Most of our 16-acre (6-hectare) property was untouched rainforest when we purchased it in 2017. A small area in the center of about one acre had previously been cultivated for family food production, and another small area had been cleared for cattle pasture, but ALL of it had been left to go wild again for over 10 years. We loved that!
We have carefully cleared low-value trees and underbrush to allow a road to be cut, to make space for fruit trees and other food production, and for building our cabanas, treehouses, social area, spa, and our permanent home on the property. We have cleared the jungle underbrush for walking trails, and set up bird and animal feeding stations to support the attraction of even more wildlife to enjoy watching.
We will leave half of the rainforest undisturbed besides keeping narrow hiking trails cleared with machetes, the other half is carefully cultivated to maintain the giant canopy trees yet make room for fruit trees such as: lemons, limes, mandarins, grapefruit, mango, maman chino, coconuts, coffee, cacao, passionfruit, lychees, guanabana, guava, jackfruit, rose apples, avacado, plantain, banana, yuca, and many more.
It is the local culture to hunt forest animals for food, but we have made it clear to all of our workers and neighbors that the animals have FAR more value for tourism than they do on the table. Environmentalist arguments are incomprehensible here, so we focus on the pragmatic.
We are in the process of building several viewing platforms high up in trees along the hiking trails we have cut through our forest to various areas of interest (several rivers, a water cascade, several ENORMOUS trees, etc.), so clients have a place to sit and watch quietly at sunrise and sunset when the animals are most active.
Here is a list of the various critters we have personally seen on our property over the last five years. Certainly, there are many more that we will start to see as our feeding stations draw animals in.