Ibiti Project

Just a 4 hour drive from Rio lies a true Brazilian secret. Ibiti Project (formerly Reserva / Comuna de Ibitipoca) is a 6000-hectare reserve, set in the foothills of the Mantiqueira mountain range, home to one of South America’s finest country hotels. This utterly inspiring conservation and sustainability project has at its heart the protection of local communities and culture, rural regeneration, reforestation, rewilding of native species - especially muriqui woolly spider monkeys and tapirs - and the creation of wildlife corridors.

There are 3 very different accommodation concepts across the reserve.

Ibiti Village - Mogol - has 5 very beautiful and characterful traditional houses dotted around the small hill side community - Guimarães Rosa and Thomas Sowell are large, both with 2 bedrooms each; Wangari Maathai with 6 individual en suite rooms; Freud and Humboldt Loft are smaller houses ideal for couples. Ibiti Village has a large reception area including games room, 19thC Steinway piano for recitals, shop and cafe Gaia. Downstairs there is a beautiful spa, small swimming pool, gym and cinema. The village's main restaurant is vegetarian/vegan Yucca just up the hill.

9 kms from Village is the sophisticated Engenho Lodge - a restored 18th-century farmhouse with gorgeous rooms, decorated with exquisite tapestries - and the private 3 bedroom Casa Carlinhos, both located on the site of the old Fazenda do Engenho (sugar cane farm). Facilities include a dedicated spa, where the massage oils are 100% vegetable based and many are made from herbs, plants and essences from the local area. Daily activities include a morning yoga class and guided excursions exploring the expansive landscapes of the reserve on foot, or - charged extra - on horseback, by state of the art electric bikes and buggies, or 4x4 vehicles. 

'Remote' comprises 3 wonderful rustic houses, Spinoza, Areião Epicuro and Isgoné, set in stunning locations and ideal for those seeking privacy and a close connection with nature.

All the accommodation options allow exploration of any number of pristine waterfalls, caves, sand dunes and the surrounding Atlantic rainforest with its lush vegetation of wild orchids, bromeliads, native kapok trees and wildlife, including colourful toucans, chattering monkeys and the more elusive wild jaguars, pumas and maned wolves.

A not to miss visit is Muriqui House, rewilding and conservation in action with the largest primate of the Americas, the beautiful and critically threatened woolly spider monkey. This project run with the Muriqui Biodiversity Institute (MIB) achieved the birth of the first baby muriqui in captivity in the world! 

At Mogol additional options including Life School - similar to Green School - for local children, and also open to guests’ children for a fee. Next to the church previous world mountain bike champion Miguel Giovannini runs the bike workshop and him and he sons take guests out on 300kms of trails.

Senderos Soul

There is so much positive energy and eco-inspiration going on at this private reserve a few hours north of Rio that it can make you dizzy. Theirs is a unique recipe of conservation, art, sustainability and rural regeneration – and for those lucky enough to visit, adventure with exceptional hospitality. Stunning natural beauty - mountains, waterfalls, rivers and forests - is shown off to its best with love by charming, proud local guides. Guests stay in beautifully restored country accommodation and enjoy deeply nourishing organic, wood cooked Mineiro cuisine. Ibitipoca is many things, a beautiful high end country hotel as well as a call to action and an experimental conservation and community space exploring a more sustainable future. It’s a truly heady mix, a tiny world of its own, a rare thing where beauty shines brightly from both within and without.

Simon, Senderos

Comuna do Ibitipoca from Comuna do Ibitipoca on Vimeo.

Getting there

Comuna do Ibitipoca is a private forest reserve in the Mantiqueira Mountains near Lima Duarte, in southeast Minas Gerais.

by road


It's a scenic 4 hour drive from Rio, or 1.5- 2 hours from Juiz de Fora.

by air


Nearest airport: Rio de Janeiro (4 hrs), Juiz de Fora (2 hrs), or arrive by private plane/helicopter to the private air strip.