Alto Madidi Experiential Retreat

Type: Deep Nature Expedition • Shamanic Workshop • Healing 
Activities: Primary Rainforest Trekking • Raft Building & Travel • Wildlife Observation • Fishing • Teachings about plant uses • Embellishment and Immune Improvement Therapies • Shamanic teachings 
Ecosystem: Pre-Andean Lowland Rainforest
Culture: Tacana (Amazon-Pano)
Trek: 32km – 19 miles • Estimated weight to carry: 25kg – 55lb • Many other weightless day hikes
Duration: 10 days 
Weather:  Hot & Humid • Rain • Humid Cold
Season: June to October  
Guides: Julián Katari • Carlos Quete • Melvin Vaca • Renato Lenc • Florencio Manu Navi
Depart from: Rurrenabaque
Download: Journey Portfolio   



 To know the most bio-diverse hotspot in the Amazon combines with the experience of building a raft, building camps & travelling along the river, making crafts, harvesting wild fruits, fishing, deepening into the native magical-spiritual world, doing different physical improvement therapies and shamanic exercises for the expansion of the consciousness.

The Most Biodiverse Place on Earth

In 1994, a Conservation International expedition discovered that the Alto Madidi region was potentially the most bio-diverse hotspot in the world. Thanks to that expedition, a few years later, Madidi National Park was created.

The diversity of vascular plants, vines and birds, in this specific place, is twice as much as the other more visited regions inside Madidi. In addition, this place is the last undisturbed biomass corridor between the flood plain savannahs to the north and the Andes Mountains to the south. For this reason, there is an above average transit of large mammals, especially tapirs and jaguars.

This means that the Alto Madidi region is the best place to see animals. Also, it was here where one of the most recently discovered monkeys was found, the “callicebus aureipalatii” and it is here, where Bolivia’s last isolated tribe remains, the Toromonas. The Alto Madidi is an invaluable treasure that remains hidden to most people. This journey is an opportunity to get to know it and help with its conservation.

Rainforest Life Experience

There are no lodges or comfortable accommodations, which doesn’t mean we can be comfortable in this place. It means that we will experience the rainforest from the ground up. We will trek through the forest then build a raft, build camps & huts, gather leafs for the roof, learn to prepare fish meals that don’t require pots or pans, gather wild fruits, make tools and crafts from rainforest materials, gather medicinal plants, and in general learn not how to survive, but how to live well & make a life in the rainforest. This expedition is the perfect opportunity to do so.

Tequeje river

Journey begins after crossing the Beni River on boat and travelling 4 hours to the Tequeje river near Ixiamas. Here a tiring hike begins with all of the food supplies following the Tequeje River Canyon. On top of the mountain you may appreciate the Fortaleza de Ixiamas Archaelogical site, an Inca era fortress on the top of the mountain.

Overcoming Fear Shamanic Workshop

Also with the help of nature, we will carry out this workshop, that consists of many different playful activities and group exercises, where we seek to generate self-trust and overcome fears.

Shamanic Ceremonies

The ceremonies compliment the workshop exercises and the healing. They allow the body and the mind to open up to new realms of consciousness that will help uproot negative energies from the past and permit new energies to settle in.

Physical Healing, Embellishment and Immune Improvement Therapies

The Amazon rainforest is the world’s pharmacy, half of all the components in today’s medicines are made from plants that come from this forest. We will benefit from being in this forest and from the native wisdom to treat any possible ailments, apply physical embellishment and immune improvement therapies.

Journey Route & Program


Crossing the Mountains – Alto Madidi Headwaters

It takes five days to cross the first Andean Foothills and arrive to the headwaters of Alto Madidi. Once here a raft is built which at first takes only the backpacks and supplies. This means that you will need to carry weight only during the first five days.

Alto Madidi Heartland

Further downriver another raft is built and this time the passengers also travel on them. Some days are spent travelling downriver, other days the group will stay put in the camp to wonder off into the forest and try to do wildlife observation. Guides are expert at this and know the rhythms that should be followed. On the river you fish and that makes up for half of the total nourishment weight consumed on the trip. Guides take the opportunity to show and teach you everything they can about the use of plants. They are also expert wildlife spotters.

