Take Me to The Ribiera

It is morning, and day two at PETAR entails yet another rainforest hike to a third cave. After the group returns to have some lunch, they gear up for the next adventure: floating down river on inner tubes. The guides brief the group on proper tubing technique and everyone sets off on the shore. Winding down the chilly, shallow river is tricky with smooth rocks protruding upwards. Everyone manages to get down river, taking in the view below of crystal clear water and the view of the dense forest above. A water fight amongst the students concludes the excursion. In the evening, the group walks down the road to visit one of the tour guides, Ceasar, at the restaurant he owns. Ceasar shares with the group a brief history of PETAR. Before it was an ecotourism hot spot, the locals relied upon either mining as their main source of income, or on exploiting the natural resources of the forest. Tourism began slowly but blossomed, and has now replaced mining as the locals' predominant livelihood. Environmental and safety regulations from the government have created some interesting complexities, but there is much promise for ecotourism to continue thriving, and for the natural resources of the area to remain protected. The group retires to get some rest before another long bus ride.