Archive for the 'Rain Forest' Category

Selva Negra, Niacaragua: A blend of coffee, sustainability, and tropical forest

Monday, April 17th, 2017

Nicaragua is becoming more common as a travel destination for the adventurous eco-traveler but it still lies more or less off the beaten path. This is probably related to the fact that large tracts of the country are roadless and undeveloped with little infrastructure. At least this keeps the tropical forests of a great many places in Nicaragua intact, but it also means that even the most eco-adventurous of folks won’t be able to experience such magical areas.

Nevertheless, Nicaragua is a big enough place to provide intrepid visitors to this friendly country with a number of options. One of the best is the Selva Negra ecolodge. Selva Negra means “Black Forest” and yes they are referring to the pine-clad Bavarian land that spawned the cake of the same name. Whether the original Bavarian immigrants who founded the place gave their new home this title because of homesickness, because the surrounding cloud forests reminded them of southern Germany, or a combination of the two, we will never know. However, what is certain is that excellent German-influenced cuisine is served at the Selva Negra restaurant, including their own version of Black Forest Cake.

In addition to being an ecolodge, this eco-sanctuary of the central Nicaraguan highlands is a working farm. Flowers, organic produce, and livestock are all grown or raised on site in as sustainable a manner as possible and are sold in markets as well as providing ingredients for the restaurant. The cows and pigs also provide fertilizer and manure that is used in the gardens and in growing their excellent, organic, shade-grown coffee.

Although coffee grows faster in full sunlight, not only does this require the removal of biodiverse cloud forests but also heavy application of chemical pesticides. Coffee grown beneath the shade of the forest, however, doesn’t need as many pesticides, grows better, and has a richer flavor because the shady conditions mimic the understory habitat in which coffee evolved. At Selva Negra, visitors will also see how this benefits wildlife when they catch glimpses of Howler Monkeys and dozens of birds on trails that pass through the shade coffee plantations and primary forests of this eco-friendly destination.

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Dance in the tropics of Tiskita Jungle Lodge

Friday, April 14th, 2017

Tiskita Jungle Lodge cabins Costa Rica There’s something romantic about the thought of staying in a wooden cabin in the midst of the rainforest. The notion conjures up images of lush greenery, brightly colored macaws, juicy fruits and hot humid nights.

There’s truth to those images at the Tiskita Jungle Lodge, where guests can enjoy the unparalleled beauty of the tropical rainforest in comfort. Stay in one of the many wooden cabins made of precious woods like mahogany, purpleheart and rosewood, which have fallen to the forest floor.

Dance under a canopy of tropical trees. Or else, take a walk and explore up to 275 species of birds and a variety of other animals on the 800 acre biological reserve. Or grab a horse and take a tour by horseback and fall in love on one of the wilderness beaches. Hungry? The reserve has over 125 different species of tropical fruit to which guests can help themselves.

If being surrounded by all that tropical beauty is too much for you, you can take it all in lying in a hammock on the porch of your cabin. Each of which, let me add, boasts an ocean view.

Tiskita Jungle Lodge is one of the original ecolodges in Costa Rica. The family run business was started in 1978 when Peter Aspinall built his home on the large piece of land and began reforesting. Soon the natural habitat was restored. Now Aspinall and his wife Lisbeth manage Tiskita Jungle Lodge where eco-tourists come to bask in a life that’s wild with beauty.

Tiskita Lodge Costa Rica flora

To indulge in the rainforest visit the Tiskita Jungle Lodge website.

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