Chalalan Ecolodge Madidi National Park

Chalalan Ecolodge Madidi National Park

The Chalalan ecolodge Madidi and runned by an indigenous community is located in the Madidi National Park, a truly “biodiversity hotspot”. The Madidi National Park characterized by its exceptional wealth of biological riches and variety of ecosystems being home to over 4.739 species of plants, 1.370 species of vertebrates and 867 tropical birds and endemic plants, is considered the most biologically rich protected area on earth, the most biodiverse place in the world and a priority for conservation.

Last 2005 after a one-of-a-kind international auction for the right to name an entire new species of monkey, the brown-and-orange titi monkey was officially named Callicebus aureipalatii, latinized name of Golden Palace by an internet casino. This titi monkey was discovered by the the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Conservationist Dr. Robert Wallace in the jungles of Madidi National Park. Besides the new monkey, inside its border live healthy populations of jaguars, giant river otters, over 1,000 bird species (representing a whopping 11% of the world’s 9,000 bird species) and many varieties of rare orchids and other unique plants.

Madidi Park is considered the most biologically rich protected area on earth and a priority for conservation.

The Madidi National Park is composed of snow-capped mountains, glaciers, high Andean lagoons, deep valleys and canyons, cliffs, torrid rivers and waterfalls – all in an area about the size of New Jersey, all adding up to make up some of the most stunning scenery you will ever see.

Inside of Madidi National Park, the beautiful indigenous community-owned Chalalan ecolodge is located. The Chalalan Ecolodge stands in the Tuichi valley on the shore of the magnificent Chalalán Lagoon in the middle of pristine forest. The lodge combines elegance and comfort in an ecological way by using local materials with respect for the natural surroundings, using forest materials, solar energy, and intensive protection of the lake and maintaining the traditional building styles of a local community, San José de Uchupiamonas.

It’s bird population represents 11% of the world’s 9,000 bird species. This protected area has the highest number of bird species in the world and it is thought that more studies will register over 1,100 species.

REFERENCE PROGRAM

3 Days

THREE DAYS PROGRAM

DAY 1 Santa Cruz / La Paz – Rurrenabaque – Chalalan Ecolodge
Flight La Paz (El Alto International Airport) – Rurrenabaque (50 mins.). The flight is a fabulous opportunity to see the Andes Mountain Range and have a panoramic view of the Amazon rivers and forests.
Our staff will be waiting to transfer you from Rurrenabaque airport to the Chalalan office by bus where you will fill in the forms to enter Madidi National Park and receive information about your trip to the Ecolodge.
Transfer to the river Beni to take boat to Chalalan. Our boats are equipped with: roof, comfy seats, life jackets, raincoats and a first-aid kit. Maximum seating room on the boat is for 10 people.

The trip is a great way of seeing the Bala Canyon on the River Beni and getting to the Madidi by going up the River Tuichi. On your way you’ll see different animals and get a feel for the spectacular landscape of the Bolivian Amazon. We recommend you take binoculars. The trip takes around 5½ hours during the rainy season and 6 hours in the dry season, mainly in July, August and September.
Look Out Point

Packed lunch mid-way.

13.00 Arrival at the port of Chalalan. 25 minute walk to the Ecolodge along a wide, easy jaguar path. Welcome snack on the shores of Lake Chalalan. Our logistics staff will help you with your luggage. Settle in at your cabin or room.

14.00 Welcome lunch in Ecolodge. After lunch relax in a hammock or swim in Lake Chalalan.

15.45 Short walk along the Paraba path to the viewing point where you can see the beautiful landscape across Lake Chalalan, mountains and Madidi rainforest. Your guide will explain about plants used for building, hardwoods, palms and the traditional and sustainable use of natural resources. Here your guide will talk about the park, our Ecolodge and community. Return to the lake to go on a canoe ride along the shores of Lake Chalalan where you will be able to enjoy the sunset and see monkeys, birds, insects, bats, etc. Return to the Ecolodge for a snack.

19.30 Dinner in the Ecolodge dining room.

20.30 Short night-time activity (1 to 2 hours). Night trip by canoe to see amphibians, nocturnal birds, fish-eating bats and caimans easily spotted because of their glowing eyes.

DAY 2 Chalalan Ecolodge – Madidi National Park
07.00 Buffet breakfast in Ecolodge dining room. You may talk to your guide about changing the time depending on your interests. (e.g. Breakfast at 5:30 am for birdwatchers.)

