The Chaparri Ecological Reserve is set in the remote dry forest of northern Peru. The reserve has been founded by Heinz Plenge (Peruvian wildlife photographer/conservationist) and works in collaboration with the Frankfurt Zoological Society to protect the local environment and it's inhabitants like the rare spectacled bear or the White-winged Guan. You can visit the reserve as a day trip but I would highly recommend everyone to stay for a few nights and immerse themselves in the uniqueness of the dry-forest. The Chaparri EcoLodge is the ideal place to stay, a good mix between comfortable and rustic, you could not get any closer to nature in these traditionally built cabins with hammocks stung across the porch. We had Sechuran Foxes, White-tailed Deer and exotic hummingbirds visiting us while having breakfast and at night there are millions of stars in the sky. Your stay includes traditionally cooked cuisine, from locally sourced produce. You can spend your day hiking, bird and nature watching, visiting the Spectacled Bear Rescue Centre or have a swim in the river. You will learn about local culture and the biodiversity of the area from the park wardens, who all come from the surrounding communities. This is a truly unique experience, which really is off the beaten track and you not only support the local community but the nature reserve itself – I traveled South America extensively over a year and this is the place I long to return to most.
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