Kasaguadua natural reserve

From Salento we took a short trip to the Kasaguadua nature reserve – a small private reserve with an ecolodge, that also run tours through the cloud forest – with a mix of information about the cloud forest and their sustainable ecolodge project.

To get to the reserve you can walk from Salento – so off we went for a 10am tour. The scenery on the way was pleasant – hilly farmland and forest.

On the way to the reserve.
Looking down the valley on the way to the reserve.
We’ve arrived!

There were eight people on the tour including us, and it lasted for around two hours. The tour was very interesting – it was a little different – our guide switched between botany, sociology, and sustainability issues throughout the tour, and was very entertaining 🙂

It turned out that creating Kasaguadua had been a lifelong dream of the guide – and he had set it up along with a friend of his – working constantly over the years and doing everything themselves by hand – including building the ecolodge.

Kasaguadua means ‘house of bamboo’ – and the ecolodge was made from this bamboo, which they harvested themselves from the reserve in the middle of night – as this is the best time to do so. The reasons for this are complex, and if you would like to learn all about this native Latin American bamboo – you can read about ‘guadua’ here.

There was lots of interesting information about all kinds of things – which of course I have already forgetten due to my advancing old age! 🙂 But anyway, the main thing about the tropical cloud forest is that instead of having a seasonal cycle like forests in more temperate climates, the cloud forest flora is constantly changing as there are no seasons – this close to the equator there isn’t even a ‘proper’ rainy season – the weather is more or less the same for the whole year. So instead of all the leaves falling off a tree in autumn, leaves fall off trees there constantly – a few every day. Instead of a ‘season’ where all the fruit ripens on a tree ready for picking, a few fruits turn ripe at a time on the same tree, so there is always a mix of ripe and unripe fruit on a tree.

On the trail through the reserve.
A typical tropical cloud forest leaf – lots of main veins and some holes. In the cloud forest, leaves are often full of holes.
More cloud forest scenery.
Our guide tells us about the cloud forest.
PB in the forest.

About halfway through the tour, there was a drink/rest stop at the ecolodge. It was a REALLY nice place. There were separate ‘pods’ for living quarters, and a lovely big common area with kitchen and lounge. Staying there would be staying right in the middle of the forest! 🙂 The only downside being that you have to hike for around 45 minutes through the jungle with all your stuff – but that would be fun right? 🙂 Anyway, you can read all about the lodge and project on the website.

The walk continued after the rest stop at the lodge, and we found a nice surprise by the trail! 🙂

We found a beautiful snake by the trail.
It was quite a long snake!

The tour finished back by the entrance, and we had a nice stroll back to Salento – it had been a very enjoyable morning.

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