Explore the richness of wildlife and connect with the native people of the Bolivian Amazon on this culturally immersive 6-day adventure. You'll experience life in the jungle as you stay at sustainable eco-lodges designed, run, and owned by local tribal communities—eco-tourism projects developed to protect their way of life and slow the advance of deforestation. You'll canoe rivers and their tributaries, sway in hammocks, fall asleep to the sounds of the jungle, fish for piranhas, and hike into the thick of it all.

Highlights

  • Experience daily life of a Mosetén tribe member in the Pilón Lajas Reserve
  • Navigate the Beni River tributaries of the upper Amazon in canoes
  • Dine on local dishes, like dunucuabi and quench your thirst from nearby palms
  • Seek out exotic birds, monkeys, caimans, and frogs in the Madidi Jungle

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Fly from La Paz to Rurrenabaque - Canoe to Asunción del Quiquibey Mapajo
Day 2 Explore Mapajo & Pilón Lajas Reserve Mapajo
Day 3 Mosetén and Tsimané tribe experience - Return to Rurrenabaque Rurrenabaque
Day 4 Transfer to Madidi Jungle Ecolodge Madidi National Park
Day 5 Explore the Madidi Jungle Madidi National Park
Day 6 Return to Rurrenabaque - Fly to La Paz  La Paz

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Fly from La Paz to Rurrenabaque - Canoe to Asunción del Quiquibey

Beni River, Amazon, Rurrenabaque
Board a canoe at Rurrenabaque

Today you'll head to the La Paz airport for your 40-minute flight to Rurrenabaque. Make sure to grab a window seat for breathtaking views of turquoise glacier lakes sending their waters into the rainforest below. Upon your arrival, you'll transfer to the town's port on the Beni River and to your canoe where you will travel through the Bala Gorge, take up the smaller Quiquibey River to finally enter the Pilón Lajas Indigenous Territory Park and Biosphere Reserve. Disembark at the jungle village of Asunción del Quiquibey and find your way to your tucked-away bungalow to settle in.

Here you will discover how the members of the Asunción del Quiquibey village created the community-run Mapajo, an ecotourism project that brings in income as well as educates and protects the ecosystem the natives call home. After a buffet lunch prepared by the women of the community, a local guide will take you along a trail to meet the jungle: its medicinal plants and one massive tree considered the guardian of the village. Spend the evening enjoying a delicious dinner and relaxing to the sounds of the nighttime rainforest. 

Day 2: Explore Mapajo & Pilón Lajas Reserve

Caiman on the banks of the Quiquibey.
Spend an evening seeking out caimans on the banks of the Quiquibey

Spend the day discovering your surroundings. Relax by the waters of the Quiquibey to observe tropical birds, mammals, and reptiles, or at the least note their tracks, like those of the jaguar. Enjoy lunch on the sandy riverbank, followed by a walk to a macaw nesting site and after nightfall, return to the river to spot caimans, easily identified by the red glint of their eyes.

Day 3: Mosetén and Tsimané tribe experience - Return to Rurrenabaque

Members of the Moseten tribe weaving baskets.
Learn to weave baskets from a Mosetén tribe member

After breakfast, you'll visit Asunción del Quiquibey to meet with and experience daily life from the Mosetén and Tsimané tribes (the Tsimané ethnicity is on the verge of vanishing). Here you'll experience daily life customs and practices of these cultures, from weaving to farming, as well as traditional hunting methods using bows and arrows. Then it’s into the canoe and downstream to Rurrenabaque where you will say goodbye to your jungle hosts.

Day 4: Transfer to Madidi Jungle Ecolodge

Madidi Jungle Ecolodge, Rurrenabaque, Bolivia
Fall asleep to the sounds of the Madidi jungle

After a good night's rest, you'll depart in a motorized canoe up the Beni River, back through the Bala Gorge before continuing along a more intimate tributary until you arrive at the Madidi Jungle Ecolodge. This low-impact rainforest eco-venture is wholly owned and run by indigenous people from the heart of Bolivia's Madidi National Park, a park which is recognized as one of the most biodiverse places in the world—its 1,254 bird species represent 14% of all birds known to man.

After lunch and spending a little time relaxing in a hammock, you'll go on an afternoon hike into the rainforest to spot macaws and parrots. If you're lucky, you might also see white-lipped peccaries, red howler monkeys, and brown capuchin monkeys. When darkness falls, if you're feeling brave you can venture out again, this time in search of nocturnal wildlife, like tarantulas and frogs. Whether at the lodge or on the night paths, you can't help but hear the creatures perform their magnificent nocturne.

Day 5: Explore the Madidi Jungle

Bolivia - Madidi Jungle - Spider monkey
Follow the Biwa Trail to see black spider monkeys

Join a guided hike this morning along the Biwa Trail, where black spider monkeys are often found (3-4 hours). Along this trail, you will stop at a popular Madidi viewpoint for a stunning panoramic view of the rainforest canopy. A different set of trails takes you back to the lodge, where the tranquil lunch-and-hammock-siesta rhythm continues.

In the afternoon, head out for a second guided hike, this time along the Mapajo and Almendrillo trails to discover the Giant Kapok, Almendrillo, and Strangler Fig trees. Here, you will learn about the different forest plants, and discover their medicinal and spiritual uses, as well as their role in the ecosystem. When it's time for dinner, settle down to the local dish of dunucuabi (catfish wrapped in leaves) followed by a chance to hear from your guides about the history and culture of the tribes in the area.

Day 6: Return to Rurrenabaque - Fly to La Paz 

Hoatzin bird, Boliva
Be on the lookout for the ancient hoatzin bird

On your last day in the jungle, you'll take a short boat trip upstream on the Tuichi River to the Serere Trail for a riverside hike to a floodplain to spot native wildlife. Here you might see yellow squirrel monkeys and hoatzin birds, the most ancient bird species in South America (related to the dinosaur). And if you're up for it, consider fishing for piranhas at the aptly named Piraña Lagoon, before forging ahead to check out a recently discovered salt lick and then returning to the lodge to pack up your things.

On the way back to Rurrenabaque, spend a little time visiting Caquiahuara to look for the red and green macaws and other parrot species and when you're ready, set off again to complete the 2-hour boat ride back to Rurrenabaque. Saying farewell to the Amazon, board your plane for your quick trip back to La Paz in the Bolivian highlands.

Map

Map of The Bolivian Amazon and its Native Peoples - 6 Days
Map of The Bolivian Amazon and its Native Peoples - 6 Days