La Yunga Eco Lodge, Community Tourism, Amboro N.P., Bolivia
La Yunga is a community run tourism project located in the Southern Andean Yungas, a stretch of forest along the eastern slopes of the Andean mountain range. Located near the townships of Mairana and Samaipata, 'The Ferns' eco-lodge provides comfortable accommodation with spectacular 360 degree views, as well as camping areas, typical food, community guides for the extent of your stay, horse-riding and trekking.
The mountain views are spectacular and the diverse landscape ranges from moist lowland forest to evergreen montane forest and cloud forests. In the middle of this cloud forest lies a very important population of giant ferns. The sunrise and sunset is especially beautiful as are the clear nights where it is possible to enjoy one of the most extraordinary views of the Milky Way and its constellations.
Hiking and horseriding trails lead up from the Muela del Diablo and offer breathtaking panoramic views, characterised by canyons, mountain passes, abysses, cliffs, rivers, lagoons, mountain savannahs and small valleys. On top of the Chapa Hill you can gain a 360 degree view of the area and along the way you will learn about the various medicinal plants found in the area from the impressive knowledge of the local guides.
The flora of the region is extremely rich and varied owing to the variations in altitude. There is a dry forest populated with cacti and other endemic plants, the mountain savannahs, home of pulses, bromelias and orchids; the humid forest of the highlands, with its enormous walnuts (Bolivian Juglans), cedars (odorata Cedrela) and laurels (Nectandra angusta); the mysterious cloud forest, home to pine groves (Podocarpus spp.) and the enigmatic arborescent ferns (Alsophila spp. and sellowiana Dicksonia). These ferns are also known as the giant ferns and are true “living fossils”. Their size and appearance easily makes you feel like Lilliputians in the midst of an ancient forest which only lacks dinosaurs!
The area is also rich in native fauna and the variety of habitats makes it the home of a great diversity of animal species. Most conspicuous are the birds, including the impressive Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus), the acrobatic Tijereta (Elanoides forficatus) and the majestic Crestado Quetzal (Pharomachrus antisianus). There is also a wide variety of mammals such as the spectacular Jucumari (Tremarctos ornatus), the unique spectacled bear of South America, as well as jaguars (Panthera onca), giant armadillos (Priodontes maximus) and several species of monkeys, including the nocturnal spider monkey (Aotus sp). Hundreds of insects and especially butterflies, as well as reptiles and amphibians of varied forms and colors complete the huge array of fauna in the region.
Lodging in 'The Ferns' eco-lodge or camping, meals, guided hikes with community guides, horseriding.