07.30 Morning walk along the Tapacare path or another of similar length where you can see and learn about the forest and the wildlife surrounding you. Optional themes: natural interpretation of the forest, natural history, ecological processes, medicinal plants and hardwood trees, animal behavior and bird and mammal watching. Return to the lodge, have a snack.

12.30 Lunch in the Ecolodge dining room. After lunch relax in a hammock or swim in Lake Chalalan.

15.30 Short walk along one of the theme paths to learn about medicinal plants and more about personal interests. Return to the Ecolodge and choose from the following optional activities: Handicrafts, canoe trip, videos about the community and the Madidi National Park.

19.30 Traditional “dunucuabi” dinner of catfish wrapped in leaves or fish á la “tacuara” inside bamboo from the Bolivian Amazon. *This traditional dinner depends on the availability of the fish and may be offered any night during your stay.

20.30 Short night walk along the Paraba or Silbador path to see amphibians, reptiles, insects, tarantulas, rodents, birds and nocturnal monkeys. This is a great chance to hear the sounds of the jungle. Upon your return to the Ecolodge you can take part in a traditional Quechua – Tacana night with music and dances from the San José de Uchupiamonas community. Your guide will explain the traditions of the Uchupiamonas people. *This activity will depend on the number of guests staying at the Ecolodge and may be offered any night during your stay.

DAY 3 Chalalan Ecolodge – Rurrenabaque
07.00 Buffet breakfast in Ecolodge dining room and then a short walk to the river Tuíchi to take the boat back to Rurrenabaque. The return walk along the Jaguar or Wichi path can be adjusted to take into account your interests. Please coordinate with your guide.

08.00 Return by boat to Rurrenabaque (only 3 hours). The time is subject to the availability of the boats and flight times. We recommend you stay alert during the boat trip so that you can see the animals along the way.

11.30 Arrive at Rurrenabaque. Transfer to airport and return to the city of La Paz/Santa Cruz.

4 Days

FOUR DAYS PROGRAM

DAY 1 Santa Cruz / La Paz – Rurrenabaque – Chalalán Ecolodge
Flight La Paz (El Alto International Airport) – Rurrenabaque (50 mins.). The flight is a fabulous opportunity to see the Andes Mountain Range and have a panoramic view of the Amazon rivers and forests. Our staff will be waiting to transfer you from Rurrenabaque airport to the Chalalán office by bus where you will fill in the forms to enter Madidi National Park and receive information about your trip to the Ecolodge. Transfer to the river Beni where you will get on the boat to Chalalán. Our boats are equipped with: roof, comfy seats, life jackets, raincoats and a first-aid kit. Maximum seating room on the boat is for 10 people.

The trip is a great way of seeing the Bala Canyon on the River Beni and getting to the Madidi by going up the River Tuichi. On your way you’ll see different animals and get a feel for the spectacular landscape of the Bolivian Amazon. We recommend you take binoculars. The trip takes around 5½ hours during the rainy season and 6 hours in the dry season, mainly in July, August and September.

Packed lunch mid-way.

13.30 Arrival at the port of Chalalán. 25 minute walk to the Ecolodge along a wide, easy jaguar path. Welcome snack on the shores of Lake Chalalán. Our logistics staff will help you with your luggage. Settle in at your cabin or room.

14.00 Welcome lunch in Ecolodge. After lunch relax in a hammock or swim in Lake Chalalán.

15.45 Short walk along the Paraba path to the viewing point where you can see the beautiful landscape across Lake Chalalán, mountains and Madidi rainforest. Your guide will explain about plants used for building, hardwoods, palms and the traditional and sustainable use of natural resources. Here your guide will talk about the park, our Ecolodge and community. Return to the lake to go on a canoe ride along the shores of Lake Chalalán where you will be able to enjoy the sunset and see monkeys, birds, insects, bats, etc. Return to the Ecolodge for a snack.

19.30 Dinner in the Ecolodge dining room.

20.30 Short night walk along the Paraba or Silbador path to see amphibians, reptiles, insects, tarantulas, rodents, birds and nocturnal monkeys. This is a great chance to hear the sounds of the jungle.

DAY 2 Chalalán Ecolodge – Madidi National Park
07.00 Buffet breakfast in Ecolodge dining room. You may talk to your guide about changing the time depending on your interests. (e.g. Breakfast at 5:30 am for birdwatchers.)

