Visiting Barba Azul Nature Reserve, where the Beni Savanna meets the Amazon basin, is the perfect wildlife and bird watching holiday in Bolivia
Hoards of charismatic Blue-throated Macaw are seen at the reserve, giving you the rare opportunity to spend time in the wild with a Critically Endangered species that is found nowhere else on Earth.
The reserve’s mosaic of palm islands stretches across 27,180 acres (11,000 hectares) and is home to a wealth of endangered and endemic wildlife – including the Jaguar, Puma, Maned Wolf, Ocelot, Giant Anteater, Black Howler Monkey, and Crowned Eagle, just to name a few of the impressive species that find a safe haven here.
The reserve is a bird watchers’ haven; it is home to 329 bird species, with records of 179 birds seen in a day. The tall grasses of the reserve protect rare savanna species, like the Cock-tailed Tyrant, Sharp-tailed Grass Tyrant and abundant populations of the Near Threatened Orinoco Goose and Greater Rhea. (See the Barba Azul Bird List for full details).
Photo gallery of the reserve
What’s it like to visit?
Katharine Lowrie, a British tourist that visited the Barba Azul Nature Reserve in 2013, said:
“Being in the reserve was like entering another world. We rode through waste high grasses where the endangered Pampa Deer and Giant Anteater still have a home. Above our heads Blue-throated Macaws screeched on their morning commute to feed on palm nuts. In the swamps colossal Jabiru Storks stabbed snakes and Orinoco Geese jostled for grazing rights.”
The Barba Azul Nature Reserve is a peaceful haven for wildlife lovers and by visiting it you will be directly contributing to the conservation of the Beni savanna and its wildlife through the Barba Azul Nature Reserve program.
How to make it happen
Barba Azul Nature Reserve has 4 cabins, with twin-beds and private bathrooms. They cost US$150 per night per person, with a 3 night minimum stay. The price includes lodging, meals, boat trips, horse riding, and complete access to the reserve. Accommodation within the reserve must be booked prior to your arrival.
Getting to the reserve by vehicle is very difficult and only possible in the dry season, between June and Sept. Chartered flights can be purchased from Trinidad, the capital city of the Beni department.
If you do not wish to travel independently to the reserve, we can recommend a local tour agency that specializes in bird watching, wildlife and photography tours that are lead by English speaking guides.
Download the Barba Azul Nature Reserve infosheet for ecotourists.
Download the Barba Azul Nature Reserve infosheet for researchers.
Download the Barba Azul Nature Reserve infosheet for volunteers.