Madidi National Park

Chalalan Tour - 4 Days / 3 Nights

Madidi National Park Bolivia created Madidi National Park in 1995 in order to protect a full array of ecosystems from the high Andes to the Amazon basin. Spread over a vast wilderness of 1.8 million hectares in the northwest region, the landscapes range from cloud forest to dry tropical forest, humid lowland rainforest to savannah, and wild rivers to lakes. Ancient geological and glacial processes have shaped these landscapes, endowing the park with such exotic scenery you must see to believe! Madidi is a planetary treasure of flora and fauna. The sheer numbers of species is gigantic: 1,000 kinds of birds, 44% of mammals native to the Western Hemisphere, and 38% of amphibians, which inhabit both North and South America live here. Exciting new discoveries include a colorful titi monkey and a night roaming tree toad. Large Latin American mammals, like the jaguar, speckled bear, manned wolf, vicuña and giant otter dwell in the park. Madidi is particularly rich in native plant species, which do not grow anywhere else. One rare blue orchid has only been found five times. Potential plant species in the reserve is estimated at 5,000.

Our clients can experience Madidi National Park at Chalalan Ecolodge in the heart of the park, the new Tacuaral Lodge, a great small lodge conveniently located, on the River Tuichi, or San Miguel del Bala Lodge near the fabulous Bala Gorge out side Madidi. All destinations are reached by motorized canoe travel on Madidi Park's wild, scenic Tuichi River

Chalalan Ecolodge One of the many communities we support as operators is the village of San Jose de Uchupiamonas, a Quechua-Tacana ethnic group. Since 1998 America Tours has been part of Chalalan´s success since we have been selling 60% of their sales year by year and since 1998 we participated on training women and men. The community of San Jose de Uchupiamonas owns and runs the Chalalan Ecolodge. The Ecolodge has been built using the philosophy of minimum impact, using local materials and traditional techniques. The design also includes the treatment of all wastewaters and the use of solar energy.

The San Jose community hopes that by participating in responsible tourism, it can be successful in the preservation of thousands of hectares of pristine rainforest that belong to them and were inherited from their ancestors. Therefore, their operations were developed under standards that respect local culture, traditions and the amazing natural surroundings.

Day 1: La Paz / Rurrenabaque

Most people prefer to fly, so a 45-minute flight to Rurrenabaque takes you over the Andean Cordillera. Welcome and transfer to hotel. In afternoon explore this colorful town on the Beni River.

Day 2: Rurrenabaque / Chalalan / Madidi National Park

Early in the morning, travel upriver on the Beni in a dugout canoe, passing through the spectacular Bala Gorge. The wild and scenic Tuichi River is our gateway to Madidi National Park, and our access to the Chalalan Ecolodge. The river trip to Chalalan takes about 5 hrs followed by an easy 30-minute hike from the river's edge to the lodge. The lodge is nestled in the rainforest on the shores of Lake Chalalan.
Later guests will have the opportunity to explore the forest trails, including a stop at El Mirador (lookout point), which offers incredible views of Lake Chalalan and the central mountain ranges of the national park. After dinner, take an optional night walk or canoe trip in the lake to look for wildlife such as black caimans, frogs and nocturnal birds. (B,L,D)

Day 3: Chalalan / Madidi National Park

After breakfast our early morning trek takes us through primary rainforest featuring old-growth trees on our way to the Rayamayo and Eslabon Rivers. You will observe wild macaws, parrots, guans, and other birds from beneath the tall canopies, as well as brown capuchin and squirrel monkeys. With luck you might see black spider-monkeys, or cross a tapir or herds of white-lipped peccaries. Our local guides will share their extensive knowledge of plants, natural history, and wildlife behavior on this half-day trek w/ box lunch. You return to the lodge in the early afternoon, stopping off at El Mirador (lookout point), which offers spectacular views of Lake Chalalan and the central mountain ranges of Madidi National Park. Learn about and participate in making traditional Tacana handicrafts, such as chonta seed. Dinner tonight is a delicious feast, featuring "dumoquavi", a traditional dish of river catfish wrapped in leaves, a great last evening in Chalalan! (B,L,D)

Day 4: Chalalan / Rurrenabaque / La Paz

After breakfast walk to Tuichi River, board return boat to Rurrenabaque, down river 3 hrs. Transfer Rurrenabaque airport, flight to La Paz. (B)

2017 Prices per person: Prices are available upon request.

Tour includes: 1 night accommodation in Rurrenabaque, airport transfers in Rurrenabaque, Chalalan Ecolodge 3d/2n, meals and accommodation in Chalalan, boat transport to Chalalan and local bilingual guide.

Not included: Rurrenabaque meals, sodas, alcoholic drinks, insurance, airport taxes US$ 3/person each way; Madidi National Park entrance fee US$18.00/person or Bs. 125.00 and personal expenses.

  • Luggage:
  • 1 backpack or dufflebag
  • small day pack
  • Clothes:
  • long-sleeved shirts, preferably cotton (to protect yourself from mosquitoes and the sun)
  • long cotton pants, shorts
  • T-shirts, sweater or fleece/polartec (to be prepared for a cold front)
  • windbreaker/rain poncho
  • pair of hiking boots
  • pair of sneakers
  • pair of sandals or Tevas (river crossings, casual wear around the lodge)
  • swimsuit
  • socks
  • underwear
  • sleepwear
  • casual clothes for Rurrenabaque
  • waterproof folding sun hat with brim
  • Others items:
  • binoculars, best 8x or 10x
  • camera film (ASA 50, 100 and 200 are recommended)
  • sun block
  • mosquito repellent (30% DEET -100% DEET could be too much for your skin)
  • flashlight sunglasses
  • pocket knife
  • a bandanna
  • plastic bags (for your camera in the boat and for dirty clothes)
  • a photocopy of your passport
  • water bottle
  • cigarette lighter (even if you don't smoke it will come in handy - candles, etc.)
  • bottle of aspirin and any other medications and vitamins you normally use