Because it is centrally located at the crossroads of four major biomes in South America, Bolivia has more bird species than any land-locked country in the world (more than 1,400). Within the Andean foothills of central Bolivia, on this Bolivia birding tour we visit the lowland savannas and dry forest near the city of Santa Cruz, the transitional foothill forest of Serranía de Los Volcanes and around Samaipata, and the arid middle altitude area of the Red-fronted Macaw Reserve and the Cochabamba Valley. The last section covers the High Andes around La Paz, including Lake Titicaca at the foot of the Royal Range and near the Peruvian border.

Bird highlights on this Bolivia nature tour include Greater Rhea, Red-legged Seriema, Andean Condor, Military Macaw, Cliff Parakeet, White-eared Puffbird, and Bolivian Recurvebill. October is the peak of the dry season in Bolivia and usually an excellent time of year for naturalists. One organization in Bolivia, Asociación Armonía, has been working tirelessly for years with great success in conserving land and birds in Bolivia. During the main tour, we stay at one of their conservation lodges — the Red-fronted Macaw Lodge – and the extension is a flight to another of theirs — the wilderness-like and rarely visited Blue-throated Macaw (Barba Azul) Nature Reserve. Among the few that visit the Blue-throated Macaw Reserve, many say that it was the highlight of their trip to Bolivia, because of great looks at unusual birds and rarely seen large mammals (including carnivores).

Bolivia is a multicultural country, enabling visitors to interact with indigenous populations of pre-Columbian heritage, mostly Quechua and Aymara, to share your love of nature with them. Join us for this exciting and NEW! Bolivia birding and nature tour.

Tour Highlights

  • See the endemic and Critically Endangered Red-fronted Macaw
  • Enjoy hummingbirds, toucans, tanagers, warbling-finches, and crescentchests
  • Encounter several species of monkeys and many other mammals, such as sloths, giant anteaters, tapirs, and the usually elusive Jaguars and Spectacled Bear
  • Visit a wide variety of habitats and altitudes, providing incredible views and scenic photos
  • Ride a boat to Isla del Sol on the world-renowned Lake Titicaca for both natural and cultural highlights
  • Study Andean archeological sites, including but not limited to Incan sites
  • Buy crafts or textiles at Cochabamba’s open-air market
  • For the extension, fly to the Beni Savanna to see Critically Endangered Blue-throated Macaw, a wide variety of birds, and our best chances for exciting mammals such as Giant Anteater, Marsh Deer, Pampas Deer, Collared Peccary, Black Howler Monkey, and Capybara and hard-to-see predators such as Pampas Cat, Puma, Jaguar, Ocelot, and Maned Wolf.

Trip Itinerary

Itineraries are guidelines; variations in itinerary may occur to account for weather, road conditions, closures, etc. and to maximize your experience.

Fri., Nov. 1: Arrivals in Santa Cruz | Optional Afternoon Birding

Welcome to Bolivia! Arrive today at your leisure. Many flights arrive in the early morning hours, so watch the times/dates carefully. We plan to offer some casual afternoon birding for those who are interested. The group officially assembles for a welcome dinner tonight.
Accommodations at Hotel Los Tajibos (D)

Sat., Nov. 2: Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Santa Cruz de la Sierra may surprise you with its small-town feeling, colonial buildings, and relaxed tropical atmosphere. We visit the city and bird the botanical gardens with a chance to see monkeys, sloths, Toco Toucan, White-wedged Piculet, Chotoy Spinetail, White-bellied Nothura, Red-legged Seriema, Green-cheeked Parakeet, and the near-endemic Bolivian Slaty-Antshrike. We travel to other nearby parks and lagoons as time allows.
Accommodations at Hotel Los Tajibos (B,L,D)

Sun., Nov. 3 : Santa Cruz to Amboro National Park

Today we ride through Bermejo Canyon and into the heart of Amboró National Park. Looking for birds in the early morning, from the small village of Montero to Bermejo, might produce the very rare Huayco Tinamou, White-eared Puffbird, Giant Antshrike, and Green-winged Saltator. En route, we enjoy a picnic breakfast in semi-humid forest along a rushing river on the lower mountain slopes, then hike a dry, gently undulating trail through the forest. The lodge is truly impressive, set in a small clearing in a thickly forested valley, surrounded by dramatic sandstone pinnacles.
Accommodations at Refugio Los Volcanes (B,L,D)

Mon., Nov. 4: Amboro National Park

Just at the lodge we could find Gray-throated Leaftosser, Rufescent Screech-Owl, Dusky-green Oropendola, Black-streaked Puffbird, Blue-browed Tanager, White-backed Fire-eye, Yungas Manakin, Ochre-cheeked Spinetail, Slaty Gnateater, and with some luck the endemic Bolivian Recurvebill. Then we go deeper into the park where Amboro’s steep, densely forested slopes support an astonishing biodiversity. More than 830 different bird species have been recorded here, including rarities such as the Andean Cock-of-the-rock, Military Macaw, and the almost-mythical Horned Curassow. There are also Jaguars, Giant Anteaters, Tapirs, and several species of monkey. And the scenic views are astounding!
Accommodations at Refugio Los Volcanes (B,L,D)

Tues., Nov. 5: Samaipata

Our first stop is the ancient Inca site of El Fuerte de Samaipata. Then we are on our way to El Pueblito Lodge while looking for condors and hummingbirds. Set on one of the highest peaks around the village, this lodge offers quaint boutique-style rooms, a multitude of local animals, and a charming plaza. Near the lodge are Red-faced Guan, White-throated Antpitta, Scissor-tailed Nightjar, Rothschild’s Swift, Huayco and Tataupa Tinamous, Olive-crowned Crescentchest, Sooty-fronted Spinetail, Rusty-browed and Black-capped Warbling Finches, the very rare Huayco Tinamou, Green-winged Saltator (both very difficult), and Giant Antshrike.
Accommodations at El Pueblito Lodge (B,L,D)

Wed., Nov. 6: Red-fronted Macaw Lodge

As we make our way into progressively drier country dominated by cacti and acacia woodlands, we stop along the roadside to look for Streak-fronted and Spot-breasted Thornbirds, Gray-hooded Parakeet, and Gray-crested Finches. The lodge is situated along the Mizque River, a rain-shadow valley at mid-elevation (about 5,500 feet) of the eastern Andes. Other birds to look for include Turquoise-fronted Parrot, Red-tailed Comet, the cactus-loving White-fronted Woodpecker, Fawn-breasted Tanager, and Bolivian Warbling Finch.
Accommodations at Red-fronted Macaw Lodge (B,L,D)

