Noel Kempff Mercado National Park
The Noel Kempff Mercado National Park, located in the Amazon Basin, is one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world.
Ranging in altitude from 200 to 1000m, the park has Cerrado savannah, seasonally flooded forests, wetlands and evergreen rainforests. An estimated 4,000 species of flora as well as over 600 bird species and viable populations of many globally endangered or threatened vertebrate species live in the park. Among these are the giant otter, giant anteater, hyacinth macaw, giant armadillo, pink river dolphin, maned wolf, marsh and pampas deer.
Community Perspective: this site has not been reviewed yet. It has been virtually inaccessible for decades due to neglect and the production of illegal drugs. An update (2023) on the current possibilities can be found here in our Forum.
Map of Noel Kempff Mercado National ParkLoad map
Noel Kempff (NK from now on) is a unique savannah but also has rainforest area - but no, you won't get stuck in a jungle and whack through the thick bush with machetes. You still get plenty of rain, mosquitoes, malaria, ants and the lot. The reason is that NK is quite wild and forgotten, not even the tours go there anymore. I went there 5 years ago with Ruta Verde and since then they stopped doing that, or at least I think they did because last time I asked for a custom tour for a small group and they just declined. The lodges, more or less walls with bedsheets inside, were not nice to begin with and Covid probably killed off the little market there was anyway.
One flies in from Santa Cruz which means another flight to there in the first place but if you are visiting the rest of Bolivia's sights then you will be there anyway. The tour was 4 days (3 tough nights) and every day one would go out trekking and drive on the muddy roads in 4x4s. As you are in a rainforest the types of animals are more like deer, armadillos, anteaters, plenty of birdlife and otters when you do the river tour. The main attraction to look out for would be a puma or jaguar but no luck for me. It's not uncommon to see howler monkeys.
NK is a unique experience but it's a tough trip and it costs quite a sum.
Edit: after posting I realized there have been reports in our forum that the area is no off-limits (or red zone) due to drug production so I guess the government would have to raid and clear the area before anything is open up again
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