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madidi
La Paz

Tourist information

The Madidi Park was declared by National Geographic as one of the areas with most biodiversity in the world and one of the 20 places with greater tourist interest at world level. It has common borders with Peruvian protected areas such as the Bahuaja Sonene National Park and the Tambopata Reserve, so it is part of important biological corridors such as Vilcabamba-Amboró Corridor, which is a binational project (Peru-Bolivia) and the Amboro-Madidi Corridor, in the Bolivian side.

Category: National Park and Integrated Management National Area

Biogeographical sub-regions, altitudinal range and climate: Madidi corresponds to the sub-regions of Puna, mountainous rainforests of Los Yungas and rainforests of Madeira. The climate varies from cold (frozen) in the Cordillera area, mild in the mountainous intermediate lands to warm in the northern lowlands. The altitudinal range varies from 200 m (low zone near Rurrenabaque) to 6,000 m; physiographic environments: high mountain chains in Apolobamba area up to the Amazonian lowlands of Heath River; in the gradient there is a diversity of mountainous regions and Sub-Andean system.

Vegetation and flora: Because of the ample altitudinal range, the Madidi Park offers an extraordinary diversity of ecoregions: snowy areas and periglacial environments, Yungas wastelands, cloud forest, humid and per-humid rainforests of Yungas, Subandean rainforest, dry forest deciduous of San Juan of Asariamas (probably unique in the world and in an excellent state of conservation), very humid piedmontvery forest (one of the last samples preserved in Bolivia), seasonal basal rainforests, tropical savvanas and swamp forests of royal palm. It is estimated that there are between 5,000 to 6,000 species of higher plants throughout the Madidi Park including a new species called huaycha (Weinmannia microphylla), the yuraj huaycha (Miconia theaezans), the mountain pines (Podocarpus spp.), the bibosi (Ficus spp.) among others. In addition, it offers a great diversity of palms: Ceroxylon quindiuense pityrophyllum (very rare), the jatatas (Geonoma megalospatha, G. lindeniana and G. deversa), the asai (Euterpe precatoria) and the royal palm (Mauritia flexuosa).

Fauna: There are 733 species of fauna in the Madidi Park and almost all taxonomic groups are included, especially mammals, birds, reptiles and fish. The most representative mammals are the jucumari or spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus), the Andean cat or titi (Felis jacobita), the taruca or Andean deer, puma, jaguar, the ocelot (Felis pardalis), the white-lipped peccari" (Tayassu pecari albirostris), the giant otter, spider monkeys (Alouatta seniculus), and several species of the Callitrichidae family. Birds include Anairetes alpinus of the tyrannidae family, the ornate hawk-eagle (Oroaetus isidori), the harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja), endemic hummingbirds (Oreotrochilus adela and Aglaeactis pamela) and several species of endangered small birds like Grallaria erythrotis, Lepthastenura yanacensis, Asthenes urubambensis, Tangara Rufi cervix and hemispingus trifasciatus. Up to now, 620 species of birds were identifed, but it is estimated a total of 1,100 species of birds, an extraordinary number as it represents 90% of the bird fauna of Bolivia. The "Lucachi" monkey, a new species, hidden in the humid forests of the Madidi National Park, is a golden-fur monkey, unknown to science until 2004. When it was discovered, an auction was organized to raise funds for its conservation and to be finally appointed as Callicebus = Golden Palace.

Local population: In the highlands (higher than 3,000 m) three communities live in an area where access is very difficult. In total, there are around 180 families of Quechua origin. In the intermediate mountainous area (from 3,000 to 600 m) there are around 25 small communities. North of Apollo and the northwest of Asariamas, toward the border with Peru, there are 370 families. In the lowlands, the population is very scarce, living in a few small communities and in some scattered settlements. These communities live in the surroudings of the Beni River (El Carmen, San Miguel, and Quendeque and Bala) and on the north side of the lowlands of Chupiamonas San Jose on the Tuichi River, about 120 families. The population of the lowlands is essentially of Tacana, Moseten and Esse Eja origins. The nearby urban centers to the Madidi Park are Apollo (1,628 inhabitants), San Buenaventura (1,670 inhabitants), and Rurrenabaque (4,959 inhabitants) to the east, and Ixiamas to the north (1,256 inhabitants).

The Madidi Park was declared by National Geographic as one of the areas with most biodiversity in the world and one of the 20 places with greater tourist interest at world level. It has common borders with Peruvian protected areas such as the Bahuaja Sonene National Park and the Tambopata Reserve, so it is part of important biological corridors such as Vilcabamba-Amboró Corridor, which is a binational project (Peru-Bolivia) and the Amboro-Madidi Corridor, in the Bolivian side.

In comparison to to other protected areas in Bolivia and other forests worldwide such as Barro Colorado in Panama, the Jungle in Costa Rica, Tambopata and Manu in Peru, the fauna of the Madidi Park stands out due to its diversity of vertebrates, especially birds and mammals. In this park there are many alternatives to practice ecotourism; the most important tourist projects are: Chalalan, San Miguel del Bala, TES and Mapajo. The entrance gate to the Madidi Park is the tourist town of Rurrenabaque, which has its own airport. Rurrenabaque also provides a myriad of lodging services and gastronomy.

- Extension: 1.895.750 hectares (18.957 km2)
- Location: It is located in the northeast region of the department of La Paz, in the provinces of Franz Tamayo, Abel Iturraldo and Larecaja. The nearby towns are Apolo, San Buenaventura, Ixiamas, Pelechuco and Guanay. It is bordered by the Republic of Peru.
- Average temperature: 28 ºC.

The entry points are Apolo by the south and Rurrenabaque by the east. Both towns are reached by land taking buses that depart every day from La Paz (Villa Fatima area) or Trinidad to Rurrenabaque. The air company TAM also offers flights to Apolo every two weeks and to Rurrenabaque five times a week. The air company Amaszonas offers three daily flights from La Paz to Rurrenabaque.