Learn to catch piranhas on this 3-day tour of the Bolivian Jungle, a great adventure!
Operator rated number 1 on TripAdvisor for Specialty Lodging in Rurrenabaque
See Howler Monkeys in their natural habitat while staying at the Serere Reserve
A trip to South America would not be complete without seeing the jungle. The Serere Reserve is located in northern Bolivia, and here you’ll find many different ecosystems and four amazing lakes. On this tour, you can experience the amazing Bolivian jungle region in 3 days. See caimans, turtles, macaws and sloths. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!
All year round
Madidi Travel Office, Calle Comercio between Santa Cruz & Vaca Diez, Rurrenabaque
Madidi Travel Office, Calle Comercio between Santa Cruz & Vaca Diez, Rurrenabaque
09:30am Check in. We start at this time to give you the opportunity to arrive on the day’s first flight. Present your voucher, deposit extra luggage in the storage area (we recommend you travel light and leave your valuables in the town), receive your water, make sure you have all you need, and make last-minute purchases.
10:00am Boat departs. You will navigate from the last foothills of the Andes, into the varzea (floodplain) forest in the headwaters of the Amazon. We take advantage of the breeze from the speed of the boat so you can enjoy the hottest hours of the day, viewing the transition in your surroundings. You might see the camps of Bolivia’s last nomads, and evidence of the mining activities and extraction of fine woods from these incredibly biodiverse forests. You may also see capybaras, caiman, turtles, sloths, and a variety of birds.
12:00pm Lunch on the boat.
1:00pm Arrival at Serere Reserve. Enjoy this 2 km walk to the cabins and main lodge. There is so much to see that it is best to get started by focusing on one thing, such as the vines.
2:00pm Check in to your cabin and get settled, freshen up, and start getting used to being in the forest, as you observe it from your screened-in cabins, where you become the object of curiosity for the animals.
3:00pm Walk the 400 metres to the Casa Grande (main lodge), where you will meet your guide and the rest of your group. You will be shown around the main lodge to see the facilities, which you’ll be able to enjoy. You’ll also get to see some of the animals that have been rescued, and are in the process of re-insertion (macaws, tapir, capybara, monkeys, and others).
4:30pm Walk to the Information Centre, where you can learn about the reserve and our work in the Madidi Mosaic. Continue with a walk along our trails, looking for animals and learning about the uses of the forest.
6:30pm Enjoy the sunset at the port of San Fernando Lake.
7:30pm Dinner at Casa Grande.
8:30pm Have a meeting with your group and guide to share your main interests, so that your guide can focus more on the things you’d like to do. This is followed with a short night walk, looking for insects, amphibians, and other night life.
8:00am Breakfast (fruit salad, granola, yogurt, pancakes or similar local food, eggs, breads).
9:00am Boat trip: Lake San Fernando / Pinky Lake. Navigate across Lake San Fernando, viewing the birdlife (approximately 300 varieties of birds exist in Serere), and the other animals using the lake. Get off at the port at the other end of the lake, and begin your walk to Pinky Lake. On this walk, you will pass near a mud lick, through low flooded forest, and through high forest. You may see a variety of monkeys, turtles, wild boar, coati, and other creatures.
12:00pm Arrive at Pinky Lake. You will prepare and have lunch, then relax a bit, waiting for the afternoon to cool off. You will then explore the lake by canoe, and fish for piranha.
4:00pm Walk back to San Fernando Lake (approximately 2 hours).
6:00pm Navigate back to Casa Grande. You will be able to observe the bats flying over the lake, among other animals.
7:30pm Dinner - which could include the piranha you caught earlier!
8:30pm Navigate on San Fernando Lake to look for caiman.
5:30am Depending on the season, meet at Casa Grande to begin bird watching and search for howler monkeys.
9:00am Make handicrafts: Learn how to make rings, necklaces or other things with the seeds which you have gathered during your walks. If you wish, you can walk on your own on the wide trails. This is a special experience that tends to re-energize oneself.
