Yacutinga Lodge is not just an ecotourism project located in the Argentine Jungle. We believe that there is an important worldwide need of protecting nature while generating an economical income. At Yacutinga we are doing it. The ecotourism activity is one of our economic stilts, but there are also other sustainable projects, which are being developed in the Yacutinga area.
With the biological and technical support of the Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina (WWF asociated organization) and the outcomes of the researches that have taken place at the Yacutinga Biological Station we are conducting different projects to create a general use of our Private Reserve without spoiling Nature.
Since the start of the project we have been concerned about minimizing natural impact generated in the environment of the area. At the same time, we had to find a balance between the use of surrounding Nature and fine-tuning of an excellent ecotourism service.
We believe that we managed to meet this challenge following modern sustainability criteria based on:
• The responsibility of managing from the private sector one of the relict areas of Misiones Forest.
• Employment and training of local staff for ecotourism service production.
• Banning and drastic control of poaching and fishing in the area.
• Development of Forest restoration programs to recuperate altered areas.
• Development of Wild fauna re-breeding programs to repopulate and relocate specimens. (project ended)
• Execution of several research programs with the aim of acquiring appropriate knowledge on resources provided by the Forest.
• Encouraging co-participation with our Mbya Guarani neighbors to implement sustainable productive activities.
Furthermore, in agreement with our own convictions and philosophy, we have multiplied our efforts to reduce the effects of our presence in the area, by designing and applying recycling systems and rationing the energy we produce.
• Water in the Lodge is highly pure. It comes from a well that reaches the second groundwater, and which goes through this latertic soil at 85 m in depth.
• The hot water system in the room modules uses solar energy first and then optimizes a constant water temperature by means of non-contaminant electric heaters.
• The swimming pool consumes large amount of energy and potable water; therefore, to reduce and optimize water use we have designed a system that collects rainwater on the large roofs of the main building. Rainwater flow is diverted to the swimming pool forming an artificial waterfall that drags fallen leaves with its current. In this way, we keep the swimming pool clean during storms.
• An additional system of discharge treatment has been designed in all the bathrooms of the establishment. This system is known as External Engineered Marsh, and uses the plants of saturated soils (like marshlands) whose roots are capable of absorbing the nutrients present in stagnant waters.
• There are no air conditioners in the building; instead they have been architecturally designed to have a fresh air current inside, which comes from the surrounding understory and enters each building from a system located under the foundations.
Keeping our commitment to live in harmony with Nature, we consider each detail and try to provide the best ecotourism service possible in the Forest. E-mail services through a leading edge satellite system to comfortable beds with natural cotton linen.
The main building is the starting point of the activities. Early in the morning or in the afternoon, even at night, our expert guides organize floating trips or walks along the different interpretation trails.
No more than 12 people ever participate in each tour at a time. All our trips are based on respect for the natural environment, its silence and interpretation. Our guides, specialized in Misiones wildlife, are proficient at English. Local people also guide our tours, since they provide complementary information on the use of medicinal plants of the Forest, tracking and identification of wild animal footprints and many other topics of interest to the traveler.
You do not need to be an expert in environment or biology to enjoy your stay at Yacutinga Lodge. Much on the contrary, one of the conceptual keystones of our project is environmental education. At Yacutinga Lodge, we base our services on respect for the local culture, offering traditional local cuisine with international-level preparation and presentation.
Meals at the lodge are prepared with farm products provided by our neighbors. We strongly believe that all of us must be respectful of nature, since we are part of it.
From Misiones Forest, people at Yacutinga Lodge make an effort to transmit this environmental awareness in a completely natural way. We like to do it, and in some way we feel proud of it.
We are happy to know that, when coming back home, our guests pass on their community the knowledge that we were able to provide them here.
For those who are interested in specific environmental topics, we have organized stays focused on bird watching and classification, entomology, medicinal plants, orchids and bromeliads.
In 2003 Yacutinga Lodge and its Wildlife Refuge was selected by the World Tourism Organization as one of the 60 model ecotourism enterprises at the World Level.