Day 1: Santa Cruz - Flor de Oro. In the morning, you will be transferred from your hotel to “Km. 7” Airstrip, on the road to Samaipata. Your flight to Flor de Oro Lodge takes around 2.5 hr. This lodge is the main ecotourism center at Noel Kempff Mercado National Park, and is located on the Iténez River in the extreme north section of the park, and near the Bolivian-Brazilian border.
The flight will take you over hundreds of miles of pristine rain forest, as well as the magnificent Caparush Plateau and two very impressive waterfalls, Ahlfeld and Arco Iris. This plateau, part of the Brazilian shield, along with the surrounding remote rain forests make Noel Kempff Mercado National Park - a large, diverse and well-protected area. The afternoon will be spent exploring gallery forests found along the Iténez River and the large expanse of neotropical savannas close to Flor de Oro, where you can see the Toco Toucan, White Woodpecker, macaws and parrots, a variety of insects and mammal species including the South American Coatimundi and the beautiful Silvery Marmoset. An optional night hike will be offered. Overnight at Flor de Oro. Includes: (L), (D).
Day 2: Flor de Oro and Las Torres: Oxbow Lakes, Gallery Forests, and Periodically Inundated Savanna. Your first full day in Noel Kempff Mercado will be spent exploring some of the oxbow lakes, gallery forests, and periodically inundated savannas located near Flor de Oro. During the morning you will walk through savanna and some pristine riverine forests en route to one of the bays located close to Flor de Oro where motorized boats will be waiting to take you on an expedition.
During the trip you will have the opportunity to see the Rufescent Tiger-Heron, both scarlet and blue and yellow macaws, the White-faced Whistling Duck, the Sunbittern, and if you are lucky you may also spot a family of giant otters. The giant otter is just one example of the many endangered mammal species that thrive in this national park. Following a return to Flor de Oro you will be served lunch and have a siesta to relax. The afternoon will be spent traveling to Las Torres, a park protection station that gives access to a rocky outcrop, providing amazing views of the Caparush Plateau and the humid tropical rain forests and semi-deciduous forests found in the northern section of the park. Jaguars have been spotted several times along the Iténez River to Las Torres so you will have to keep alert! Overnight at Flor de Oro. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 3: Noel Kempff Mercado National Park. Your third day in Noel Kempff Mercado will be dedicated to further exploring the periodically inundated savannas and tall humid tropical rain forest that lie between Flor de Oro and the Campamento Lago Caiman which is located further to the east. More than 300 bird species have been recorded within walking distance of Flor de Oro, and your transfer by tractor to the trail leading to Lago Caiman will provide you with numerous opportunities to see many exciting bird species such as the Horned Sungem, Black and Tawny Seedeater, Red-necked Aracari, and the Snow-capped Manakin. The opportunity to see all of these species, combined with the chance to see spider monkeys, Tapir, both white-lipped and collared peccaries, and jaguars will definitely make this an unforgettable hike.
There are two options for this day: (1) exploring the trails during the early morning hours and then returning to Flor de Oro in time for lunch or (2) hiking all the way to Lago Caimán. Following your hike back down the plateau and through the tall humid tropical forest, you will be taken back to Flor de Oro by tractor. The late afternoon may be spent once again on the rivers looking for fresh water dolphins, families of giant otters, or the endangered Black Caiman. Overnight at Flor de Oro. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 4: Noel Kempff Mercado National Park - Santa Cruz. Your final morning in Noel Kempff Mercado will take you in search of some of the species that may have eluded you during the previous three days. That means you could be visiting any of the bays or trails located around Flor de Oro before your flight back to Santa Cruz. Following a late breakfast, you will depart for Santa Cruz city with the rest of the day for relaxing or preparing for departures later in the evening or the following day. Transfer to your hotel in Santa Cruz. Includes: (B), (L).
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