Thurs., Nov. 7: Vicinity of Red-fronted Macaw Lodge

The arid valleys in this part of central Bolivia are home to three endemic species: Bolivian Blackbird, Cliff Parakeet (considered a subspecies of Monk Parakeet by eBird), and the endangered Red-fronted Macaw. This is a conservation project by Asociación Armonía and profits of a stay here go to three local indigenous communities that help to protect the macaw and the many additional species we are seeking, such as White-eared Puffbird, White-tailed Plantcutter, and Ultramarine Grosbeak.
Accommodations at Red-fronted Macaw Lodge (B,L,D)

Fri., Nov. 8: Drive back to Samaipata

Our stops on the return depend on the birds we missed Thursday. We enjoy birding in the afternoon (and tomorrow morning) just around the clearing of the lodge. This place can be very productive with the local residents: Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle, Channel-billed Toucan, Chestnut-eared Aracari, Rufous-breasted Thrush, Crested Oropendola, Hooded Siskin, and flocks of various species of parrots.
Accommodations at El Pueblito Lodge (B,L,D)

Sat., Nov. 9: La Yunga Reserve | Drive back to Santa Cruz

Today we plan an early start to Laguna Esmeralda in Quirusillas protected area where we look for Red-faced Guan, Tucuman Parrot, Blue-crowned Parakeet, Golden-winged Cacique, Straw-backed Tanager, and more. Then we detour for a condor trek above 6,500 feet if time allows before heading back Santa Cruz. If the timing is right, we look for a night roost in mango trees in Santa Cruz with hundreds of Crested, Russet-backed, and Olive Oropendolas.
Accommodations at Hotel Los Tajibos (B,L,D)

Sun., Nov. 10: Flight to Cochabamba

We spend the morning enjoying birds and culture in both Santa Cruz in the morning and Cochabamba in the afternoon following a 45 minute flight. Cochabamba occupies a fertile green bowl, fifteen miles long by six miles wide, set at a comfortable altitude just under 8,500 feet amid a landscape of low hills. We acclimate to altitude here before heading to La Paz (11,975 feet) and Lake Titicaca (12,507). Cochabamba fits the Spanish Colonial city model: The city has been laid out in a grid pattern, and most of the streets in the downtown area are narrow with room for one-way traffic only. The city center maintains its colonial archways and residential style.
Accommodations at Hotel Aranjuez (B,L,D)

Mon., Nov. 11: Cochabamba | Polylepis Forest

We depart early to visit Polylepis forest patches. While not particularly large or contiguous, this Polylepis forest abounds with incredible species including Wedge-tailed Hillstar, Giant Conebill, the endemic Cochabamba Mountain Finch, Maquis Canastero, Brown-capped and Tawny Tit-Spinetails, d’Orbigny’s Chat-Tyrant, and Glacier (formerly White-winged Diuca) Finch. Our afternoon’s birding takes place at the nearby Laguna Alalay, where we have a host of waterbird in our sights, including Silvery and White-tufted Grebe, Puna Ibis, Puna Teal, and Red Shoveler, before turning to the surrounding scrub and forest patches for White-tipped Plantcutter, Gray-crested Finch, and Greater Wagtail-Tyrant.
Accommodations at Hotel Aranjuez (B,L,D)

Tues., Nov. 12: Cochabamba

Today we have many choices: birding, city tour, rest, or a combination of all three. Cochabamba boasts Bolivia's biggest open-air street market — 'La Cancha' — just a few blocks from the main plaza, where locals from the surroundings come to buy and sell produce and crafts (musical instruments, pottery, and high-quality textiles) and you can hear people speak the ancient Quechua language. We have many birding choices depending on what we might have missed yesterday.
Accommodations at Hotel Aranjuez (B,L,D)

Wed., Nov. 13: Flight from Cochabamba to La Paz | Drive to Lake Titicaca

We head to Lake Titicaca, the Sacred Lake of the Incas. According to legend, the Sun God, as well as the pre-Inca god, Viracocha, rose from its depths. It is 120 miles long by 50 miles wide: the Inland Sea of Bolivia and Peru. We know we’ve reached our destination in Copacabana (not the one in Brazil!) when we see the dazzling white Moorish-style basilica decorated in colorful azulejos (ceramic tiles) and domes that tower over the central square.
Accommodations at Hotel Rosario del Lago (B,L,D)

Thurs., Nov. 14: Lake Titicaca | Isla del Sol

From this small town, we cross the lake to the Island of the Sun (a two-hour boat ride). We wander among the ancient ruins hidden in the folds of the steeply terraced slopes of Pilkokaina, Stairway of Yumani. We follow the path upwards towards the ruins after a brief visit to the small but quaint Museum of Gold in Challapampa, which features sacrificial artifacts found in the bottom of Lake Titicaca. We expect to find some interesting highland birds such as Puna Ibis, Puna Teal, Tawny-throated Dotterel, Bar-winged and White-winged Cinclodes, Rufous-naped Ground-Tyrant, d'Orbigny Chat-Tyrant, and Peruvian, Mourning, and Ash-breasted Sierra Finches.
Accommodations at Hotel Rosario del Lago (B,L,D)

Fri., Nov. 15: Basilica | Lakeside | Tiwanaku | La Paz

We start with a visit to the basilica. Copacabana's religious celebrations, cultural patrimony, and traditional festivals are well known throughout Bolivia. Thousands of pilgrims visit the Indian virgin of Copacabana every year. Then we look for the flightless Titicaca Grebe, other waterbirds, and songbirds like Wren-like Rushbird, Cream-winged Cinclodes, Cinereous Conebill, and Many-colored Rush Tyrant. Time permitting, we visit the Tiwanaku (also spelled Tiahuanaco) pre-Inca site on our way back to La Paz. The ancient city of Tiwanaku was the capital of a powerful empire of the same name that dominated a large area of the southern Andes and beyond.
Accommodations at Hotel Ritz (B,L,D)

Sat., Nov. 16: Visit La Paz

Set at 12,000 feet on the central plaza and with a population of one million, Bolivia’s de facto capital is a frenetic medley of fascinating Andean culture, bizarre food stalls, quirky markets, interesting museums, and haphazard architecture that overwhelms the senses at any time of the day or night. The best view of the sprawling cityscape is from a six-mile-long cable-car route that connects the city center to the sky-high settlement of El Alto. La Paz's outskirts also offer an array of spectacular sites, such as eerie rock sculptures created from ancient erosion at the Valley of the Moon. And we may look for a few last bird species in the local parks. We have a glorious final dinner in the city!
Accommodations at Hotel Ritz (B,L,D)

Sun., Nov. 17: Departures

Depart today for flights home. (B)

Blue-throated Macaw Reserve Pre-Tour Extension

Itineraries are guidelines; variations in itinerary may occur to account for weather, road conditions, closures, etc. and to maximize your experience.

