4 days from £995pp plus international flights.
This is a comprehensive 4 day trip exploring the Bolivian Amazon. You will travel by boat, plane and on foot. Starting in La Paz it's a 50 minute flight to Rurrenabaque where you will overnight. This small town is considered to be the gateway to the Amazon rainforest. You will have an opportunity to look around the town as you will overnight here before heading into the Amazon to discover the variety of flora and fauna found there.
A boat trip along the rivers Beni and Tuichi will take you to Chalalan Ecolodge. Along the way you will travel through the Bala Gorge, there may be wildlife to spot on the banks so do have your binoculars handy. The boat trip is about 6 hours long, and is an excursion in itself, travelling deeper into the jungle, where you will find Chalalan Ecolodge, leaving civilisation far behind as you go.
You are about as far from everyday life here as you could be, immerse yourself in the magnificent beauty of the area and marvel at how life-sustaining and remote the rainforest is. There are over 340 species of vibrant tropical birds, and over 4,000 species of plants. You should see capybaras, spider monkeys, howler monkeys and caimans. Jaguars, ocelots and tapirs also make this their home but they are shy and elusive, much harder to spot than the capybaras.
You will have an opportunity to walk some of the many trails surrounding the lodge, either solo or together with your guide, exploring the interpretive trails and learning about this diverse ecological paradise as you go. Take the trails by day or night, to seek out the nocturnal species, there is also the opportunity to traverse the waterways by canoe for another perspective.
At the end of your stay you will be transported back to Rurrenabaque by boat and then on to La Paz by plane, full of knowledge and memories of the Bolivian Amazon.
You take a 50 minute flight from La Paz to Rurrenabaque, the gateway to the Bolivian Amazon. Its a fabulous opportunity to see the Andes and a panoramic view of the Amazon rivers and forests from the air. There are some formalities to do in preparation for your entry into Madidi National Park, after which you’ll check in to your hotel. You are free to have a look around Rurrenabaque for the rest of the afternoon.
An early start will make the most of your day. You will be transferred to River Beni where you board the boat bound for Chalalán. En route the boat will navigate the Bala Gorge, keep your eyes peeled for different animals and get a feel for the spectacular landscape of the Bolivian Amazon. Binoculars are a must. The trip takes around 6 hours.
From the port of Chalalán it's a 25-minute walk to the Ecolodge along a wide, easy path. You can settle in and choose from a wide range of activities: Walk along the themed paths to learn about medicinal plants, handicrafts, canoe trip, or watch videos about the community and the Madidi National Park. After dinner, take a short night walk to seek out amphibians, reptiles, birds and nocturnal monkeys. Breakfast, dinner
Birders have an early start, or you can take a more leisurely pace and start the day with a stroll along the Tapacare path. Return to the lodge for lunch and then relax and enjoy the ambiance of the lodge and surroundings. A short guided walk along the Paraba path leads to a viewing point across Lake Chalalan, the mountains and the Madidi rainforest. You can take a canoe trip along the shores of the lake and enjoy a superb sunset. You may see monkeys, birds and bats amongst others. This evening enjoy a traditional ‘dunucuabi’ dinner of catfish wrapped in leaves or fish 'a la cacuara' (fish in bamboo) – the fish may vary depending on availability. After dinner enjoy a night-time canoe trip and spot caimans, fish-eating bats and amphibians. Return to the lodge for a night of traditional music and dance. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Enjoy a buffet breakfast and then a short walk to spot wildlife. Around 11 am take a final walk to the River Tuíchi in order to take the boat back to Rurrenabaque. The return walk along the Jaguar or Wichi path can be modified to suit your interests. Your guide will do his best to accommodate you. Retrace your journey by boat to Rurrenabaque (3 hours). Once again, keep your eyes peeled and make the most of the journey to spot the wildlife along the shores of the river. Once you arrive at Rurrenabaque, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to La Paz. Breakfast
Guide price from (pp sharing): £995 (ex. international flights)
Return flights La Paz - Rurrenabaque
International flights and taxes
Getting there: This itinerary starts and ends in La Paz and is perfect as an add on to combine with another itinerary.
The Bolivian Amazon is in the far north-east of the country bordering Brazil.
A community owned and run lodge in the heart of Madidi National Park, offering guided walks and canoe trips in the Amazon.
La Isla de los Tucanes is a quiet stopover enroute to or from the Amazon, with an outdoor pool, pleasant gardens and homely guest cottages.
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Time: Bolivia GMT -4 hours
Flight time: approximately 21.5 hours (no direct flights from the UK)
Language: Spanish, Quechua, Aymara
Visas: Visas – not required for British nationals for stays of up to 90 days
Health: Yellow Fever vaccine should be given to travellers 9 months of age and upwards if travelling to areas below 2,300m east of the Andes Mountains. These areas include the whole departments of Beni, Pando and Santa Cruz, and parts of the Chuquisaca, Cochabamba, La Paz and Tarija departments. No other vaccinations are compulsory.