Chalalan Ecolodge
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Chalalan Ecolodge

Calle Comercio, A Media Cuadra De La Plaza Principal, Madidi National Park Bolivia
Traveller (277)
Chalalan lake
Pool & Beach (46)
La chambre
Room & Suite (26)

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About

5.0
#3 of 4 lodges in Madidi National Park
4.9 of 5 bubbles
Location
4.6 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
4.7 of 5 bubbles
Service
4.5 of 5 bubbles
Value
Chalalan is an ecolodge located on the shore of Lake Chalalanan, the heart of Madidi National Park, in the heart of the Bolivian Amazon. The cabins are built in the traditional style of the Tacana indigenous people, with roofs of jatata and walls of chonta equipped with mosquito nets, private bathrooms, solar energy system. We accommodate up to 30 guests with all the comfort in the jungle. Our specialty is the environmental interpretation walks by the beautiful trails and the routes in rowing canoe by the lagoon Chalalan. This venture contributes to the conservation of biodiversity and to the economy of the indigenous people of San José de Uchupiamonas, owner of the lodgehas double, triple and triple cabins, a dining room equipped with a bar and a rest room. It is possible to hold workshops, events and scientific expeditions, birdwatching, fungi, amphibians or just relax in the hammocks and contemplate the lagoon from our pier and our elevated viewpoint.
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Property amenities
Paid private parking on-site
Restaurant
Hiking
Walking tours
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Free shuttle or taxi services
Shared bathroom
24-hour front desk
Breakfast available
Breakfast buffet
Airport transportation
Laundry service
Room features
Dining area
Housekeeping
Interconnected rooms available
Bottled water
Dishwasher
Oven
Extra long beds
Bath / shower
Private bathrooms
Stovetop
Room types
Mountain view
Landmark view
Non-smoking rooms
Family rooms
Good to know
HOTEL CLASS
Star ratings are intended to indicate the general level of features, amenities, and services to expect. This property is classified according to Giata.
4.0 of 5 stars
HOTEL STYLE
Lake View
Green
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish

Location

Calle Comercio, A Media Cuadra De La Plaza Principal, Madidi National Park Bolivia
280Reviews5Q+A42Room tips

Reviews
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Detailed Reviews
Alyx vR wrote a review Mar 2020
3 contributions2 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I would like to highlight a few of my favorite things about staying at Chalalan Ecolodge:

The People: I would like to start off by emphasizing that the Chalalan Ecolodge is owned and ran by a local indigenous community. They are incredibly welcoming and accommodating, and impressively familiar with the land, plants, and animals. They are very knowledgeable, as I experienced with our guide, Rigo. When we went out boating on the lake or the river, he was able to point out so many things. The same on our nature hike; he taught us about medicinal plants and was able to find many animals that we never would have been able to spot on our own. Everyone was also warmly welcoming and friendly and thoughtful. It was clear they loved sharing their home with us, and it was a privilege to be on the receiving end of their kindness.

The Food: I can’t lie, one of my favorite parts was the food. All of it was locally sourced and very fresh. They had a plethora of fruit juices the whole time we were there and they were delicious! There was a lot of variety in the meals and everything was well-prepared. All the food reflected the area and the community in how it was made and what was used. They also seemed to alter dishes fairly easily when a visitor had a dietary restriction.

The Accommodations: The accommodations were great. To be perfectly candid, I was not sure what to expect knowing that we were so far away from larger towns. I was very pleasantly impressed. Our room had two beds with sturdy mosquito nets, a place to hang our clothes, and a bathroom with running water for a sink, toilet, and shower. Everything was clean and nice, nothing felt rundown or old. I was very impressed that they were able to provide such nice accommodations very deep in the forest!

One of my favorite parts was the boat ride to and from the ecolodge. We went in the rainy season, and our boat ride there took about 5 ½ hours. It sounds like a very long time, but I loved it. There was SO MUCH to see. The rainforest is beautiful. It struck me while I was down there that this is a great place to reset and take a break from day to day life. You get the chance to simply enjoy the beauty of nature and alternate between resting and adventuring, all while being taken care of by the lovely people who work at the ecolodge.

