Manuripi Heath Amazonian Wildlife National Reserve

In Bolivia there are incredible national reserves and parks, and one with immeasurable ecological value is the Manuripi Heath Amazonian Wildlife National Reserve, known in Spanish as "Reserva Nacional de Vida Silvestre Amazónica Manuripi". This green paradise, located in the Bolivian Amazon, offers wonderful nature visits for the enjoyment of ecotourism due to its diversity of flora and fauna, as well as guided tours through communities. Along with its tourist attractions and activities, it holds a privileged position in Pando.

Data of the Manuripi Heath Amazonian Wildlife National Reserve

Manuripi Heath Amazonian Wildlife National Reserve

Geographical Location

Situated in the southwestern part of the Pando department in Bolivia, the Manuripi Heath Amazonian Wildlife National Reserve is located within the Manuripi province and encompasses the municipalities of Puerto Rico and Filadelfia. The geographical coordinates span from approximately 11° 16′ 40.742″ South latitude and 68° 59′ 23.5″ West longitude to 12° 30′ 2.22″ South latitude and 67° 111 20.576 West longitude. These coordinates define the protected area, safeguarding its impressive biodiversity and unique ecosystems of the Bolivian Amazon. (Source: SERNAP, Municipalities Map Viceministry of Decentralization, 2004).

History of the Manuripi National Reserve

Established on December 20, 1973, under the initial name of Manuripi Heath Amazonian Wildlife National Reserve through Supreme Decree No. 11252. Subsequently, following the recommendations of PLUS Pando, the boundaries of the protected area were redefined under Supreme Decree No. 25906 on September 22, 2000, and since then, it has been named "Manuripi Amazonian Wildlife National Reserve". It has a legal foundation supporting its protection and conservation to preserve its unique biodiversity and ecological value.

Objectives of Its Creation

The creation of the Manuripi Amazonian Reserve in Bolivia has the following main objectives:

  1. To protect the Amazon rainforest ecosystem: aiming to preserve and maintain the balance of this valuable ecosystem, ensuring the conservation of biodiversity and the ecological processes that sustain life in the region.
  2. To safeguard watersheds and species of flora and fauna: playing a crucial role in protecting the watersheds that feed the rivers and wetlands of the area. Its establishment set the goal of safeguarding a wide diversity of plant and animal species, including many that are endangered.
  3. To promote the integral and sustainable use of wildlife resources: while the primary mission is conservation, responsible and sustainable use of natural resources within the protected area is also sought. This implies that human activities in the area should be carried out in a way that respects the ecosystems and ensures their long-term viability.

Overall, the creation of this Manuripi Amazonian Wildlife National Reserve reflects Bolivia’s commitment to nature conservation and the promotion of responsible practices to ensure the protection of this invaluable ecological treasure.

Protected Area Size

According to the Creation Decree, the area covers 747,000 hectares. Based on Geographic Information System (GIS) digital records, the estimated size is 773,455.2 hectares.

Geography and Climate


Situated within the physiographic province of the Chaco Beni Plain. The reserve’s physiography is characterized by rounded hills and plateaus. These are typical features of a plain that has been shaped by geological and erosional processes over time.

Within its boundaries lie significant alluvial plains formed by the Amazonian rivers that traverse it, including the Madre de Dios River, the Manuripi River, and the Beni River. These rivers are crucial for biodiversity and ecosystem preservation, providing diverse habitats and sustaining numerous species of flora and fauna.

The presence of these alluvial plains and rivers creates an environment conducive to a wide range of species, which is one of the main reasons why the place has been protected by the laws of the Bolivian government.


