Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Yacutinga Lodge

Transferring onto a "Mad Max" jungle bus

Prior to our visit to Iquazu Falls, we spent two days at a jungle lodge about 50 miles from the falls. This was a real treat and a unique change from our normal accomodations.

The bus was a home-made transfomation of a truck into a bus . . . it was pretty funky and cool

The bus had tiered seating so everyone had a view. The AC system was pretty funky too.

Another view of the bus. OK, I was transfixed with the bus . . . well, excuuuse me!

Yacutinga Lodge sits on point on the Iquazu River at the Brazil/Argentina border

The Lodge is the product of Carlos Sandoval, a passionate environmental preservationist who began constructing the lodge in 1994.

Alarmed with the disappearing natural jungle, he purchased the land and operates the lodge in a sustainable manner with minimal impact on the natural environment.

Over 2 days, we were able to observe the restoration and rebreeding programs practiced by the Lodge.

The lobby area and front desk made from local recycled trees

The main lodge building is amazing piece of art. Practically the entire building was made from recycled and local materials. Carlos hired and trained local people to build and work at the lodge.

Lobby lounge area (above and below)

Colorful recycled bottles form the window wall in the dining room

My little cottage for 2 nights

A tour of the lodge grounds - a beautiful setting in the jungle

The pool uses filtered rain water

Touconette flowers abound

Plenty of places to take a nap

An old tractor used in constructing the lodge complex

The kitchen produced some of the best meals of the tour

Unusual menu item - Armadillo??

It was quite tasty

A fantastic Armadillo dinner enjoyed by all!

Aguti, a large rodent

Blue Morpho

The butterflies were flying everywhere and were a challenge to capture by camera. They never stopped long enough in one place to pose. Here are a few that I did before they flitted away.

Spotted Velvet

The most amazing creature at Yacutinga was the Black and White Tegu Lizard (Giant Lizard). This guy, over 3' long, jumped out at me and scared the dickens out of me.

Beautiful beaded skin, heh!

Lizards are the vacuum cleaner of the jungle. They consume everything on the jungle floor.

Carlos Sandoval, owner of Yacutinga Lodge, was a very neat guy. He led us on some very informative walks in the jungle and explained its flora and fauna and what he is doing to maintain the environment.

One of his programs is to save and rebreed orchids. Anytime he would find a orchid plant dislodged from a tree, he would stick it in his pocket and take it back to the lodge and tie it onto a branch and nurse it back to life.

He had a nursery full of orchids and other plants undergoing rehab

Carlos taking us on a nature walk

A couple young employees working in the orchid nursery

Beautiful plant life in the jungle

Hey, its a jungle out here!

Click on "older posts" below to continue tour

~~Next - Punihuil - Penquins and Birds~~

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