I offer my highest recommendations to anyone thinking of staying here. I hope to return one day myself.
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Date of stay: December 2019
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
goninan_char wrote a review Mar 2020
Sydney, Australia24 contributions5 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We didn’t quite know what we were getting ourselves in to staying at Chalalan but it exceeded all expectations. The initial 5 hour boat ride upstream was beautiful albeit long (but the good news is it was only 2.5 hrs going back to Rurrenabaque). Our guide Gilder was nothing short of incredible! His knowledge of the land and his community, humour, willingness to put up with my whinging about the humidity, eagle eyes that could spot anything, and friendliness really made our stay. We would recommend going in the dry season though to avoid the humidity and mosquitoes as at times both were overwhelming. We saw caimans, giant otters (they hadn’t been seen in the lake in 9 years), four types of monkey, spiders, frogs, two boas and so much more!! Chef Donna Maria didn’t make a bad meal. Every meal was so fresh and tasty - we wanted to take her home with us. The most special part about Chalalan is that is employs people from the local community and all funds go back in to the lodge or the community to educate their children, continue providing potable water and healthcare. It really is a special place!!!
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Date of stay: March 2020Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Pascal wrote a review Oct 2022
9 contributions1 helpful vote
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We did the Pécari tour (4 day/3 nights) mid-September.
The overall experience was outstanding, beyond our expectations thanks to its authenticity and the kindness of all the supporting staff. The ecolodge and the guides are all from and managed by the local community. As you would expect, our guide’s knowledge of the flora and fauna was second to none and the attention he gave us throughout was exceptional. His passion for his community’s traditions and preserving the rainforest was clearly evident. Had his English been a bit better would have enabled us to have had deeper conversations about sustainability of the environment and his community.

Despite our visit was during the dry season, it rained a lot! We might have been a bit unlucky with the weather but we had very good luck wildlife watching. Our guide could read and feel the forest somehow. He mimicked the sounds of the animals and where we wouldn’t have noticed them, he could spot them easily. It was truly amazing.

We strongly recommend Chalalan despite its price being in the upper range. The fact that the profits benefits a community working hard to preserve the environment and their traditions rather than a company just doing business makes all the difference in our view.
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Date of stay: September 2022
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Jennifer T wrote a review Mar 2020
Currie, Australia13 contributions5 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We loved every minute of our visit, seeing such an array of birds, in particular the weird and wonderful Hoatzin, which were nesting around the beautiful Lake Chalatan. The lake is lovely for swimming and we did less than half of the walks. We were up close to several different monkey troops as they passed close by the lodge, plus Caiman alligators and fresh water otters as we canoed the lake. Sightings of Capybara and Coatis were highlights of the river journey.
We loved the company of the experienced guides and other family members working at the lodge. The cabins are clean and comfortable, the food varied and delicious.
The lodge is isolated, in the Madidi National Park, and only accessible by boat, so it is worth staying at least three nights, as we did. The time flew by.
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Date of stay: March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Kirsten wrote a review May 2022
Grand Rapids, Michigan65 contributions11 helpful votes
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I can’t imagine a poor impactful, authentic, or wonderous way to explore the Amazon. Chalalan is, simply put, the best. They’re the oldest ecolodge that goes into Madidi and as such they know exactly what they are doing. And you want someone that knows exactly what they’re doing when you go hiking into the jungle. They have their own lake that brings wildlife to it and makes for serene canoeing at sunset. Our guide, Gilder, (and all their guides actually) is from the community that runs the lodge, San Jose de Uchupiamonas. He has grown up in the Amazon and knows not just all the Latin nomenclature of its inhabitants, but also the sounds of everything, the smells of everything, and the uses of everything. These people are the real deal, and your money goes 100% into upkeep of the lodge and back into the local community. The food is all fresh from the jungle, served with warm smiles.

