The North Side of Amboro National Park is an area that, despite its proximity to the city of Santa Cruz, receives very few visitors.
The North Side of Amboro National Park is an area that, despite its proximity to the city of Santa Cruz, receives very few visitors.Nearly all tourism in the northern area of the Amboro preserve takes place within 3 kilometers inside what is called the “red line”. This line separates the park’s Natural Area of Integral Management (ANMI) from the heart of the park itself, which covers nearly 400,000 hectares of land.
The northern portion of Amboro National Park consists of rainforest, Amazon river basin, waterfalls, natural pools, and many rivers and streams.Comparing the vegetation of this area with that of the jungles of Noel Kempff or Madidi National Parks in Bolivia, and especially in the southern side of Amboro, the difference is plain to see, especially because of the rainforest which gives life to very distinct species of trees and ivy.
But what most draws visitors’ attention is the general quality of the jungle. It is very dense and much taller than in other similar places. Although Amboro National Park is well known for its many different types of birds, they are easy to hear but very difficult to see. This part of Amboro is rich in animal life and contains a great number of species native to the Amazon region. All of this provides for a spectacular Amazon experience for visitors.
PROGRAM 2 DAYS / 1 NIGHT
DAY 1: Samaipata-Quirusillas. We leave Samaipata and arrive in Las Yungas (cloud forests) one-hour later, where we will cover a 3-hour trail circuit of easy walking in the cloud forest. Under the canopy of intact cloud forest trees, great photo opportunities are easy to find and from the lookout on the ridge of the foothills we will be able to see a vast portion of the national park. Not only do we pause in the misty atmosphere of the Tree Fern Forest amidst the magic of the abounding mosses and bromeliads, or observe the plentiful bird life; we also seek to understand the evolutionary forces and ecological processes within this delicate ecosystem, and the value of her many medicinal plants. According to time of year and road conditions we will go up by way of Mairana, Las Lauras, or Los Alisos. Snack in the forest and packed lunch at the lookout-point. Also bring a rain jacket or poncho.
We will then continue for three hours towards the small settlement named El Surtidor, where we will visit pre-Colombian kilns. Then it’s on to the town of Quirusillas, where we will visit a lagoon that is surrounded by steep hills and full of fish and aquatic birds. After a 1.5 hr. walk around the lagoon, we will set up a lakeside camp where we will eat dinner accompanied by the heat of a campfire and the chorus of singing frogs.
DAY 2: Quirusillas-Samaipata. We eat breakfast at dawn and pack up our camp. We pass through Tierras Nuevas, where locals show their daily routine, milking cows, plowing with a yoke of oxen, or saddling up their horses. At midmorning we arrive to Postrevalle (¨Garden of Delights¨), we will have a snack and wander through the streets in a photo tour of the town. Here we can still find women skilled in hand-weaving offering products from their own home at fair prices. The panoramic photo opportunity from the Vírgen de la Roca is a must see. If time and road conditions permit, we will continue on to Vilcas and after a typical lunch preferably we will return by way of La Pajcha (a spectacular waterfall surrounded by abundant vegetation, a trout-filled natural pool, and sandy beach), or we can instead retrace our route back to Samaipata. For fit hikers, there’s also the option of a 3-hour climbing to the rock paintings, leaving out Vilcas and shortening our stay in Tierras Nuevas and Postrevalle. The combination of sites and time taken at each are subject to changes based on road conditions, and we may not be able to make it to all the planned sites.