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Madidi is a national park in the upper Amazon river basin in Bolivia. Established in 1995, it has an area of 18,958 square kilometres, and along with nearby protected (though not necessarily contiguous) areas Manuripi-Heath, Apolobamba, and (across the border in Peru) the Manu Biosphere Reserve, Madidi is part of one of the largest protected areas in the world.

Ranging from the glacier-covered peaks of the high Andes Mountains to the tropical rainforests of the Tuichi River, Madidi and its neighbors are recognized as one of the planet's most biologically diverse regions.

The Madidi National Park can be reached from Rurrenabaque if you cross the Beni River with the small passenger ferry over to San Buenaventura.

The local people who have migrated here from the Andean highlands speak the Quechua language. The cultures who find their origin here are the Tacana, the Mosete, the Tsimane and the Ese Ejja, all of which have their own language which pertains to one language group.

Some eco-lodges are found in and around the Madidi National Park. The oldest and best known is Chalalan Ecolodge in Chalalan on the Tuichi River, a successful community-based enterprise that generates significant economic benefits to indigenous communities . Others are the San Miguel del Bala Eco-Lodge on the banks of the Beni River reached by boat 40 minutes up stream from Rurrenabaque and the young Entno Ecolodge - Mashaquipe on the Tuichi River close to the outlet into the Beni River.


The PN (Parque Nacional) and IMNA (Integrated Management Natural Area)Madidi is located in the Northwest region of the Department of La Paz, in the provinces Franz Tamayo, Iturralde and Abel Bautista Saavedra. The municipalities involved are Apolo, San Buenaventura, Ixiamas, Curva and Pelechuco.

Adjacent to the west, with the Tambopata-Candamo Reserve and Bahuaja-Sonene National Park in Peru, on the east by the TCO (Tierra Comunitaria de Origen / Indigenous community land) Tacana I, on the north by TCO Tacana II and south adjacent to the Integrated Management Natural Area National Apolobamba, TCO Lecos Apolo, TCO Lecos Larecaja and Biosphere Reserve and Indigenous Territory Pilon Lajas.

The PN and IMNA Madidi is one of the largest protected areas in Bolivia, with a total land area, according to the Supreme Decree building 18957.5 square kilometres, of which 12,715 km come under the heading of National Park and 6,242.5 km are categorized under the Integrated Management Natural Area.

Its boundaries are between 12 30' and 14 44' southern latitude and between 67 30' and 69 51' western longitude.

The area under conservation covers an altitudinal gradient ranging from 180 to 5,760 meters above sea level and has a variety of ecosystems.


The climate varies from cold in the mountain range area, in temperate lands intermediate mountain until warm lowlands of the North.

The winds come predominantly from the north and south of cold fronts have little impact on the temperature of the region's Madidi. The dry season coincides with the austral winter. The average annual temperature is 26 C degrees , but much depends on the altitude. Isotemas

According to data from Assane (2002), in the region of Apollo is the annual rainfall of 716 mm and October to March with the greatest precipitation, the dry season covered the months from May to September. Isoyetas


Rosa Maria Ruiz is a woman who has fought for the park and its conservation. Though it should be noted that she is a controversial figure.


Dr. Robert Wallace, wildlife biologist, is credited for discovering in Madidi an unidentified titi monkey who only lives in Madidi, a new species to science. The right to name the new species was auctioned through an agreement between the scientists, the Bolivian National Protected Area Service (SERNAP) and the Foundation for the Development of the Protected Areas (FUNDESNAP). This effort has raised 650,000U$ for a trust fund which now generates enough income to pay for 14 park guards annually. The park is also notable for its over 1,000 bird species, representing 11% of the worlds 9,000 bird species.

Equivalent there is a rich and varied life in the water with many fish species.

The Bala Dam Project

One of the threats against the Madidi NP have been (and perhaps still is) the proposed Bala Dam Project at the Beni River in the Bala Gorge, where the Beni River breaks through the Bala Mountain Range.

The proposed hydroelectric dam project has a long history, and the project (and its threats against the nature in the area) was especially relevant about the year 1998. After some years the project apparently was given up, but the idea has come up again in 2007.

The dam would cause the flooding of a huge area, about 2000 square kilometre, including a great part of the Madidi NP, and the catastrophic consequences are evident.

The Apolo-Ixiamas road project

Another of the main threats against Madidi is the construction of the Apolo-Ixiamas road. This is an old demand from some local politicians and communities from the Altiplano, who want to colonize the park for timber and agriculture exploitation. However, independent studies from the NGO Conservation Strategy Fund have shown that this project is not a good development alternative for the region . The project is economically unfeasible and would induce significant deforestation within the protected area .

Environmental losses caused by the road project could threatened the current and future conservation and tourism activities in this protected area, which generate significant economic benefits to the region . Alternative investments such as improving the road that connects Apolo to La Paz and directing the road investment towards social investments such as health and education have much more prospects of improving local quality of life while maintaining the important environmental services provided by Madidi.

See also

Madidi River


Fleck, L. C., Amend, M., Painter, L., Reid, J. (2006a). Regional economic benefits from conservation: the case of Madidi. Serie Tecnica No. 5. Conservation Strategy Fund, Bolivia. 82 p..

Fleck, L. C., Painter, L., Reid, J., Amend, M. (2006b). A road through Madidi: an environmental-economic analysis. Serie Tecnica No. 6. Conservation Strategy Fund, Bolivia. 100 p..

Malky, A., Pastor, C,Limaco, A., Mamani, G., Limaco, Z., Fleck, L. C. (2007). El efecto Chalalan: Un ejercicio de valoracion economica para una empresa comunitaria. Serie Tecnica No. 13. Conservation Strategy Fund, Bolivia. 74 p..

Penarrieta, L., Fleck, L. C. (2007). Beneficios y costos del mejoramiento de la carretera Charazani - Apolo. Serie Tecnica No. 14. Conservation Strategy Fund, Bolivia. 76 p..

External links

Servicio Nacional de Areas Protegidas, SERNAP: The Madidi National Park - El Parque Nacional Madidi: Official website

Regional economic benefits from conservation: the case of Madidi

A road through Madidi: an environmental-economic analysis

El efecto Chalalan: Un ejercicio de valoracion economica para una empresa comunitaria

Beneficios y costos del mejoramiento de la carretera Charazani - Apolo

Madidi.de, in three languages, "Projekt Regenzeit e.V."

How Does WCS Protect Madidi? (Wildlife Conservation Society).

Madidi National Park and IMNA - Park Profile, ParksWatch.org

Pictures of fish caught in the Beni River.

Madidi Amazon Travel, Socio-cultural tourism

San Miguel del Bala Community Eco-Lodge & Eco-Tourism

Madidi Travel, calle Linarez, La Paz.

Madidi photos, Photo gallery of landscape, flora and fauna of Madidi National Park

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Madidi

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