Archaeologists generally agree that the civilization that spawned Tihuanaco
rose around 600 BC. Whether it was or not, Tihuanaco was certainly a great
ceremonial center. At its height it was a city of possibly 20,000 inhabitants,
encompassing approximately 1.6 square miles (2.6 Km2). This civilization
might have disappeared due to long periods of geological droughts that
affected South America some 2,000 years ago. Later on, their knowledge
and science were inherited by the Inca Empire, Although only a very small
percentage of the original site has been excavated, Tihuanaco does include
the most imposing megalithic architecture of pre-Inca in South America.
Lake Titicaca is unique in that it is the highest navigable lake in the
world (over 12,500 feet / 3,750 meters). The clean, clear air often allows
one to see for more than 100 miles. You will enjoy horizons adorned by
blue skies, gorgeous clouds and some of the highest snow peaks in Bolivia.
This is a perfect location for photography.
A dozen of those snow peaks visible belong to the Cordillera Real including
Illimani, Huayna Potosi, Illampu and Ancohuma, with heights of more than
20,000 feet / 12,500 meters above sea level. Near these mountains and
the lake, indigenous peoples still inhabit the area preserving their cultures
and traditions that have been maintained for more than 4,000 years.
MADIDI NATIONAL PARK
Madidi National Park was created in 1995, in the northwest of Bolivia.
It protects a full array of ecosystems, from the high Andes to the Amazon
basin, a vast wilderness of 4,500,000 acres, that encompasses unparalleled
biological diversity, ranging from cloud forest to dry tropical forest,
humid lowland rainforest to savannah, wild rivers to lakes. This park
is home to more than 1000 species of birds, 44% of all New World species
of mammals and an estimated 38% of neo-tropical amphibians. It is also
a critical global hotspot for endemic plants. Our clients will get to
visit the heart of Madidi National Park, where the Tuichi River is located,
with a nal destination of the Chalalan Lake and Ecolodge. The scenery
in this region has been shaped by ancient geological and glacial processes
resulting in spectacular landscapes.
One of the many communities we support as operators support, is the village
of San Jose de Uchupiamonas, a Quechua-Tacana ethnic group. This community
owns and runs the Chalalan Ecolodge. The Ecolodge has been built using
the philosophy of minimum impact, using local materials and traditional
techniques. The design also includes the treatment of all waste waters
and the use of solar energy.
The San Jose community hopes that by participating in responsible tourism,
it can be successful in the preservation of thousands of hectares of pristine
rainforest that belong to them and were inherited from their ancestors.
Therefore, their operations were developed under standards that respect
local culture, traditions and the amazing natural surroundings.
Day 1: Arrival in La Paz. Welcome at El Alto airport; transfer
to your hotel. In the afternoon city tours.
Day 2: La Paz - Tihuanaco - Copacabana. Morning departure to
the Tihuanaco ruins. Then we depart to Copacabana. During the drive we
will be able to see the magnificent, Lake Titicaca. At the half way point,
we will take a ferry the Strait of Tiquina. We will reach Copacabana in
three hours, Hotel registration and walking tour of Copacabana to visit
the cathedral, main plaza and "Horca del Inca".
Day 3: Copacabana - Isla del Sol. In the morning we will walk
to Yampupata for 4 to 5 hours and then take a bout to the Island of the
Sun. Accommodation at a local hotel and in the afternoon we will venture
out to look at the sun setting over the beautiful lake and island.
Day 4: Copacabana - La Paz. After breakfast we will take a bout
to Copacabana. After lunch we return to La Paz. Transfer to the hotel.
Day 5: La Paz - Rurrenabaque. Transfer from the hotel to the
airport. Flight to Rurrenabaque. Transfer to the hotel, where we have
lunch. Free afternoon to explore this colorful town on the bank of the
Day 6: Rurrenabaque - Chalalan - Madidi National Park. After
an early breakfast, we travel up the Beni River in a dugout canoe, passing
through the spectacular Can del Bala (Bala Gorge). The wild and scenic
Tuichi River is our gateway to Madidi National Park, and our access to
the Chalalan Ecolodge, our well-designed and comfortable accommodation.
The river trip to Chalalan takes about 5 hours followed by an easy 30-minute
hike from the river’s edge to the lodge, which is nestled in the
rainforest on the shores of Chalalan Lake. After checking in, guests will
have the opportunity to explore several short forest trails, including
a stop off at the "Mirador" (lookout), which offers spectacular
views of Chalalan Lake and some of the mountain ranges in the area.
After dinner, an optional night walk or canoe trip on the lake to look
for wildlife such as caiman, frogs and nocturnal birds.
Day 7: Chalalan - Madidi National Park. After breakfast, we will
take an early morning trek through the forest. If we are alert, we may
observe macaws, guans, and a variety of other birds, as well as brown
capuchin and squirrel monkeys, or with more luck cross herds of white-lipped
peccary or tapirs. Our local guides will share their extensive knowledge
of plants (including their traditional medicinal uses), natural history,
and animal behavior. After lunch at the lodge and a relaxing afternoon
(a swim in the lake is recommended), we can walk another of Chalalans
trails, to observe some of the amazing variety of birds found in the area.
After dinner, learn about the San Jose community, its history, stories
Day 8: Chalalan - Madidi National Park. Today we will go on the
longest of our hikes, passing through primary rainforest and gallery forest
on our way to the Rayamayo and Eslabon Rivers. On this 5-hour trip, we
explore some of the rainforest further from the lodge, and hence with
luck, we can see howler and spider monkeys, and a variety of other wildlife,
as well as learn more about the ecology of the forest. Boxed lunch. Return
to Chalalan in the afternoon. Participate in, and learn about, the making
of traditional Tacana handicrafts, for example chonta seed rings. Dinner
tonight is "dumoquavi", a traditional dish (river catsh wrapped
in leaves), a delicious feast and a great way to spend your last evening
Day 9: Chalalan - Rurrenabaque - La Paz. After an early breakfast,
we walk to the Tuichi River, where we board the boat to return to Rurrenabaque.
The return trip (down-river) is fast; it takes only about three hours.
Transfer to Rurrenabaque airport and ight to La Paz. Transfer to your
Day 10: La Paz. Transfer to the international airport.