October 8, 2021
South America is renowned as a melting pot of wilderness and diverse natural beauty. Bolivia falls into this bracket of jaw-dropping landscapes with incredible national parks. Each region has its own unique climate and ecosystems. A myriad of species from mammals, birds, insects and vegetation lives and co-exist in this environment that consists of Amazonian jungles, snow-capped mountains and remote high-altitude deserts. Whether you are looking for a trekking, hiking or just a wildlife adventure holiday than look no further, Bolivia has it all.
Madidi National Park
This huge park stretches for 19,000kms and is one of the largest protected area in Bolivia. It is situated North of La Paz and stretches from the snow-capped peaks of the Cordillera Real, down to the Amazon River.
Madidi National Park offers fantastic views and counts for over 15% of the world’s biodiversity. Reptiles, mammals’ fish and insects can be found in large numbers, including thousands of bird species.
By choosing to support the local communities of Chalalan, visitors can stay at an Ecolodge, which provide a true jungle adventure. You can spot jaguars, maned wolves, bears and giant otters. A tropical adventurous safari awaits the keen visitor.
Amboro National Park
If the confinement of Covid has made you itch for open spaces to breathe in fresh air, then Amboro National Park is just the destination for you. Leave all your cares behind, the Bolivians say this is the place to restore your body and mind.
The reserve is found 40kms from Santa Cruz and is renowned for ecosystems comprising of dry, temperate and humid climes in the same area. Local flora and fauna are in abundance and hundreds of birds can be found together with animals that can be found at the waterfalls and streams. If you think your plant collection is doing well, you’ll be blown away here as there are over 3000 plant species growing. Which makes it the most botanically rich regions in the world.
To make the most of your adventure, hire a local guide!
Torotoro National Park
This is considered Bolivia’s most popular National Park. Stand in awe in front of dinosaur footprints that are so well preserved it will take you back millions of years. Torotoro is a true geological marvel and a true Bolivian natural park.
Hike up to the El Vergel Canyon and make sure to swim in the clear lagoon. The Inca archaeological trail is not to be missed. For the less claustrophobic the Uma Jalanta cavern is a wonderous underground world of breath-taking boulders and rocks. If you are comfortable in closed spaces you cannot leave without seeing this!
Sajama National Park
The oldest national park taking its name from the Sajama volcano. If the spa experience is what you enjoy then envelope yourself in thermal baths and geysers that this region has in abundance. Mesmerizing waterfalls and unique flora and fauna make this national park of Bolivia a must-do experience, especially for the traveller who wants to get away from the hustle and bustle of a busy schedule.
Home as well to the Aymara people who have contributed to Bolivia’s modern traditions and costumes. Cave paintings, artifacts and art are a few of the things that can be found.
The Huaynacota Lagoon is unmissable and marvel at the herds of Llama that populate the park in droves. You’ll definitely be talking about this on social media.
Kaa lya National Park
Located in a remote and arid region, on the border with Paraguay Kaa Lya is for the Indiana Jones in you. Home to the big cats be ready with your camera to photograph jaguars, pumas and ocelots. However, as these are night creatures, get ready for the most amazing night-time outings.
Kaa Lya is completely run by local indigenous tribes and is almost impossible to visit without a tour. Trust us, you don’t want to be left alone here without them.
Noel Kempff Mercado National Park
Part of the World Heritage Site, this national park is an untouched gem located just out of Santa Cruz. A natural paradise on Earth boasting authentic jungles and nature in all its wonderous facets. Due to its remote location sometimes, a private plane is the only way to get there.
Visiting Noel Kempff Park will enable you to go back home with unforgettable memories of the wildlife that inhabits this area. Crocodiles, giant otters, piranha, armadillo, monkeys and not including the myriad of colourful birds. Perhaps more spectacular are the waterfalls some up to 80 metres high. When you think of a rainforest than this is probably the place you’ve been dreaming of.
This magical environment has a rich ecosystem with rain forests, savanna and grasslands. Trekking through this park is well worth the effort.
Cotapata National Park
A mere 20 kms from La Paz, Cotapata is famous of the Inca Road that passes through it. Mountains, snowfields and natural trails makes this park a good location it you prefer off the beaten track tours. As there is no accommodation here it’s the perfect place to pitch a tent. A local guide is highly recommended.
Carrasco National Park
Not as renowned as the other parks Carrasco is still worth visiting for is rich flora and fauna. Hiking through the park to visit the local caves is recommended, you’ll be able to see pretty but venomous frogs (so be careful!), vampire bats (cover your necks if you don’t want to be a victim of Dracula!) and various birds including guacharo the blind bird of this region.
Tunari National Park
Tunari is located just outside of Cochabamba and one of the major city attractions. A fun day out where you can hire a car to visit Wara Wara lake or if you enjoy walking then take a hike up where you can swim in the lagoon and enjoy the waterfalls. Alternatively, why not climb Mount Tunari, we know it’s 5200 metres above sea level but the views are breath-taking.
Isiboro Secure National Park
This is a protected area in Bolivia and designated Native Community land between the Cochabamba Department and Beni Department. This is home to over 64 communities of indigenous people, such as Moxeno, Yuracare and Chiman. A natural habitat for hundreds of mammals, birds and reptiles, including jaguar, deer, black duck, pink dolphins as well as its extraordinary floral diversity of mountain pine, cedar, walnut and maro. To only list a few!
Otuquis National Park
One of the lesser-known national parks in Bolivia, but one well worth visiting. Otuquis is nestled on the border with Paraguay, within the great Pantanal, the largest and most enchanting wetland. Some of the best wildlife can be found here. Marsh deer, anteaters, giant otters, capybara, caiman lizards and yellow anacondas. Reptile enthusiasts will not leave disappointed as this is the place to spot anacondas! We told you there was something for everyone in Bolivia!
Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve
One of the most visited and protected regions in the whole country. Being on such a high altitude, there are beautiful lagoons, snow-capped volcanoes, hallucinogenic rock formations, hot springs, geysers as hot as hell and vast deserts. As this reserve is in a remote area it would be advisable to take a minimum tour of three days to make the most of it.
Manuripi Wildlife Reserve
Located in the Southwest of the Pando Department, this reserve spreads across 7,470 kms. You will be spellbound by the lush forests, crystal clear rivers and lagoons. If you enjoy kayaking, then this spot is ideal for you. The tropical climate of hot and humid makes this a true rainforest where various species of animal and plant life can be found. A variety of palms can be found including the royal palm. Several primates co-exist with jaguars, puma and the famous black Cayman. Expect to find an infinity of lizards, birds and colourful fish in the lakes.
These are the main national parks found in Bolivia but there is plenty more for your to discover and enjoy during your trip here. If this article has given you the itch to discover the beauty of these verdant parks with exceptional wildlife and flora and fauna, then please get in touch. We will be glad to put together a specific tour for you, to suit your every need and envy. Head to Bolivia for a different experience.