Amboro National Park
Amboró National Park is located in the western part of the Santa Cruz Department in what is known as the “elbow of the Andes” or Andean foothills. The borders of the park touch with those of Carrasco National Park in the Cochabamba Department.
The park is part of the Vilcabamba – Amboró Corridor that begins at the Vilcabamba mountains in Perú and extends all the way to Amboró National Park in Bolivia. The preservation of this park is of intense scientific interest, vital for humanity as it is one of the biodiverse parks in the world, but sadly that it is under increasing pressure.
Amboro National Park and its bordering area of integrated land management cover a surface of 637,000 hectares. In altitude the parks varies from 300 to 3,200 meters above sea level and its climate features both cool and extremely hot areas. Rainfall varies by seasonand in different parts of the park, annual rainfall lies between 600 mm and 3,400 mm in the wettest parts.
As of today over 2,659 species of plants, 127 mammals, 105 reptiles, 73 amphibians, and 812 species of birds have been registered in the park with many more likely remaining undiscovered.
Extremely important watersheds originate in the park and provide water to many communities. The municipalities that share this protected area are: Buena Vista, San Carlos, Yapacaní, El Torno, Porongo, Mairana, Pampa Grande, Comarapa and Samaipata.
Many tourism options abound in this area such as hikes, mountain biking, horseback riding, rock climbing, swimming, canoeing, birdwatching, biological and archeological studies, camping and fishing.
Access to the Area of integrated land management is easy via the new and old road between Cochabamba and Santa Cruz. Road and treks into the Park are not always in good conditions, especially in the rainy season. To enter one of the roads into the Park you will a 4WD.
Attractions in the northern part of the Park
Santa Cruz - Montero - Buena Vista - Yapacarí (New road to Cochabamba):
The camps of Cajones de Ichilo, Mataracú near San Carlos, La Chonta and Villa Amboró near Buena Vista all offer accommodation, camping facilities and guide services to visit Amboró National Park.
Is a unique and picturesque region with lush tropical jungle populated with a great diversity of forest species such as the mara (Sweetenia macrophylla) and rare animals like the melero (Tamandua tetradactyla) or the giant sloth (Bradypus variegatus). These areas also offer clear waterfalls and natural pools for swimming. Visitors can find lodging in a private venue know as the "Mataracú Tent Camp" which has cabins for up to 24 people, offers food, guides and transportation to and from Buena Vista.
Located at 34 Km. from Buena Vista, passing the Surutú river, offers accommodation administrered by the local community and has a range of services including guides to visit to varios park trails and also horseback riding. The region is characterized by a high diversity of fauna and flora. Nature trails as for example the ciruit "Las Palmeras" let the visitors discover the richness of nature, by observing giant trees, medical plants, ferns and much more. A lookout along the trail offers stunning views of the surroundings.
Is located in the San Carlos Municipality. The Oriente Chichas community administers a small ecotourism lodge also called Laguna Verde. They have cabins with enough space for 12 people and offer guide services, food, space to camp and transportation in 4x4 vehicles. The main attraction in this area is the Laguna Verde (green lake) where visitors can see Caimans, and other jungle animals. Nearby visitors can enjoy 50 meter waterfalls and natural pools to bath in. To arrive vehicles must cross the Yapacaní, Isama, Yantatá and Mataracú rivers.
Is located in the Yapacaní municipality, bordering Carrasco National Park. One of its main attractions are the Cajones del río Ichilo, a constriction of the river which forms a series of pools along a beautiful stretch of river where visitors can swim and also numerous fish abound, coming to lay their eggs. Tourists enjoy canoeing, kayaking and rafting in the river as well. Another of the interesting places in this area is the Guacharos Cavern. Guacharos are nocturnal birds (Steatornis caripensis), that form colonies in the cavern like bats. The community offers lodges that serve up to 12 people, tent rental, food and guide services.
Located at 150 Km. from Santa Cruz de la Sierra and approximately 50 Km. from Buena Vista. There are different nature trails departing from Villa Amboró which will lead visitors to some of the natural attractions within the Park. Its natural pools and a 50m high waterfall are beautiful spots to visit, as well as the 850m high lookout point which offers stunning views over the jungle. For longer hikes, the Cajones de Amboró and the Guacharos Caverns are worthwhile destinations. Cabins constructed by the community offer accommodation. There are camping facilities, food and guide services.
Attractions in the southern part of the Park
Santa Cruz - El Torno - Bermejo - Samaipata - Mairana (Old road to Cochabamba):
In this part of the Park visiters can take advantage of the touristy services offered by the communities of Los Volcanes in the Serranía Volcanes mountain range close to Bermejo, or of La Yunga close to Mairana. The both communities as well as the community of Jardín de las Delicias close to El Torno, offer accommodation, camping facilities, and guide services for visits of the Amboró National Park.
The territory of the La Yunga community is characterized by mountain ranges, canyons, lakes, montane savanna, and small valleys, which can be apreciated as an complete ensemble from on of the natural look out points of the region. The area offers different natural vegetation zones. One of them is the mystic cloud forest, habitat of the giant ferns. An important population of giant ferns can be visited close to the community. There are interesting cave paintings to visit also. The community offers accommodation in its ecolodge "Los Helechos", as well as an camping area, local food, guide service and horseback riding.
The turnoff to the los Volcanes community is just before the village of Bermejo on the right hand side, 79 Km. from Santa Cruz de la Sierra. The location is the perfect place for nature lovers and aventurer as to reach the community you have to hike for about 7 Km. crossing the river Colorado for several times. The most beautiful spot to visit within the Volcanes region is the natural look out point Mirador Loma Borda, where the visitor could enjoy spectacular panoramic view over the Volcanes mountain range and the Park. The ecologde Los Volcanes is located in the middle of the Serranía and counts provides accommodation in cabins or tents, guide service and food.
Located in the municipality of El Torno, 36 Km. from Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Its main attractions are three magnificent waterfalls of 100 and 80 meters in height which can be visited by a spectacular hike along a well maintained nature trail. The community constructed cabins with space for 10 people, and offer camping areas, guide services, pack animals and food.
Be extremely careful during the rainy season (November to March) when roads become very treacherous. When traveling always bring a local guide and a map. Be sure to register with the park administration before entering and leave your itinerary.
For information about tours to the Amboró National Park, please visit our tours section.