07.30 Morning walk along the Tapacare path or another of similar length where you can see and learn about the forest and the wildlife surrounding you. Optional themes: natural interpretation of the forest, natural history, ecological processes, medicinal plants and hardwood trees, animal behavior and bird and mammal watching. Return to the lodge, have a snack.

12.30 Lunch in the Ecolodge dining room. After lunch relax in a hammock or swim in Lake Chalalán.

15.30 Short walk along one of the theme paths to learn about medicinal plants and more about personal interests. Return to the Ecolodge and choose from the following optional activities: Handicrafts, canoe trip, videos about the community and the Madidi National Park.

19.30 Traditional “dunucuabi” dinner of catfish wrapped in leaves or fish á la “tacuara” inside bamboo from the Bolivian Amazon. *This traditional dinner depends on the availability of the fish and may be offered any night during your stay.

20.30 Short night walk along the Paraba or Silbador path to see amphibians, reptiles, insects, tarantulas, rodents, birds and nocturnal monkeys. This is a great chance to hear the sounds of the jungle. Upon your return to the Ecolodge you can take part in a traditional Quechua – Tacana night with music and dances from the San José de Uchupiamonas community. Your guide will explain the traditions of the Uchupiamonas people. *This activity will depend on the number of guests staying at the Ecolodge and may be offered any night during your stay.

DAY 3 Chalalán Ecolodge – Rurrenabaque
06.00 Buffet breakfast in Ecolodge dining room. You may talk to your guide about changing the time depending on your interests. (e.g. Breakfast at 5:30 am for birdwatchers, long walks, etc.)

DAY 4 Chalalán Ecolodge – Rurrenabaque
08.00 Return by boat to Rurrenabaque (only 3 hours). The time is subject to the availability of the boats and flight times. We recommend you stay alert during the boat trip so that you can see the animals along the way.

11.30 Arrive at Rurrenabaque. Transfer to airport and return to the city of La Paz.

5 Days

FIVE DAYS PROGRAM

DAY 1 Santa Cruz / La Paz – Rurrenabaque – Chalalán Ecolodge
Flight La Paz (El Alto International Airport) – Rurrenabaque (50 mins.). The flight is a fabulous opportunity to see the Andes Mountain Range and have a panoramic view of the Amazon rivers and forests. Our staff will be waiting to transfer you from Rurrenabaque airport to the Chalalán office by bus where you will fill in the forms to enter Madidi National Park and receive information about your trip to the Ecolodge.
boat ride

Transfer to the River Beni where you will get on the boat to Chalalán. Our boats are equipped with: roof, comfy seats, life jackets, raincoats and a first-aid kit. Maximum seating room on the boat is for 10 people.
The trip is a great way of seeing the Bala Canyon on the River Beni and getting to the Madidi by going up the River Tuichi. On your way you’ll see different animals and get a feel for the spectacular landscape of the Bolivian Amazon. We recommend you take binoculars. The trip takes around 5½ hours during the rainy season and 6 hours in the dry season, mainly in July, August and September.
Packed lunch mid-way.

13.30 Arrival at the port of Chalalán. 25 minute walk to the Ecolodge along a wide, easy jaguar path. Welcome snack on the shores of Lake Chalalán. Our logistics staff will help you with your luggage. Settle in at your cabin or room.

14.00 Welcome lunch in Ecolodge. After lunch relax in a hammock or swim in Lake Chalalán.

15.45 Short walk along the Paraba path to the viewing point where you can see the beautiful landscape across Lake Chalalán, mountains and Madidi rainforest. Your guide will explain about plants used for building, hardwoods, palms and the traditional and sustainable use of natural resources. Here your guide will talk about the park, our Ecolodge and community. Return to the lake to go on a canoe ride along the shores of Lake Chalalán where you will be able to enjoy the sunset and see monkeys, birds, insects, bats, etc. Return to the Ecolodge for a snack.

19.30 Dinner in the Ecolodge dining room.

20.30 Short night walk along the Paraba or Silbador path to see amphibians, reptiles, insects, tarantulas, rodents, birds and nocturnal monkeys. This is a great chance to hear the sounds of the jungle.

DAY 2 Chalalán Ecolodge – Madidi National Park
07.00 Buffet breakfast in Ecolodge dining room. You may talk to your guide about changing the time depending on your interests. (e.g. Breakfast at 5:30 am for birdwatchers.)

07.30 Morning walk along the Tapacare path or another of similar length where you can see and learn about the forest and the wildlife surrounding you. Optional themes: natural interpretation of the forest, natural history, ecological processes, medicinal plants and hardwood trees, animal behavior and bird and mammal watching. Return to the lodge, have a snack.