Blue-throated Macaw Reserve at Barba Azul

Once thought extinct, Blue-throated Macaw can only be seen in the wild in northern Bolivia, where a population was discovered in 1992. A brilliant blue beard (barba azul) distinguishes this charismatic species from Blue-and-yellow Macaws found elsewhere in South America. More than 300 birds live in the pristine old-growth savannah surrounding our Blue-throated Macaw Nature Reserve lodge, as do dozens of mammals. Take both the tour and extension for the Best of Bolivia! Read more about the Barba Azul Reserve here.

Mon., Oct. 28: Arrivals in Santa Cruz | Optional Birding

Arrive today in Santa Cruz at your leisure. Those arriving in time can enjoy some casual birding you’re your guide. Dinner tonight kicks off the trip!
Accommodations at Hotel Los Tajibos (D)

Tues., Oct. 29: Flight to Barba Azul Nature Reserve

We fly to Barba Azul from Santa Cruz with a scheduled flight to Trinidad and a chartered flight to Barba Azul. Located north of Trinidad in the Beni Savanna, the Blue-throated Macaw Nature Reserve (AKA Paraba Barba Azul Field Station) protects several different habitats including a river stream, palm islands, cerrado, and savanna grasslands. Run by Bolivian nonprofit Asociación Armonía (Birdlife Bolivia), it is a field station that can receive researchers and tourists. Of course, the key attraction here is the endemic and critically endangered Paraba Barba Azul — the Blue-throated Macaw. Enjoy unspoiled nature, great numbers and varieties of wildlife and a fantastic opportunity to be a visitor here. Only 69 people visited in 2022! Many of those few say that it is the highlight of their trip to Bolivia!
Accommodations at Barba Azul Nature Reserve (B,L,D)

Wed., Oct. 30 & Thurs., Oct. 31: Paraba Barba Azul Field Station

In addition to the macaw, there are 300+ other bird species (with a record of 179 birds seen in a single day in September) and 25+ mammal species, including Giant Anteater, Pampas Cat, Puma, Jaguar, Ocelot, Marsh Deer, Pampas Deer, Collared Peccary, Maned Wolf, Black Howler Monkey, and Capybara. We expect it to be the end of the dry season when we are here, so birds and mammals congregate at the few remaining water sources, including one in view from our lodge.

While searching for the macaws we can expect to see many other key bird species: Southern Screamer, Orinoco Goose, Maguari Stork, Jabiru, Ocellated Crake, Swallow-tailed Hummingbird, White Woodpecker, Golden-collared Macaw, Large-billed and Rusty-backed Antwrens, Narrow-billed Woodcreeper, Rufous Cacholote, Sharp-tailed Tyrant, Hudson's Black-Tyrant, White-rumped and White Monjitas, Cock-tailed Tyrant, Tawny-bellied, Dark-throated, Rufous-rumped, and Rusty-collared Seedeaters, White-browed, Chopi, and Unicolored Blackbirds, Epaulet Oriole, and Orange-backed Troupial.
Accommodations at Barba Azul Nature Reserve (B,L,D)

Fri., Nov. 1: Flight to Santa Cruz via Trinidad | Afternoon Birding

We climb back on our charter flight and head back to Trinidad. Switching back to a scheduled flight, we fly the short distance to Santa Cruz. We sample the birds of Santa Cruz after we arrive and join the participants in the main tour.
Accommodations at Hotel Los Tajibos (B,L)

  • Birding Bolivia, Bird watching Bolivia, South America, Naturalist Journeys, Wildlife Tour, Wildlife Photography, Ecotourism, Specialty Birds, Birding Hotspot

    Chestnut-eared Aracari

  • Birding Bolivia, Bird watching Bolivia, South America, Naturalist Journeys, Wildlife Tour, Wildlife Photography, Ecotourism, Specialty Birds, Birding Hotspot

    Amboró Park, Bolivia

  • Birding Bolivia, Bird watching Bolivia, South America, Naturalist Journeys, Wildlife Tour, Wildlife Photography, Ecotourism, Specialty Birds, Birding Hotspot

    Sparkling Violetear

  • Birding Bolivia, Bird watching Bolivia, South America, Naturalist Journeys, Wildlife Tour, Wildlife Photography, Ecotourism, Specialty Birds, Birding Hotspot

    Orange-backed Troupial

  • Birding Bolivia, Bird watching Bolivia, South America, Naturalist Journeys, Wildlife Tour, Wildlife Photography, Ecotourism, Specialty Birds, Birding Hotspot

    Plush-crested Jay

  • Birding Bolivia, Bird watching Bolivia, South America, Naturalist Journeys, Wildlife Tour, Wildlife Photography, Ecotourism, Specialty Birds, Birding Hotspot

    Flora in Amboró National Park

  • Birding Bolivia, Bird watching Bolivia, South America, Naturalist Journeys, Wildlife Tour, Wildlife Photography, Ecotourism, Specialty Birds, Birding Hotspot

    Chestnut-backed Antshrike

  • Birding Bolivia, Bird watching Bolivia, South America, Naturalist Journeys, Wildlife Tour, Wildlife Photography, Ecotourism, Specialty Birds, Birding Hotspot

    Blue-throated Macaw

  • Birding Bolivia, Bird watching Bolivia, South America, Naturalist Journeys, Wildlife Tour, Wildlife Photography, Ecotourism, Specialty Birds, Birding Hotspot

    Lianas in Amboró National Park

Cost of the Journey

Cost of the tour, from Santa Cruz Bolivia, is $7890 DBL / $8390 SGL. Tour price includes: 16 nights’ accommodations, airport transfers, and professional guide services. It includes internal flights, land transportation within Bolivia, park and reserve entrance fees, pre-departure information and services, miscellaneous program expenses, accommodation and meals at all lodges, private transport, and private bilingual bird/naturalist guide. Cost of the tour does not include your international flights to/from Bolivia. The tour cost does not include items of a personal nature such as beverages from the bar, porterage, laundry, phone calls, or gift items. We also recommend a gratuity for maid service, and for our local drivers and guides, which is left to your discretion. The cost of the extension is $3790 DBL or SGL (with shared bath).

Travel Details

Please plan to make air travel plans only after the minimum group size has been met. We will send you a confirmation email as soon as the trip has been confirmed.

Main Tour Arrival Airport: Viru Viru International Airport (VVI) in Santa Cruz

Main Tour Arrival Details: Please plan flights to arrive November 1, 2024, at your leisure.

Main Tour Departure Airport: El Alto International Airport (LPB) in La Paz

Main Tour Departure Details: Please plan flights to depart November 17, 2024, at your leisure.

Pre-tour Extension Arrival Airport: Viru Viru International Airport (VVI) in Santa Cruz

Pre-tour Extension Arrival Details: Please plan flights to arrive October 28, 2024, at your leisure.

