Samaipata is a sleepy town in foothills of the Bolivian Andes. It is accessible by bus or car from Santa Cruz as well as (to a lesser extent) Cochabamba and Sucre. Samaipata acts a gateway to the beautiful Amboro National Park. The town is surrounded by cloud forest, waterfalls, and diverse bird life including Andean condors, king vultures, eagles, and parakeets. Samaipata is also home to El Fuerte – a unique pre-Colombian ruin and designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Average rating: 5.0 (very good)
Average spend per person: $30 ($30 – $30)
Number of reports: 1
Best time to visit: January – December
Typical activities: bird watching, hiking
Wildlife in Samaipata
According to reports submitted to WildSide, the species visitors most want to see here are as follows:
Andean condor – 100% of visitors (1/1) reported sightings
The best place to see Andean condors in the area is ‘El Nido de los Condores’. Known in English as ‘The Condor’s Nest’. El Nido is a mountain peak where a number of condor families nest. Thanks to the large numbers of nests, condors can be seen soaring through the valley all year round. Although it is best to visit on clear days at around midday.
The site is remote and requires several hours driving followed by a challenging hike. The reward is a stunning trip through beautiful scenery with virtually no one else around – often finishing with uninterrupted views of condors on all sides. Several agencies in Samaipata run tours. WildSide recommends Saul Arias Cessio ($60 per day). Saul is an enthusiastic biologist with an extensive knowledge of condors and other species (email: firstname.lastname@example.org). If you’re looking for adventure, he can also arrange guided trips to more remote destinations.