April 2015

A small weekend in Villa Tunari

I have been in Bolivia for three weeks now, and during this time I went around Cochabamba. First a small trip to Tarata; and now I decided to go a little further, Villa Tunari.

By: Morgane Bret
Projects Abroad Volunteer
Rhône alpes -France


Parque Machia
Photos by: Morgane Bret

Villa Tunari is a small town of around 35,000 people in the Chapare region, the beginning of the tropic lands in Bolivia. Perfect to acclimatize to the tropical climate and visit the reservoir of wild animals rescued.

To go to Villa Tunari, we had to take a taxi. At the moment buses are not allowed on the road because a bridge collapsed. With the rain,most routes are potholed. After four hours of taxi, we arrived in Villa Tunari and spent the night in a hotel, waiting for the first adventure of next day.


Parque Machia
Photos by: Morgane Bret

The Machia Park, a haven for wild animals.
Our first visit on Villa Tunari weekend was the amazing Machia Park. Consisting of about 38 hectares, the park is one of the first ones in Bolivia to serve as a refuge for injured wildlife before being reintroduced to their natural habitat.

Owned by the state, the first animals were added to it in 1996. Two spider monkeys, a capuchin monkey, and squirrel monkey were taken as the first guests.

Nowadays the park has more than 500 animals from 30 different species, including five that are endangered.


Wild animals in the Machia Park are collected and cared for in their natural habitat.
Photos by: Morgane Bret

Machia Park has a veterinary team, permanent rangers, and welcome volunteers from around the world for a minimum of two weeks. A pleasant walk through the forest takes us all the way up to the lookout.

Consisting of about 38 hectares, the park is one of the first ones in Bolivia to serve as a refuge for injured wildlife before being reintroduced to their natural habitat.

We have the pleasant surprise to discover monkeys swinging from branch to branch. In addition to discovering wild animals in total freedom, the park offers a beautiful view of the river Chapare and Villa Tunari thanks to its watch tower. It is a walk of about two hours not only to get used to the humid climate of the Chapare region, but also to discover unique vegetation.

A small break in the pozas.
After this pleasant hike in the Machia Park, we went for a swim in the wonderful pozas of Villa Tunari. The pozas are natural pools, due to the confluence of San Mateo and Espiritu Santo rivers, which meet in the Chapare River. These magnificent rivers have free access points from Villa Tunari, or in some hotels or paid access. In the midst of tropical vegetation we find ourselves in a little backwater. The water is clear and fresh, amidst waterfalls and colourful butterflies.


Carrasco Park contains an incredible cave filled with guacharos.
Photos by: Morgane Bret

A Trek in Carrasco Park
After a good night’s sleep in a pretty hotel in Villa Tunari, we took the road towards the Carrasco Park, eight kilometers from the city. This tropical area covers 622,600 hectares. The area has a great diversity of species, with about 3,000 different plants as Waycha, Kewiña, and over 200 varieties of orchids.


Many pozas are a free access from Villa Tunari to refresh.
Photos by: Morgane Bret

However, what makes this park unique are the caves full of bats and guacharos (nocturnal birds). There is also the spectacled bear, the harpy eagle, and the hidden Andean deer, far from the tourist trail. There are more than 800 vertebrate species in the protected area, of which 125 are large mammals.

Carrasco Park was created in 1988 with the main objective to conserve its biological diversity. Initially, it covered an area of 180,000 hectares, but was enlarged in 1991 by a decree that characterized the national park.


Many pozas are a free access from Villa Tunari to refresh.
Photos by: Morgane Bret

Villa Tunari is the best place to smoothly experience the Amazon. Although there are a number of facilities for tourists, the atmosphere is peaceful. Everyone can do what he likes, whether walking in the jungle to encounter wild animals, resting on the banks of rivers, or go zip lining in the forest. Villa Tunari offers a wide range of diverse activities.

Take a challenge take a weekend and enjoy the beautiful landscapes in Chapare.

Sources:
www.intiwarayassi.org/index.php?id=511
www.boliviaentusmanos.com/turismo/destinos/parque-nacional-carrasco.html
es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parque_nacional_Carrasco

Calendario ABRIL 2015

> LUNES DE CINE FRANCÉS
6 de abril 19h
« La bella persona »
Ingreso libre

13 de abril 19h
« Aya de Yopougon »
Ingreso libre

20 de abril 19h
“9 meses… de condena!”
Ingreso libre

27 de abril 19h
« Crónicas de un patio de recreo »
Ingreso libre

> LUNES DE CINE FRANCÉS
“La Historia de Francia Contada por la Publicidad”
Exposición hasta el 8 de abril de lunes a viernes de 9:00 a 12:00 y de 15:00 a 19:00
Sábado de 9:00 a 12:00

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