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“Chalalan Ecolodge”
Review of Chalalan Ecolodge

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Chalalan Ecolodge
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed December 25, 2012

A very special experience. Very good guiding, especially for birdwatching, attractive little huts to stay in, discreetly scattered through the forest. The lake is perfect for swimming and canoeing - an utterly beautiful and romantic place.
Food good, but could be better. The communal facilities are distinctly comfortless, so the atmosphere is worthy rather than fun. But if you want to really get a feel for what rainforest is, then this is undoubtedly one of the best places to come to.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank joeliot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albergue C, Gerente at Chalalan Ecolodge, responded to this reviewResponded January 21, 2015

Thank you very much for taking the time to write your kind review. We are very pleased to have covered your expectations. We are doing our best to improve food at the lodge, especially for vegetarians.
We would be pleased to receive you again in our lodge, we would appreciate that you contact us.
Best regards.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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143 - 149 of 224 reviews

Reviewed October 29, 2012

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Chalalan Eco-lodge in Madidi National Park, even though it was shortened on both ends. Our arrival there was postponed by 24 hours because rain prevented planes from landing on the muddy landing strip in Rurrenabaque. Our departure was moved forward because other travelers had an early flight and the lodge had only one boat. So we had to leave with them though we should have been able to stay for another 4-5 hour hike in the jungle (granted, they gave us a place to stay and eat in Rurre while waiting for our plane).

We concur fully with other reviewers and heartily recommend the place. We saw lots of wildlife, including a tapir (even the guides were excited), either from the boat or walking on the trails, by day and at night. The huatzins are rather unusual birds.

Our guide Alejandro was extremely knowledgeable and enthusisatic (and proud about his country and its beautiful nature). The staff was very attentive to our needs and good-natured: on a quiet evening with only few guests, staff and guests happily danced together to music performed by other staff members. A genuine Bolivian experience: dance and music.

Room Tip: People who mind noise from other guests should select the single cabins.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Beniana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albergue C, Gerente at Chalalan Ecolodge, responded to this reviewResponded January 21, 2015

Thank you very much for taking the time to write your kind review. We are very pleased to have covered your expectations.
We would be pleased to receive you again in our lodge, we would appreciate that you contact us.
Best regards.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2012

We loved our stay here and were so sad to leave after only 2 nights. The staff are incredibly sweet and helpful. Our English speaking guide (Ricardo) was very quiet and slept during the river trip to the lodge so we couldn't ask him any questions (!!) His concept of "customer service" may not be fully developed yet but as this is a community owned project you have to give these guys a little slack I suppose. But once we got to the lodge Ricardo was extremely knowledgable about the forest and animals and we really enjoyed our walks and boat rides on the lake with him. The food was some of the best we had in Bolivia - beautifully prepared and plenty of it. The cabins were beautifully clean. Bathrooms were lovely and had the BEST cold showers - which is the only way to cool off other than a swim in the lake. We had a snake in our cabin one night which seemed to be hunting the two frogs that had found their way in - but that is all part of the jungle experience! We absolutely loved this place and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone interested in a luxury jungle experience. One piece of advice - bring a snake bite kit just in case. :)

Room Tip: Don't expect too much privacy. You can hear what's happening in the next room quite clearly...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank SingleMindedExplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albergue C, Gerente at Chalalan Ecolodge, responded to this reviewResponded January 21, 2015

Thank you very much for taking the time esctibir your review.
Chalalan taking into consideration your feedback to improve aspects such as security and experience in transport, we appreciate your suggestions.
We would be pleased to receive you again in our lodge, we would appreciate that you contact us.
Best regards.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2012

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at this Ecolodge from the time we got in the canoe to when we arrived back in the rain. The staff were very committed to making it as genuine an experience as a tourist can expect even down to the cold showers. It would have been nice to have been cut off completely from the room next door and I would have preferred that all meals be buffet style.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Sue R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albergue C, Gerente at Chalalan Ecolodge, responded to this reviewResponded January 21, 2015

Thank you very much for your kind review.
Chalalan effectively supports the conservation of the Madidi National Park, one of the most biodiverse in the world, but also directly benefits the indigenous community of San José de Uchupiamonas, therefore, the presence of each visitor to our lodge implies an important contribution.
We're glad we met your expectations and we would recibiete back to our lodge in the near future.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2012

Our stay at Chalalan was one of the highlights of our Bolivia trip! Beatifuly located deep inside the Madidi national park this lodge offers you a confortable accomodation with great food and obligin staff in the middle of the jungle. The guides, who mostly lived their whole life in these woods, show you everything your untrained eye won't see and know an answer to your every question. Moreover it is obvious that the people from Chalalan really care about the environment in Madidi and the money you spend (although it may be a bit more than with another provider) flows to the right spot. Thank you Chalalan for the unforgettable experience y muchissimas gracias to Norman, our perfect guide!

