The Madidi National Park do not actually stand on our Itinerary. I once had thought when reading the guide some time ago, that it would be great also to make a trip into the rainforest of the Amazon. In Arequipa we met an elderly lady at the guest house, from the Madidi National Park raved and had recommended a tour there. So Without further ado, we booked the flights and the 4-day stay on the Madidi Jungle Ecolodge.
The Madidi National Park stretches from the snow-capped Andes to the tropical Amazon River Basin. A journey by bus takes a long time and therefore we are flying the aircraft, namely the highest international airport in the world to ca. 4000m in El Alto. Because of the thin air up here, the aircraft must start with much higher speeds and land. Early to 4:45 clock we took a taxi to the airport. 6:00 Clock should start flying our flight to Rurrenabaque in the Amazon, but we started only 2 hours late. The small machine had room for only 19 passengers. After a half hour flight over the Andes, we could already see the rainforest and arrived a little shaken in Rurrenabaque. Here we felt equal to the high humidity and the tropical heat. It was much warmer than in La Paz. When we landed at the small airport, were already the next passengers directly to the runway and waited, that they could get on our plane. The airport terminal looked like a normal house and the runway was more like a dirt road.
We were immediately picked up and taken to the office of the Madidi Jungle Ecolodge, could start from where our Amazon Adventure. With a narrow but very long boat, we drove 3 hours to the rivers Beni and Tuichi. Left and right on the shore were always huge uprooted trees. The water was quite brown broth with strong currents. Hats off to our boat guide, took us through the waters safe.

We were only four guests in the lodge. With us were Carol and Kim from the USA here. The Madidi Jungle Ecolodge located directly on the river bank surrounded by dense tropical vegetation and is operated by a local folk. From the river, you can not see at all, that anyone here lives. A small path leads from the shore to the wooden bungalows. After lunch we started already with the first exploration of the jungle. Our guide Simon took us through the beautiful rainforest. It was not easy in the green thicket to discover animals. Simon always listened to the sounds and made themselves all sorts of animal noises after. We saw a woodpecker, Capuchin monkeys and many insects. Simon also how to make red color of leaves and painted me right in the face with it showed us. Then we had "hammock time" and made the acquaintance of Antonio, a young tapir. Antonio's mother was killed and the lodge has since taken care of him. If he does not wander through the jungle, he looks from time to time at the lodge over and get's to about the plants in the landscaped gardens. It looks very funny, how his nose nozzle at the sniffing out- and forth.
In the night it began to rain heavily and it did not stop the next morning. Thus we passed the time with the knotting of bracelets and necklaces from seeds and nuts from the jungle. Suddenly we heard noises. A huge horde of wild boar was on the grounds of the lodge and looking for food. In the afternoon, the rain stopped then luckily at last and we set in rubber boots for the second time in the jungle.
Armed with headlamps and well sprayed against mosquitoes then we trudged in the evening again through the Amazon forest, which was a completely different experience at night. Especially great it was when we turned all our lights and thus were completely in the black of night. We could not see anything at all and the sounds around us appeared equal much louder. It was in the middle of the rainforest to be fascinating in absolute darkness, because even the sky and the stars we could because of the high trees, the huge canopy formed, not see. Everywhere rustled and chirped it. I was strangely not afraid but thought it was just beautiful. Seppel would have liked to have seen a large tarantula (I would also like it to me actually looked), but unfortunately we could not discover. For this, we saw a frog, a few small spiders and some sleeping birds.

The next day we made a trip by boat to Santa Rosa Lake. We drove 2 hours to get there and it started to rain on the road again. But we were also in the rainforest. From the boat we saw on the banks of capybaras and in the trees a lot of colorful macaws. To get to the lake, we had to walk for an hour through the jungle. Here lay at the dock a small, filled to the brim with water boat. Simon first had therefore draw out the water and then we could start paddling. It went first along the shore and we saw howler monkeys, a kingfisher and even a few bats. Also, in between we had to repeatedly draw from the boat water.
Simon had taken all the small fishing for us, because we wanted to catch our dinner here in the lake. He prepared small bits of meat as bait and before we hung all our fishing lines into the water. The first Piranha caught Simon. But Seppel caught three. Unfortunately I had no luck. At the end we had caught 7 piranhas and our dinner was secured. Then we jumped to cool down for another round in the lake. Wir hatten Glück und die Piranhas mit ihren spitzen und scharfen Zähnen haben sich nicht für uns interessiert 😉 In dem See gibt es wohl auch Kaimane, but we have seen no. Simon also said, that they are rather shy and therefore are not dangerous for us. We just took his time. Near the lake there is a coffee- und Bananenplantage, we also looked at us and then we walked back to the river bank where our boat was waiting. On the way back we saw a couple of capybaras, different birds and even a large caiman.
In the evening we planned another night hike. Simon stuffed again cheeks full of coca leaves and we asked, whether we can also sample times. Together with the coca leaf chewing one lime or Llipt'a (a substance extracted from various plants), whereby the effect is increased. To me it did not taste as good, Seppel but it was not so bad. We then sat in a very narrow boat and drove to the opposite shore. Anthony, der Tapir, followed us even a piece of floating in water. On the other hand, there was a small creek and we went here in search of caimans. In light of the torch we could see their eyes shining. We sat down to the rocky shore and turned the lights. About us was a crazy beautiful starry sky with countless bright shining stars. The Milky Way was clearly seen and also the Big Dipper, standing on the head, because we were here on the other side of the equator. So many stars we have previously seen, nor anywhere. Seppel tried the shining Cayman eyes caught on camera, what was not so easy. Simon made by the sounds of a jaguar and could hear him, but unfortunately only very far in the distance. To experience the jungle at night was really a memorable moment.
Then, unfortunately, was already our last day at the lodge at the door. In the morning we went back to the jungle and brought after lunch and the boat back to Rurrenabaque. In the evening we flew to the small plane back to La Paz.