Tips: bring ALL the deet, wear long pants, and insect repellent clothing when possible, wear ankle height hiking boots, pack lightly as it’s a 2km trek into the jungle to get to the lodge, bring a headlamp, good ponchos, if near the rainy season, pack rubber boots. They provide the rest! Best arranged through WhatsApp (they’re super communicative).
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Date of stay: May 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: Getting to Rurrenabaque can be difficult. ECOJET offers flights once a week right now, contact...
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Anton G wrote a review Mar 2022
11 contributions1 helpful vote
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We found Chalalan ecolodge through the internet only a week before our stay, and impulsively reached out to Neil to see whether it would be possible to do the 3 day stay, even if it was still the tail end of the rainy season. We were assured that this could be arranged and to let him know when we were scheduled to be in Rurrenabaque, the jump off point for excursions in the Madidi National Park. At the time we were visiting (march 2022), flights between La Paz and Rurrenabaque had not yet restarted (although they should soon), so we took the overnight bus (Turbo Totai) to get there.

Once in Rurre, Neil met us at our hotel to discuss practicalities and to introduce us to Gilder, our guide. It was at this moment we understood that they were in fact opening up the lodge just for us, which made us feel very lucky and privileged. The next morning we set off from Rurre with Neil, Gilder, Chino, Juan, Eloisa and Jaqi for the 5 hour boat ride to the lodge, which is a very cool experience by itself as you navigate the winding river deeper and deeper in the park. After our arrival, the staff immediately went to work preparing the cabin and lunch, while we had the opportunity to relax, soak in the environment and look out over the lake. Over the next 2.5 days we went round the lake in a barge multiple times, and hiked through the surrounding forest and up to the viewpoint on the other side of the lake. We were fortunate enough to see a plethora of animals, birds and insects, such as several species of monkeys, otters, cayman, macau, capybari and so much more. Just being in the tropical rainforest and being able to experience this made us feel extremely grateful. None of this would have been possible without the people accompanying us, and we feel thankful for making this experience possible for us.

In terms of practical information: we were very happy with our cabin, which was clean and in good repair. There is electricity and mosquito nets, but no hot water for the shower (we were honestly not bothered by this, it’s nice to cool off). We were very lucky with the weather and only had 2 hours of rain over our 3-day stay. Do take into account that you are in the rainforest and that it will be hot and humid. We did not experience much discomfort from mosquitos or other insects, but did take care to regularly apply bug repellent. Miss Eloisa and Jaqi prepared tasty and copious meals and prepared excellent vegetarian meals for one of us.

We absolutely loved staying at Chalalan, and would recommend it to anyone interested in visiting the Bolivian rainforest. Local tourism has been deeply impacted by COVID over the past years, and this has meant a loss of income to the people working in tourism as well as the community supported from the income generated by the lodge. We hope that visitors will soon come back to Chalalan, we are sure they won’t regret it.

