Call us: (303) 808-7713
If you have any questions…
Our Upper Amazon tour invites you to explore the unparalleled biodiversity of Madidi National Park, a protected area renowned as the most bio-diverse on Earth. While Madidi encompasses a staggering 13 ecological life zones, ranging from the snow-capped peaks of the Apolobamba Andes to the tropical lowlands of the Amazon basin, our adventure focuses on the lower Amazon basin. Spanning an area larger than the combined states of Vermont and New Hampshire, this park is a true ecological treasure, boasting diverse landscapes, from high-altitude puna grasslands and cloud forests to tropical jungles bordering eastern Peru.
Our journey commences in La Paz, Bolivia, where we embark on a flight from the world’s highest commercial airport, El Alto International Airport, to the heart of the Amazon. Our one-hour flight transports us to Rurrenabaque, a jungle town nestled on the banks of the Beni River in northern Bolivia’s Beni Department. Upon arrival, we head to the river port and board a spacious motorized canoe equipped with a canopy to shield us from the elements. As we venture up the mighty Beni River, we transition onto the Tuichi River, a smaller but more turbulent whitewater river originating within the heart of Madidi National Park. Along the way, we are treated to a rich tapestry of wildlife sightings, including birds, reptiles, monkeys, and aquatic mammals inhabiting the riverbanks. During the 3 ½ hour journey, we enjoy a picnic lunch and keep a vigilant eye out for the elusive jaguar, which occasionally graces the riverbanks with its presence.
Upon reaching the river port of Chalalan Lodge, we embark on a scenic 40-minute walk through the jungle along a well-trodden riverstone trail, while our luggage is carried by porters to the lodge. Upon arrival at Chalalan Lodge, we receive a warm welcome and refreshing beverages. After a brief respite and, perhaps, a cool shower, we have the opportunity to explore the surroundings. We can take a dugout canoe ride to observe wildlife along the lagoon’s edges or venture on a hike through the lush forest, all under the guidance of native bi-lingual guides from the village of San Jose de Uchupiamonas, who are the stewards of Chalalan Lodge.
Our daily routine follows the rhythms of the jungle, starting with early morning serenades by howler monkeys (if they are in the vicinity). This is followed by a hearty breakfast, excursions by canoe or on foot, lunch, leisure time, and the option for afternoon hikes or swims in the lake. Evenings offer the chance for dinner followed by nocturnal jungle hikes, the ideal time to observe active wildlife. Immerse yourself in the jungle’s symphony of sounds, from the calls of birds and monkeys to the rustling of animals foraging for sustenance. By calmly and attentively traversing this natural realm, you’ll have the opportunity to observe and capture in photographs the incredible biodiversity and tranquil moments that define this remarkable rainforest.
Madidi National Park, nestled within the upper Amazon river basin in Bolivia, was established in 1995 and encompasses a vast expanse of 18,958 square kilometers. When combined with neighboring protected regions like Apolobamba (Bolivia), Manuripi-Heath, and Manu Biosphere Reserve (Peru), Madidi forms one of the world’s largest protected areas. This ecological sanctuary is home to an astounding array of flora and fauna, including over 8,000 documented vascular plants, approximately 1,200 bird species, around 1,500 mammal and reptile species, and more than 120,000 insect species. Encompassing a spectrum of landscapes from the Andes Mountains to the rainforests of the Tuichi River, Madidi and its neighboring regions are recognized as one of the planet’s most biologically diverse areas. Madidi specifically safeguards portions of the Bolivian Yungas and dry Bolivian mountain forests eco-regions.
Researched and meticulously designed by renowned landscape photographer and Bolivian author, Sergio Ballivian, this tour offers a captivating exploration of a lush, species-rich wilderness traversed by winding jungle rivers and blanketed by multi-layered forest canopies. Sergio’s expertise has led him to capture the most ethereal lights, from the soft glow of dawn to the sun-drenched riverbanks, in his photography book, “Madidi: An Uncertain Future.” Prior to your journey to Bolivia, our team will provide guidance on clothing and equipment suitable for the jungle environment, as well as recommendations for camera gear that will enable you to document your adventure effectively.
Our tour prices are based on a tiered pricing model. More guests = lower price, per person. That means the prices go down on a per-person basis as more people book onto a specific tour departure. All prices are in U$ Dollars.
Contact us for guidance on a quote for your group or private trip.
|Lowest Price||7-10 travelers||$ 3,425 / per person|
|Average Price||4-6 travelers||$ 3,525 / per person|
|Optimum Price||2-3 travelers||$ 3,625 / per person|
|HIghest Price||1 solo traveler||$ 4,575 / for 1 person|
Airport Arrival, Immigration & Customs
Depending on your international flight schedule you will arrive very early in the morning (between 2-6 AM) at El Alto International Airport. The airport is in the city of El Alto which is on the edge of the Altiplano at 4,023 m (13,200 ft) above La Paz (downtown La Paz is at 12,000 ft). You are now at high altitude; so, you need to be aware of the effects of altitude on your body; you may feel light-headed and short of breath, but that’s normal. Once we drop down 900 m (3,000 ft) in elevation to your hotel 3,100 m (10,200 ft), you should feel much better.
Upon arrival, you go through Bolivian Immigration for your tourist visa (issued upon arrival) then Customs (Aduana). Your guide will be waiting for you at the general passenger meeting point, just look for the sign from Sergio Photo Tours. We will take your luggage to our private vehicle for transport to the hotel.
Private vehicle transport to your hotel
We drive from the airport to the lowest elevation in the city of La Paz which sits at 3,100 m (10,200 ft ). We’ll be heading down a winding mountain road with breathtaking views of the valley below. We head to Hotel Mitru Sur (or similar), located in Calacoto-Achumani neighborhood. You’ll check in and rest until lunch time (on your own) at the hotel.
The best way to acclimatize to altitude, is to move slowly, drink plenty of water and rest when you are tired. Acclimatization time is a very personal affair, some do it quickly, and others take more time. It can take a few hours or a few days. Listen to your body. We design all high-altitude itineraries with acclimatization time built in.
La Paz city tour
At 2 pm we’ll begin a 4-hour city tour of this fascinating city deep in the heart of the Andes; visiting open air markets, colonial neighborhoods, the witches’ market and take in the vast canyon of La Paz from breathtaking viewpoints. We return to your hotel so you can rest before dinner.
Hotel & welcome dinner
After the city tour concludes you can freshen up and rest before dinner. We will get to know each other better over dinner and talk about the rest of the trip in detail. Now would be a good time to make sure everyone is set with all their clothing and equipment questions and anything else they need to do. Once we leave La Paz, we are not coming back until the end of the trip. We recommend a light dinner, avoid alcohol and caffeine before bedtime. During the day you may want to enjoy a Mate de Coca (coca tea), a local herbal tea that helps with acclimatization, but refrain from it at night. Anise and chamomile teas help with digestion as well.
Keep drinking water, it’s very important for acclimatization.
Hotel: Mitru Sur (5*)
Meals included: D
Meals included: B,L,D
Based on your flight schedule, we will coordinate a departure time from the hotel. The ride from hotel to the airport takes 45 minutes. Domestic flights require 1.5 hours before departure and international flights require 3 hours before departure.
Meals included: none
End of our services.
We, of course, would do whatever is necessary in case of medical emergency and evacuate to the closest hospital or clinic to make sure you receive medical care.