Tours depart from the small town of Rurrenabaque, on the banks of the Bení River. We begin with a long ride upriver, in a shaded boat, ideal for spotting monkeys in the treetops along the river.
We pull ashore on a sandy point on the way for a swim and a leisurely lunch, before arriving at Chalalán Ecolodge in the afternoon. Chalalán Ecolodge is the first of its kind in Madidi National Park, and is owned and operated by the indigenous community of San Jose de Uchupiamonas. Recognized internationally as a model for sustainable ecotourism, Chalalán is a gorgeous collection of jungle lodges on the picturesque Lake Chalalán. After you’ve settled, relax in a hammock by the water or take a swim in the jungle lake.
In the evening, choose from a variety of activities including a guided flora hike, bird watching along the nature trails, or a canoe ride across the lake.
Dinner is served back at the lodge. As the sun disappears for the day, there is the option of joining a guide and exploring the jungle by night as the nocturnal animals emerge for the night.
After an impressive breakfast spread of fruits, granola, and empanadas, fresh juice and coffee, the second day’s activities are up to you. Many guests choose to take a hike along the Paraba path to a superb viewing point of the Madidi Rainforest. If you leave early enough, you can watch as the fog rises up from the lake through the trees of the rainforest and into the surrounding mountains. Along the way your guide will talk about the sustainable practices of the lodge, the national park and the communities inside it. You are sure to spot howler monkeys, exotic insects and other wildlife on your hike through the jungle.
Usually a traditional catfish dinner is provided on the second day, where you can enjoy the sun as it sets across the lake. Dinner is followed by an evening with members of the Uchupiamonas community, where you will be complementary to join with them in music and dance.
After a breakfast buffet in the morning, your guide will take you on a final trek through the jungle to learn how local communities gather plants for medicine or rituals. We head back to the lodge for lunch and to gather your belongings before heading back down the river toward Rurrenabaque. Keep your eyes open for wildlife as the boat makes its way out of the depths of Madidi National Park and back into civilization.
Please note: Only operates on tuesday and friday