Peru Verde is experimenting with different models of ecotourism development, including lodges 100% owned by nonprofit conservation groups to mixed ventures between nonprofits and local clans or families but marketed by Peru Verde's travel agencies. We are the only nonprofit group in Peru that owns for-profit travel agencies, and the only goal of these agencies is to generate tourist movement in the jungle lodges in our system. Currently, Peru Verde owns or exclusively markets 138 beds in four rainforest lodges accessible from Cusco. The main goal of each lodge is to protect thousands of hectares of critical rain forest habitat. All of Peru Verde's profits from these lodges are used entirely in conservation work.
Manu Wildlife Center
Manu Wildlife Center is an ecotourism project that saves pristine rainforest previously scheduled for timber extraction and market meat hunting. The Center is located outside the eastern border of Manu National Park and abuts the northern border of the new, 400,000-hectare Amarakaeri Communal Reserve, a national protected area. The Center successfully has taken control of timber concessions and used them for tourism and conservation purposes. The lodge staff maintains a presence and directly protects the area, which is the largest uninhabited section of a major river in Amazonian Peru.
The lodge, which has 24 double-occupancy bungalows with hot water showers, flush toilets, overlooks the 350-meter-wide Madre de Dios River. The primary attractions for visitors are the world’s largest and most visited Tapir clay lick, the world’s most visited large macaw and parrot clay lick, two large oxbow lakes harboring families of Giant Otters, two canopy platforms at 100 and 130 feet above the ground, and 10 species of monkeys. Tourists from other local lodges pay to observe the macaw clay lick from the Center’s large, floating observation blind. In December 2002, Conde Nast Traveler Magazine called the Center “the most intense wildlife experience in Amazonia”.
he Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge is the focal point of a project to save the most pristine altitudinal transect in South America. A single-lane, dirt road travels northeast from Cusco, Peru, and descends from high Andean grasslands down through intact cloud forest to lowland forest. This road runs along the eastern edge of the higher elevations of Manu National Park. We bought out dozens of destructive farmers living along the road and now only a handful of holdouts remain. Our 16.7 square miles of forest holdings run from 3,000 to 9,000 feet of elevation, and profits from the lodge pay for private guards to patrol our entire altitudinal transect by motorcycle.
The lodge has 10 double-occupancy cabañas with electricity, hot water showers, flush toilets, and is nestled in a reforested patch of montane cloud forest within earshot of a small, rushing Andean river. The primary attractions for visitors are the world’s most visited Cock-of-the-Rock display ground (or “lek”), Woolly Monkeys, Brown Capuchin Monkeys, orchids, and feeders full of colorful tanagers, barbets, and hummingbirds. Victor Emanuel called our road transect “the best birding road in the world”, and Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge is the “birdiest” location on that route.
Sandoval Lake Lodge
This project is the only lodge in the Tambopata National Reserve and is a partnership with the 40-member community that lives on the lake margin. The local community receives 49% of the net profit from the lodge, and community members also earn salaries as lodge employees. Sandoval Lake Lodge had 3,200 tourists in 2003, making it one of the top three lodges in Tambopata. Additionally, it contributed $20 per tourist to the Tambopata National Reserve, or over $60,000 in 2003. This total represents 60% of the visitor fees paid to the Tambopata Reserve, more than the combined total of the other 15 lodges of the region. Lodge employees and the lake community patrol and protect the lake constantly, day and night.
The lodge, which has 25 double-occupancy rooms with electricity, overhead fans, hot water showers, and flush toilets, overlooks the largest and most attractive of the four oxbow lakes of the Tambopata National Reserve/Bahuaja-Sonene National Park. The primary attractions for visitors are the Giant Otters, six species of monkeys, Hoatzins, Agami Herons, other water birds, the largest concentration of Red-bellied Macaws in southeastern Peru, three species of large macaws, and the scenery of the largest lakeside Mauritia palm swamp in southeastern Peru.