JUNGLE TOUR 5 DAYS AND 4 NIGHTS
We depart at 7:30am from the Berraco del Madidi office, in Rurrenabaque. Traveling by motor boat on the Beni River, we enter the Madidi National Park, the most biologically diverse region in the world. Along the river, caiman warm themselves in the tropical sun and macaws soar through the treetops. After 4 hours of scenic travel, we stop for a picnic lunch on the river bank. Continuing on our journey, we arrive at the EcoCamp Berraco del Madidi in the afternoon.
Once at the camp, each guest is assigned their private Tacana hut surrounded by rainforest. Each hut is complete with tent, bed, hammock, table, and chairs. Our rustic camp is ideal for total immersion in the Amazon and, as we have not cleared the surrounding trees, there is a greater chance of spotting wildlife – including tapirs and peccaries – right from your hammock!
After a snack in the dining room, we take a short hike on the Mapajo Trail to learn about different species of plants and animals found in the primary rainforest. Primary forest refers to untouched, pristine forest that exists in its original condition. This forest has been relatively unaffected by human activities and contains the oldest trees. These giants trees, like the Mapajo and Ceiba, create a full canopy, allowing very little light to penetrate to the ground floor. Primary rainforest is the most biologically diverse type of forest in the world.
Following dinner, our guide leads a night hike along the Palmero Trail. There is no better place to immerse yourself in the sounds of the rainforest and encounter nocturnal insects and animals like tarantulas, frogs, and Kinkajou screaming monkeys.
After breakfast, we set out on the Playon Trail to learn about medicinal plants and the wide variety of exotic birds inhabiting the area. Along the trail, you may also encounter howler monkeys, poisonous snakes, and other rainforest species. Once we reach the nature viewing platform, we wait for the hordes of wild jungle pigs that frequent the nutrient-rich clay lick below. Perched right above the action, the platform provides great photo opportunities for our guests.
Following the lunch and siesta, the guide leads a traditional fishing trip down to the Tuichi River. Using local fishing tools and techniques, guests are invited to practice the helicopter-like casting method to reel in the huge fish that inhabit these waters. Giant piranha (Pacu) and catfish are among the most numerous. Our fishing excursions are catch and release only to ensure the sustainability of the enterprise and reduce our impact on the environment.
For dinner our cook willprepare a traditional dinner of fish steamed in bamboo. After sundown, the local guides share popular rainforest legends, passed down through their families over hundreds of years.
After breakfast at the EcoCamp, we pack our bags for a 5-6 hour hike, carrying plenty of water and a light lunch. We head out on the Expedition Trail, on which the guide explains and demonstrates critical rainforest survival techniques.
The indigenous guide teaches guests how to identify poisonous or otherwise dangerous insects like the 24 hour ant or the Bushmaster snake, plants and animals in the rainforest. Equally important are the various life-saving medicinal plants of the jungle. The guide explains which plants can be used as antiseptic or anesthetic for injuries.
Finding food and clean water are the most important survival-skills that can be learned on the trail. Water collection using vines and the construction of traps for catching birds and fish are techniques our guide shares from his personal experience. Every native guide knows numerous animal calls, used to locate and attract wild pigs, birds, monkeys, and many other animals. This is your opportunity to master the caiman grunt or howler whoop alongside the experts.
Following a light lunch by the river, the guide explains the traditional methods of rainforest navigation using the sun and tree formations before heading back to the EcoCamp.
Day 4: (CLASSIC TOUR INCLUDING COMMUNITY VISIT WITH ADITIONAL COST OF $50 USD/PERSON)
Following breakfast buffet at the Berraco EcoCamp, we embark north on the Tuichi River towards the Quechua-Takana indigenous community of San Jose de Uchupiamonas. After the picturesque 3.5 hour boat ride, we set off on a 25 minute hike to the village. There, our guests will have the opportunity to take a tour and learn about the community’s three-hundred year history. On the tour, you visit the community church, the school, the town hall and medical center. Locally made crafts are on display and available for purchase.
At lunchtime, our guests enjoy a traditional meal in the home of a local family. After lunch our guides give a brief tutorial about the rafting equipment, safety and technique. We head back to the river and begin the raft ride. The 5 rapids on the Tuichi River range from Class I-III, depending on the season. We are happy to offer a very safe and family-friendly whitewater experience, with plenty of gentle flats between the rapids to take in the breathtaking rainforest scenery. There are opportunities to view animals along the banks or take a break to swim on a hot day. The rafting experiences last about 3 hours and ends near the EcoCamp.
Day 4: ALTERNATIVE TOUR
In this day program our guides give a brief tutorial about the rafting equipment, safety and technique. We head back to the Tuichi river and begin the traditional rafting adventure! The 4-5 rapids on the Tuichi River range from Class I-III, depending on the season. We are happy to offer a very safe and family-friendly whitewater experience, with plenty of gentle flats between the rapids to take in the breathtaking Amazon rainforest scenery. There are opportunities to view animals along the banks or take a break to swim on a hot day. The rafting experiences last about 3 hours and ends near the EcoCamp.
Breakfast is followed by a short morning walk through the Taitetu Trail. This trail is best for observing birds and gathering seeds for making local crafts. After returning to the EcoCamp, the guide helps guests carve, polish and fashion these seeds into artisanal jewelry like rings and necklaces. After lunch, we depart for the 4 hour boat ride back to Rurrenabaque. Depending on our passengers’ flight reservations departure time is flexible.
Please note that all programs are customizable to the interests of our guests. In addition, weather conditions and other unpredictable constraints may impact the final itinerary.