||River Rafting in Tuichi (Bolivia)
The source of the Tuichi River is high up in the Apolobamba Range. It meanders east and south through some of Bolivia's wildest terrain on the eastern side of the Andes. The bulk of the river is in the tropical upper Amazon basin. The Tuichi River earned its reputation many years ago when a small group of adventurers, who while in search of gold, got lost and became separated. Two of them survived and two are still missing. One of them, Yossi Ghinsberg, survived a harrowing accident on the log raft they built when it catapulted over a thirty-foot waterfall. He was separated from his partner and was lost in the jungle for nearly a month. Death was close when he was found by a local guide, rescued and taken back to civilization. The rapids that make up the Tuichi River are big and powerful, the jungle is thick and full of wildlife. The Tuichi is a wild free-flowing river and this is a wilderness trip in the jungles of Bolivia. Without a doubt, this is the premier whitewater adventure in Bolivia.
||Bolivian Amazon Basin, North of Bolivia
||14 Days / 13 Nights
Day 1: La Paz Bolivia - City Tour.
Arrive at El Alto International Airport or Central Bus Station in the early morning. Transfer to your hotel in La Paz. The rest of the morning is free to rest and acclimatize. Lunch together. City tour in the afternoon. There is a group meeting afterwards with trip leaders and participants to check plans and prepare for the trip. The dinner will be at the hotel. We recommend eating lightly, rest, lot of liquids and drinking mate the coca (coca tea).
La Pax - Charazani - Kamata River Camp.
An early departure out of La Paz is necessary today as the drive will take most of the day to cross the Andes. The road takes us across the Altiplano, next to the mythical Lake Titicaca at 12.500 a.s.l. and across the southern end of the Apolobamba Range in view of the northern group of the Cordillera Real. Lunch on route. As we cross the final pass at 15.300 we will see the remote Apolobamba range and drop down quickly into the valley where the town of Charazni is located. We will continue past Charazni and camp near the Kamata River next to some hot springs. Dinner and rest.
Kamata River Hot Springs - Apolo.
Once again we need to start early as we have a long ride in front of us. The road winds its way into the northern Yungas region where steep jungle-covered mountains envelop us immediately as we continue through the heart of this wild land and into the rolling hills and valleys of the Apolo Valley. The drive is truly spectacular in its own right because of the variety of terrain and the incredible views of the Andes, Yungas jungles and waterfalls. Be prepared for some four-wheeling and mud along the way. We arrive Apolo in the late afternoon or early evening, depending on road conditions. Once in Apolo we check into our hotel and have dinner. Overnight in Apolo.
Day 4: Apolo - Santa Cruz del Valle Ameno - Esperanza Camp.
We depart from Apolo at 7:30am and continue our drive and out of the Apolo Valley into the Malidi National Park and the end of the road at Santa Cruz del Valle Ameno. Our gear will be loaded onto horses and mules for two-day trek to the Tuichi River. Upon arrival we will have time to relax a bit before lunch. After lunch we begin the 4-5 hour trek to Esperanza Camp. The trek is straightforward and climbs through the Yungas valleys, crossing a few
small creeks and walking on an old rubber-taper trail that often is very muddy and rocky. Esperanza camp is high above the rolling hills and jungle-covered mountains that surround the Tuichi River. Camping for the night.
Esperanza - Pata -Tuichi River
We depart early in the morning from our camp and continue the trek up into another drainage that overlooks the Tuichi River far below us. As we move slowly towards the village of Pata, the winding course of the Tuichi will show itself and we will begin the final descent into the river valley. We should arrive at the river banks of the Tuichi in the late afternoon and make camp on its shore.
Tuichi River - Surprise Canyon - Asariamas
The river trip begins in a forested and hilly area and meanders its ways below steep jungle-covered mountains. The first day on the Tuichi River begins as a mild float trip. You will feel the power of this river as it drains part of the Cordillera Apolobamba added by many smaller tributaries and passes through open
Asariamas - Upper San Pedro Canyon - Ipurama River
Today is the fun day as large rapids and technical moves await our arrival. The river begins to get steeper, the speed picks up and the San Pedro Canyon gets smaller and smaller. We enter San Pedro Canyon and pass through a series of continuous rapids with a lot of volume and steep escarpments on all sides. The vegetation closes in and the river gets smaller in width and much faster. The rapids are more frequent and range from grade III to V. It is very likely that we see monkeys, birds and other animals along our route. We will camp in the heart of San Pedro Canyon near the Ipurama River.
