Early this morning board a dugout canoe for the five hour trip to Chalalan Ecolodge
. Follow the famous Beni River and pass through the spectacular Bala Gorge before heading up the smaller Tiuchi River and entering Madidi National Park. Established in 1995, Madidi protects some of the wildest and most pristine rainforest on earth, and the big animals such as herds of peccary, sloths, howler monkeys, giant otters, and jaguar still thrive in this park. Each day at Chalalan is filled with discovery as you head out on excursions with your Quechua guide in search of macaws, toucans, squirrel monkeys, and more. With luck you might even run across a 300-pound tapir using your trail as a highway through the forest!
A walk to one of the lookout points in the area offers magnificent views of the rainforest canopy and Chalalan Lake below. Back at the lodge, learn about traditional crafts, farming techniques, and food. Evenings are filled with stories about the community’s history, customs, and beliefs. During your Bolivia travel, there’s also plenty of time for hanging in your hammock, browsing the many guidebooks, swimming in the lake, and wandering several self-guided trails near the lodge. A stay at Chalalan offers a rare and welcoming glimpse into tribal society and the fascinating world of a thriving rainforest ecosystem.