Travel Tips: If you arrive early to rest up from your travels, we can book an early night for you at our first night tour hotel, the Hotel Los Tajibos, at a nightly rate around $200. There are several restaurants and cafes within walking distance of the hotel. 

Entry Requirements: US citizens are required to obtain a tourist visa to visit Bolivia, but it can be purchased at the time of entry for a fee of $160. Additionally, at the time of entry, your passport must have 6 months of remaining validity. To read more about Bolivian entry requirements for US citizens, visit the US State Department website.

  • Greg Butcher

    Greg recently retired as the Migratory Species Coordinator for U.S. Forest Service International Programs, working throughout the Western Hemisphere, and as Vice President for Audubon Society of Northern Virginia, serving on the Conservation and Citizen Science committees. He is currently a Board Member for BirdsCaribbean. For his Ph.D. in Zoology at University of Washington, he studied the coloration and behavior of Bullock’s Orioles. Greg studied ecology in Costa Rica with the Organization for Tropical Studies and has worked internationally for the past 20 years. Greg previously worked for the National Audubon Society, American Birding Association, Birder’s World magazine (sadly, now defunct), Partners in Flight, and Cornell Lab of Ornithology. He is a Fellow of the American Ornithological Society (AOS). He has been a birder since he was 11 and has birded in all 50 states and 47 countries.

    Other trips with Greg Butcher

Map for Bolivia: Birding & Nature

Essential Information +

This information is important for being prepared for your journey; we want you to have Read more

This information is important for being prepared for your journey; we want you to have the best experience possible. If you only read one section, this one is key!

Ahead of Your Tour

  • Make sure your passport will be valid at least six months after the date of your scheduled return to the U.S. A visa is required to enter Bolivia. If you are from another country, please contact the Bolivia embassy website for guidelines. See the “Passport, Visa & Documents” section below.
  • A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for entry into Bolivia.  Please consult with your doctor and check current CDC recommendations and requirements for travel to Bolivia about additional travel vaccinations you should have as precaution for travel. See the “General Health and Inoculations” section below.
  • Travel insurance is strongly recommended in case of serious medical emergency. Full health coverage and repatriation is available through Allianz Travel Insurance.
  • Plan your flight reservations arriving into Santa Cruz at Viru Viru International Airport (VVI); departure airport is El Alto International Airport (LPB). Send a copy of your itinerary to the Naturalist Journeys office.
  • Soft sided luggage/duffel bags are easiest for packing the vans. Pack essential medications in your carry-on luggage, as well as one day of clothing and optics in case of luggage delay.

Arrival into Viru Viru International Airport (VVI), Santa Cruz

We recommend arriving into Viru Viru International Airport (VVI), Santa Cruz, at an hour that allows you to rest if needed before the start of the trip. Many flights arrive in the early morning hours, so watch the times/dates carefully. We plan to offer some casual afternoon birding for those who are interested. The group officially assembles for a welcome dinner tonight.

If you know you will be delayed and can email, text, or phone your guide or local operator, they would appreciate it. Both numbers can be found in your contact list.

Please check the Travel Details section of this tour for important travel information and updates.

Departures from El Alto International Airport (LPB), El Alto

Please plan your departures out of El Alto International Airport (LPB), El Alto, at your leisure.

Please check the Travel Details section of this tour for important travel information and updates.

Passports, Visas & Documents

Guidelines and regulations can change. It is always advisable to double-check the country’s documentation requirements 60-90 days ahead of traveling. Information for U.S. citizens can be found at: If you are from another country, please contact the Bolivia embassy website for guidelines.

Passport: You must have a passport valid for six months beyond your scheduled return date. Your passport should have at least one blank page per entry stamp. The blank pages need to say “Visas” at the top. Pages marked “Amendments and Endorsements” will not be accepted.

Visa: A visa is required to enter Bolivia. A Bolivian visitor visa costs $160 US and can be paid in U.S. or local currency upon arrival. If you purchase a visa at the airport, you will be required to provide a photocopy of your passport biographic page. Keep this document in a safe place as it is required for exit. Visitors must show proof of a round-trip ticket or confirmation of plans to depart Bolivia. Visitors must provide proof of lodging in Bolivia including the address of the accommodation.

Please carry a copy of our Emergency Contact List with your travel documents. This is very handy when passing through immigration where they will ask you where you are going and what the phone number is.

As a precaution for lost or misplaced documents you carry on your person during travel, we highly recommend you keep hard and digital backup copies on your phone (either photo or PDF scan), as well as a hard copy left with your emergency contact at home. The recommended important documents to copy include, but are not limited to; your passport ID page, travel visa, the front and back of your credit card(s), the airline barcode on your luggage. This will greatly expedite getting new ones if necessary – we hope everyone will always keep travel documents close so that losing them will not be an issue.

General Health & Inoculations Information – Be Prepared!

We will share your health information with your guide. This information will be kept confidential but is very important as we want to be best prepared in case of medical emergency. 

Health requirements for entry to any country can change. It is always advisable to double-check the country’s health requirements and recommendations 60-90 days ahead of traveling. A helpful website for planning is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for Bolivia or by phone (800) CDC-INFO or (800) 232-4636.

Vaccinations: Bring your up-to-date vaccination records with you. We recommend that all travelers' vaccinations be up to date before traveling to any destination.  Check with your doctor and the CDC recommendations for Bolivia at least 4-6 weeks prior to departure.

Mosquito born illnesses: Travelers can reduce their risk of mosquito born diseases by protecting themselves from mosquito bites using protective clothing, insect repellant (containing DEET, Picaridin, OLE, etc.) and prophylactics where applicable. For repellent permeated clothing, see Packing List for our recommendations. 

  • Yellow Fever (YF): Bolivia REQUIRES an International Certificate of Yellow Fever Vaccination to enter the country. Many international travelers will either have already had the YF vaccine (it is good for 10 years) or get one for this trip (be sure to receive it in the required amount of time prior to departure) and it will be good for other destinations in the future travels. 
    • Exceptions: If your physician says you should not get a required vaccination due to age, then bring a signed physician’s letter on their professional letterhead saying you are in good health, but they do not recommend that you get the vaccine due to age.
  • Malaria: CDC recommends that travelers going to Bolivia take precautions to prevent malaria. As of this writing, there is a risk of transmission in any area below 7,550 ft., which this tour includes. Prevention is essential no matter what level of risk and we recommend you do not take any chances. While consulting with your doctor about travel vaccinations, ask about taking anti-malarial medication. If you do opt for preventative medication (choosing a drug to prevent malaria), you will need to start taking this medicine multiple days before your trip, as well as during and after your trip. Consult with your doctor what is best for you 4-6 week prior to departure.
  • For more information on yellow fever and malaria in your destination, check
  • Dengue Fever: There are occasional reports of Dengue Fever in lower elevation areas, for which there is no vaccine. 


