Connecting with nature is essential to improve our health and happiness; in this article, we present the benefits and tips to connect with the Amazon rainforest and wildlife in your next trips.
Benefits of nature travel to our well-being
According to Richard Louv, the connection with nature should be a human right, due to the existence of a nature deficit disorder, which is explained as the loss of the relationship with other living beings and affects health, spiritual well-being, and many other aspects, including the ability to feel alive (Clark, n.d.).
In that sense, several researches suggest that activities in natural areas generate greater creativity and improve cognitive skills and could complement psychological treatments (Clark, n.d.).
For example, forest bathing is a technique that uses contemplation, emotions and the use of the five senses to connect with nature. This technique was incorporated into the Japanese health system in the 1980s to reduce high levels of stress, considering the large extension of forests in the country (Moneo, 2020).
“In a world where everything goes too fast, forest bathing involves walking slowly, feeling the path, touching the trees, the water, hearing the birds sing, the wind whistling, the drops of dew falling…” (Moneo, 2020).
Connection of Peruvians with their forests
Peru is a blessed country for its nature and biodiversity, from the desert coast, the majestic sacred Andes and the exuberant Amazon jungle.
Close to the cities or far from them, we have ideal spaces to enjoy nature, where the Amazon rainforest, which covers more than 60% of the territory, stands out.
However, the use of the Amazon forests for recreation is minimal or superficial; as ecotourism operators, we have witnessed that Peruvians do not really connect with the forests for the following reasons:
- High predisposition to engage in relaxation and fun activities, with little interest in more active activities.
- Low availability of activities that promote connection with forests and wildlife.
- Perception that activities that promote connection with forests “are for experts”, “are expensive”, and “boring”.
Tips for your trips to the Amazon rainforest
Here are some tips that can help improve your trips to the Amazon rainforest:
- Choose destinations that promote authentic connection with forests and wildlife.
- At least one day of your trip should be spent doing activities in natural areas that have been little intervened and visited (do not consider sites that host species in captivity).
- Verify that your trip contributes to the conservation of an ecosystem or wildlife species and local people.
- Choose at least one activity that connects you with the forests and wildlife, for example: day or night wildlife observation (birds are ideal in the Peruvian jungle), forest walks, visits to nature conservation initiatives, canoe trips on rivers and lakes, sport fishing, among others.
- Research companies that provide services that promote the connection with forests and wildlife.
- Leave no trace. Take your trash with you and don’t disturb wildlife.
- Contemplate, breathe and live the forest.
- Clark, B. (s.f.). Conectar con la naturaleza puede fomentar la creatividad y la salud. Available in: https://www.nationalgeographic.es/medio-ambiente/conectar-con-la-naturaleza-puede-fomentar-la-creatividad-y-la-salud
- Moneo, I. (2020). Cinco baños de bosque para conectar con la naturaleza y con uno mismo. Available in:: https://elviajero.elpais.com/elviajero/2020/08/31/actualidad/1598873359_262893.html