It falls within the Amazon River’s macro-basin, one of the largest and most important river basins in the world. Furthermore, it encompasses the basins of several important rivers in the region. These rivers include:

  1. Beni River: a significant tributary of the Madeira River, which in turn is a major tributary of the Amazon River. Its course runs through the reserve, contributing to the ecosystem’s diversity and providing water and habitats for various species.
  2. Madre de Dios River: an important tributary of the Madeira River. Its course also passes through the delimited and protected area, enriching biodiversity and contributing to the formation of alluvial plains and aquatic habitats.
  3. Manuripi River: the river that gives its name to the reserve, is also a tributary of the Madre de Dios River. Its presence within the protected area is essential for wildlife maintenance and the hydrological dynamics of the region.
  4. Orthon River: also part of the hydrographic basins of Manuripi, contributing to the complex aquatic system of the region.


The climate in Manuripi is classified as tropical humid and warm with seasons. Average temperatures in the reserve range from 26.2°C in the southeast to 24.9°C, while average maximum temperatures reach 31°C.

Precipitation follows a significant rainy regime. Annual average precipitation varies from approximately 1,815 mm in the eastern part of the reserve to around 2,500 mm in the west. This variability in precipitation influences the distribution of ecosystems and the diversity of flora and fauna present in the region.


Manuripi is a sanctuary of biodiversity, home to a plethora of species of flora and fauna. Among the flora, species of orchids, bromeliads, ferns, and palms stand out. The fauna is equally diverse, including jaguars, pumas, tapirs, various monkey species, and an incredible variety of birds.


It entirely falls within the Southwest Amazonian Tropical Forest ecoregion, characterized as a seasonal evergreen forest with elements of Hylea. Within this ecoregion, two major distinctive vegetation formations can be found:

  1. Upland Forest (Amazonian Forests of Pando): This vegetation formation represents the typical forest of the region and occupies the majority of the protected area. It consists of trees that are not subject to permanent flooding and is an essential part of the Amazonian ecosystem. Within the upland forest, different structural groups can be distinguished, including understory forest without emergent trees, understory forest with emergent trees, mid-story forest, and tall forest.
  2. Floodplain Forest (Amazonian Flooded Forests): This formation is found in lower areas close to rivers, where flooding is more frequent. These forests are capable of withstanding periods of inundation and provide unique habitats for various species of flora and fauna adapted to these conditions.

The Southwest Amazonian Tropical Forest ecoregion is renowned for its exceptional biodiversity. The types of forests present in this region are among the richest on the planet in terms of species diversity, turning the area into a vital sanctuary for wildlife in the Bolivian Amazon.


A total of 436 plant species have been recorded in the Manuripi Reserve. Out of these species, 197 have been documented through collections, but their taxonomic determination is still pending.

This finding is significant, as it showcases the immense plant biodiversity present in the area. The large number of documented plant species thus far underscores the ecological importance of this protected area in the conservation and preservation of Amazonian flora.

Divided into two main units: upland forests and floodplain forests. Each of these units contains four major structural groups, which in turn harbor many types of plant communities.

In the upland forests, the following species can be found:

  • Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa).
  • Isigigo (Tetragastris altissima).
  • Pacay (Inga ingoides).
  • Ochoó (Hura crepitans).
  • Arrayán (Eugenia florida).
  • Mapajo (Ceiba pentandra).
  • Yellow almendrillo (Apuleia leiocarpa).
  • Coquino (Pouteria macrophylla).
  • Rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis).
  • Toco (Parkia pendula).
  • Mara macho (Cedrelinga catenaeformis).
  • Yellow miso (Couratari guianensis).
  • Hymenolobium excelsum.
  • Glycydendrum amazonicum.
  • Chaunochiton kappleri.

Regarding palms, the reserve is home to a variety of species, including:

  • Mauritia palm (Mauritia flexuosa).
  • Various chonta species (Astrocaryum sp.).
  • Majo palm (Jessenia bataua).
  • Vegetable ivory (Phytelephas macrocarpa).
  • Motacú palm (Scheelea princeps).
  • Asaí palm (Euterpe precatoria), which is threatened due to commercial exploitation of its heart of palm.

In addition to the mentioned species, there are other types of plant communities contributing to the biodiversity and richness of its flora.