Prescriptions: It is a good idea to pack any meds you take regularly in your carry-on luggage.  Bring an extra pair of glasses or contact lenses. Bring an adequate supply of any prescription medications you use, a copy of the prescription and a list of generic names of your medicines as “back-up” in case it is necessary to purchase drugs while abroad. You’ll want to keep medications in their original, labeled containers. 

Allergies: To be prepared for environmental triggers to allergies or breathing difficulties, please bring your allergy and/or asthma medication(s).  If you have severe allergies talk to your doctor about carrying an EPI pen and notify your guides. It is also recommended to carry with you an up-to-date record of known allergies, chronic medical problems and Medic Alerts so that, if necessary, emergency treatment can be carried out without endangering your health.

Common Ailments: We recommend that you bring a travel-sized first aid kit and a supply of standard over-the-counter medications for prevention or treatment of common ailments (such as diarrhea, constipation, stomach upset, cough, congestion, head or body aches, insect bites and sunburn); as well as ointments, moisturizer, sunscreen, oral rehydration salts, band-aids, moleskin for blisters, cotton swabs, nail clippers, and tweezers, etc.

Altitude sickness: High altitude will be encountered on your trip and it can affect some. General symptoms include headache and occasional fatigue and dizziness. You’ll want to take it easy, particularly at first. The likelihood of these symptoms can be reduced by resting, drinking plenty of water, avoiding alcohol and taking aspirin. If you have worries about the altitude, ask your physician about medications (such as Diamox) that may be right for you. For more information, see

Weather, Climate & Altitude

You may want to check your favorite weather source for forecasts and predictions closer to your date of travel. In November temps will be getting hotter as summer in Bolivia commences. November is generally a warm to hot month and the wet season is beginning, so you can expect some rain.

Santa Cruz

  • Generally, Nov. temps can range from the low 60’s°F at night and as high as mid 90’s°F in the day. The avg. humidity 64%. The altitude is 1,365’.


  • Generally, Nov. temps range from the mid to low 50’s at night, as high as mid to upper 80’s in the day. The avg. humidity 47%. The altitude is 8,432’.

La Paz

  • Generally, in the central part of the city, Nov. temps can range from the mid 40’s°F at night to upper 60’s°F in the day. The avg humidity is around 47%. The altitude of the area around La Paz is between 10,500’-13,800’ while Lake Titicaca is 12,465’.

For the Barba Azul Reserve pre-tour extention: Expect strong sun and higher temps. The altitude is between 7,054’-8,038’.

Annoyances & Hazards

It is best to come prepared for mosquitoes and other biting insects by wearing long sleeves and neutral colored clothing and to bring insect repellent. See General Health section for recommendations regarding precautions against mosquito born disease.

Bolivia is close to the Equator, plus we are at high elevations. It is very important to protect yourself from the sun with clothing, hat and sunscreen.

Food & Drinks

Meals at your hotels and in the restaurants we choose are delightfully prepared in a sanitary environment. As with any case when traveling we urge you to consider what your body is used to before you eat something. Trust your common sense when consuming food and beverages. This is the best way to avoid any unwanted problems. Ask for recommendations from your hotel or refer to a guidebook such as Frommers.

Bottled water will be available for field trips and drinking water is provided for you to refill a bottle. One of the many ways we strive to do our part for the environment is by refilling a water bottle to reduce our consumption of plastics.

In Bolivia, we recommend using bottled water for brushing teeth as well, just to be safe.  Check that the bottle seal is intact before opening. Avoid eating uncooked vegetables and fruit. Your guide will let you know when bottled water is preferable.

Packing, Clothing & Laundry

Please, pack light! You move around a lot! Checked bag should weigh no more than 50 lbs. and carry-on no more than 13 lbs. Name and address should be on the inside of the bag as well as the tags.

Soft-sided luggage or duffel bags are easier to manage in the minivans than hard sided suitcases. Be sure to have your name and address on the inside of the bag, as well as on the luggage tag on the handle. Refer to the Suggested Packing section.

Dress is very informal. You may wish to change for dinners, but casual dress is suitable at all locations. We will be traveling in areas with varying altitudes, temps and weather, so layering is your best strategy for comfort. Choose clothing you don’t mind getting dirty, and that is comfortable and easy to wear and hand launder, as access to laundry service is uncertain in remote lodgings. Loose clothing discourages insects and is very cool. Muted colors are best for the field. Shoes with good tread and support are essential.


  • Imagine NOT getting your suitcase. Bring a change of clothes and a pair of shoes you can use for the tour in your carry-on, just in case. And please DO NOT pack any essential medications, or your vital optics, in your checked luggage!

Spending Money

CASH – Boliviano

  • The official currency of Bolivia is the Boliviano and the symbol used is usually Bs. The international ISO currency code is BOB. 1 Boliviano is made up of 100 centavos (cents). Currently issued coins and notes are as follows:
    • Coins – centavos 10, 20, 50, and bolivianos 1, 2, 5
    • Notes – bolivianos 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200


  • The US Dollar is the only foreign currency that is widely accepted and easily changed in Bolivia, but the bills must be crisp, unripped and clean. Otherwise, they will often not be accepted by the banks, and therefore also not by Bolivian businesses. U.S. dollars in small denominations ($1, $5, $10, $20) are best for purchases and tipping. Large U.S. bills ($50 or $100) might give you the better rate when exchanging to local currency. Not every business (smaller shops and restaurants) will accept U.S. dollars. For that reason, we still recommend converting some money into local currency.


  • The easiest way to exchange currency is to withdraw funds from a local ATM. The airport is a convenient place. 
  • For the current exchange rate, please refer to online converter tools like or your bank. The exchange rate of the Boliviano to US dollar has remained quite stable for a number of years and at the time of writing 1 USD was worth around 6.9 bolivianos (mid-market rate).
  • No need to get Bolivianos prior to arrival in Santa Cruz.  The airport is the best option with currency exchange facilities and ATMs, so you can simply exchange or withdraw some BOB from an ATM upon arrival. ATM withdrawals provide local money; your bank will convert that into U.S. Dollars. Many banks charge a fee of $1 - $5 each time you use a foreign ATM. Others may charge you a percentage of the amount you withdraw. Check with your bank before departure. You must become familiar with how to use your ATM card and PIN number ahead of the journey.
  • Money Exchange Houses – Casa de Cambio – Bureau de Change
    • Casa de Cambios often can provide better rates than banks, so it is worth checking them out. You will find these money exchange services in every city and most towns. However, avoid unprofessional-looking offices and street exchangers that will try to hawk their services as you pass.  Some are untrustworthy. Ask your guide or hotel for recommendations.


