Fodor's Expert Review Madidi National Park

Rurrenabaque Park (National/State/Provincial) Fodor's Choice

This park has been rated one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. Its boundaries encompass both the high Andean peaks and the deep Yungas jungle, and a staggering number of species has been registered here. Some estimates say more than 10% of the world's bird species are living in the park—more than in the entire United States. Most of the top lodges operating in the park are community run, meaning that your tourist dollar goes a long way toward encouraging the protection of this vibrant green paradise.Most of the tourism into Madidi is via all-inclusive lodges that, although not as refined as those found in Peru, offer unparalleled, intimate access to pristine jungle. A few operators stand out: The long-running Chalalan Ecolodge (www.chalalan.com) now shares the top spot with the slightly more affordable Mashaquipe Ecotours (www.mashaquipeecotours.com) and San Miguel del Bala (www.sanmigueldelbala.com). Berraco del Madidi (www.berracodelmadidi.com) is situated deeper in the... READ MORE

This park has been rated one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. Its boundaries encompass both the high Andean peaks and the deep Yungas jungle, and a staggering number of species has been registered here. Some estimates say more than 10% of the world's bird species are living in the park—more than in the entire United States. Most of the top lodges operating in the park are community run, meaning that your tourist dollar goes a long way toward encouraging the protection of this vibrant green paradise.Most of the tourism into Madidi is via all-inclusive lodges that, although not as refined as those found in Peru, offer unparalleled, intimate access to pristine jungle. A few operators stand out: The long-running Chalalan Ecolodge (www.chalalan.com) now shares the top spot with the slightly more affordable Mashaquipe Ecotours (www.mashaquipeecotours.com) and San Miguel del Bala (www.sanmigueldelbala.com). Berraco del Madidi (www.berracodelmadidi.com) is situated deeper in the jungle than any other lodge, and offers a unique sleeping experience in comfortable tents set up on traditional, covered wooden platforms. Madidi Travel (www.madidi-travel.com) is run by one of the conservationists who helped set up the park in the 1990s and offers a chance to visit the smaller but equally stunning Serere Reserve. A newer arrival is Sadiri Lodge (www.sadirilodge.com), set in the foothills to the north of Rurrenabaque, which provides a privileged view over the jungle and makes for excellent bird-watching.The best time of the year to visit is from April to October, as the rainy season leaves some parts inaccessible. Most companies offer tours from three to five days and charge between $80 and $120 per day, excluding the flight from La Paz to Rurrenabaque ($190, Amaszonas).

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Park (National/State/Provincial) Fodor's Choice

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Rurrenabaque, El Beni  Bolivia

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