The habitat of approximately 867 animal species is distributed across various categories:

  • Mammals: 92 mammal species have been recorded in the reserve. Among them, jaguars, pumas, tapirs, and various monkey species can be found.
  • Birds: particularly rich, with 501 documented bird species. This includes an incredible variety of birds such as macaws, toucans, parrots, raptors, and many others.
  • Reptiles: 77 reptile species, including snakes, lizards, and turtles, among others.
  • Amphibians: 83 amphibian species have been recorded. These include frogs, toads, and salamanders, among others.
  • Fish: the aquatic fauna is also diverse, with 112 fish species present in the rivers and wetlands.

The abundance and variety of animal species make it a true paradise for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. Notable fauna species in Manuripi include:

  • Jaguar (Panthera onca).
  • Puma (Felis concolor).
  • Ocelot (Felis pardalis).
  • Margay (Felis wiedii).
  • Short-eared dog (Atelocynus microtis).
  • Giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis).
  • Giant armadillo (Priodontes maximus).
  • Tapir (Tapirus terrestris).
  • Tamandua anteater (Tamandua tetradactyla).
  • White-lipped peccary (Tayasu pecari).
  • Collared peccary (Tayassu tajacu).
  • Central American agouti (Dasyprocta punctata).
  • Lowland paca (Agouti paca).
  • Red brocket deer (Mazama americana).
  • Gray brocket deer (Mazama gouazoubira).
  • Black caiman (Melanosuchus niger).

Tourist Attractions and Activities

Lago Bay (Lake Bay)

An impressive reservoir of crystal-clear waters within the Manuripi Amazonian Wildlife National Reserve. In this beautiful corner of the Amazon rainforest, you can enjoy a unique experience in nature where orchids and other aquatic plants line its shores, creating a charming environment. Abundant wildlife is also part of this experience. Birds soar in the skies, lizards glide along the shores, and other wild animals can be seen among the lush vegetation, offering a unique opportunity for wildlife observation in their natural habitat.

Between the months of August and November, in Bay Lake, shoals of fish can be spotted swimming in its waters from the boats. This scene is an astonishing experience that fills those who have the privilege of witnessing it with wonder.

Alta Gracia

Located downstream of the Manuripi River, this place presents a unique and captivating landscape, offering various opportunities to enjoy tourism in close contact with nature.

Manuripi, Tahuamanu, and Madre de Dios Rivers

The Manuripi, Tahuamanu, and Madre de Dios rivers offer a breathtaking spectacle of nature, with their dark-colored and milky coffee-like currents constantly intermingling. This natural wonder is an unforgettable experience for visitors.

Siringuera and Brazil Nut Culture

The culture of rubber tappers and Brazil nut gatherers is manifested in the communities and shelters within the Manuripi Reserve. It is rooted in a deep understanding of the forest and its interpretation. This culture is also directly related to the non-timber product supply chain, such as rubber latex and Brazil nuts. Local communities engage in these activities sustainably, respecting the ecosystem and ensuring the conservation of natural resources in harmony with nature.

Visitor’s Guide

How to Get to Manuripi

To reach the Manuripi Amazonian Wildlife National Reserve, you can take the route from the city of Cobija, which is the nearest city. From Cobija, you can enter the reserve through the Cobija – Porvenir – Chivé road, which leads to the banks of the Madre de Dios River, one of the areas within.

Within the protected area, there are trails and brazil nut gathering spots that are frequented by visitors and explorers who wish to venture into nature and enjoy the beauty of the place.

Additionally, another option is to take another main road that allows you to reach Sena, another nearby locality, from where you can continue on paths or trails to enter the protected area.

We have included the map of its geographical location in case you need to plan a route to get there:

Accommodations near Manuripi

In the vicinity of the reserve, a variety of accommodation services can be hired, catering to the needs of each visitor and group that visits Manuripi.

Location Lodging Address Service
Cobija City Hostería Sucre C/ Sucre, one and a half blocks from the Main Square Cable TV, private bathroom, and cafeteria
Hotel Nanijos C/ 6 de agosto Nº 147 Cable TV, Swimming Pool

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