We are considered pioneers of the tourism in the Nature (Expeditions, Eco Tourism) in Brazil, for we’ve been involved with this activities for 28 years. We’ve been developing our work since 1974 at the Marajó Island, in the Amazon up to Tabatinga. We are in the Pantanal since 1980. We got experience with the IN Coming Tours when we were Expeditours in Rio de Janeiro, experience with the Out Bounds as owners of Brasitours in Belgium (principal emissive operator in Brazil) and we’ve been awarded with several prizes and mentions like the Opaxore (BA), Green Label (Earth’s day 92 - sigma), Tourism Distinction (Folha do Turismo) among others. These reasons alone convince us that we can offer the Security and Quality that our visitors deserve.
In a survey report for the OAS in 1987, the ECOTOURISM (ecological tourism) was identified as one of the most promising and possible options of sustainable development for the regions of the Legal Amazonia and Pantanal.
In 1992, with the realization of RIO 92, that worldwide panel discussion on environmental issues, the ecotourism started to have a certain visibility in the country and was created, then, the first manual for “green tourism” products, organized by EXPEDITOURS for EMBRATUR, aiming to give to the participants of that worldwide meeting a broad view of the Brazilian possibilities in this section of the domestic tourism. At that event, in recognition for being a pioneer in ecotourism, EXPEDITOURS was given the GREEN ACTION diploma, awarded by an international committee, for developing actions in favor of our environment.
In 1994 EMBRATUR gathered a select group of people from governmental departments, environmental branches and the tourism trade, which together gave birth to the BRAZILIAN GUIDELINES FOR ECOTOURISM, defining the working concepts for that activity.
Eco-tourism/Ecological Tourism or Responsible Tourism is: The tourist activity that preserves Nature and the culture of the visited places while at the same time shares an environmental conscience and creates harmony between the visitor and the visited area, leading thus to the well-being of all the involved parts.
Some suggestions to identify these products and its best actions: - Promotion of low impact activities - Attention in eventual changes in the surrounding environment - Garbage/refuse treatment and recycling practices - Involvement of the local manpower - Inclusion of the local cultural heritage - Sharing a friendly attitude in relation to the environment - To afford assistance to the visitor's limitations - Total attention to safety measures
Araras Lodge History summary: In 1945 Mr. Antonio Constantino da Silva Campos inherited from his mother an area of 3000 ha , a dismemberment of the SESMARIA of Carvoazinho, municipal district of Poconé, giving birth, then, to the Santa Rosa Farm.(Sesmaria was the name given to uncultivated lands donated by the kings of Portugal to those interested in cultivating them.)
In 1952 he married Mrs Adelina Siqueira , future heiress of part of the 10.000ha of the Capão Alto Farm, in the same sesmaria of Carvoazinho.
Until 1965 his main economical activity was the purchase and sale of cattle and the driving of herds of cattles and horses , the so-called “comitivas” (cortege) , complementing his revenue with the exploration of skins of wild animals such as alligators (about 3000 skins a year),ocelots , jaguars , otters and wild pigs (peccaries) among others.
Thanks to that complementation, he succeeded to gradually firm his own cattle breeding stock , reaching 1500 brood-cows.
Until 1973 , before the beginning of the construction of the present TRANSPANTANEIRA park road , the transportation was made on horseback and by ox-cart and only little by little vans and small taxiplanes were made available , to the point of existing 12 aircrafts in Poconé just few years ago. Nowadays there are only 2.
In 1976 when the Transpantaneira road was in its first year of existence , Antonio Constantino began to receive , in his main farm house, sporadic visitors to the Pantanal, welcoming them with the traditional hospitality of the people of Pantanal.
In 1983 , with the division of the property of approx. 7000ha among his heirs , it fell to his son , Vicente Aurélio , approximately 350ha and the headquarters of the Santa Rosa Farm, where , then , with resources from the Bank of Brazil, he built and annexed 10 apartments to the house where he was born , thus founding the Araras Lodge.
Without the necessary experience, together with the poor popularization of the destination Pantanal , Vicente found himself forced , due to bank obligations , to sell his property and Lodge to his neighbor farmer Mr. João Nunes Rondon.
In 1994, the tour company ran by Mr. André Thuronyi , EXPEDITOURS , already with important performance , since 1981 , in the nature tourism activities in the area of the Pantanal of Mato Grosso , decided to take on lease the facilities of the Araras Lodge, beginning its recovery as much of the structural as environmental point of view.
Finally , in 2000 , the purchase of the property took place , which together with the previously acquired 600ha completes an area of 715ha.
Since 1994 we have been developing and perfecting the conceptual and structural bases of the ARARAS ECO LODGE project elevating it to a reference level as a project of ecotourism implantation in the Pantanal.