Itapoa Reserve: Protecting the Rainforest
Itapoa Reserve was founded by Raul Nieto, and has been working vigorously to educate the public on the dangers of deforestation since 1989. Giving lectures all over the world, the Itapoa Reserve acts as a visual aid as to why we should protect rainforests and the wildlife that depend on the forests for survival. Itapoa Reserve was not only created to share its magnificent beauty with visitors, but also to make the local communities aware of the damage caused by logging and showing them how to live in harmony with the forests without leaving a permanent mark on the environment.
Offering the locals alternative ways to carve a living deters them from logging. Itapoa also works with the surrounding landowners to allow a part of their cleared land to grow forests again, convincing them to plant seeds that can be obtained from the reserve. There are also numerous volunteers who assist with the projects undertaken by the Itapoa Reserve, and their help is extremely valuable to their mission. As the reserve is located in the northern region of Ecuador, the Chocó Region, locals are encouraged to grow cacao as an income. Visitors are encouraged to visit the reserve to see firsthand what the reserve is fighting to conserve.
The Chocó Region is blanketed in approximately eleven thousand plant species, almost three hundred animal species and close to nine hundred bird species. It is for this reason that the area is considered to be one of most beautiful in Ecuador. The reserve boasts a spectacular botanical garden that showcases a variety of palms, flowers, tropical fruit and orchids, which is complimented by rainforest that covers an area of three hundred acres and conservation headquarters.
To really experience the magnificence of the Itapoa Reserve, visitors are encouraged to participate in either the two day or six day hiking adventure that the reserve offers. It teaches visitors about the forests, the various vital ecosystems and offers magnificent sights and activities such as swimming at the waterfalls and exploring the botanical garden and orchids. On the tours of the Itapoa Reserve, visitors can look forward to seeing a variety of wildlife such as howler monkeys, armadillos, toucans, crested guan, jaguars, pacas, great green macaw and many more. The Itapoa Reserve is a magnificent wildlife attraction, as well as an activist for an end to deforestation and to assist the communities in creating a life from farming that will not harm the rainforests or the region.