Regua Nature Reserve

Rio de Janeiro State

Only 80km from Rio's Galeão airport, Nicholas and Raquel Locke have created this nonprofit nature reserve, dedicated to restoring native ecosystems within a 50-sq-km tract at the foot of the Serra dos Órgãos. The reserve is open to serious birders, or anyone who wants a genuine taste of Brazil’s remarkable biodiversity. Volunteers from around the world are engaged in an ambitious reforestation project, while local school kids are invited to use the reserve as a hands-on environmental education laboratory.

Visitors can stay overnight at the Guapiaçu Bird Lodge. The artificial pond ecosystem next to the lodge draws in a stupendous array of birds, as well as families of capybaras. A network of trails surrounding the lodge offers opportunities to enter into deeper forest and visit other attractions, including a lovely waterfall. For details on reaching the reserve by bus, car or van shuttle, see the lodge’s website.

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