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank cvgflbo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albergue C, Gerente at Chalalan Ecolodge, responded to this reviewResponded January 21, 2015

Thank you very much for your kind review.
As you pointed out, Chalalan effectively supports the conservation of Madidi National Park, one of the most biodiverse in the world, but also benefits diretamente the indigenous community of San José de Uchupiamonas, therefore, the presence of each visitor to our lodge involves a significant contribution.
We're glad we met your expectations and we would recibiete back to our lodge in the near future.
best regards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2012

This place is a little paradise. You can walk, paddle and swim right in the middle of the headwaters of the amazon. Be prepared to see and here: macaws, loros, toucans, capybaras, caimans, monkeys, lizards, frogs, toads, snakes, ants, bees, spiders, piranhas and many more depending on your observing skills and luck. This is amazing. All this observation happens early in the morning, in the evening and even in the dark and is planned with your guide up to your interests. My favorite was the short post-dinner hikes in the dark with flashlight. Absolute thrill. Turn-off the light for a while, if you can... The rest of the time is for you to relax in this pristine environment.

More amazing is the sleeping experience. Huts are charming with mahogany floors, white bed sheets and mosquito nets. The hut is actually open on the outside with screens all over the ceiling under a palm high-roof. All windows are screens as well, so you hear everything happening outside while lying down to sleep.

Private bathrooms in the rooms are surprisingly clean and functional. We were surprised of that in the middle of the jungle. Actually, the whole room felt cleaner and better than our Rurre hotel. Critters can be curious and attracted by human light and water, so be careful when reentering your room: shoes, socks have to be inspected in the morning. Also, don't be surprised to find a smiling frog in the toilet bowl or the shower head. This is part of the experience and nothing dangerous happened, just a cool thrill, especially after the hike in the dark :-).

The food service is surprisingly good in quality and quantity. Waiters and barman(maids) have a professional approach. Breakfast is a good buffet, lunch and dinner are three courses fixed menus. You may have a buffet dinner at times. We did not need our personal snacks once.

In the dry season (we were there in September), going there (and coming back) is an epic river ride. Going upriver, the two-men crew of the slim motorboat with the local guides will actually plunge in the water to push and shove the boat when the bottom get caught in rocks. It is a lot of work for them, you feel cheap not helping. It took more than 5 hours from Rurre. On the way back, it was easier and shorter, while we still got caught a couple of times we sometimes felt the boat was about to capsize, but we feel they were professional at this and we arrived safely in Rurre.

From the boat ride on until you get back, wear long sleeves, long pants, long socks, something on your head. This is the time to use DEET and you are not in Central Park, you are expected to wear your long socks over the bottom of your pants. It looks dorky, but you'll feel better walking in the jungle like that.

The only downside of this jungle sojourn was to have to stay in the Rurrenabaque furnace before getting to the lodge. Rurre has nothing to offer, only people going around town in scooters, tour operators, poor restaurant selection, crappy hotels. Sometimes, you have to suffer a little to get to nice places.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank EricMonia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albergue C, Gerente at Chalalan Ecolodge, responded to this reviewResponded January 20, 2015

Thank you very much for your detailed and kind review. We appreciate that you took the time and we are glad to have covered your expectations.
We would love to welcome you again in Chalalan, please contact us.
Best regards.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2012

After reading one traveller's review about Ivan, I was very nervous when we were greeted at Amazon airline office by Ivan. I have to say that we were not very impressed with him when we first met him either. After half a day things changed and he were much more opened. He was extremely knowledgible about the area, the plants, the birds, and the animals. He could hear different bird calls and led us to see them. We could tell the moving patterns of the wild hogs and monkeys and took us ahead of their moving directions so we could wait for them and see them. He could name the plants in Spanish, English, and scientific names.

Other staffs were also fantastic, William who was already ready at the bar and brought us fresh juices when we first arrived and after every hike. The kitchen staffs were very friendly, showed us their kitchen, and prepared wonderful vegetarian food for my wife.

In summary, it's a wonderful place to relax and learn about the Amazon.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank NinhDzoan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albergue C, Gerente at Chalalan Ecolodge, responded to this reviewResponded January 20, 2015

Thank you very much for your kind review. We appreciate you sharing your vaforable opinion on the work of Ivan, who now has new responsibilities in the company.
We are working hard to train and motivate all our staff contact, especially the guides because the overall quality of service depends largely on their efforts.
We would love to welcome you again in Chalalan, please contact us.
Best regards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Chalalan Ecolodge

Address: Rurrenabaque, Bolivia | Comercio Street, half block from the main square, Madidi National Park, Bolivia
Phone Number:
Location: Bolivia > Beni Department > Madidi National Park
Amenities:
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Madidi National Park
Price Range: $493 - $951 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Chalalan is an ecolodge located on the shore of Lake Chalalanan, the heart of Madidi National Park, in the heart of the Bolivian Amazon. The cabins are built in the traditional style of the Tacana indigenous people, with roofs of jatata and walls of chonta equipped with mosquito nets, private bathrooms, solar energy system. We accommodate up to 30 guests with all the comfort in the jungle. Our specialty is the environmental interpretation walks by the beautiful trails and the routes in rowing canoe by the lagoon Chalalan. This venture contributes to the conservation of biodiversity and to the economy of the indigenous people of San José de Uchupiamonas, owner of the lodgehas double, triple and triple cabins, a dining room equipped with a bar and a rest room. It is possible to hold workshops, events and scientific expeditions, birdwatching, fungi, amphibians or just relax in the hammocks and contemplate the lagoon from our pier and our elevated viewpoint. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Chalalan Ecolodge Hotel Madidi National Park
Chalalan Ecolodge Bolivia/Madidi National Park

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