Layover Day at Ipurama Camp. Today is a layover day so that we can explore the jungle closer and to relax. There are optional hikes up the Ipurama River, which is a tributary to the Tuichi. We have options to hike in the early morning, during the day, dusk and at night. If you want just to hang out and relax you can do it. Being in the jungle is a special feeling and we want to immerse you into this other world. Overnight at Ipurama Camp.
Day 9: Lower San Pedro Canyon - Capywara Camp.
After breakfast we prepare for the rush that awaits us this morning. Once on the river we will immediately get into class III-IV rapids and continue our journey through the San Pedro gorge. The "Gate of the Devil" and "The Gate of the Sun" (grade IV and V) are two of the most famous rapids the earned the Tuichi its reputation. These two can portaged or walked. Before these there are a plenty of other rapids ranging from grade III and IV+.
After the rush of weaving and bouncing our way down the canyon we leave the gorge and the river opens up once again. We will continue down river until we get to Capywara Beach Camp on the river.
Capywara Camp - Pueblo Viejo - Chalalan Lodge.
In the morning we continue down the river. The river broadens and zigzags its way in a southerly direction as it makes its way to the confluence of the Beni River - many miles and many days further downstream. The river becomes quite wide and the water slows down to a few class II-III rapids. As the jungle atmosphere envelops us, the sighting of birds and other wildlife will be more frequent. We will continue until Pueblo Viejo where we will be met by our support boats, clean and break down the equipment and continue via motorized boats to Chalalan Lodge late in the afternoon. We will have lunch where we meet our boats.
Chalalan - Rayamayo River - Chalalan.
After breakfast we go on an early morning hike on the Silbador Trail until we arrive at Rayamayo River to view birds as they begin their daily activities. We continue on the Mutun and Anta Trails that will take us back to the lodge where we will have lunch. The Afternoon is free for you to enjoy the beauty of Chalalan at your own pace and indulge in your interests. Canoe trips on the lagoon are always available for bird watching or just enjoying nature. Dinner and rest.
Day 12: Chalalan Lodge - Rurrenabaque.
After an early breakfast we will go on a walk through the jungle with native guides to learn more about the fascinating rainforest and its secrets. After lunch we depart in large motorized canoes down the Tuichi to the confluence of the Beni River - one of Bolivia's most important and largest rivers and a natural highway for transportation and commerce. Animals we might see along the way are: capybara, tapir, caiman, giant
anteater, collared peccary, howler and spider monkeys, bats, hawks, fishing eagle, egrets, kingfishers, blue Morpho butterflies, blue and red macaws and many other birds. Once we join the Beni River we will head north and pass through the straits of Rurrenabaque to the town of the same name that offers modern amenities yet retains the flavor of a frontier town. Hotel and Dinner in Rurrenabaque.
Rurrenabaque - La Paz.
In the morning we depart via turbo-prop plane to La Paz and after 1 hour we should arrive. Upon arrival we will transfer to our hotel. Lunch. The rest of the afternoon is free to enjoy at your own, until we get together for a farewell dinner. Our last dinner in Bolivia will be at a local restaurant that serves typical Bolivian food. Hotel in La Paz.
: End of our Tour
Transfer to the International Airport of La Paz or Central Bus Station. All accommodations during the trip
- 4x4 van for overland
- Donkeys and horses for the gear
- Complete Rafting Equipment
- Safety Cataraft
- Waterproof bags to protect your belongings
- Camping Equipment
- River Transportation (canoe)
- Meals (13B/13L/13D)
- Bilingual experienced guides
- First Aid Kit
- Satellite Phone
- Flight out of Rurrenabaque to La Paz
- Entrance to the National Park
- Land and river transportation
- All meals
- Complete rafting equipment
- Camping equipment
- Lodging in Juliaca and Puerto Maldonado
|| Not Included:
- Flight to Juliaca and from Puerto Maldonado (we like to make flight reservations for your domestic flights)
- Tips and extras for services
You should bring:
- Sleeping bag - Binoculars
- Mats - Flash Light and extra batteries
- Sun hat and glasses - Personal Toiletries
- Long sleeve T-Shirts - Personal first aid kit
- Sandals - Water bottle
- Rain-coat - Mosquito repellent
- April 25 August 20
- May 20 September 15
- June 18 October 10
- July 15 November 02