What if you could drive two hours, stop, look through the branches and see a flat clearing in the jungle woods surrounded by high cliffs making it a natural fortress. And what if you could leave your luggage up there and walk to the clearing, going by waterfalls, while they drive your heavy stuff down there, directly to your room.
This is Refugio de los Volcanes, situated a two-hour drive from either Santa Cruz or Samaipata. We got there through Ben Verhoef Tours (Samaipata), but you may also try to directly contact Albert (the owner) on the web.
This place is actually as described and is unbelievably beautiful. Even if there were no guided activities (observation hikes mainly, you may also swim), just sitting on your room porch and look at the environment would justify the price. This is a good place to see condors, loros, oropendolas, monkeys even toucans. The nature walks are interesting and can be planned with your guide. This is chaco forest (not quite rain forest) with all kinds of curiosities, making for a good ecology review (mutualism, parasitism, adaptation, opportunity). There are beautiful orchids also. I felt like going there with kids would be a real treat for them.
Rooms are simple, but you just don't care. You will not stay in your room, except for sleeping. You'll be contemplating and watching outside all the time with your eyes, binoculars, cameras.
The building where all the rooms are is surrounded by a comfortable porch with chairs and hammocks. The other building along the river is where you eat. Good food in quality and quantity. There is a traditional oven outside where they cook bread. They made pizza one night in this oven and it was priceless.
Absolute highlight of our one month trip to Bolivia.
- Also Known As:
- Refugio Los Volcanes Bolivia/Samaipata