Exploring the Brazilian Amazon with Uakari Lodge

By Kelley Louise

Floating in the Brazilian Amazon is Uakari Lodge , a set of five bungalows that rest on the surface of the water, rising and falling with the natural tides. The eco-lodge is a community-based tourism project, and allows visitors to immerse themselves in spectacular nature while also connecting with the surrounding local communities.
We sat down with the team at Uakari to learn more about their projects. The following Q&A has been edited for clarity, flow and length.

When visitors get to Uakari, what should they expect? What makes your lodge unique?

Uakari Lodge is considered one of the best places in the Amazon to see wildlife and offers a unique combination of nature and culture. It is a pioneer project of community-based tourism and sustainable tourism in Brazil. The Mamiraua Reserve, where we are located, is also a special place in the Amazon, because it contains one of the biggest areas of protected “varzea” forest, a set of land that represents about 4% of all the different types of environment known to the Amazon. The Reserve is inserted in the Central Amazon Corridor and is part of the Amazon Biosphere Reserve, and is a recognized Brazilian reserve by Ramsar Convention and a World Heritage site by UNESCO.

The lodge is peacefully floating on a river channel in the middle of the jungle, so visitors should expect total immersion in the forest. The exclusive location makes it a perfect place to connect with nature, waking up to the chant of the howler monkeys and caimans swimming by.

Contact with local staff and communities is also an important part of the experience, and gives our guests the opportunity to learn more about how locals live and how they interact with nature and the forest and adapt to the changes of each season.

How is Uakari Lodge eco-friendly and sustainable?

The lodge is totally powered by solar energy, recycled pet roof tiles covers all the structure and we use a anaerobic wastewater treatment system to treat all the sewage generated by the lodge, which has no need for electricity or chemical products.

We have 14 marked trails near the lodge that are used for visitation in a rotation system to decrease the impacts of use.

When a traveler visits Uakari Lodge, how are they supporting the local community?

The price of the program includes a special fee designated exclusively for the local communities, and the total amount is divided at the end of each year. The communities use the money in projects to improve the welfare of all residents.

Visits to the communities are also an opportunity for locals to connect with travelers and learn more about different places, as well as to sell craftwork for those who are interested.

Most of our staff members are from the local communities, so the most important benefit of the tourism activity is the jobs that are created.

What are some of the best things for travelers to do when visiting the area? What are some local tips?

We include all activities on our programs, but the highlights of the experience are:

  • Sunset at Mamiraua Lake;
  • Night in the Jungle House;
  • Canoe tour inside the flooded forest (available from April to August).

Tasting some local products is also a plus for foodies and we recommend local fishes like pirarucu, tambaqui, the local manioc flour and the famous açaí.
You can learn more about (and book) Uakari Lodge on Lokal. We're currently offering 21% off for a week-long trip.

Kelley Louise

She's the Marketing Maven at Lokal and a travel entrepreneur passionate about storytelling and social good - you can find more from Kelley over at The Culture Collective and Impact Travel Alliance where she's working to transform the travel industry.