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Oxapampa, Peru
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Sustainability and Enviromental Commitment

Sustainability and unique approach to living in the cloud forests

The Ulcumano Ecolodge is committed to a sustainable approach to tourism grounded in the proper use of the natural landscape and the support of its local economy and historical culture offering the traveler a unique and localized experience. Cabins, trails and infrastructure make use of topographic contours and existing open spaces to blend in to the natural landscape and minimize direct impacts to the vegetation and the natural movement of water and wildlife. Cabins and infrastructure are completely made from wood that comes from renewable forest plantations of the region to prevent the harvesting of primary forests. Their design and architectural structure are inspired in the wooden houses that the original austral-german colonizers built more than a century ago when they first arrived in the region. Water comes from the natural creeks and springs that flow from the forest concession that surrounds the lodge. A water treatment plant (Biodogestor and garden-biofilter)filters the water (gray and black water are separated) the lodge uses before discharging it back to the river again. Ninety percent of the energy the Ecolodge uses comes from clean sources, however, propane is needed for hot water showers and fossil fuels are required for the electricity generator during morning and late night hours. This will change soon as we move from fossil fuels to hydro electricity from a microhydraulic turbine to be installed in one of the creeks that crosses our property. The turbine will be able to produce 3500 watts of electricity, enough for all the energy requirements of the lodge.

The region is also rich in the production of agricultural and mountain delicacies such as honey, coffee, aguaymanto, avocados, dairy products, trouts, etc. Most of the food we offer is grown and processed in the region to support local farmers and their livelihoods. Another part is produced in our own agroforestry fields that are organic and inspired in permaculture and indigenous farming techniques. While in the past development agencies promoted the plantation of foreign tree species, as can be seen along the road that comes into the lodge, we are currently committed to the restoration of cloud forest ecosystems through the planting of native trees and other natural vegetation that is important for local wildlife and for our neutral carbon commitment.

The character of the ecolodge continues to change and enrich itself as we continue to learn from our neighbors (from indigenous people to farmers of Austrian.-German descendent) who have co-evolved with the landscape, acquiring knowledge on local crops (some of them no longer produced commercially), the interactions of the natural vegetation with local wildlife, and in general about how to live in the cloud forests. This combined with our expertise in forest ecology and agroforestry systems, and our philosophy of life, to live simply and in harmony with nature, is continuously shaping our approach to how we daily manage the ecolodge, and give the visitor a truly unique experience that integrates all the necessary elements for living in the cloud forests.

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