During your stay with us at ECOSARA you will be part of the family at the homely Estancia Nueva Gambach at the southern tip of the reserve. Guests of the Hostettlers who moved here from Switzerland in the early 1980s, it was Christine Hostettler who, with conservation firmly in mind, established Pro Cosara in 1997.
Estancia Nueva Gambach has an area of approximately 250ha, 90ha of which is used for sustainable, organic agriculture. The remaining 160ha is pristine Atlantic Forest continuous with and forming part of the 70,000ha of the reserve, counting on resident troops of Capuchin and Howler Monkeys and myriad other species that find refuge here. With the forest on your doorstep you will wake each morning to the screeching of parakeets and the otherwordly calls of jays and toucans that gather at sunrise to raid the fruit trees in the garden.
In the interests of building team spirit, volunteers and staff sleep in shared rooms and all meals are eaten together at a communal table. Meals are wholesome and filling, and seconds are always available. Often freshly-baked tarts and cakes are on offer for dessert to round-off your lunch before the afternoon siesta. Special dietary preferences can be accommodated with prior warning. Alcoholic drinks are not included in the fee, but can be bought on-site - a cool beer in the evening is a great way to wind down after a full day in the field.
Volunteers will be housed in rustic wooden cabin-style accommodation with 2 to 4 people per room. Floor fans and mesh windows keep out insects and make sure you have a comfortable and cool nights sleep. At the moment we are able to accommodate a maximum of 16 visitors at any one time, but there are plans to expand the accommodation in future. A cleaner comes by each morning to make your bed and tidy up, so no need to worry about housework! Bathrooms are shared but modern and tiled with 24 hour hot water. There are six different showers and toilets so you won´t have to queue! Laundry facilities are available for those that wish to do their own, or you can have someone else do it for you for a minimal fee!
There are over 15km of walkable forest trails at ECOSARA providing ample opportunity for exploration and every trip into the forest brings with it the possibility of new and exciting discoveries, whether you are studying the immense mixed flocks of birds that gather at certain times of year, on the trail of the elusive Jaguar that makes his home on the estancia or simply just out to enjoy the sheer beauty of the Paraguayan Atlantic forest. If you fancy a dip there is a 7ha freshwater lake surrounded by forest which always seems to be at just the right temperature!! You´ll share it with Capybara, ducks and a host of other wildlife that make their home there.
A vehicle is on hand to explore other areas of the reserve where necessary, including the natural grasslands at Kanguery and the beautiful waterfalls that are dotted through the forest close to the banks of the Rio Tebicuary. "Lucy", the light aircraft, is used for overflights of the reserve to monitor illegal activities. If you fancy seeing the reserve from a bird´s eye perspective and are willing to pay a contribution to Pro Cosara for the use of the plane, you might fancy joining the pilot Hans Hostettler in what is a unique and truly magical experience.
During your stay at ECOSARA the staff will make every effort to make sure your trip lives up to your expectations. We hope that you will agree that San Rafael is a special place and we thank you for your contribution in helping to ensure that it stays that way to be enjoyed by future generations.
If you are looking to do something that will truly make a difference to conservation and the maintenance of biodiversity on the planet, then we invite you to come and join us at ECOSARA. We guarantee it will be an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Designed by Paul Smith 2007. This website is copyrighted by law.
Material contained herewith may not be used without the prior written permission of FAUNA Paraguay, Pro Cosara and ECOSARA.
Photographs are used with the knowledge of the photographers
and may not be used for any other purpose without prior written permission from FAUNA Paraguay, Pro Cosara and ECOSARA.