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Sustainable-Luxury In Brazil's Amazon Rainforest

With magnetic views over the mesmerising Anavilhanas National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the second largest freshwater archipelago in the world, Mirante do Gaviao is among the most revered luxury jungle lodges in the Amazon rainforest.

Just a two hour drive from Manaus and lapped by the alluring, mysterious waters of the Rio Negro with its verdant island crowns, the eco-design at Mirante do Gaviao- whose name translates to The Hawk’s Observatory – blends seamlessly and becomes one with the virgin rainforest surrounds. Cruise in the hotel’s boats into the thrall of the archipelago and Amazonian waters: that’s where you’ll spend a large part of your time when you stay here as well as in Novo Airao, the pretty gateway town to the Anavilhanas National Park on whose flanks the resort stands.

The Vibe

Combining otherworldly architectural design, 360 degree immersion in nature and a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, stays at Mirante do Gaviao are both an odyssey and a retreat. Winding down from the library reception, butterflies dance around the native acai and brazil nut trees which fringe snaking wooden walkways towards the hotel’s ultra-contemporary architectural lodgings, styled on the bows of upturned boats.

The Rooms

Just 13 accommodations created in – and from – the jungle, cascade down the river’s banks. The eco ethos is everywhere: wake to the sound of birdsong as artisanal palm frond lampshades accent the soft gleam of the louro and itaituba wood walls and arcing ceilings. Marquetry modesty screens sequester rainforest showers from the living accommodations to give the feeling of bathing outdoors, with glass walls giving onto the pulsing foliage outside. Each of the walkway-connected hideaways has an expansive private decked terrace offering panoramic views of the rainforest and waters below. Treehouse lodgings are sleek and evocative while the spacious Premium suites embrace hammocks and hot tubs. Jungle contemplation is guaranteed.

The Food + Drink

Start your day with an elevated, à la carte array of tapiocas, rainforest fruits, acai bread rolls and invigoratingly exotic jams with a side serving of river views. Helmed by celebrated chef Debora Shornik, Camu-Camu Restaurant is a vast, airy, dark-wood designer dining room which sweeps like the bow of an upturned boat climaxing in ceilings mirroring the shape of meeting sails. Handily the open sides segue between the beach and aquamarine infinity pool.

The haute Amazonian menu unfurls fine-dining, rare fish dishes and regional gourmet gastronomy such as salt pirarucu, served as a melt-in-the-mouth gratin baked with bananas, parmesan and jambu rice; tender peacock bass grilled in a sharp tucupi sauce and tart ceviche with fish so fresh that it might have been caught from one of the passing boats just moments before. The extensive vegetarian menu is a rarity in the Amazon and beautifully executed, the Yanomami soup of mushrooms and herbs in a clear broth as much a feast for the soul as the palate. There’s an extensive selection of international dishes, too. Sip a classic cocktail with an Amazonian twist such as the Cupuaçu Sour or a gherkin tonic by the parasol-lined pool.

The Little Extras 

Massages and facials soothe in rainforest cabins using products sourced from the richest Amazonian recipes and resources, as too do the in-room soaps, made by the local community. There’s an observation tower to climb, house bicycles to explore the local town of Novo Airao and a range of watersports – from kayaks to SUPs – with which to roam the surrounding waters. Venture along the wooden gangways through a chestnut forest to discover the James Bond-esque hidden games room set on stilts above the river.

The To-Do List

Mirante do Gaviao is built for explorers. Stays envelop adventures spanning three to seven days, embarked upon via the hotel’s pier. Cruise the UNESCO-protected iridescent waters that lend the surrounding skies, vegetation and sand a photogenic mirror effect. Spot giant otters, pink boto dolphins and primary-coloured macaws, relax and riverbathe at isolated beaches, fish for piranhas and visit local indigenous communities by day.

By night, spy nocturnal creatures such as snakes, sloths and caimans: eighty per cent of the wildlife in the Anavilhanas National Park is nocturnal. Longer sojourns take in explorations of the local caves and overnight stays camping in the protected Jau National Park or with an indigenous shaman. Back in the town of Novo Airao take a tour of the artisanal crafts workshops supported by Mirante do Gaviao (bring your bank card) and the unmissable pink dolphin feeding station. During downtime swim and sunbathe at the hotel’s infinity pool and beach. In 2024 the hotel will open another luxury eco lodge upriver at the Gruta Madada.


The architecture here is striking, but it’s also built sustainably: the entire hotel is constructed using local wood, it uses solar energy and has waste water facilities. They also contribute to local community projects and initiatives, including those supporting local education and communities plus protection of the forest and its wildlife.


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