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Mirante do Gavião: Luxury Meets Wilderness in the Amazon

Stepping off the boat onto the wooden dock, we felt as though we had entered another world. The rich, earthy scent of the rainforest, the symphony of exotic bird calls, and the serene sight of the Rio Negro stretching into the distance immediately enveloped us in a sense of awe.

Photo credit: Mirante do Gavião
Photo credit: Mirante do Gavião

Welcome to Mirante do Gavião Amazon Lodge, a hidden gem in the heart of the Amazon, where luxury meets nature in the most harmonious way possible.

Opened in August 2014, Mirante do Gavião—meaning "hawk observatory" in English—sits at the edge of the Rio (river) Negro, overlooking the breathtaking Anavilhanas National Park. This park is the world’s second-largest freshwater archipelago and a region with one of the Earth's most preserved biomes, brimming with biodiversity.

Photo credit: Green Sea Shells
Rio Negro + Anavilhanas National Park

A Warm Welcome in the Heart of the Jungle

The journey to Mirante do Gavião was an adventure in itself. Our adventure began in Manaus, the gateway to the Amazon. While many tourists are content with visiting Manaus' attractions, such as witnessing the meeting of the rivers, our sights were set deeper into the rainforest. We opted to venture three hours into the wilderness to truly immerse ourselves in the Amazonian experience.

Contrary to our expectations, the journey didn't lead us through dense jungle. Instead, we encountered a semblance of civilization along the way. Manaus surprised us with its size and bustling urban life, supported primarily by river transportation due to its isolation. However, as we ventured deeper, the landscape transitioned into a more remote setting, hinting at the untamed wilderness awaiting us.

Three hours later, we were at Mirante. The reception area, perched on stilts offered a stunning first impression. The design choices, from the natural wood finishes to the open, airy layout, immediately immersed us in the rainforest ambiance.

As we walked along the elevated wooden pathways, we were surrounded by the lush greenery meticulously curated by landscape designer Clariça Lima - 70 native plants and fruit trees - a seamless blend with the natural environment.

Photo credit: Mirante do Gavião
Photo credit: Mirante do Gavião

Luxurious Accommodations with a Rustic Charm

The lodge’s architecture also reflected a deep respect for the environment. Elevated stilt structures and walkways preserved the soil's permeability, ensuring minimal impact on the pristine surroundings. Each of the thirteen bungalows was a masterpiece of sustainable design that incorporated natural fibers, wood furniture with intricate marquetry, and stunning regional handicrafts. Many of these beautiful pieces were created by local artisans from the Almerinda Malaquias Foundation.

Our home for the next few days was a wonderful bungalow, crafted from hardwood and shaped like an inverted boat. The balcony of our bungalow offered a breathtaking view of the Rio Negro, its mysterious waters glistening under the sun. It was the perfect spot to unwind, listen to the sounds of the jungle, and watch the sky transform into a canvas of stars as night fell.

Photo credit: Mirante do Gavião
Photo credit: Mirante do Gavião

The bungalows' interiors exuded a cozy elegance, with comfortable spaces that made extensive use of the rainforest's natural materials, enhancing the wellness-focused ethos of the retreat. Large glass windows brought the lush greenery inside, making it feel as if we were living and sleeping within the Amazon itself.