In summary: we had an incredible experience. If you’re interested in doing this, just reach out to Neil, you won’t regret it.
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Date of stay: March 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Laurent S wrote a review Aug 2023
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We had a wonderful stay of five days at Chalalan. We felt very welcome there by the whole team, the cooks took great care in providing us with delicious vegetarian meals. The place is quiet and relaxing, surrounded by the sounds of the forest. Our guide Nilo was very generous in sharing his deep knowledge of the local community, conservation issues, flora, fauna (especially birds ;)) and in offering good companionship. We could enjoy with him interesting and beautiful walks in the forest and magical boat rides on the Chalalan lake. We recommend it without reservation.
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Date of stay: July 2023
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Claudine12345 wrote a review Feb 2023
Lucerne, Switzerland3 contributions1 helpful vote
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We stayed 4 nights at the Ecolodge and had a wonderful time with wonderful hospitality and delicious food. During rainforest walks José shared his extensive knowledge of the flora and fauna as well as the indigenous culture with us and enriched us so much. We were able to observe many birds, insects, butterflies, toads, caimans, a deer cow and monkeys. A place without silence, but wonderful sounds: the nature is alive! We hope that this paradise can be preserved in the future. Thank you very much for this wonderful and unforgettable experience.
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Date of stay: September 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
sherischrdr wrote a review Nov 2023
30 contributions6 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Chalalan is a very special place. Deep in the Bolivian Amazon basin and operated completely by the indigenous community of San Jose de Uchupiamonas, this is another world. Living without internet, 24hr electrical service and hot water are a welcome exchange for the reverberating sounds of exotic birds, visits from little yellow squirrel monkeys, forays deep into the jungle led by expert locals, evening tranquil wildlife watching canoe rides and nutritious delicious community meals featuring local cuisine. You're in good hands at Chalalan.
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Date of stay: October 2023Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: Bring a book for hot afternoons in the hammock. Clothing doesn't dry quickly - bring enough...
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
bdayvday wrote a review Mar 2012
15 contributions19 helpful votes
3.0 of 5 bubbles
We stayed at Chalalan in early March and overall, it has to be said, it is a wonderful experience. The area is stunning, pristine rainforest, amazing wildlife. The room we had was basic, but that is exactly how it should be. They also seem to be doing a great job of not disturbing the environment as much as possible.
BUT, we had the following highly questionable experience:
We arrived in Rurre a day late due to an entire day of plane cancelations from La Paz. The staff at the lodge, including our guide asked if we wanted to change our return flight to allow for a night in Rurre. We agreed. The staff at the lodge then came to our room and said that the airline required a charge of 100 Bolivians each to change our ticket and that the Chalalan office in Rurre could pay this for us and then we could refund the office when we arrived back in Rurre. We agreed. It should be noted that when at the lodge, you are completely reliant on the staff for contact with the outside world. When we arrived back in Rurre we repaid the 200 bolvianas to the chalalan office. The next day we went to the airline office to confirm our seats. The flight time had changed again and we asked if the fee we paid still covered this change. We were met with confused looks. The airline informed us that no fee was ever charged and no money was ever paid to them by Chalalan. We then went to the chalalan office to seek an explanation. The office supervisor spoke very good English, but no explanation could be offered. Just lots of shrugs. He agreed that no money was ever paid to the airline. We asked for the return of our money and they returned it. I then asked a very simple question: why were we charged this fee? We were told by the staff at the lodge that this was a fee from the airline. This was clearly not the case, so what was the fee for? We did no wish to accuse anyone. We just wanted an explanation. No explanation was given. The office supervisor suddenly could not speak any English and spouted a few sentences in Spanish, knowing full well that our Spanish is less than adequate. This is always a sign that something very wrong is going on. So without an explanation, we are left feeling as though we were very much taken advantage of. A very sad state for an organization that markets itself on its ethics.
It was a real shame as our experience at the lodge to was very positive.
So our advice is: go to chalalan, it's a great experience and they should be supported. But also be very weary of any 'extra fee' that they charge when at the lodge, as our experience suggests they are prone to taking advantage of the trust their guests have to place in them when communicating to the outside world. We very much hope this practice is not repeated.
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Date of stay: March 2012
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
3.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
1.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Albergue C, Gerente at Chalalan Ecolodge
