Amboró National Park
Located in the western part of the Santa Cruz Department is the spectacular Amboro National Park. This small yet incredibly biologically rich National Park hosts many different Ecosystems which range from pristine Amazon Rainforests, Chaco Forests, Cloud Forests, and Bolivan Montane dry forests. The different ecosystems of the park are home to a staggering amount of flora and fauna.
Amboro National Park was initially created in 1973 as the Reserva de Silvestre. In 1984 with the help of esteemed biologist Noel Kempff, the area was declared a National Park which covered 1800 km2. In 1991 Amboro was expanded to 6376 km2, however sadly in 1995 the park was reduced to its current size of 4424 km2 due to violent protest of locals who stated the park gave them no economic benefits.
Amboro National Park hosts many different types of forests. The north of the park is dominated by the Amazon Rainforest, while the southern region is more Yunga Cloud Forest.
Flora and fauna
Botanically Amboro National Park has over 3000 plant species, which is set to dramatically increase as only 50 percent of the park has ever been explored. Species of economic significance here include Big Leaf Mahogony, Mountain Pine, Black Walnut, Acai Palm, Edemic Orchids and Giant Ferns. 127 species of mammals have been discovered inside the park, these include: Jaguar, Puma, Giant Anteater, Giant Armadillo, Ocelot, Tapir, Margay and more. Rarities such as the Andean or Spectacled Bear also call Amboro National Park home. Amboro National Park is a birder's paradise with over 840 species being recorded; this represents over 60 percent of the country's total and is the highest recorded number for any National Park in the world. Andean Condors, Harpy Eagles , Military Macaws and the critically endangered Southern Helmeted Currusow are found here. 109 species of fish and 105 species of Amphibians live within the park.
By law you may only enter the forest with a certified guide. You also have to register with the National Parks office. The easiest and safest way to enter the park is via a tour operator. Nicks Adventures Bolivia is a trusted tour operator who specializes in trips to Amboro National Park.
Acesss to this park is via 4WD and trekking. You can enter from many different parts of the park, the Northern Side is in the Amazon Rainforest and the base town is in the town called Buena Vista, To enter the southern side of the Park which is Yunga Cloud Forest, you can enter via Samaipata. Trips can be arranged by tour operators who take local guides inside the park. Nick's Adventures Bolivia is a Santa Cruz based tour operator who specializes in trips to Amboro National Park. By law you have to have a guide with you to enter any Bolivian National Park.
The unique and pristine Eco systems are a highlight for all travelers who enter Amboro National Park. In the Southern Part of the park the ancient Giant Fern forests are a must see; some of these plants are over two thousand years-old. Additionally, you can find giant sandstone cliffs, waterfalls, pristine rivers , excellent wildlife viewing , world class birding, and excellent trekking. In the Northern Side of the Park which is more of an Amazonian region, the vast rivers and rainforests are incredible. Wildlife viewing inside the park is excellent: Amboro is famous for spider monkeys, military macaws and there are caves with the rare and unique guacharo or oil bird which is only found in a few caves throughout the world. Lucky travelers also have the chance to see anything from jaguars, giant anteaters, tapirs, pumas , harpy eagles or even the rare spectacled bear.