Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Villa Amboro: a door to the Bolivian Amazon jungle

Due to its varied trails and attractions offer, this site located in the Santa Cruz Amboro National Park and Integrated Management Natural Area (ANMI for its acronym is Spanish Area Natural de Manejo Integrado), is suitable for adventure, family, and relaxation tourism. This ecotourism project offers accommodation, food, and local guides.

The hikes along the ecological trails at this site allow one to be in direct contact with nature and contribute to its conservation.

To get to this place, you must travel about 150 kilometers from Santa Cruz city to the northern sector of the Amboro National Park and Integrated Management Natural Area (ANMI). It is important to take into account that the trip, either on your own or with a tour operator (recommended), must be done in a 4×4 vehicle.

Depending on where you enter this place (Porongo or Buena Vista), after a short journey on pavement road from Santa Cruz city, a narrow dirt road appears, and some small houses with jatata roofs, citrus groves, and some cattle ranches are spotted. On the way, the adventure begins by crossing the Surutu River, which in the rainy season becomes torrential.

After a couple of hours, you arrive at the Villa Amboro camp, a community ecotourism project that allows you to immerse yourself in the Bolivian Amazon jungle, accompanied by local guides.

This site is suitable for all audiences. From adventure lovers to those looking for just a bit of peace and leisure in the middle of nature.

Ecolodge of Villa Amboro. Photo: Doly Leytón

For the more relaxed audience natural trails are found here that lead to discovering timber trees, wild fruit trees and coffee and citrus production.

Adventure lovers can opt for tours through the jungle, passing through rivers that end in waterfalls over 90 meters high and natural pools with crystalline waters. For this, it is advisable to use special trekking shoes because the walks can last between four and eight hours, depending on the chosen trail.

For safety, all the tours must be carried out with local guides accompaniment, who also explain everything that is on the way, such as healing plants, footprints, and animal shelters, among others.

The Villa Amboro ecotourism project also provides food services based on local products and the type of products that customers require (with prior coordination), lodging in camping areas and rest rooms. Rustic wooden cabins are also available.

Tourist attractions:

  • Waterfalls
  • Natural pools
  • Viewpoints
  • Guacharos cave
  • Ecological trails through the primary forest, with a high possibility of wildlife observation.
    Ecological routes:
  • Wonders: Centennial trees are part of the attraction on the route to the waterfalls. During the hike, the guide shows the forest species and explains the forest characteristics. Sometimes one can observe some mammals’ tracks such as fawns, jaguars; listen to bird songs and observe some primates.
  • Tatucitos: This ecological trail allows you to identify more than 80-tree species duly marked with their scientific and common names. In addition, there is a great variety of orchids, some ferns, and mosses typical of the area. This trail covers 1,400 meters.
  • Amboro Viewpoint: To get to this point, you ascend about 3,500 meters on foot, between one and two hours, depending on the person’s physique and dexterity. The landscape allows to observe the great Amboro hill and some glimpses of the city.
  • Macunucu and the Cajones del Amboro: The “Sin Nombre” waterfall is one of the main attractions in the Macunucu area. It is reached after a long walk through the jungle and through the river where one can observe the Cajones del Amboro and the nest of the guacharos (Steatornis caripensis) or nocturnal birds. This tour requires at least one day.

Location:

  • It is located about 150 kilometers north of Santa Cruz de la Sierra city, in the Buena Vista municipality. To reach the integrated management area, you must cross the Surutu River. The approximate trip time is four hours.

Travel services:

Amboro National Park Photo: Hugo Santa Cruz
  • Local guide
  • Food
  • Transportation
  • Lodging in cabins or camping

Essential clothing and accessories:

  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Bathing suit
  • Towel
  • Comfortable shoes or trekking shoes
  • Light clothing
  • Repellent
  • Sleeping bag if you want to sleep in the camping area
  • Sandals

Best time to visit:

El parque Nacional Amboró, es considerado uno de los 10 santuarios naturales más biodiversos del mundo. Foto:  © Eduardo Franco Bertón

During the season from July to October, it is possible to arrive by public transport. However, if you are looking for a more adventurous experience, it is advisable to visit during rainy times. In this case, you will need to access the community hiking or with a 4×4 private vehicle, as there is no public transportation available.

During the journey, a guide will accompany the party in order to cross the torrential river. One of the advantages of visiting the refuge in the rainy season is the possibility to find natural pools and waterfalls with plenty of clean water.

Location: http://bit.ly/3TRma8c

Way to get there:

  • One can go on their own following the map and community inhabitants’ orientation. From Santa Cruz city, trufi (shared taxi) are available at the bus terminal bound for Buena Vista. Coordinate with the community to continue the trip from Buena Vista or hire a 4×4 vehicle.

Mobile service coverage: Entel, at points close to the viewpoint.

Contact:


This content is taken from the “Soy Bolivia” verified guide, prepared in April 2023 with information provided by organizations and communities involved. This guide is updated annually to ensure its validity. In order to suggest a community tourism venture, free of charge, you are welcome to send a WhatsApp message to the number (591) 70079347.

  • Note: Prices are updated to May 2023.

Warning. The images in this guide were provided by representatives of the involved communities, who assured that they use these photographs for the respective promotions of their ventures.