Chalalan Ecolodge in Madidi National Park
Description of Chalalan Ecolodge in Madidi National Park
Making time for Madidi National Park is a must for any travellers wishing to envelope themselves in an area of the Amazon that boasts one of the most varied propensities for biodiversity in the entirety of South America, and perhaps the world.
All year round rainforest accommodation, in the form of Chalalán Eco-lodge, offers ample excuses to explore on this four day experience with transfers, activities, meals and tours with local guides included as part of the overall price.
Formed nearly three decades ago, Madidi National Park provides practically five million acres of protected perimeters and features an incredibly diverse mix of environments ranging from the foothills of the Andes to low level rainforests and the tropical habitats of the Amazonian basin.
Thousands of different species of birds, mammals and amphibians have made the park their home with an outstanding array of plants, trees and flowering foliage providing ample opportunities for hide and seek.
An indigenous Quetchua-Tacana community, numbering just a few hundred, are the only human inhabitants, and thanks to a lack of valuable naturally growing wood, such as mahogany, Madidi National Park has remained relatively untouched at the hands of irresponsible logging firms.
A short domestic flight to the riverside town of Rurrenabaqu marks the start of this four day itinerary with a boat journey on the Beni and Tuichi rivers taking guests to the environmentally and socially beneficial Chalalán Lodge where they’ll spend the duration of their tour.
Lodge cabins are set against the banks of Chalalán Lake (great for swimming) where a series of rainforest trails lead into the jungle where fruit trees, clay licks and wetland areas provide a greater amount of wildlife watching as will become clear under the knowledgeable instruction of your expert local guide.
Discovering the medicinal and spiritual properties of plants in Madidi National Park can be just as enlightening as watching endemic animals in their natural habitat with further insight into art, food and architecture bound to resonate with travellers looking to escape the trappings of modern life.
If you’re interested in extending the duration of your stay or would also like to spend time in rainforest bungalows in San José, which is around a three hour boat ride from Chalalán, please get in touch with us today and we’ll be happy to help you tailor the best possible trip for you.
1 Reviews of Chalalan Ecolodge in Madidi National Park
Reviewed on 18 Nov 2018 by Martin Blow
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
The overall authentic rain forest experience at Chalalan, inc. the 4.5 boat trip that was memorable in itself. Seeing Pink River Dolphins.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
For Caracoles Lodge. It is extremely hot - no fans in rooms. At night this was a problem compounded by total darkness, a night light in the room (we could have taken one); take ear plus, the walls are paper thin and can hear every word our neighbours were saying and at least on a Fri and Sat at the nearest own there is a bar that plays very loud, very bass-y music that started around 9pm and was still going when I was up at first light (5.30am) to go birding. The guide told me this is the case every weekend. Ear plus would have helped.
Take long sleeved cool breathable clothing.
Take plenty of good quality mosquito repellent.
Take the best touch you can - excellent for viewing wildlife at night at Chalalan
Don't rely on US $ - change money to Bolivianos
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Chalalan is owned by the local village and villagers work at the lodge both as guides and support staff.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
We combined our rainforest tour with a day and night in Bogota around our flights. We also had 3 nights in La Paz before we moved on to the rain forest and at the end - to see our daughter who is there as part of her year abroad via university. The trip was a real adventure, but very tiring. 8 flights in 13 days. La Paz is not the easiest place to get to. However, despite this we had a great time, and definitely recommend a trip to Bolivia and Chalalan Lodge in particular.
Read the operator's response here:
The wildlife in Bolivia’s Amazon and Pampas region is fantastic and we are delighted that you could experience many highlights. Sadly, lodge options are not of the same standard as in neighbouring countries and are generally basic (we had advised of this before travel), especially in the Pampas – but seeing pink river dolphins certainly makes up for that and it’s reassuring to see that this hasn’t dampened your overall experience.
Thank you again for taking your time to send us your comments!
PlanetThe Chalalán Eco-Lodge is a project, designed to benefit the local community of Quetchua-Tacana Indians by creating a sustainable and viable alternative economic activity while preserving the resources of the park, thus preventing destructive logging and hunting. Chalalan is now completely administered by the local community and all of the personnel, from cooks and boatmen to guides and office personnel are fully trained local community members
The lodge is built with the almost exclusive use of materials that could be sustainably harvested in the surrounding forest, solar panels were set up throughout the complex to provide adequate electricity and an ecological sewage disposal system was created. All profits go straight back into the community.
PeopleThere is a professionally trained team of local guides, rainforest experts who know the wilderness terrain, the behavior and ecology of local wildlife and the use of plants in their daily lives for sustenance, construction, art and medicine. They will introduce you to the subtle and intricate beauty within Madidi's forest.
In Peru we are also supporting the HuchuyYachaq with a percentage of our profits, to support the work they do in an impoverished neighbourhood of Cusco where children are enabled to attend school.