12:00pm Walk to the port.
1:00pm Board the boat to return to Rurrenabaque. You will observe different animals along the way, and the afternoon lighting should be favourable for good photos.
4:00pm Arrival in Rurrenabaque.
Note: If you are a solo traveller you'll be sharing a room with another 3 people. More than one person please specify the room type. The activities are flexible. Make sure you let your guide know your interests.
DAY 1: 09:00
Meeting point at Madidi Travel Office
DAY 1: 09:30
Depart Rurrenabaque by boat, where you may also see capybaras, caiman, turtles, sloths, and a variety of birds
DAY 1: 12:00
Lunch on the boat
DAY 1: 13:00
Arrive to Serere Reserve and walk 2 km to your cabin and the main lodge
DAY 1: 14:00
Check-in and get settled into your cabins
DAY 1: 15:00
Meet your guide and the rest of the group at Casa Grande (main lodge)
DAY 1: 16:30
Visit the Information Centre and then walk along the trails looking for animals
DAY 1: 18:30
Enjoy the sunset at the port of San Fernando Lake
DAY 1: 19:30
Dinner at Casa Grande
DAY 1: 20:30
Group meeting, followed by a short, guided night walk to look for insects, amphibians, and other night life
DAY 2: 08:00
DAY 2: 09:00
Take a boat ride to cross Lake San Fernando. Once at the port on the other side of the lake, walk to Pinky Lake
DAY 2: 12:00
Arrive to Pinky Lake to have lunch. After lunch, you will be able to explore the lake, and fish for piranhas
DAY 2: 16:00
Walk back to the port of Lake San Fernando
DAY 2: 18:00
Take a boat ride back to Casa Grande
DAY 2: 19:30
Dinner (which could include the piranha you caught)
DAY 2: 20:30
Navigate on San Fernando Lake to look for caiman
DAY 3: 05:30
Depending on the season, meet at Casa Grande to begin bird watching and search for howler monkeys
DAY 3: 08:00
DAY 3: 09:00
Learn to make handicrafts, such as rings, necklaces or other things with the seeds that you have gathered during your walks
DAY 3: 11:30
DAY 3: 12:00
Walk to the port
DAY 3: 13:00
Make your way back to Rurrenabaque by boat
DAY 3: 16:00
Arrive back to Rurrenabaque
- Transport between Rurrenabaque – Serere – Rurrenabaque by boat
- Accommodation in Serere Reserve (with linen, towels and mosquito nets)
- Meals during your stay at Serere Reserve
- A porter service
- An English or Spanish speaking guide
- Activities inside Serere Reserve
- Serere Reserve entrance fee
- Airline tickets between La Paz – Rurrenabaque – La Paz
- Airport transfer between Rurrenabaque – Aeropuerto Rurrenabaque
- Accommodation in Rurrenabaque
- Meals in Rurrenabaque
- Consumption at the bar or kiosk in Serere Reserve
- Tips for the guide and staff
- Long sleeved shirts and trousers
- Trekking boots or trainers
- A hat (to protect you from the sun)
- A raincoat or poncho (during the wet season)
- A sweater or fleece (to be prepared for a cold front)
- A backpack for daytrips
- A camera (with fully charged batteries)
- Plastic bags (for your camera on the boat)
- A flashlight
- Personal medicine
- Insect repellent
Cancellation or changes of this tour:
CHANGES: It is FREE to change the tour date before 5:00 pm (La Paz time) 3 days before the tour begins.
NO SHOWS & CANCELLATIONS: If you cancel before 5:00 pm (La Paz time) 3 days before the tour begins or earlier, a 35% administration fee will apply (+ the card fee). After this time, there is a 100% no show or cancellation fee.
You must email firstname.lastname@example.org (include the name of the tour and the reservation number) to cancel this tour or to make any changes.
How does the wet season affect Rurrenabaque and tours?