  • The program is referential. Local conditions may change the itinerary.
    • Day 1
    • AM – Departure from Rurrebanaque. Cross Beni River. Drive to Tequeje river
    • PM – Lunch and beginning of trek.
    • Day 2
    • Trek through Tequeje Canyon.
    • Day 3
    • Trek through Tequeje Canyon.
    • Day 4
    • Trek through Mountains.
    • Day 5
    • Arrive to Alto Madidi headwaters. Begin descending river.
    • Day 6 – 11
    • Building of first raft. Descent of river. Building of second raft. Alto Madidi Heartland.
    • Day 12
    • Arrival to Alto Madidi Ranger Station. Rest
    • Day 13
    • Rest at Ranger Station
    • Day 14
    • Hike to El Tigre community.
    • Day 15
    • Picked up near El Tigre community by vehicle, drive to Ixiamas, rest in Hotel (included).
    • Day 16
    • Drive back to Rurrenabaque


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Some Details About Comfort and Security

  • The Amazon region we are visiting, in the Abel Iturralde Province, is considerably fresher than other very hot areas like Beni, Chapare, or Alto Beni.
  • The place where we will be spending most time, the Irimo stream, has very few annoying insects, in comparison to other areas.
  • In the Madidi River, where we will spend two days, there are small “mariguí” mosquitos, but they are quite less than other areas further north.
  • The guides are trained and equipped to assist any eventuality that may arise.
  • Statistically, the possibilities to suffer accidents are very small. Contrary to what people may think, the rainforest is a very safe place.

What to Bring

  • Large hiking backpack with enough extra space to carry a share of supplies.
  • Camping equipment according to package.
  • Comfortable hiking shoes.
  • Two thin cloth pants.
  • Two long sleeve shirts.
  • Hat or cap, sun block cream.
  • Personal hygiene supplies: toilet paper, bathing soap.
  • Personal first aid kit.
  • Small towel for bathing.
  • Sweater or light coat.
  • Rain jacket.
  • Personal Swiss army knife (if you take a flight make sure it’s not in your carry-on luggage).
  • Nothing that it’s not absolutely necessary.

Packages Available

Two person package
Cost: $2100 per person ($140 per day – 15 days)

• Intercultural translator & shamanic guide (not always available).
• Entrance to Madidi National Park.
• Transportation in private vehicle to Tequeje river (includes crossing having the vehicle cross the river).
• Two expert native guides with more than 10 years of experience.
• All food supplies and meals during the trip, prepared by the guides. The nourishment is very complete and balanced, designed to give plenty of energy during the trip.
• 4×4 specialized transport to pick group up ahead of El Tigre Community, brings you to Ixiamas.
• Re-supply money in El Tigre community, when leaving (to buy a chicken).
• Courtesy Hotel Night in Ixiamas (day before drive back to Rurrenabaque. Makes 16 days total).
• Courtesy meals and beers in Ixiamas.
• Supplies necessary for fishing and camping (plastic sheets, sleeping mats, mosquito nets, bug spray, first aid kit, emergency medicines, batteries, pots & pans, knives, lamps, fishing lines, hooks etc.).
• Private transport back to Rurrenabaque.
• Logistics coordination and safety monitoring from town during the 15 days.

Doesn’t Include:
• Transportation to and from Rurrenabaque.
• Lodging and food in Rurrenabaque.
• Travel insurance.

4-6 People Package
Cost: $1650 ($110 per day – 15 days).

Includes: Everything in the last package but for the amount of people in the group, plus an extra carrier for supplies. (3 local staff).


Booking Details

  • Check the calendar to see this year’s Alto Madidi Experiential Retreat departure date.
  • Reservation is necessary with 50% of the total amount of the package.
  • The total amount of the package must be paid four days before the departure date.
  • Discounts are made to groups.

Download Journey Portfolio PDF»

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