Comuna do Ibitipoca – The best eco escape in Brazil

Brazil is defiantly an eco-retreat within itself. Travelling from the North to the South offers many options and different destinations for visitors – it is hard to pinpoint just one place. 

Today we will travel to a special and unique destination – The Ibiti Project (formerly called Reserva do Ibitipoca and later Comuna do Ibitipoca). The Ibiti project began in 1984 with the purchase of Fazenda do Engenho. Today, the area covers approximately 6,000 hectares, of which 98% of the area is undergoing a process of rewilding native species. 

Ibitipoca is much more than accommodation. It is an experimental project focused on human beings and the environment, with initiatives aimed at organic food production, environmental preservation, reconnection with nature, contact with local culture, full integration of the community and exchange of experiences. 

What is magical and unique about a visit to Ibitipoca is that your senses become sharpened. It’s the smell of wood, the sound of birds, the flavours of the kitchen, the ambient music, the natural light from dawn to dusk, the warm bed, the landscapes, the affection, and the hug – you feel as though you are being hugged all the time. It’s as if everyone is part of the project: the guests, the guides, the chefs and those responsible for cleaning and maintenance. Everyone working there is very qualified, but more importantly, they have a keen eye on every small detail to ensure each guest enjoys their stay.

Guests experience various special touches: a sweet left in the room as a treat, a sign in the middle of the trail with an inspiring message, a friendly good morning smile always accompanied by care and attention to guests’ needs- it is easy to feel at home!

Close to the city of Lima Duarte (Minas Gerais state), around four hours from Rio de Janeiro, the Ibiti Project brings the nostalgia of the old farms, with a wood oven for baking delicious cakes, fresh minas cheese and delicious cheese bread served straight from the oven.

How do you get there? 

A four-hour drive from Rio de Janeiro (3 hrs of road and 1 hr on a dirt road), but in a country as gigantic as Brazil it is not so bad (and you can helicopter in if time is tight). There are also flights from São Paulo to Juiz de Fora and then a little over an hour from Juiz de Fora to Ibiti.

What can you experience? 

The following experiences are on offer for guests to enjoy: trails, spectacular views, riding beautiful Mangalarga horses, bike tours, gastronomic experiences, massages, yoga and meditation, cultural programs such as indoor and outdoor cinemas, birdwatching, and contemplation of art are some of the experiences that the project has on offer. 

Initiatives from the project that you can visit: 

1 – Refauna project: The Ibiti Projeto obtained government licenses for reintroducing several species of fauna, such as Jacutinga, Macuco, Tapir, and Red Macaw, as a strategy to restore the ecosystem itself and reverse the loss of biodiversity. The program is in progress.

In addition, there is also the ASAS Project (Area for Release of Wild Animals) and the São Francisco de Assis Sanctuary, a large and fenced space to receive Brazilian wildlife, which is in the licensing process.

2 – Muriqui project: Initiative that seeks to increase and protect the population of northern muriquis. At Muriqui’s House, a forest with a spring and a reforested area, there are leaves that the muriquis prefer to feed on, trunks, branches, bridges, and vines for them to exercise, in addition to direct communication with the fenced forest.

3 – Eco Print: Action to neutralize the carbon footprint (greenhouse gas emissions) through adopting areas of the Ibiti Projeto that are in the process of natural regeneration. The project started with Mata dos Comuneros, which occupies one hectare and neutralizes the environmental footprint of employees and collaborators.

For more information on a Brazil tour including some eco-focused escapes, please contact Anna Nagy, Founder and Owner of Be Brazil –