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Heath River Wildlife Center

Owned and operated by the native Esé eja indigenous community, the Heath River Wildlife Center (HRWC-also known as the Ese’eja Lodge) is designed as a biological research station and eco-traveler accommodation. The 8 fully-screened, open-air cabanas feature en-suite private bath with hot water as well as lights and electricity provided by generator. Rooms are spartan but spacious. Miles of well-defined forest trails provide exciting viewing opportunities of a variety of mammals, birds, and flora. A floating blind is stationed 45 minutes upriver for a close-up view of the Heath River macaw lick. The HRWC offers the most authentic and in-depth cross-cultural encounters with native Amazonian people who act as your guides and demonstrate their skills in the forest including use of bow and arrow, harvesting Brazil nuts, and use of edible and medicinal rainforest plants. The Rainforest Action Network helped finance the lodge construction so the community could participate in tourism and benefit directly from visitors. In comparison to other nature lodges in Manu and Tambopata with professionally trained staff and university educated naturalist guides, this remote community-based ecotourism lodge is less service-oriented reflecting a more simple, native-style hospitality. Mammal sightings are not as abundant as in Manu and Tambopata, although wildlife populations are increasing since the community abandoned hunting and now protects the forest for ecotourism.