Chalalán Ecolodge is Bolivia’s leading community-based ecotourism project. Built entirely from natural rainforest materials, the lodge’s simple and elegant huts surround the lovely oxbow lake, Laguna Chalalán.
Chalalán is Madidi National Park’s only formal visitor accommodations and it provides the opportunity to explore relatively untouched rainforest. While the flora and fauna are lovely, it’s the sounds that are magical: the amazing dawn bird chorus, the evening frog symphony, the joint whir of millions of insects, the crashing roar of bucketing tropical rainstorms and, in the early morning, the sonorous chorus of every howler monkey within a 60 mile (100km) radius.
Not so much a destination in itself as a great base for exploring the natural diversity of the Madidi National Park. Here you can see 156 mammal species, 71 species of reptiles, and thousands of exotic plants. It’s around a ten hour drive from La Paz, though there is a (regularly erratic) air service as well.