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Amazon Rainforest - Sustainable Development on the Rio Jauaperi

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December 7, 2012


Visiting Xixuau

The community of Xixuau is always delighted to host ecotourists. 

Your trip will be the experience of a lifetime, 30hours by boat from Manaus, taking you into another world, right in the heart of the rainforest, far from roads, shops and commercial tourist lodges.  It is one of the most remote, spectacular areas of the Amazon.   Your ecotourism activities can include watching pink river dolphins, hiking, piranha fishing, an overnight expedition into the forest, canoe trips, bird watching, a night-time trip to find caiman and learning about traditional crafts and cultures.

Ecotourists visiting Xixuau will be warmly welcomed by the community, who love to share the wonders of the rainforest, showing you around by canoe and on foot through the forest.

When the waters are high (March – September) you can paddle through the flooded forest, an absolutely magical experience; when the waters are low (October – February), you can relax on beautiful sandy beaches.  The rainforest may change with the seasons, but in Xixuau it is always beautiful and full of life.  Accommodation is in round wooden malocas: palm-thatched huts built in the style of the neighbouring Waimiri-Atroari indigenous people.  Your food will be  wholesome, including delicious fresh fish, line-caught by local fishermen.



Wildlife in the reserve

The area is home to giant river otters, armadillos, capuchin and spider monkeys, marmosets, tree frogs, tapirs, turtles, sloths, stunning butterflies and much more.  A host of beautiful bird species make the reserve a bird watcher’s paradise, including toucans, herons, macaws, eagles, parakeets and woodpeckers.  The rivers teem with fish, from rainbow bass and surubim, to aruana and pacu.  Pink river dolphins often accompany the canoe trips, while howler monkeys make the forest roar above you.  Wildlife can also be found right inside the community itself – like the giant caiman that love the scraps from the Xixuau kitchens!














Your guide will teach you about the river-dwelling 'ribeirinho' people of Xixuau, experts in rubber-tapping, the brazil-nut harvest, animal tracking and indigenous crafts.  Visiting Xixuau you will get to know the Amazon rainforest and its beauty through the experience of its inhabitants, their traditions and their history.

Your support for sustainable ecotourism that is truly community-based and community-owned makes a real difference to the quality of life for local people.  Xixuau has recently set up its own small cooperative, to help promote ecotourism and ensure that benefits are shared equitably.  By helping the community to value and protect the awe-inspiring biodiversity around them, your visit plays an essential role in the conservation of the Xixuau-Xiparina Reserve.  And it will be an unforgettable experience.

To get a feel for a trip to Xixuau please take a look at:


Most ecotourists visit by joining an expedition tour to Xixuau, of 4-10 people lasting 8-15 days.  For tour dates and more information on visiting the reserve please contact Chris or Chiara on: chris@amazonia.org or chiara_tosi@yahoo.com


Research scientists, film makers and specialist visitors (such as bird watchers) are also very welcome visitors to the reserve, for more information click here [link to page below].




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Scientific, specialist and professional visitors


At nearly 500km from the city of Manaus, almost exactly on the equator, the Xixuau-Xiparina Reserve has hosted a number of naturalist expeditions, film-makers and zoological and botanical research projects.


Xixuau has ongoing links to development organisations and research institutions from Brazil and across the world.  The pristine state of the reserve, and its position between hydrographic basins of different geological ages, gives it particular biological importance.  The Amazonia Association is currently looking at developing a community botany project with the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, London, and the National Research Institute of the Amazon (INPA).


Past projects included partnerships with Embrapa of Roraima, the University of Salerno (Italy), the National Health Foundation of Amazonas and the University of Siena (Italy), with the sponsorship of the Istituto Italo-Latino Americano in Rome.  Previous scientific research includes the Jauaperi Biodiversity Mapping Project


The reserve often hosts teams of documentary film makers from all over the world.  The abundance and visibility of fauna in the area, compared with other parts of the Amazon, make Xixuau an attractive destination for film makers, artists and nature photographers.  The list of films and documentaries featuring Xixuau includes:


Amazon Association, b-movies.co.uk, London (2008)

Return to the Amazon, Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ocean Futures Society (2007)

Journey Into Amazonia, PBS (2002)

Global Sunrise, BBC (1999)

Creatures of the Magic River, Survival Anglia (1994)


Species that may be seen in Xixuau-Xiparina are the giant otter, boto and tucuxi dolphins, manatees, anaconda, coral snakes, turtles, saki, spider, capuchin, squirrel and howler monkeys, marmosets, tamarins, anteaters, kinkajous, ocelot, jaguar, tapir, peccary, paca, armadillos, deer and black, spectacled and stone head caiman.


The reserve is a bird watchers’ paradise, with parrots, toucans, parakeets, hoatzins, humming birds, ibises, egrets, herons, harpies, ducks, jacamars, potoos, woodpeckers, storks, terns, spoonbills, eagles and falcons.  It is also possible to arrange a special six-day expedition in high water season, to an area where hundreds of macaws nest among buriti palm trees in the heart of the reserve.


The Xixuau-Xiparina Reserve covers 178,000 hectares along the Jauaperi River, and supports around 16 families in the community of Xixuau.  The seasons are defined by high water (March-September) and low water (October – February).  During the high water season the area is characterised by vast tracts of igapo (seasonally flooded forest), while the low water season presents extreme concentrations of aquatic life. 


Transport to the reserve is by boat up the Rio Negro from Manaus, either by the public river boat or by hiring the Xixuau community's own boat.  Outboards are used from the Rio Negro along the Rio Jauaperi and at the entrance to the reserve. All movements inside the reserve are by paddle canoe and on foot through the forest.


To discuss your particular needs please contact Chris or Chiara on chris@amazonia.org or chiara_tosi@yahoo.com



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