Call Of The Wild

Ecotourism has become a mainstay of the travel biz. Now it has to see if it can stay true to its original objectives

Deep in the Peruvian jungle in Manu National Park, an area half the size of Switzerland and reputedly home to more species of animals and plants than any other region of the world, the Matsiguenka tribe is gambling with its future. After centuries of dependence on hunting, gathering and small-scale farming, the isolated native community of 300 people has entered the tourist business. Last year the tribe opened a $120,000 ecolodge, built from rain-forest materials in traditional bamboo-stick and thatched-roof style. The lodge sleeps 24 people in four huts equipped with some amenities like bathrooms and solar-powered electricity. Cost: around $40...

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