Chalalan

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Chalalan Ecolodge

Chalalan is an ecolodge in Bolivia's Madidi National Park. The lodge sits on the Tuichi River, and can be accessed from within Bolivia by flying to Rurrenabaque and then taking a boat up the Beni River and Tuichi River.

Origins[edit]

Chalalan was envisioned in the mid-1990s by the cooperation of Yossi Ghinsberg and the villagers of San Jose de Uchupiamonas who now work as trekking guides in the region. Later on, the community got administrative assistance from Conservation International and funding from the Inter-American Development Bank.

Local Administration[edit]

The lodge is now independently run by the indigenous population of San Jose de Uchupiamonas.[1] Chalalan is highly recommended for travelers who like wildlife sighting, photography and educational tours. Lake Chalalan, as well as the trip along the Tuichi River offers one of the most spectacular experiences in Bolivia. Great for seeing wild macaws, white-lipped peccaries, Brazilian Tapir, several species of monkeys and even the elusive jaguar. The lodge was built to include indigenous architectural techniques and local materials. Tours include exploring trail system, as well as canoe explorations.

International Partnering[edit]

The most important partner for Chalalan is America Tours (Bolivia), led by Jazmin Caballero and David G. Ricalde; two well-known responsible tourism and conservation consultants in Bolivia and Peru. This Bolivian operator is responsible for selling around 60 to 70% of the arrivals to this ecolodge since 1998, becoming the most important actor that ensured the economic sustainability of the lodge, also the one that positioned Chalalan in international markets.

These two ecotourism and conservation consultants came to help efforts from Conservation International and the Inter-American Development Bank in the making of Chalalan by 1997, being responsible for training human resources in services for almost two years in the field, mainly involving skillful and unemployed women and young members of the community of San José de Uchupiamonas inside Madidi National Park. The trained human resources have been the main foundation and efficient labor force for Chalalan.

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