Tarzan. Son of a British Lord and Lady. Raised by apes in the jungles of Africa. You know the story.
But perhaps you forgot about Tarzan’s attempt to reintegrate into society with the help of Jane. Let’s just say civilization and Tarzan didn’t mix, so back to the jungle he and Jane went. Chances are you can relate to Tarzan’s retreat from modern society. Nature calls. Especially at this time of year, with winter — and several months spent indoors — looming.
To help you escape to somewhere greener/warmer, we present five jungle retreats suited for the modern day Tarzan.
Jane and loincloth not included.
The Amazon. The quintessential jungle. At Peru’s Inkaterra Amazonica, it’s served on a silver platter. Set on 42,000 acres of private ecological reserve, you’ll trek the tropical rainforest, paddle the rivers and walk a network of treetop suspension bridges in search of wildlife (cayman, toucans, monkeys, sloths) with a naturalist guide. Come late afternoon, hammock-fueled siestas and riverside spa visits will give way to gourmet dinners in the communal pavilion.
Four Seasons Golden Triangle
Your accommodation: a luxury tent reminiscent of those seen on overland colonial expeditions. Your daily activity: becoming one with elephants. At Golden Triangle, you’ll work directly with the neighboring elephant rescue and research facility to care for and ride nature’s gentle giants. Bonding complete, how does a sunrise trek with your new pachydermic friends through northern Thailand’s bamboo jungles to a private hilltop breakfast sound? You can also soothe your hips and knees in the open-air spa or hop in a longtail boat and cruise the Mekong to explore ancient temples and tribal villages.
Home to mountain gorillas, chimpanzees and other primates, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the closest you’ll get to life in Tarzan’s fictional homeland. To experience these great apes and their habitat up close and personal, try the gorilla safari. The 10-day excursion features ample jungle treks and boutique accommodations, like Ndali Lodge, a small collection of cottages set along the rim of an extinct volcano.
With 22 rooms featuring floor-to-ceiling windows, the starkly modern Mashpi is part luxury eco-lodge and part research facility. Explore the 3,000-acre private rainforest reserve from 200 feet above the forest floor via the pedal-powered sky bike, or on the ground with a naturalist guide. Keep your eyes peeled for critically endangered brown-headed spider monkeys by daylight, then take a night hike to experience the otherworldly life of the jungle after dark.
Southern Costa Rica
Tree houses with limited luxuries. That’s the surprisingly enticing draw of Costa Rica’s Finca Bellavista. Nestled in a jungle near the country’s southern Pacific shore, you’ll spend your days hiking through forests, swimming under waterfalls and taking private yoga lessons. Come evening, use the bag of fresh produce you had delivered from the property’s organic garden to whip up something delicious in your modest treehouse kitchen.