Day 1: Samaipata - Valle Grande. We drive from Samaipata and arrive 1 hour later in Las Yungas, stop for a snack and enjoy the lookout from which a large portion of the Amboró National Park can be seen. From there, we begin a 2-hour circuit of easy walking in the cloud forest where great photo opportunities are easy to find. We will pause in the misty Tree Fern Forest with abundant mosses and bromeliads, also observe the plentiful bird life.
We also seek to understand the evolutionary forces and ecological processes within this delicate ecosystem, and the value of its many medicinal plants. Lunch at the Park Ranger office. We descend into the inter-Andean valleys until Mataral in 2.5 hours to visit a cave with early rock paintings during a 2 hour late afternoon walk, the very best time to explore this semi-desert landscape filled with various types of cacti. Some inhabitants here cultivate with the help of waters collected by the cloud forest, an ecosystem who’s nearby presence only emphasizes the stark contrasts in flora and fauna. We later head off towards Vallegrande, arriving at the restaurant in 1.5 hours. Includes: (L), (D).
Day 2: Valle Grande - Palmarito. We head out to retrace the final steps of the legendary Guerilla Che Guevara. The well-known communist revolutionary was captured at La Higuera, a small settlement close to Vallegrande. We will visit the sights in Vallegrande: the laundry room at the hospital, where Che´s body was laid out for display to the public and the press, the old garbage dump which became the mass grave of guerrillas who fell in different battles, and the memorial erected at Che´s newly found burial site, which was recently found after years of mystery.
We continue towards La Higuera until Pucará, a picturesque village of traditional colonial architecture, which owes its name to a nearby pre-Columbian outpost, now in ruins. Here we will spend a 3-hour photo-tour of the village, then it’s a quick lunch and off to La Higuera, the site of Che´s execution. We will camp in Palmarito, in order to visit the pre-Columbian rock paintings of The Devils and The Virgin (colonial). Camping, dinner next to an old water-powered stone mill. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 3: Palmarito - Samaipata. Early breakfast and pack up our camp. We head towards Guadalupe, Tembladeras River, and a series of remote hilltops and inter-Andean valleys, by way of an old road to Postrevalle, arriving at the Tierras Nuevas settlement in 4 hours. After a snack, we will take the bumpy road to Quirusillas, to visit a lagoon full of fish and aquatic birds and surrounded by steep hills. Lunch in this lagoon.
At 1.5 hr we reach the El Surtidor settlement, taking an hour to visit some of the old pre-Columbian kilns. Finally, we take the 1-hour return trip back to Samaipata. The scheduled visits and itineraries are subject to change based on the (dirt) road conditions, and we may need to cancel some destinations.
Also see tour packages in:
South America Bolivia Local Culture Cultural Journey National Parks