  • The ATMs provide local money and your bank will convert that into U.S. Dollars. Many banks charge a fee of $1 - $5 each time you use a foreign ATM. Others may charge you a percentage of the amount you withdraw. Check with your bank before departure. You must become familiar with how to use your ATM card and PIN number ahead of the journey.
  • ATM machines are readily available in the airport and in large cities, but become less available in rural areas. You can’t assume there will be one near you, whether it is working, that it hasn’t run out of cash, or worst case the ATM retains your card unexpectedly (this has been known to happen) – so avoid traveling without cash.


  • Bolivia is not as advanced as many other countries in the areas of banking. If you are in a crunch, the best banks recommended to try are BCP, BNB, and Banco Mercantil Santa Cruz.


  • It can be more trouble than its worth, meaning long queues in banks, copies of passports and changing requirements usually leaving tourists wishing they hadn’t bothered and just stuck with ATMs.


  • While issues with fake money in Bolivia have been decreasing over the years, it is still something to be vigilant about. Thigs to look out for are:
  • Watermarks – on the front side, check to see if the watermark on the left is a good likeness to the picture on the right.
  • Type of paper – the paper on the fake notes often feels different, maybe rougher and cheaper than the real notes. Compare suspect notes with others.
  • Silver strip – on fake notes the silver strips that is woven through the paper can often be scraped away with a finger nail as it is just painted on.

SAFETY & Common Sense

  • We advise you carry a mix of different types of payments, such as both U.S. dollars and local currency, an ATM card, and a credit card. Credit cards are accepted, but not as widely as in the USA. We suggest you have more than one brand of card available (i.e., one Visa, and one MasterCard, if possible (American Express is less accepted). Not every shop will accept every card. Some machines are set up for both, while some will only service one or the other. Also, we recommend that you advise your bank or credit card company where you will be traveling to avoid questions, card freezes, or charges.
  • Don’t walk around with all your money, cards, etc., on you - only bring what you need when exploring, i.e. if you have two cards, only bring one out so if you do lose it, you still have your backup.
  • Try to use ATM machines during the day and in busier places. Be aware of your surroundings and make sure you stash you cash in hard-to-get places for pickpockets (such as an under-clothing money belt).
  • Keep your eye on notes when paying. Some, such as taxi drivers, have been known to take a real note, swap it with a fake and pass it back telling you it’s a fake note. Further caution, for bigger notes, visibly take a quick photo of the serial number before passing it over.
  • Before leaving home, you may consider keeping the bulk of your money in a 2nd bank account that doesn’t have a card attached to it and use internet banking to transfer money across to the other that has a card to withdraw as you need it. Should your card get stolen or compromised, the bulk of your funds are protected.


Hotel staff may receive $1-2 USD per day for housekeeping and luggage service. If at the end of the tour, you would like to show your appreciation to your guides, tipping is entirely appropriate but at your discretion. We hope that you will be pleased with all professional services. Gratuities for group meals are included. For your birding tour guide, we suggest $10-$15 per day per guest. Note that if there is more than one guide, this can be split among them. Be sure to ask your guides if it is customary to tip tour drivers (if the guides are not driving) or other tour service providers on outings so you can be prepared.

If you are dining away from the tour group, note there is no sales tax, although restaurants will add a 10% service charge to the bill. If service was exceptional, an additional 5-10% for good service is appreciated. Taxi drivers do not expect a tip, but if you had a pleasant experience and wish to round up the fare, it would be greatly appreciated!

Cell Phones & Internet Service

Your guide is well connected and can help if any urgent communication need arises. However, it is highly recommended that you travel with a CELL PHONE, if only as a precaution for the unfortunate occurrence of a medical emergency during an outing and needing swift accessibility to critical personal or medical contacts. 

Most hotels in Bolivia provide internet access (sometimes at a cost) and international telephones – although for calling home, you will likely receive better rates using an internet-based phone service such as Skype or WhatsApp. The easiest option for travel to Bolivia is to get a plan with your carrier in your home country that allows you to make emergency calls and/ or receive texts. Before traveling, consider checking about international call options and prices with your network provider. Be sure to set your smartphone to airplane mode to avoid any roaming charges. Just enable WiFi to access the internet.

Please refrain from taking or making cell phone calls in the vehicles when traveling with other passengers, unless it appears to be an emergency. This disrupts other guests, plan on cell phone call use on your own time


The common language spoken in Bolivia is Bolivian Spanish. A pocket dictionary is a great idea, and you can gift it to someone if you don’t want to haul it back! There are also dictionary apps for your phone, and quick learning programs such as Duo Lingo if you want to practice a bit.


In Bolivia, power plugs and sockets (outlets) of type A and type C are used. The standard voltage is 115 / 230 V at a frequency of 50 Hz. You will need to bring an adaptor. More information can be found at


You can check time differences conveniently at


Please contact Naturalist Journeys by email at or telephone at our office: (520) 558-1146 or toll free: (866) 900-1146 if you have any questions. Many thanks for traveling with us and we hope you enjoy your journey!


Pace & Protocols +

Pace of the Tour & What to Expect You will receive a Schedule-at-a-Glance and list of Read more

Pace of the Tour & What to Expect

You will receive a Schedule-at-a-Glance and list of hotels (our eContact List) a few weeks before your departure. This will serve as an outline for each day and alert you to any recent changes made in the schedule or to our hotels, if needed.

Our journeys are set up to follow the rhythm of nature. Our focus is on birding and nature; we offer full, well-planned field days and often get up early for that magical time around dawn. We generally follow the published itinerary, but we stay flexible to the weather, wildlife opportunities and the interests of the group. Your guide will keep you apprised of the next day’s schedule at each evening meal, noting what to bring and what to prepare for. Questions and/or concerns are welcome.

The pace of our Naturalist Journeys tours is moderate; to fully participate you should be able to get in and out of vehicles several times a day, and walk 1-3 miles over uneven terrain. It is important to participate with a flexible attitude as adjustments may be made in our schedule to make the most of our time in the field or for other purposes at your guide's discretion. We are not a “listing” bird company that drills down on target species, but at times we do wait for those special species unique to the places we visit. During the day, we take time to stop for photos and for educational opportunities to learn about conservation projects, landscapes, and geology. We appreciate other taxa as well as birds, with mammals often the biggest draw but plants and butterflies are also very popular. Our clients often lend their own expertise to the mix.

We like to make meals a fun and memorable part of the experience, too. Breakfasts are often at hotels, and we carry snacks, fruit, and water in the vans each day. Lunches are a mix of picnics in the field (weather dependent) and a chance to dine with locals at small cafes and restaurants. For dinner, we pride ourselves in our homework to keep up with the best choices for dining, choosing restaurants with atmosphere that specialize in local foods. On occasion we keep dinner simple to go back out in the field for sunset wildlife viewing or night walks. In some remote locations, our choices are limited. If you are tired, room service for dinner may be an option you can choose.

