Tour: San Miguelito - Jaguar Conservation Ranch (3 days, from Santa Cruz)

The San Miguelito Private Reserve and Jaguar Conservation Ranch are located 190 km east of Santa Cruz de la Sierra on the San Julian River, 40 km west of San Antonio de Lomerio. This area borders Bolivia's grain belt that extends around the city of Santa Cruz into the Amazon lowlands. This means that a large part of the adjacent forests of the Conservation Ranch have already disappeared through deforestation to make way for large-scale soybean production. As a result, a significant number of wildlife have migrated to San Miguelito, which is now the last refuge of unspoiled wilderness in the region. According to a study by the WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society), the area of the Conservation Ranch is one of the few regions in Latin America that has confirmed six different species of cats living in the same area, including jaguars, puma, ocelot, margay, geoffrey's cat, and the jaguarundi. In addition, 71 other mammals, 223 different bird species and 826 different plant species, have been identified and registered here by the WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society). San Miguelito introduced an eco-tourism project called "Ruta del Jaguar" years ago to offset the annual loss of cattle caused by this big cat. Part of the income from the tourism business goes towards the full compensation of local farmers to replace their lost cattle. This, in turn, prevents farmers from hunting the endangered cats as it no longer causes financial loss. San Miguelito has been a complete success since its inception. The ranch currently has a jaguar population of 11 animals per 100 km² - one of the highest in Latin America. A successful sighting of this shy big cat is an unforgettable experience, which has been possible for a number of guests of the Conservation Ranch. By visiting the Conservation Ranch, you are directly supporting the protection of the jaguars and helping to save the jaguar from extinction.

Itinerary:

First day

In the morning you will be picked up at the hotel in Santa Cruz for a 3-hour drive (180km) to the Jaguar Conservation Ranch in San Miguelito. On the way there you can see how much land around Santa Cruz has been cleared for soybean cultivation. You will also pass through several Mennonite colonies, which were established in the 1950s through a settlement policy in this eastern lowland area of Bolivia, and which are responsible for the deforestation of most areas in the region. We make a short stop in the Manitoba colony, where we visit a Mennonite cheese factory that produces "Mennonite" cheese that is popular throughout the region. Upon arrival at the ranch, check-in to the rooms, then a short walk to "Anaconda" lake, lunch, and a short siesta. Around 3 p.m., you set off in a four-wheel drive vehicle to the nearby river, the Rio San Julian (alternatively, there is also the option of visiting the animal observation platform in the afternoon). This river is an excellent place to spot caimans and capybaras, which make up a large percentage of a jaguar's food. Here we can expect an approx. 3-hour boat trip for wildlife viewing. After dusk, return to the ranch and have dinner under the open sky at the campfire site. Stargazing. Overnight at Jaguar Conservation Ranch (-/L/D).

Second day

You start early in the morning enjoying the sunrise and wildlife viewing from a 7-meter observation platform. Then you hike in the area to look for wild animals. These early morning hours are perfect for seeing monkeys and toucans, and with a bit of luck you might spot larger mammals. You will visit another area of the farm where jaguars have been seen more often and you may be lucky enough to find signs of other big cats. Before breakfast, you have the opportunity to get familiar with life on a cattle farm, such as milking or separating the calves from the mothers. You return for a late but freshly prepared breakfast. Afterwards, go for an excursion to San Antonio de Lomerio, one of the Jesuit mission sites in the Chiquitania region, and have the opportunity to get in touch with the simple village life here. You will be back at the ranch for lunch, followed by a short siesta. In the afternoon, drive to the starting point of a 1-2 hour hike on the "Chiquitano wall" and you will be able to enjoy the sunset from the bat cliff. After dinner around the campfire, there is the option of a hike. Overnight at Jaguar Conservation Ranch (B/L/D)

Third day

In the early morning you drive again to the San Julian river. This is the area where we have taken most of the big cat pictures. Here you can experience the sunrise and take another boat trip for wildlife viewing. After breakfast you may to go horseback riding or do a short hike to the "Jaguar Cave", where you enjoy a wonderful panoramic view of the surrounding region. Back at the lodge, you pack your belongings and prepare for departure. After lunch, say goodbye to the ranch and return to Santa Cruz. (B/L/-) - END OF OUR SERVICES

Included in the package:

- Private transport
- English-speaking guide from/to Santa Cruz
- 2x overnight stay in DBL room
- Meals according to program (B= breakfast; L= lunch; D= Dinner)
- All entrance fees

Reservation:

Please do not hesitate to contact us for price requests, reservation, general question, and individual tour inquiries, at: contact(at)landmarktravelbolivia.com

Link

https://www.landmarktravelbolivia.com/san-miguelito

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