This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Responsible tourism: Bolivia vacation, Madidi National Park & ecolodge
Visit the awarded Chalalan Ecolodge, in the heart of Madidi National Park, built on Lake Chalalan and fully surrounded by tall pristine Amazon rainforest, still hosting an impressive array of wildlife which is easy to see.
The lodge was built using local materials and traditional low-impact Quechua Tacana architecture technology. Rooms are equipped with comfortable beds and bathrooms with hot showers which have good views of the surrounding ancient rainforest and the beautiful lake. The ecolodge is fully powered by solar panels and used waters from bathrooms and kitchen, as well as solid and organic waste, which are properly treated to avoid environmental impacts with the forest or the underground waters. As a whole, this lodge was designed to offer a close experience with the intact forest, including a deck with great views of Lake Chalalan, perfect place to enjoy sunrises and sunsets or to swim its fresh waters or gently paddle a canoe.
In addition, our tours also use a low-impact trail system of over 20 km, covering many habitats surrounding Lake Chalalan and the hillsides. Canoeing the lake and the trail system are great to access viewpoints and to facilitate the exploration and make wildlife sighting even easier without infringing on their habitat. Local guides have been trained by us to enhance your experience without impacting on wildlife. Tourism is so far the best justification for preserving rainforest, previously threatened by logging, hunting and extensive slash-and-burning activities following precarious colonization schemes that are the main source of destruction of the Amazon and disappearance of indigenous cultures.
Before the early 90s, one of the most important activities was selective logging, an activity which is today banned inside Madidi National Park. Although, the community still practice low-yielding subsistence agriculture, revenues and more permanent employment coming from tourism became important to help families, specially women and young members of the community, who can now access working opportunities, education and health, therefore ensuring a better future. This community and Chalalan Ecolodge are still isolated from small and medium size populations, only accessible traveling 5-9 hrs by boat or by means of a very precarious unstable unpaved narrow road.
Our Directors have been involved in the development of Chalalan Ecolodge since it started in 1995. For over two years , they trained around 60 members of the San Jose de Uchupiamonas Community, owners of this lodge to work in sustainable tourism, in basic administration, food and beverages, basic accounting, sales, marketing, and natural history. After the ecolodge was built, our support as a company continued until present, generating over 60% of sales per year, therefore becoming the best ally for this Quechua-Tacana community for over a decade. Today Chalalan is 100% the property of the San Jose de Uchupiamonas, and all services are given by trained members of the community.
Together, we and the Chalalan Ecolodge have created a well-known success story in terms of implementing conservation and sustainable development in rural South America, as part of a broad idea of helping preserve the unparalleled biodiversity of the Bolivian Amazon and its living cultures.
In 2015, we reaffirmed our commitment with Chalalan Ecolodge. We hope that more travelers will continue coming to this part of Bolivia and help us to help the members of the Quechua Tacana community to continue to benefit from the project and also secure the natural richness of this part of Bolivia, the Amazon, and the planet.