The Eastern Lowlands
Extension - The Beni savannahs
PRICE : XXXX $US for 8 people for the main itinerary The Eastern Lowlands.
XXXX $US for 8 people for the extension The Beni savannahs.
(see the price grid in our Detailed Informations page).
Tour duration : 12 days for the main itinerary The Eastern Lowlands.
7 days for the extension The Beni savannahs.
Tour date : September - October 2018.
Group size : 4-10 people with a "Tour Leader".
Tour Leader : Vincent MOURET.
Arrival : Santa Cruz de la Sierra.
Departure : Santa Cruz de la Sierra.
Lodging : Hotels and lodges from "standard" category to "comfort" category. Hot water and electricity are available 24 hours a day except at the Balneario Las Tinajitas in Camiri and in Paraiso Hotel in Comarapa.
Pace : Moderate (a few walks in muddy and/or steep terrain, a few hours of roadside birding above 4000 m).
Potential number of species : 350 - 400.
Photography : Good opportunities.
Included : all transportation, internal flights, private flight to Barba Azul Reserve, lodging in double rooms with private bathroom, all meals except dinners in Santa Cruz, multilingual tour leader, drinkable water.
Not included : International flight, travel insurance, visas, airport taxes, entrance fees for some sites, alcoholic beverages, tips, dinners in Santa Cruz, "single" occupation (for the price, please refer to the Detailed Informations page).
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Bolivia is a big country with many interesting sites and ecosystems. We have decided to split our ornithological in two circuits. The Eastern Lowlands circuit will lead you to the low altitude sites in the eastern and southern part of Bolivia around Samaipata and Santa Cruz. This itinerary can be preceded by a pre-extension in The Beni savannas.
We will lead you through the lowlands ecosystems near Santa Cruz: savannas, the Chiquatania forest and others. We will also explore the thorny and impenetrable dry forests of the Chaco, then the Andes and in particular the arid valleys covered in cacti and terrestrial Bromeliads. Keeping up climbing, we will reach the humid foothills of the bolivian Yungas above the town of Comarapa to the barren pass near Cochabamba.
This itinerary can be usefully preceded by a fabulous extension to visit the vast savannas of the northern Beni province.
Extension - The Beni savannahs
In order to start in style, we offer you a week-long pre-tour extension to visit the savannas of the Beni province and look for the legendary Blue-throated Macaw.
Days 1-2. The circuit will start in Santa Cruz de la Sierra. An internal flight will bring us to the Beni province capital, Trinidad, followed by a short private flight to reach the remote landstrip of the Barba Azul Reserve deep in the inundated savannas of northern Bolivia.
Days 3-4-5. Among the mosaic of savannas, gallery forests and palm islands reminiscent of the Brazilian Pantanal, you will encounter an extremely rich birdlife. These days will be devoted to roam the Barba Azul Reserve looking for its most famous inhabitants: Blue-throated Macaw, Maned Wolf, Giant Anteater or Cock-tailed Tyrant...
Days 6-7. We will then return to Santa Cruz via Trinidad to start the main circuit: The Eastern Lowlands.
At the end of the pre-extension, so as to avoid an unnecessary waiting time for the main itinerary to take place, day 7 of the The Beni savannahs pre-extension actually corresponds to the day 1 of the main itinerary The Eastern Lowlands.
Main Itinerary- The Eastern Lowlands
Days 1-2. The tour will start in the rich colonial city of Santa Cruz. Around the city, we will encounter our first species in the savannas and sparse woods, in the botanical garden and the peculiar Lomas de Arena Reserve.
Days 3-4. After this easy start, we will dive purposefully in the stifling Chaco region and its bushy and thorny forests. This ecosystem is mainly represented in Argentina and Paraguay and in Bolivia only covers a relatively restricted area. The climatic conditions are extremely harsh and most resident species are specialized to this habitat.
Days 5-6. Back to Santa Cruz, we will then head to the Refugio Los Volcanes where some of the most breathtaking landscapes imaginable will await us. High red sandstone towers overlook luxuriant subtropical forests. It is amidst this beautiful forest that our lodge lies. The ambiance around here is fantastic and we will try to see the rare Bolivian Recurvebill hiding in the inextricable bamboo patches it inhabits.
Days 7-8-9. Leaving the plains surrounding Santa Cruz, we will start the Andean part of the tour. To begin, we will explore the arid andean valleys and the desertic canyons and slopes dotted with cacti. It is in this most strange of settings that we will encounter the fabulous and shimmering Red-fronted Macaw, next to the eponymous reserve.
Days 10-11-12. We will then leave these arid places and keep ascending to reach the Yungas, the subtropical cloudforests of Bolivia. The Serrania de Siberia is covered in this luxuriant forest ecosystem and host a bewildering diversity with such iconic species as the Giant Antshrike. After a while, we will retreat to the arid valleys and the pleasant city of Cochabamba. We will then end our tour with a flight to get back to Santa Cruz before our international flight.