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Biosphere / Park Research and Investigations - Madidi

Madidi National Park                                                                                                            Biosphere of Pilon Lajas

This section pertains to information leading to Special Expeditions

What is Madidi National Park?

Madidi National Park was created by the Supreme Court Decision # 24-123 on September 21, 1995.

Management category:  National Park and Integrated Management of Natural Areas.

Area:  The area is a total of 18,957 square kilometres of which 1,271,500 hectares correspond to the category of National Park and 624,250 to Integrated Management of Natural Areas.

Bio-physic data:  The altitude range is from 6,000 meters to 200 meters above sea level with an annual rainfall precipitation of 800 to 4,000 millimetres.

Butterfly of the Amazon

Geographic location:  The National Park and Integrated Management of Natural Areas Madidi is located in the provinces of Franz Tamayo, Abel Iturralde and Larecaja in the department of La Paz embracing the municipalities of Apolo, San Buenaventura, Ixiamas, Pelechuco and Guanay.

Both the National Park and Integrated Management of Natural Areas make Madidi one the most important protected area of national interest.  Madidi is one of the most bio-diverse area of the world which has more than 5 different levels of eco-systems from the highlands of the Andes in the area of Apolobamba to the savannas of the Amazon basin.

The area protects more than 1,370 vertebrates with perhaps more than 600 un-discovered species to this day.  More than 867 different species of birds with an estimated 300 species undiscovered, which corresponds to nearly 80% of the bird population of the nation.  The experts estimate that nearly 115 species have not yet been given a scientific name because they have not yet been registered.  One specie in particular is the Palkachupa of  the Apolo region which until recently has only been identify in the Madidi area.  It is a beautiful bird which feeds on fruits and insects and has a V shape neck.

More than 170 species of mammals have been identified in Madidi, and the experts estimate that probably another 200 species have yet to be discovered.  It is estimated that 85% of amphibians, 70% of the reptiles and more than 51% of fish species of Bolivia reside within the boundary of the National Park.  Meanwhile, much work has yet to be done in the identification a wide variety of rats, marsupials and bats.

In recent year investigators have discovered three new types of monkeys in the Apolo region.  One of which is the rosillo monkey with an estimated weight of 7 to 8 kilos and reddish to grey color.  This monkey has only been identified in Madidi and the Apolo region.  Similarly, in the Amazon basin area of the National Park other types of monkeys have recently been discovered and have yet to be given scientific names.  One specie in particular is the Lucachi monkeys which the investigators have generated more than $650.00 dollars for the park in its search for a scientific name.  The money is kept in a fund which is administered by FUNDESNAP. 

Tourism:  Socio-cultural eco-tourism has grown tremendously over the years.  It is an important source of financial activity generating income to many municipalities.  There are five different ports of entry to the park.  (1) From the southwest via the village of Puina or Moxos in the high Madidi area, (2) from the south via the town of Apolo, there are two routes:  one via Santa Cruz and the valley of Ameno to Pata and the other route by Machua to Asariamas, to the mouth of the Tuichi river, (3) from Guanay on the Beni river to San Buenaventura or Rurrenabaque, (4) the principal port of entry is to the east from San Buenaventura or Rurrenabaque to get to the famous valley of the Tuichi river and the community of San Jose de Uchipiamonas passing through the town of Tumupasa,  (5) from Ixiamas you can enter the park via the Madidi river and further north via the river Madre de Dios which form the natural border between the department of La Paz and Pando.  Just as in Canada, it is not recommended to enter the forest without proper guides.  It is very easy to get lost.  The park is home to nearly 30 different indigenous communities of Mosetenes, Tsinames, Tacana and Quechua.

Baby chancho de tropa - Wild boar


Madidi National Park Photo Album 

15 photos

Management plan of Madidi National Park (Only parts available, sorry!)

Courtesy Madidi National Park Wardens


The offices of Madidi National Park are located in the municipality of San Buenaventura, department of La Paz.

Madidi National Park

Calle Libertad

San Buenaventura

Department of La Paz


Tel.  591-3-892-2540

For more information contact our staff


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