Naturalist Journeys International Trips: Guide Role

Naturalist Journeys supports ecotourism and the development of excellent local guides. Once we know our international partners and guides well, we can send out small groups working directly with these trusted partners, adding a Naturalist Journeys guide to assist the local expert when we have a group of 6-7 or more. This helps us keep your costs down while retaining tour quality. The local guide is your main guide. You can expect your Naturalist Journeys guide to be well-researched and often they are experienced in the destination, but their role is not to be primary, it is to help to organize logistics, help you find birds, mammals, and interesting other species in the field, keep reports, help facilitate group interactions, and to keep the trip within Naturalist Journeys' style. Local guides live in the countries we travel to, know the destinations intimately, and are often the strongest force for conservation in their countries. They open many doors for us to have a rich experience.


Smoking is not permitted in any vehicle or in any situation where the group is participating in an activity together, such as a vehicle excursion or a guided walk. Please respect all designated smoking areas at hotels and restaurants.


As a courtesy to each other, we ask that all travelers please rotate seating. On international trips we may all be in one small bus, on some trips we are in vans, particularly the roomy Sprinter Vans when available. Some areas require us to be in smaller 4-wheel drive or safari vehicles. Rotation allows you to sit with different drivers and alternate front and back seating.

Photo Release & Sharing

We take many group photos and will share photos with the group. And after your tour, we will organize a chance to share photos via Dropbox or Google Photos. Please note that this is our policy and if you prefer to be excluded, we need to know ahead of your tour.

By registering for this tour, you agree to grant to Naturalist Journeys and its authorized representatives’ permission to record on photography film and/or video, pictures of my participation in the tour. You further agree that any or all of the material photographed may be used, in any form, as part of any future publications, brochure, or other printed materials used to promote Naturalist Journeys, and further that such use shall be without payment of fees, royalties, special credit or other compensation.

Travel Insurance

You are traveling in remote areas. Naturalist Journeys strongly recommends you have full medical and evacuation insurance from a company such as Allianz, for all international travel. If you do not have medical coverage or evacuation coverage on your existing travel insurance policy or for some reason elected not to take that out, we advise getting an evacuation plan with Global RescueWorld Nomads, Medjet, Allianz (they can do evacuation only) or a similar company. These plans are typically $300-$400 for a year for multiple destinations. This coverage may be a part of a larger Travel Insurance policy but can also be purchased on its own.


Please contact Naturalist Journeys by email at or telephone our office: (520) 558-1146 or toll free: (866) 900-1146 if you have any questions. Many thanks for traveling with us and we hope you enjoy your journey.


Packing List +

Please Pack Light! To pare down, we recommend laying out the items you hope to take Read more

Please Pack Light!

To pare down, we recommend laying out the items you hope to take and then do a serious paring down!

Soft luggage is much easier for us to pack than a more rigid hard sided piece, so if you have the choice, please use your soft luggage. Be sure to have your name and address on the inside of the bag, as well as on the luggage tag on the handle. 

Checked Luggage: It is important to pack in one checked suitcase that does NOT exceed 50 pounds.

Carry-ons: Each passenger is allowed one personal item, such as a purse or a laptop, and one carry-on bag.  The max weight of your carry-on bag is 13 lbs. Be sure to pack your personal medication, airline tickets, travel documents, binoculars, camera, and other essential items in your carry-on bag. You will want a day pack for field trips, so this is an ideal carry-on. 

Please reconfirm your international airline’s baggage weight and size before packing. If taking the pre-tour extension, we will let you know if the internal flight baggage requirements differ.


  • Imagine NOT getting your suitcase. Bring a change of clothes and a pair of shoes you can use for the tour in your carry-on, just in case. And please DO NOT pack any essential medications, or your vital optics, in your checked luggage!
  • Please bring your CELL PHONE, if only as a precaution for the unfortunate occurrence of a medical emergency and needing swift accessibility to critical contacts.

Weather & General Guidelines

We will be traveling in areas with varying altitudes, temps and weather, so layering is your best strategy for comfort. November in Bolivia means summer is approaching and bringing with it some rainy days, so do have a good wind-breaking layer that can double as raingear. There will be warm to cool temps during the day and cool to cold temps in the evenings depending on the day’s location and altitude. Loose clothing discourages insects and is very cool. Consider clothing that will provide protection from sun as well as cold in the higher elevations. Check your favorite weather website closer to your departure to better predict what the weather will be on your adventure. For more information, see "Weather" section in Essential Information under the Know Before You Go tab.

Clothing & Gear

Dress is very informal. You may wish to change for dinners, but casual dress is suitable at all locations.

Lightweight, long-sleeved shirts and long pants make ideal field clothing; they protect you from sun, insects, and vegetation. Loose clothing discourages insects and is very cool. Shorts are worn most commonly by tourists, however, for the field, they are not practical and we do not recommend them. Lightweight pants are best while exploring. Shoes with good tread and support are essential. Choose clothes you can get dirty and things that are comfortable and easy to launder.

We recommend muted colors of tan, brown, khaki, grey or green, as they are spotted less easily than white or bright colors; camouflage clothing is not recommended. It is possible to purchase field clothing permeated with insect repellent such as the Craghoppers Insect Shield collection. Another approach is to purchase Permethrin spray (online or from REI) to treat your field clothing and socks before your departure.

Packing List:

  • Lightweight long pants, 2-3 pair
  • Lightweight long sleeve shirts, 2-3 (if open buttons, may be layered with short- sleeved or sleeveless t-shirt to keep cool in the lowlands). Loose fitting keeps you cool.
  • T-shirts, short-sleeved or equivalent (1-2)
  • Personal underclothing (consider what dries quickly if you plan to wash) and nightclothes
  • Socks – lightweight and easy to wash and dry, and long enough to tuck your pants to help protect from chiggers in the lowlands
  • Comfortable walking shoes (such as tennis shoes) and lightweight hiking boots – 2 pair. Please note that forest trails will be on uneven terrain and may be muddy – bring shoes with good support and firm grip tread.
  • Field vest (optional) a great source is Big Pockets
  • Good quality raincoat and pants (recommended) or poncho
  • Fleece jacket or sweater for highlands and evenings
  • Comfortable clothes for evening (a cleaner version of your field clothes)
  • Comfortable sandals or light shoes for evenings, travel days
  • Hat with broad brim
  • Scarf, light gloves, hat for cold evenings and higher elevations
  • Bandana (optional, great for cooling off when hot and sweaty)
  • Bathing suit for swimming