12.30 Lunch in the Ecolodge dining room. After lunch relax in a hammock or swim in Lake Chalalán.

15.30 Short walk along one of the theme paths to learn about medicinal plants and more about personal interests. Return to the Ecolodge and choose from the following optional activities: Handicrafts, canoe trip, videos about the community and the Madidi National Park.

19.30 Traditional “dunucuabi” dinner of catfish wrapped in leaves or fish á la “tacuara” inside bamboo from the Bolivian Amazon. *This traditional dinner depends on the availability of the fish and may be offered any night during your stay.

20.30 Short night walk along the Paraba or Silbador path to see amphibians, reptiles, insects, tarantulas, rodents, birds and nocturnal monkeys. This is a great chance to hear the sounds of the jungle. Upon your return to the Ecolodge you can take part in a traditional Quechua – Tacana night with music and dances from the San José de Uchupiamonas community. Your guide will explain the traditions of the Uchupiamonas people. *This activity will depend on the number of guests staying at the Ecolodge and may be offered any night during your stay.

DAY 3 Chalalán Ecolodge – River Raya Mayu or Eslabón
06.00 Buffet breakfast in Ecolodge dining room. You may talk to your guide about changing the time depending on your interests. (e.g. Breakfast at 5:30 am for birdwatchers, long walks, etc.)

Short or long walk (optional) towards the Rivers Raya Mayu or Eslabón. This may be changed depending on the interests of our guests to thematic paths. This walk includes something for everyone: animal watching, ecological processes, different habitats in primary forest and finally the chance to fish for piranhas in the River Mayu. Box lunch along the way or lunch at the Ecolodge. The paths around Chalalán are easy and can be done by all visitors. There is ample opportunity to see wildlife – spider monkeys, tapirs, deer, and wild boar and maybe catch a glimpse of a jaguar.

17.30 Snack in the Ecolodge dining room. Later relax or swim in Lake Chalalán.

19.30 Dinner in the Ecolodge dining room.

20.30 After dinner you can go on an optional canoe trip on the Chalalán Lagoon to see amphibians, nocturnal birds and alligators easily seen because of their glowing eyes On a clear night this is ideal for stargazing.

DAY 4 Chalalán Ecolodge – Penena
06.00 Buffet breakfast in Ecolodge dining room. You may talk to your guide about changing the time depending on your interests. (e.g. Breakfast at 5:30 am for birdwatchers, long walks, etc.)

07.00 5 hour walk along the Silbador, Huaso and Penena path to the Penena Saltlick. This is a special area of the tropical forest where the animals come to feed on the mineral-rich mud. Penena is a fantastic place to see wildlife and talk about animal behavior and talk about the ecological processes in the different habitats in primary forest. Box lunch and snack included. Return by boat along the River Tuichi and short walk to the Ecolodge along the Jaguar path. NB: You can also do the trip to the Saltlick by boat and return on foot.

17.30 Snack in the Ecolodge dining room. Relax or swim in Lake Chalalán.

19.30 Dinner in the Ecolodge dining room.

20.30 After dinner you can go on an optional canoe trip on the Chalalán Lagoon to see amphibians, nocturnal birds and alligators easily seen because of their glowing eyes.

DAY 5 Chalalán Ecolodge – Rurrenabaque
08.00 Return by boat to Rurrenabaque (only 3 hours). The time is subject to the availability of the boats and flight times. We recommend you stay alert during the boat trip so that you can see the animals along the way.

11.30 Arrive at Rurrenabaque. Transfer to airport and return to the city of La Paz.

REVIEWS

  • ´Hi Gijs, we had a great stay at Chalalan Lodge. The staff and guides were professional and friendly, and the food was great. We saw many macaws, monkeys and caimans. I'll definitely recommend Ruta Verde's Madidi tour to my friends. Thanks a bunch for all your efforts to help us with logistics and make our stay comfortable. Keep in touch and we'll plan a visit to our preserve. Best Regards, ...'
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    Ted Muhs USA
  • ´Hi GIjs, we had a great time at Chalalan. Our guide Yiovanni was so knowledgeable and fun. The setting is gorgeous. The treks and variety of activities is great; the rooms were very comfortable and the food was above expectation and very delicious. We were slightly disappointed with being dropped off at the Rurrenabaque airport/shed at 1:15 for a 2:50 flight. It would have been more pleasant if ...'
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    Antonia Gaynor and Steve Weir UK
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