Only 7% of the Atlantic Forest still remains in its original state. Nevertheless, the richness of its biodiversity is impressive: what is left holds more plant species than entire North America, and a sample of such exuberant flora and fauna is observed closely in the Biodiversity Research Institute (IPBio). The Institute, based in Sao Paulo, has its first branch located in Betary Reserve, a 60-hectare preserved area, in Iporanga (Sao Paulo), 330 km away from Sao Paulo and 190 km away from Curitiba.The site is devoted to research and teaching on the Atlantic forest and its secrets, as well as acting tourism activities.
Bioluminescent mushrooms, ornamental plants, an incredible array of amphibians, and much more can be seen from the IPBio infrastructure with darkened room, greenhouse, lake with five underwater windows, aquariums, laboratory with vivarium (space for breeding), classroom, living area, restaurant and guest house. Some trails allow you to enjoy nature in the edge of the reserve. Upon booking the space offers night visits that allow observation of the intense nightly fauna activity.
Betary Reserve is located in the region with the largest continuous area of Atlantic Forest in the country. The Ribeira de Iguape River basin, also known as Vale do Ribeira, is in the South of Sao Paulo, on the border with the State of Paraná. There, the main rainforest areas are protected by large conservation areas, such as Tourist State Park from Alto do Ribeira (Petar), known for its huge caves, the Jacupiranga State Park, among others. The reserve and IPBio have been designed and funded by Sérgio Pompéia, agricultural engineer and Chairman of the Board of the EAPC-consulting, planning and Environmental Studies.
The Atlantic Forest Biosphere Reserve
by UNESCO, was the first unit of the Global Network of Biosphere Reserves stated in Brazil. It is the largest biosphere reserve in the forested area of the World, with approximately 35 million hectares, covering 15 areas of 17 Brazilian States where the Atlantic Forest is. Its mission is to contribute effectively to the establishment of a harmonious relationship between human societies and the environment in the area of tropical forests.