In honor of World Animal Day, it’s time to celebrate the remarkable creatures that share this planet…and each of our Nayara resorts. Since all our properties are set in unique natural settings–from tropical rainforest and mangrove islands to the world’s driest desert–each hotel has acquired its own animal ambassador. So for your reading pleasure, we bring you wild horses on Easter Island, a vibrant sloth community in the Costa Rican rainforest, dolphins and their namesake Dolphin Bay in Bocas del Toro, and the llamas that call the Atacama Desert home.
1.) Nayara Hangaroa: Wild Horses
Easter Island, or Rapa Nui as it’s known locally, boasts a robust population of wild horses, their presence intertwined with a unique tapestry of history, adaptation, and isolation. In the late 19th century, the arrival of horses on Easter Island was a turning point. It followed the tragic Peruvian slave raid of 1862, which decimated the island’s human population, leaving survivors and, later, European settlers who brought horses for transportation and labor.
As the island’s human population dwindled, horses were left to adapt and thrive in the island’s mild climate and ample vegetation. With no natural predators and an absence of large native mammals that could regulate the horse population, they multiplied unchecked, contributing to their remarkable numbers.
Today, this unexpected population of wild horses is thought to be larger than the island’s human inhabitants. They become an integral part of Easter Island’s landscape, adding a unique charm to the island’s allure. Visitors can witness the horses’ untamed beauty against the backdrop of the island’s iconic Moai statues, offering a profound connection with nature and a testament to the island’s resilience and history.
2.) Nayara Bocas del Toro: Dolphins
Bocas del Toro, an archipelago on Panama’s Caribbean coast, is a tropical paradise beckoning travelers with its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters. Widely known as the Galapagos of the Caribbean, it owes its reputation to the biodiversity that graces its shores, including a vibrant community of bottlenose and spinner dolphins.
To truly uncover the magic you need a private boat and captain, an integral part of the Nayara Bocas del Toro experience.. Our captains aren’t just skilled mariners; they’re trained naturalists eager to share their insights. In the tranquil waters of Dolphin Bay, you’ll be greeted by schools of dolphins, often numbering in the dozens. As you sip on chilled Champagne and savor the breathtaking sunset over the bay, this experience transforms from a mere tour into a romantic adventure adding a touch of enchantment to your Bocas del Toro visit.
3.) Nayara Costa Rica: Sloths
Located in the heart of the rainforest, Nayara in Costa Rica has an intimate relationship with nature. But this is not just a story of coexistence – we have taken proactive steps to contribute positively to our natural surroundings with a massive reforestation effort.
Nayara Tented Camp, our newest hotel in Costa Rica, used to sit on a barren cattle ranch devoid of vegetation let alone fauna. We took it upon ourselves to bring the rainforest back to this desolate landscape, and so we planted hundreds of indigenous trees and plants creating a habitat for wildlife in the process. This included over 100 Cecropia trees, a sloth favorite, that turned our resort into a veritable sloth sanctuary.
We now have on-staff naturalists trained and profoundly passionate about these enigmatic creatures. Each member is devoted to monitoring and studying the sloths, ensuring their well-being while enhancing our guests’ experiences through info sessions and guided tours. Guests are informed about the sloths’ whereabouts, ensuring they don’t miss an opportunity to witness these magnificent creatures leisurely navigating their natural habitat.
4.) Nayara Alto Atacama: Lammas
The history of llamas in the Atacama Desert is closely tied to the indigenous people of the region, particularly the Andean cultures that have thrived there for centuries. These pack animals were instrumental in moving goods across the rugged terrain, enabling trade and communication between different settlements. Llamas held cultural significance for these communities and were often featured in indigenous art, textiles, and ceremonies. Llama wool was a valuable resource, used for crafting textiles and clothing.
While their role diminished with the arrival of Spanish conquistadors and new transportation methods, llamas are making a comeback. Today, they contribute to eco-friendly tourism, allowing travelers to explore the Atacama Desert in the footsteps of ancient cultures that knew the true worth of these remarkable creatures. One such opportunity exists at Nayara Alto Atacama, where we boast our own llama corral. Here, guests can interact with llamas in an effort to help their conservation while connecting with these enduring symbols of the Atacama’s history and culture.
Each Nayara resort is a testament to the beauty of nature, and our commitment to preserving and celebrating it. These stories remind us of the enduring bond between humans and the animal kingdom, the remarkable adaptations and histories, and the collective responsibility we bear for the conservation of our world’s wonders. As we look to the future, may these remarkable creatures inspire us to protect, cherish, and coexist harmoniously with the diverse species that make our planet an extraordinary place to call home.
So what animal team are you on?