Equipment & Miscellaneous

  • Airline tickets or e-ticket verification
  • Passport, visa (if required), health and travel insurance info, current vaccinations, money & credit cards.
  • A secure pouch to carry the items above on your person (such as a secure, under-clothing money pouch)
  • As a backup: copies of all the above (phone and/or paper) packed in a separate location than on your person, plus a set given to your emergency contact at home as a backup. For passport, copy of the  ID and entry stamp pages.
  • Small daypack to carry gear while hiking and in vehicles
  • Cell phone with stored emergency contacts
  • Walking stick (optional but recommended if you have one)
  • Umbrella – compact and not brightly colored
  • Flashlight with fresh batteries
  • Alarm clock (yes, you’ll hopefully be inspired to get up early!) If you use your phone for this learn how to turn off data roaming.
  • Sunscreen/lip balm
  • Sunglasses with neck strap
  • Insect repellent (something containing DEET, and sulphur powder or equivalent for chiggers)
  • Toiletry articles: shampoo and conditioner, dental supplies, razor, emery boards, hairbrush/comb, tweezers, hand lotion, feminine hygiene, deodorant, pain reliever
  • Sink stopper, soap for hand laundry (the new detergent sheets are super handy!)
  • Binoculars (a hotel shower cap is great to cover these when it is raining…)
  • Spotting scope and tripod (optional – guide will have them)
  • Camera and extra batteries, digital chips etc., lens cleaning supplies and your instruction manual. Do a good check for all this before leaving, battery chargers may be hard to find! (optional)
  • Electrical plug adapter for Bolivia's plug types A & C and one for conversion from two to three prong electronic equipment
  • Water bottle (can easily be bought in the airport and refilled daily). We love the Life Steam bottles that have an internal filter, making it possible to fill from the tap and be safe – VERY handy!
  • Notebook or journal and pen (optional)
  • Field guides (optional)
  • Small bottle of antibacterial hand soap/hand sanitizer
  • Small bottle or bag of laundry soap (or the new detergent sheets, super handy!) sink stopper
  • Washcloth (optional)
  • Earplugs (optional)
  • Rechargeable power bank (optional)
  • Steri-Pen or other UV water treatment device to help cut down on the use of plastic bottles (optional)


WE DO NOT RECOMMEND TRAVELING WITH PRECIOUS OR VALUABLE JEWELRY – don’t tempt anyone and don’t bring things you’d regret losing - your mind will be at ease!

Medical & First Aid Items

  • Heath insurance and vaccination records (kept in personal pouch with other travel documents)
  • Personal medication (and copy of vital prescriptions, including glasses)
  • Motion sickness preventatives if likely to be needed on bus, van, drives, etc.
  • Personal first aid kit including medications for general and stomach ailments (Imodium or Lomotil, antihistamine cream or tablets, eye drops, Band-aids etc.)
  • Foot powder, lotions, general “comfort” items
  • Extra pair of eyeglasses or contacts
  • Altitude sickness medication (optional)

Donations & Gifts

We enjoy interacting with local people. Why not bring a small photo album or load your tablet with some photos of your life to share? Or some small lightweight gifts – hair ties, costume jewelry, memory sticks or flash drives, etc.  Be creative here.  Also for kids, school supplies – marking pens, activity cards such as number cards, small notebooks, and pencils are a bit hit, we can surely find a home for these in the smaller rural villages. Children’s books are a treat, especially if they are in Spanish.

Guides at the lodges are often isolated. They always enjoy a current newspaper, nature magazine, and books. If you have an old USA field guide you are not using, these are great for them to see some of the migrants and birds from another area.


Suggested Reading List +

There are many titles of interest for Bolivia; the following are a few that we Read more

There are many titles of interest for Bolivia; the following are a few that we have enjoyed that can get you started.

Top Picks

Birds of Bolivia

Merlin App – Bolivia Pack. A phone-based birding app from Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology. Before departing the U.S., download the app for free, then from within the app, download the “pack” for Bolivia.

Field Guides

Birds of Tropical America. A Watcher’s Introduction to Behavior, Breeding, and Diversity

A Naturalist’s Guide to the Tropics

Birds of Southern South America and Antarctica

Birds of Bolivia - Field Guide by S. K. Herzog

Natural History

Cloud Forest: A Chronicle of the South American Wilderness

Tropical Nature: Life and Death in the Rain Forests of Central and South America

New Neotropical Companion

History & Culture

Culture Smart! Bolivia

Chilies to Chocolate: Foods the Americas Gave the World

The Bolivia Reader: History, Culture, Politics (The Latin America Readers)


Defeat of the Bird God: The Story of Missionary Bill Pencille, Who Risked His Life to Reach the Ayorés of Bolivia

From Mountains to Morales, Stories of Bolivia: Windows Into Andean Culture, History, and Ecosystems

Your guide will also have a selection of reference books and materials for participants to share. As an Amazon Associate, Naturalist Journeys earns from qualifying purchases, and may get commissions for purchases made through links on this page at no added cost to you.


Useful Links +

Learn more about your destination at these external websites, carefully researched for you. Read more


Encyclopedic Overviews:

Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Cochabamba, Bolivia

La Paz, Bolivia

Copacabana, Bolivia

Nature, Wildlife & Biology

Birding Bolivia – Fatbirder

Species of Bolivia –

Endemic Animals of Bolivia

Birding Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Conservation, Parks & Reserves

Amboró National Park

Asociación Armonía

Polylepis Forest Program – Armonía Conservation of Birds in Bolivia

Geology & Geography

Lake Titicaca

Isla del Sol



History & Culture



El Fuerte de Samaipata

La Cancha Marketplace (Blog article)

Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana

Tiwanaku (UNESCO site)

Cochabamba – Gastronomic Capital of Bolivia (UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network)

Best Bolivian Cuisine

“Living the Language – Bolivia: The Aymara” – 20-min video

Languages Spoken in Bolivia – with basic lessons

“The Curious Customs of Copacabana” – Article,

Blue-Throated Macaw Reserve Pre-Tour Extension

About Beni Savanna

Barba Azul Nature Reserve (+ YouTube video)

Helpful Travel Websites

Bolivia’s Airports (select the airport from pulldown list)

National Passport Information Center

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

U.S. Department of State International Travel Information - Bolivia

Homeland Security Real ID Act

Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Bolivia

Canada Travel Advice & Advisories – Bolivia

Travel Health Pro (UK) – Bolivia

Foreign Exchange Rates

ATM Locator

Electricity and Plugs – Bolivia

Date, Time, and Holidays – Bolivia

Photo credits: BANNERS: Red-fronted Macaw, Amboró National Park, Fawn-breasted Tanager, Night Sky (courtesy of Refuge Los Volcanes Ecolodge), Carmiol’s Tanager, Russet-backed Oropendola THUMBNAILS: Collared Trogon, Tropical Screech-Owl, Ultramarine Grosbeak, Toco Toucan, Blue-and-yellow Tanager, Golden-tailed Sapphire, Broad-billed Motmot, Hoatzin


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