frontiers to Georgetown, Guyana’s capital. From Georgetown we took a small 6 seat single prop to Iwokrama Lodge in the rain forest, journeying to the Surama in the savannah by 4x4 for a few nights, before heading to the luxurious Rock View Lodge by 4x4 and then onto Karanambu by river boat (this gave us the chance to see a lot of birds and other wildlife). We then flew from Karanambu to Georgetown. Alternatively, you can just take a cruise around the Carribbean, get off at Georgetown and fly to Karanambu and back - obviously you will need to make sure your timings work though - private charters are available as well as the regular scheduled flight by Trans Guyana Airways. (Both are reliable and actually quite fun. While if you leave from Karanambu you are given a packed lunch and some rum punch for the flight...happy days...)
Comfortable to basic. All the items you need together with free soaps, toothbrushes, towels etc. Impressive considering your location! Moreover, there is the option of twin and double rooms.
In all honesty, you spend little time in your hut as you are either out and about, swinging in one of the hammocks outside your hut, in the main social area or eating/drinking - in you hammock, on the boat or at the dinner table.www.karanambu.com/
Nearest major town is Lethem, Guyana
Google map: tinyurl.com/yahg7wr
______________________________________________________________Paganakan Dii, Malaysian Borneo
Posted by Hineruru
Stilt chalets and comfortable longhouses made from natural and recycled materials are set along the perimeter of a hill top, offering panoramic views of lush jungle. The veranda of the longhouses and chalets are almost eye-level with the canopy of the forest. Great for watching birds and sunset/rise. The wooden doors and panels of the chalets slide back so you really can be part of the jungle. More spaces with hammocks and swinging chairs are located within the grounds to create your ‘own’ space to experience nature. An open air pavilion with three levels serves as a basic restaurant, bar and chill zone where one can read, connect wifi or converse with the resident owl. This place is designer rustic but comfortable with wonderful helpful hosts and staff.
This unique tranquil haven is well away from the rather shabby city of Sandakan and the well flogged tourist trails of Sabah. Simply the best place to stay in Borneo.www.paganakandii.com
TAMAN HIBURAN JALIL ALIP
______________________________________________________________La Sombra Ecolodge, Nicaragua
Posted by SarahGillis
La Sombra is an eco lodge up in the Bosawas, three hours drive north of Matagalpa. It is a three storey wooden lodge with views from the hammock on the balcony over the mist covered forest. $30 per person per day gives three home cooked meals, twice daily guided hikes over the property's beautiful coffee plantation and forest and waterfalls. The lodge produces its own coffee which we were given a bag of as we left. The people who run it are lovely (no English spoken) and the place is relaxed with no phone, no TV and just a few board games to play - fantastic. The drive up goes along potholed roads through fantastic forests up to La Dalia from Matagalpa for three hours and then the drive then gets really gets hard going. Wonderful placewww.lasombraecolodge.com
A 177 km de Managua, Tuma - La Dalia, Matagalpa, Nicaragua
______________________________________________________________Refugio Amazonas Jungle Lodge, Peru
Posted by PercyNicholas
This secluded eco-lodge is located in the heart of the Amazon Basin, a short boat ride down the Rio Tambopata river. It's an incredible place to go to get in touch with nature, with expert staff, they even cater for ecology academics. Each lodge has a completely open wall facing the dense tropical jungle. Great for spotting wildlife from the comfort of your hammock. For more energetic folk, there are plenty of activities Including a medicinal plant walk with the local Shaman. You can also pretend you're a native and take part in the spiritual Ayahuasca Ceremony. Truly a magical place to escape.www.perunature.com/
+511 241 4880