RFI: Bolivian Amazon/Pampas

Hi all,

I am planning a trip to Bolivia for two weeks at the end of March 2024 with my parents, who will be on sabbatical in Brazil. We’re probably going to have about 5 nights in the south organised through Nick McPhee for Kaa Iya (and possibly Jaguar Land). We’re also planning on exploring the Amazon and Pampas areas around Rurrenabaque, with 5-6 nights there. This may include a night or two in the pampas, probably at Barba Azul Nature Reserve for Blue-throated Macaw (a bird!). We’d be particularly keen on looking for a number of different species, and are therefore seeking advice on where to go. One caveat: given this is with my parents, avoiding camping if possible would definitely be good!

Species we would be keen to look for in the Amazon area (in no particular order!):

Titi monkeys, particularly Madidi, Rio Beni, and Olalla brothers’. I guess for the latter two the question is whether they are able to be seen in a morning/afternoon trip to Aguaizal (/Aqua Sal) and Oriente de Yacuma, respectively, or if we would need to stay overnight in either of these places (and then if there are OK places to stay)… and for Madidi whether it is possible to see this species out of a lodge in Madidi NP rather than camping.

Black spider monkey

Any Saki Monkey

Tamarins (white-lipped/red-bellied, and Weddell’s Saddle-back Tamarin seem particularly cool)

Southern Tamandua

Any Armadillo (other than 9-banded)

White-lipped peccary

Bolivian River Dolphin

Two other more specific questions:

  • Western Pygmy Marmoset (Cebuella pygmaea) are supposed to be in Bolivia, but I can’t see any reports finding them. Does anyone know of a reliable site?
  • It seems (though we’re not wedded to the idea) that a visit to Madidi NP will probably make sense for the species we’re interested in. If anyone knows of a particularly good lodge there, or has thoughts as to whether Chalalan or Sadiri Ecolodge (the two decent looking lodges I could find) offers better chances of seeing the species that we’re after, that would be amazing!

Many thanks in advance, and please do feel free to reach out to me by email if you don’t feel comfortable posting info publicly (ben.balmford@gmail.com).



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  • Paul Carter

    Hi Ben. I was in Rurrenabaque for 2 weeks this year (solo) after first going to Kaa Iya and Jaguarland (see Stuart Chapman’s reports). Travelling at the moment but I will send you my species lists etc sometime soon. I went to Sadiri (on a ridge) for 5 days and did not go to Chalalan (seemed overpriced for a solo traveller).

  • RobJansen

    Hi Ben, I guess and hope you have seen my extensive trip report from Bolivia from 2022, updated again last year. This should have all the info you were looking for:)

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