As you have it, my latest adventure with the amazing LIKEtoKNOW.it family landed us right in the heart of Brazil aka the Amazon Rainforest. (Like what?!) A place that has always been on my bucket list since learning about its importance to our daily lives – I just never knew it would all happen so soon…
Started from the bottom…
Or, Sao Paulo. Add two more flights.
My adventure began the moment I peaked out of my airplane window and set eyes on the endless canopy trees stretching into the distance. That’s when I knew I was “out there” and in for some serious jungle experiences (check out my IG Story Highlights for more). Since it’s known as the “lungs of our planet” providing more than 20% of the worlds oxygen, it’s no surprise why it’s home to the cleanest air. So by all means, don’t mind if I… breathe in… breathe out… exactly the breath of fresh air I needed coming from the hustle and bustle of South Florida city life.
(Important to note: the stars at night are crystal clear… You’ll see millions in the sky.)
You stayed where?
The incredible Cristalino Lodge. An Amazon Sanctuary noted as one of the absolute best ecolodges in the world (National Geographic thinks so, too); this award winning property is nestled in the southern section of the Amazon. AKA middle of nowhere (a true escape!). Their vision and commitment to connect us with nature reveals that luxury can be created from the essentials – it’s what jungle dreams are made of (hence, Amazon to #Glamazon). As our boat ride, which was part of the arrival experience, neared the lodge we were greeted by Cristalino’s warm staff on a marvelous floating deck (talk about an entrance)! It felt like a scene in a movie. They had a refreshing happy hour, daily special drinks at the bar, live music and traditional Brasilian dinner(s) awaiting us, which was a fantastic nightly event. We thoroughly enjoyed it! And because the temps dropped in the evening, we had an open fire to always warm us up. Insert: extraordinarily stargazing here.
(Fun fact: I’m a complete space geek. I can talk about black holes and supernovas all day long. More on this another day… lol)
What makes it even more special?
Cristalino Lodge naturally creates an atmosphere of comfort, sophistication and well-being with accommodations designed to harmonize with its surroundings. How? Each bungalow has solar water heating, biological waste treatment and a natural ventilation system among many other initiatives. Wow, talk about the intention behind each function – I loved every detail about it!
Not only are they committed to responsible tourism, but play a significant part in environmental conservation through the Cristalino Private National Heritage Reserve. They capture the spirit of exploration and environmental commitment without losing its sense of wonder, consistently bringing human and nature closer together (perfection connection).
In the jungle, the mighty jungle…
Between the many trails, boat/canoe trips down the Cristalino River, observation towers and wildlife there are so many memorable experiences and activities to be had. Thankful that we were all assigned specialized experts/guides to ensure the best experience.
My personal favorite was the Observation Tower. Think of being on top of the world with panoramic sunrise and sunsets views intermingled with layers of lush, green forest from the ground up (165 feet up to be exact – yep, worth every step). Now, add an invisible sky river that floods this entire landscape. I know… you have to be there to truly understand the beauty of this complex biome, but I’ll do my best to detail it for you through pictures!
I was also especially captivated by the many macaws flying around us as the sun was rising… Did you know tropical parrots travel in pairs and mate for life? #relationshipgoals
And never have I ever seen such a large tree like the Brazil Nut tree in my life. This one towers above other trees here reaching heights of over 160 feet! The fruit from this tree holds about 10 to 21 nuts – a perfect snack break for an afternoon of hiking!
During our stay we were graced by many unique animals of the Amazon. While we didn’t see any jaguars or toucans, we did come across other locals. From anacondas (YES) to alligators, bumble bees to howling monkeys of the night, significant otters (like what I did there) to exotic birds of paradise… honestly, being here was extremely refreshing and rewarding – a total pinch me moment.
So many dreams. One destination.
I can’t help but replay these wonderful memories in my head like a real-life boomerang. Then, insert song: Fica Tudo Bem. I’ll never forget how each beautiful moment impacted and taught me. When you think you know something, the world trumps you with its magnificent wonder spinning everything back into perspective. Muito obrigada Brasil for doing exactly that and giving me an experience like no other. My heart will forever cherish these beautiful moments.
And a huge thanks to my LIKEtoKNOW.IT Brasil team for having me and making this trip one of the best times of my life. Taking #Glamazon2018 home with me, until I return!
Shop all my “Amazonian” looks below!