In honor of International Women’s Day, Aracari is celebrating women who dedicate their lives to leading responsible businesses connected to tourism in Perú. Here, you’ll meet Rocio Florez of Gocta Natura.
Gocta Natura, Rocio Florez’s creation, is a secluded piece of forest. Rocio, originally from Lima, visited Amazonas with husband her Augusto for the first time over 10 years ago. When they arrived to Cocachimba, the home of Gocta waterfall, they fell in love with the place and bought some land that same day, without really thinking about what it implied for their lives.
Over the years, the couple had discussed a healthy way to approach retirement when the time came and agreed on two conditions: it had to be productive and fun, and it had to unfold in the rural area somewhere in Perú. Their new property was the perfect opportunity.
And so it happened: Rocio began visiting every two months, became engaged with environmental issues, and developed sustainable projects with the community. By the time she left her job at the World Bank a few years later, their “productive retirement plan” was well underway. First it was family and friends visiting, and receiving paying guests just flowed naturally. And the rest is history.
A Luxury Experience in Nature
Gocta Natura has 5 double and triple boutique cabins with ensuite bathrooms and offers gourmet “farm to table” homemade meals, all in a simple but chic environment. Each cabin faces Gocta and the secondary falls to the north and east, as well as the western mountain ridge where the sun sets. Gocta Natura’s main house, built on a higher spot with an even better view, is where guests start their day at breakfast and end it with a glass of wine and dinner.
What makes it unique? “It provides guests with an exclusive space to admire nature’s beauty from within,” Rocio says. “It gives them the perfect excuse to stay a bit longer, the perfect place to come back to after a long excursion, the possibility to explore our private trail, take a splash in the pond, and spend time birding while admiring Gocta sitting in their cabin’s private deck.”
“For us, sustainability means being aware of the impact our actions have on the environment – meaning people and nature, meaning today and tomorrow. It needs to be rehearsed and repeated until it becomes a way of life. It doesn’t come naturally.”
Giving Back To The Community
Gocta Natura concentrates on actively contributing to the improvement of the quality of life of the families who work at the property. “I work with women, one by one, to provide support in their economic endeavors – textile and horticulture entrepreneurs mainly,” Rocio says. “I have worked with girls in the young forest rangers program I designed and run an environmental education program geared to enhance awareness and provide tools to contribute with the protection of the cloud forest and biodiversity. Many of these girls are attending university and have chosen professions that will keep them in town, raising the quality and value of ecotourism in the area.”
As a woman-run company with a 67% female team, Gocta Natura offers a welcoming and warm environment. “Gocta Natura is run, designed and operated by women,” Rocio says. “We are fond of decorating every space surrounding it with orchids and flowers. We design the stage to provide a warm, detailed, respectful atmosphere.” To Rocio, luxury means “freedom to be in a beautiful place; to enjoy the moment as if time stopped; to explore new places and discover new ways with curiosity and respect; to breath fresh air and admire what nature provides to your senses.”