These tours run year-round, and in general rain does not stop tours from going. The exception is when there has been very heavy, sustained rainfall, and the Rurrenabaque area becomes flooded (the pampas, the jungle floor, the local roads and even the town itself). This is not common but has happened in recent years, and you just have to check the local news prior to departure times, or ask us for the latest info. The main issues caused during wet season for Rurrenabaque are delays to the flights between La Paz – Rurre, and Rurre - La Paz, which can regularly be affected due to weather. We advise flying out the day before your tour, and flying back in the early morning the day after you tour, in order to give yourself some time in case of delays. Also, if there is something you have to be back for, such as an international flight, we recommended having one more buffer day beforehand, just to make sure. Delays of a whole day are also possible. We recommend Amaszonas Airline to travel to Rurrenabaque. Most people fly to Rurrenabaque, but there is also a bus service that takes about 18 hours during dry season. During the wet season, the journey can take as much as 40 hours, as the road is washed away, blocked by landslides, and becomes a river of mud. We strongly recommend against trying to take this bus during the wet season (we don't really recommend it during the dry season either!).
Which is the best season to visit the Bolivian Jungle and Pampas?
The climate is mostly tropical all year round, and therefore it is possible to visit during any season. However, the best time is in the dry season, from the beginning of April to the end of October.
What are the essentials to bring to the tour?
One backpack, sturdy duffel bag, or easily managed suitcase, a daypack, sturdy shoes or hiking boots comfortable enough for walking, sandals or shoes you don't mind getting wet, a money belt or pouch (leave your wallet at home - they make easy targets for pickpockets in the city), personal medications, a camera, film, and a waterproof case, and clothing. Generally, the Amazon is quite hot, but during the evenings if it rains it can cool down quite a bit. Fast drying clothes that can be layered work best. Don’t forget anti-bacterial soap, wipes, or gel such as Purell, sunblock of at least SPF 15 (the tropical sun is strong), insect repellent with DEET (diethyl-meta-toluamide), anti-itch cream for insects bites, a flashlight or headlamp with extra batteries, a toothbrush, toothpaste, toiletries, etc, sunglasses, a swiss army style knife, a sun/rain hat, plastic bags (zip lock bags and a larger trash bag), a water bottle, a small padlock to lock your bag shut, a travel alarm clock, and a first aid kid.
What clothes should I bring to the tour?
You should bring: A light, water-resistant jacket that will keep you warm on a cool evening or during a sudden downpour, yet which can be stuffed away or worn loosely on a warm day, a cheap rain poncho (the lodges have ponchos, but it's best to be prepared!), a fleece or wool sweater, two pair of shorts and/or swimming trunks, a bathing suit, one to two pairs of pants (one that can be worn to a nice restaurant or club, and another rugged pair for hiking in the rainforest), one long-sleeved shirt or blouse (a long-sleeved cotton shirt is great for the jungle), and 2 to 3 short-sleeved shirts, cotton socks, and underwear.
Is there malaria in Rurrenabaque and in the areas where pampas and jungle tours take place?
Whilst it is feasible that malaria could exist in Rurrenabaque, the pampas, and the jungle areas nearby because there are plenty of mosquitoes, there have not been any reported instances of malaria. We do not consider it necessary to take malaria tablets for our tours, but if you wish to do so then you should bring them with you, as you might not be able to get the brand you want in Bolivia. There is also the possibility of Dengue Fever and Yellow Fever, so you must protect yourself from insect bites as much as possible. You should bring a good insect repellent with you, as there are not many good options available to purchase in Bolivia.
I want to be really safe. Which things should I put in my own first aid kid?
A first aid kit could include: Pepto-Bismol for mild diarrhoea, throat lozenges, motion sickness medication, sunburn salve such as aloe vera gel, aspirin or other painkillers, antibiotics for travellers’ diarrhoea (TD), antacid tablets, band-aids/plasters/bandages, ACE bandage, mole skin for blisters/blister plasters.
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