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NOEL KEMPFF MERCADO NATIONAL PARK

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NOEL KEMPFF MERCADO
NATIONAL PARK


History says that, hundred of years ago, a group of natives called Guarasug'we -coming from Paraguay-, populated these Bolivian lands to leave us unlikely legends and colorful traditions. It is also known , that in the northern side of the Noel Kempff Mercado National Park, there are several stones that show human faces features, but they have not been studied rigorously yet.

Nature and history in the Noel Kempff Mercado Park-northeast of the department of Santa Cruz- one of the most extensive ecological reserves in the world, with a surface of 914,00 hectares.

Images of amazing waterfalls and incredible rocky islands in the river. Rivers and lagoons that traffic through an ecosystem loaded with an extraordinary flora and fauna. A world to discover. A place that offers diverse habitats that could hardly be found in another part of the planet.

Flora and fauna

It is estimated that in this area, there are approximately 4,000 species of vascular plants. But, without a doubt, the eyes of any adventure man will be captivated when admiring the variety of orchids, bromelias, pasifloras, heliconias, aráceas and palms.

Among the group of trees and plants that can be commercially used, the best known are the mara (Swietenia macrophylla), the oak (Amburana caearensis), the cedar (Cedrela odorata), the rubber (Hevea brasiliensis), and several species of palms like the asaí or palmito (Euterpe precatoria).

The fauna in the Noel Mercado Kempff Park is rich and surprising. The last studies register around 150 varieties of mammals, among those: jaguars, pumas, elks and tapires, troop porks or pecaríes, monkeys, urinas or deer, capiguaras and strange species like the mount dog, borochi, deer of the swamps, bufeos and londras, among others.
As for the birds, there have been reported more than 620 species. Among them we find pavas, parabas, parrots, toucans, sparrow hawks, hawks, partridges, gulls, tapacarés, batos, ducks, cormoranes, herons, martín pescador and others.

The Park, also, presents a total of 62 species of amphibians. Although the fish are the less studied vertebrates of the area, they have a bigger importance because they represent the basic food of those that inhabit the communities near to these paradisiac places. A recent study has registered 250 species of fish.

About the reptiles that rest, crawl and swim in the area, 74 species have been reported, including crocodiles, diverse saurian, turtles and snakes. There are also black cayman, sicurí, tataruga, tracayá, land peta, púa rattlesnake, chonono rattlesnake and iguana, among others. 347 species of insects have been identified. Natural wonders that are hardly found in other parts of the world.

Tourist places

Captivating and majestic places. Amazing waterfalls, wrap and catch any tourist. The Bay of the Orchids, the Mirador of the Monkeys, Caparuch and the waterfalls Rainbow, they are the most attractive natural places in the area.

At the moment, the visitors are received in the Flor de Oro camp, located along the Itenez or Guaporé river, close to the border with Brazil. This area is perfect to stop and to observe the flight of the birds; to go for a walk by the river and to contemplate the beauty of the londras (Pteronura brasiliensis) and the sweet water bufeos (Inia geoffrensis).

Las Torres, a group of rocky formations that offer a spectacular panoramic view of the area, has become a very visited place by the tourists. Some further steps, we find the Mirador of the Monkeys, from which the whole Flor de Oro Camp can be observed. The best time to visit the place is from December to May.

Population

Although there are not people residing in the Park, during the times of the extraction of rubber -practice that begun in the last century-, many communities of Chiquitanos mestizo settled in the surroundings (Remanso, Piso Firme, Bella Vista, Porvenir, Florida y Esperancita de la Frontera).

Time past and now these residents have been dedicated to other economic activities based on the exploitation of natural resources, such as the plant medicinal poalla, wild animals (saurian, felines, parabas), palmetto and wood.

At the present time, the population is less than 1,500 people. All of them cohabit under precarious services of water, energy, health and education.
It is, indeed, a captivating and amazing natural place that invites to be visited... and, mainly, protected.

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