Responded 20 Jan 2015
Chalalan thanks very much for your kind review and your constructive criticism. We make every effort to ensure that such situations do not occur, your comment was for a meeting with all staff to alaizar the issue and ensure that any payment that is not fully justified and do not properly coordinated with Chalalan airline with which we work. We are confident that will not happen again and your comment was not only useful for Chalalan Todis but for future guests. We are pleased that the hostel and the Madidi National Park you have enjoyed and would love to come back to stay at our lodge. Please, Contact us,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Answer from rmariaca
Santa Cruz, Bolivia46 contributions19 helpful votes
The price is US $ 429 per person in packages of 3 days and 2 nights, includes river transport from Rurrenabaque to the round trip shelter, accommodation, food and activities. We do not have pink dolphins in the area, but we can help you, if you have more time, to complement the trip to Chalalan with a visit to the Pampas, for which they require a couple of additional days. Thank you for your inquiry.
Answer from rmariaca
Santa Cruz, Bolivia46 contributions19 helpful votes
Hi. Our specialty is the jungle, we offer fluvial transportation, accommodation, food and guide in English by our native guides of the indigenous people of San José de Uchupiamonas. We will be happy to organize, for example a tour of 3 days and 2 nights in the jungle with us and we can organize the trip to the pampas with the best local operators of pampas. We will be happy to assist you and give you all the details by email or phone. Please send us an email indicating that you contacted us on Tripadvisor and we will respond as soon as possible.
jeffsdunaway asked a question Sept 2015
Santa Cruz, Bolivia127 contributions15 helpful votes
Is there cell service at your facility, do you offer drinks such as beer?
Rurrenabaque, Bolivia15 contributions
We have no cell phone network coverage or wifi in the lodge, because we are located in the middle of National Madidi Park, 100 km from the nearest town. Consider it as a break from technology and ringing cells. However, we do have communication with the office of Rurrenabaque by HF radio. We do offer bar service, for now we have beer, wine, cold soft drinks and other additional services. Thank you for your questions.
Answer from rmariaca
Santa Cruz, Bolivia46 contributions19 helpful votes
Hi! Yes, it is possible to charge any electronic equipment, energy is provided at 220 V. There difrentes round and flat outlets. Thank you very much for the question. See you in Chalalan.
sherischrdr wrote a tip Nov 2023
30 contributions6 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Bring a book for hot afternoons in the hammock. Clothing doesn't dry quickly - bring enough undergarments. Bug repellant and hat a must."
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Kirsten wrote a tip May 2022
Grand Rapids, Michigan65 contributions11 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Getting to Rurrenabaque can be difficult. ECOJET offers flights once a week right now, contact Chalalan via WhatsApp and they’ll help you."
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Barbara W wrote a tip Nov 2018
3 contributions2 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"don't need to chose - all is good in the middle of the jungle. All beds with mosquito nets- all rooms with bathrooms."
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mark10r wrote a tip Oct 2018
Barwon Heads, Australia40 contributions23 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
"The private rooms with bathroom are very beautiful and romantic. Worth paying a bit extra."
Read full review
connie777 wrote a tip Jun 2018
Boca Raton, Florida25 contributions24 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Simple accommodations but nice."
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Not the right property for you?
There are more places to choose from in the Madidi National Park area.
ALSO KNOWN AS
chalalan ecolodge hotel madidi national park
LOCATION
BoliviaBeni DepartmentMadidi National Park
NUMBER OF ROOMS
14
Prices are provided by our partners for one room, with variable occupancy rules as provided by the property, and reflect total costs of the stay, including all taxes and fees known to our partners. Please see our partners for more details.
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CHALALAN ECOLODGE - Lodge Reviews (Madidi National Park, Bolivia) - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Chalalan Ecolodge
Which popular attractions are close to Chalalan Ecolodge?
Nearby attractions include La Cambita (0.2 km), Alma Day Club (0.3 km), and Artesanias El Patuju (0.2 km).
What are some of the property amenities at Chalalan Ecolodge?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include an on-site restaurant, airport transportation, and breakfast buffet.
Which room amenities are available at Chalalan Ecolodge?
Top room amenities include a dining area, a dishwasher, and extra long beds.
What food & drink options are available at Chalalan Ecolodge?
Guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant and breakfast during their stay.
Is parking available at Chalalan Ecolodge?
Yes, paid private parking on-site is available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to Chalalan Ecolodge?
Conveniently located restaurants include The French Bakery, Casa de Campo, and Juliano's.
Does Chalalan Ecolodge have airport transportation?
Yes, Chalalan Ecolodge offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Which languages are spoken by the staff at Chalalan Ecolodge?
The staff speaks multiple languages, including English and Spanish.