San Miguel del Bala
San Miguel del Bala is an indigenous community in the Bolivian Amazon rainforest on the banks of the Beni River, near Rurrenabaque. Its nearest neighbour is the Madidi National Park, which is world famous as one of the places on earth with the widest biodiversity. San Miguel is a small community of 32 families.
San Miguel is Spanish for Saint Michael. "Bala" means "bullet" or "cannon ball". The landmark is the ’shot hole’ in the nearby Mountain range that is visible from the lodge.
San Miguel del Bala Lodge is only reached by boat 45 minutes up stream from Rurrenabaque. San Miguel is south of Rurrenabaque on the west bank of the Beni River, just outside of the Madidi National Park.
All visits to San Miguel del Bala must be arranged with the office of the 'San Miguel del Bala Community Eco-Tourism' in Rurrenabaque. The office is located across from the Amasonas airline office. Tours can also be arranged by emailing [email protected] You can also find operators in La Paz that offer a package to get to San Miguel del Bala. Some of these operators are listed below
You can walk around. The village community and the Eco-Lodge is close to the River Beni, and there is a short walk between the village and the lodge. The cabins in the lodge is about 30 meters above river level.
Do not leave the area without a guide.
Discover the rain forest environment and the Tacana culture.
From a viewpoint, 50 m over the canopies, the visitors can enjoy clean views of the Bala Gorge, the Beni River, and nearby mountain ranges covered by rainforests.
With the lodge as the point of departure many trails lead through the rain forest allowing visitors good chances to see wild life. The paths are designed to teach visitors about ancient hunting techniques, medicinal plants and ecological processes in the primary and secondary forest. Other paths take visitors to a ‘salitral’ - a cave with mineral earth that attracts all kinds of animals, a refreshing natural pool fed by a beautiful waterfall, and through a 150-meter-long canyon, whose darkness, coolness, and humidity is perfect for the hummingbirds’ nests.
Tours: Trekking through the forest, animal watching, mountain climbing or canoeing.
Participate in the daily life of the Tacana community, visiting a family in their house made of palm leaves and bamboo, processing sugar cane juice, working in the fields, making handicrafts or playing with the children.
Hide-away. Live without phone and internet in the quiet nature, comfortably lodged. And still close to things that you find in a town like Rurrenabaque.
The restaurant in the lodge serves typical, international and vegetarian cuisine.
Madidi National Park is nearby.