Reserva Nacional de Flora y Fauna Tariquía

Wildlife Reserve in Padcaya & Chaguaya

The lovely and little-known 2470 sq km Tariquía Flora & Fauna Reserve (created in 1989) protects a large portion of cloud forest and a smaller area of polylepis woodland on the eastern slopes of the department of Tarija’s mountains. Ranging in altitude from 400m to 1500m, it houses rare animals such as the spectacled bear, as well as hundreds of bird species including the threatened rufous-throated dipper and the spectacular military macaw.

The largely wild reserve's pristine future has been in doubt for many years now after the discovery of large deposits of natural gas. Access is complicated and there are no formal tours. Hiking is possible but extremely challenging in this remote area and should not be attempted without a guide. Contact the Prometa office in Tarija for details on how to visit or Eiber Sibila (7513-1714), a guide based in Tarija who can organize trips. They operate a few camps in Tariquía, including a simple albergue with camping and cooking facilities in the heart of the reserve, however, it's a two-day hike in from the road. The best time to visit is during the dry winter months (May to September) when the climate is mild and river crossings are possible.

The way from Padcaya to Pampa Grande-Motovi, the access point to Tariquía, is along a rough dirt road and takes around three hours. Shared taxis (B$70) from Padcaya need six people to leave – it will be a long wait if you're not in a group.

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