Four days/Three nights
- Wildlife and indigenous culture
- River navigation and lodging in bamboo huts with lights and private bathrooms
- Flora and fauna observation: hide away in pristine nature
- Traditional hunting techniques and a visit to a Tacana community
- Hiking through the rainforest to visit the "pharmacy" of the San Miguel community to lean about medicinal plants
- Expedition to the rare red and blue macaws' breeding ground in Madidi National Park
- Hike through the Bolivian Amazon rainforest to the spectacular 150-meter long canyon – and have some free time
- 1 night in Madidi National Park
On the first day of your two-day adventure you will leave from the offices of San Miguel del Bala across from the Amaszonas Airlines offices. Your guide will take you and your bags to the motorized canoe that awaits you in the port of Rurrenabaque. From there, you will be taken 45 minutes up the Rio Beni to the lodge, where a refreshing tropical fruit juice will welcome you.
After settling into your private cabin your guide will take you back in time as he leads you through the rainforest and shows you the ancient trapping methods of the Tacana. Learn how the Tacana outfoxed their prey with unique and interesting traps that helped them catch dinner. Your guide will show you how each trap works, as well as the medicinal plants the hunters would collect as they checked their traps.
After returning to the lodge you can go wash up and sit down to a delicious lunch that includes all locally grown ingredients (vegetarian options included with advance notice). Go rest in a hammock after lunch and enjoy the tranquillity of the river and sounds of the jungle.
After you are recharged your guide will take you to visit the community of San Miguel, a Tacana village, and experience how tourism and your money has helped the San Migueleños improve their day-to-day lives. Take a stroll through the village as your guide explains how the community is organized. Visit the school and your guide's home, learn how to weave, make a thatched roof, and squeeze sugar cane yourself and enjoy a sweet and refreshing drink (best served with some lemon). Your visit to the community of San Miguel will give you a look at the Tacana villagers' daily lives as well as let you see the great things your money is doing as a client of the community owned lodge!
Enjoy your dinner and relax the rest of the evening in your cabin or in the hammock hut.
Your day starts with tropical bird songs and a nice breakfast by the river. Once you are done your guide will sit with you and explain the day's activities.
After breakfast you will take the canoe a bit further upriver to the mouth of a stream that flows into the Rio Beni. From there, your guide will lead you along the stream for a short 20-minute hike up to a waterfall that has a natural pool below where you can take a refreshing dip after your hike and relax in the soothing waters. The trek is a bit challenging, so make sure you consult with your guide before setting off to see if they feel you can handle it. The reward for your hard work is to sit underneath the waterfall and let this natural masseuse soothe your tired muscles.
Return to the lodge and enjoy a nice lunch. You can go pack up your things and get ready for the ride back to Rurrenabaque.
There are two options of activities for your final afternoon before heading further upriver:
Activity #1 San Miguel's Pharmacy.
You can go with your guide and experience San Miguel's pharmacy. Take a walk into the forest with your guide to explore the wonders of medicinal plant life. Your guide will share his knowledge of the forest and the abundance of plant life that the Tacana have used for years to help with basic ailments such as stomachaches and colds all the way to dealing with anemia and other more serious conditions. Experience what the forest has to offer, and even try to take some medicine with you for your next run-in with bad street food in La Paz.
Activity #2 The Canyon.
You can go to the canyon and experience the cool and damp ecosystem. Explore a canyon 150 meters long with all the wonderful creepy crawly things that dark damp places have to offer. This unique trek can be a short walk through the canyon to explore another world, or you can take a 3-hour trek from San Miguel del Bala along the river, which eventually runs through the canyon as a grand exit to the river. As you exit the canyon a boat will be waiting for you to take you back to the lodge.
Return to the lodge, enjoy a nice dinner, turn in for the evening and get ready for your big adventure deeper into the jungles of Madidi National Park.
After an early breakfast your bags are put onto the canoe and you begin your journey 1½ hours up the Rio Beni into Madidi National Park. You then make a right onto the Tuiche River. The Tuiche is a smaller, more intimate river that allows for more animal and bird watching opportunities. Once you arrive at the cabins you can put your things down and head out to explore the area or rest and relax until lunch is served.
San Miguel del Bala offers 8 trails that will begin your Amazon adventure deep into the forests surrounding the cabins. Each trail varies in length and difficulty, and your guide will let you decide as a group where you would like to go and what difficulty level you would like to take.
After dinner your guide will take you out on a night trek. Take in the sounds and see how the forest really comes alive and transforms at night.
You have a chance to explore the entire morning after eating a great breakfast. Wake up extra early if you want to go see the macaws leaving their nests for a day of hunting in the forest, or leave this activity for when you are about to return to Rurrenabaque. Just communicate your desires to your local guide, and this flexible last day will end with a lunch and a relaxing 3-hour boat ride back to Rurrenabaque.
NOTICE: If you have flights leaving that same day, lunch may need to be taken earlier or in San Miguel del Bala's other lodge closer to Rurrenabaque. Be sure to alert your guide.
For a minimum group number of 2 people
4 Day/3 Night Tour: $320 US
For one person tours
4 Day/3 Night Tour: $640 US
What do these prices include?
- All meals while on the tour
- Bottled water
What isn’t included?
- Entrance fee to Madidi National Park which is 125 bolivianos (around $18 US) for foreigners and 45 bolivianos for Bolivians
- All alcoholic beverages and sodas will be extra