ultramarinus – beyond the sea

DAY 30 (1 OF 2) – CLOUD FOREST AT AMBORO NATIONAL PARK, SAMAIPATA, BOLIVIA

Other than El Fuerte, Amboro National Park is the other big draw for visitors coming to Samaipata.  Located roughly 40 minutes of drive from Samaipata, Amboro is relatively easy to access comparing to other national parks in Bolivia.  Amboro is famous for its diverse landscapes and terrains, offering a large variety of vegetation from Amazonian rainforest, Chaco plains of cactus and palms, to cloud forest of ferns and trees.  We chose the cloud forest as our destination to check out its prehistoric vegetation.  Situated from 1800m to 3500m above sea level, the cloud forests of Amboro serves as a major water source supporting cities and towns at the lowlands, including Santa Cruz.  The cloud forest acts like a sponge, capturing the moisture in the air and gradually releasing the water to streams and rivers.  For us, the biggest highlight of Amboro’s cloud forest is the giant ferns.  They are the rare survivors from the prehistoric eras.  According to our guide, one species of the ferns even predates the dinosaurs, while the other major species originates from the Jurassic Period.  Since ferns reproduce by spores instead of flowers and seeds, there are little resources in the fern forest to support a large population of animals.  We did see a few interesting birds during the trek.  With steep and muddy ascends and descends, the trek turned out to be tougher than what we imagined, but we were glad that we made it to see the giant ferns, some reaching more than 10m tall.  Given that some grow only 1 to 2cm per year, some of the ferns we saw are hundreds and even over a thousand years of age.
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Read other posts on Samaipata & Santa Cruz, Bolivia:
Day 27.2 – Night Arrival, Samaipata, Bolivia
Day 28.1 – El Fuerte, Samaipata, Bolivia
Day 28.2 – Town, Samaipata, Bolivia
Day 29.1 – Finca la Vispera, Sampaipata, Bolivia
Day 29.2 – Garden Cafe at Finca la Vispera, Samaipata, Bolivia
Day 30.1 – Cloud Forest at Amboro National Park, Samaipata, Bolivia
Day 30.2 – Starry Night, Samaipata, Bolivia
Day 31.1 – Goodbye, Samaipata, Bolivia
Day 31.2 – Centro, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought

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