Heli-Fishing in the Remote Bolivian Jungle
All new for 2024, Tsimane will merge two of its programs to create a totally unique and exploratory fishing package. With the introduction of the Lodge Heli Fishing Program, the lodge’s guides and guests can access the most remote, productive, and unpressured waters in Bolivia for golden dorado, pacú, and yatorana. Anglers traveling to the new Pluma/Secure program will enjoy single occupancy accommodations split between the two lodges over the course of the week. The primary goal of the new venture is to expose anglers to waterways rarely seen by humans while showcasing as much of the region as possible in a single week.
+ Listen to this WAYPOINTS Podcast: MARCELO PEREZ – Bolivian Golden Dorado and a Life of Adventure
Newly built lodging at both Pluma and Secure will host twelve total anglers per week, with anglers enjoying single-occupancy rooms at both locations. The lodges are built entirely from locally sourced, sustainable wood, with a total of six rooms at each lodge. Each room features a private bathroom, a queen-size bed, a desk, an armchair, hot water, and electricity.
Each lodge features a well-fashioned private dining room and living room where anglers can socialize after the fishing day. Both locations offer free laundry service to ensure anglers can minimize packing and stay fresh throughout their stay. Additionally, an onsite fly shop is available for anglers looking to fill out their fly box or in need of terminal tackle. The helicopter pilots utilize a nearby heliport at each location, allowing quick and easy access to the day’s fishing. Given the physically demanding nature of fishing in Bolivia, each lodge also has a massage room for guests to enjoy.
Food and Beverage
Guests will enjoy made-to-order breakfasts each morning before departing to fish. Each afternoon, lunch will be served streamside with cold beverages provided by your guide. In the evening, guests enjoy freshly prepared international cuisine paired with local Argentinean, Chilean, and Bolivian wines and an all-inclusive bar with various spirits. Given the remote nature of the lodge, the cuisine at both lodges is delicious, fresh, and diverse.
Typical Length of Stay
The lodging package includes seven (7) nights total between the two lodges and six (6) full fishing days. The package also includes two nights at a five-star hotel in Santa Cruz de la Sierra at each end of their trip.
Non-Angling Activities and Options
Tsimane operates in a remote, fishing-focused destination. It is not the ideal location for non-anglers and is best suited to those who are there to fish. That said, the wildlife, birds, and butterflies are amazing and sure to impress even the most hard-core angler.
Internet / Communications
Satellite Wi-Fi is available at Tsimane’s Pluma Lodge location. There is also a satellite phone on site for emergency use.
How To Get There
Guests will fly to the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz (VVI) on an international flight. Upon arrival in Santa Cruz, guests will be met by a member of the Tsimane team at the airport and transferred to a 5-Star hotel for their first night in the country. There, guests will settle into their room and enjoy the amenities of one of the best hotels in Bolivia. The Tsimane team member will further explain the details of the trip, and the following morning guests will take a charter flight to the Oromono Community jungle airstrip – a flight of approximately 1.5 hours. Upon arrival at the lodge’s jungle airstrip, anglers will be met by the guides, taken upriver to the lodge, shown around, and will then be able to fish the home pool the first afternoon.
Arrival and Departure Details / Times
The typical week at the lodge is a Saturday to Saturday. You will want to arrive in Santa Cruz (VVI) the day or evening before, where you will overnight in the city, and depart for the lodge the following morning.
Passports valid for at least six months from the date of entry into Bolivia are required to enter and depart Bolivia. U.S. citizens (and some others) do require a Visa and are can purchase their visa upon arrival in Bolivia ($160 USD cash). A Yellow Fever vaccination certificate will be required for entry into Bolivia.
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– Airline Ticketing
– Moon Phases
– Rent This Rod
– Trip Insurance and Emergency Evacuation
– Global Rescue Membership
The all-new heli-fishing program ensures anglers enjoy the best fishing possible across the Pluma and Secure watersheds. Anglers will fish for three days at one location before traveling to the other lodge for fresh scenery, new runs, and another three days of exploring prime fishing habitat. If the helicopters cannot fly due to weather, anglers will fish the local waters using a combination of walk-wading and dugout canoes to traverse the local waters. The introduction of the helicopter program will lessen pressure on the home waters of the two lodges, ensuring they remain healthy and productive long term.
Even though the dorado in Tsimane’s area waters are plentiful, the fishing in these rivers presents several challenges (as well as opportunities) for the angler. And although golden dorado are voracious, savage hunters, they are not necessarily easy to catch. As with most fishing situations, the element of surprise is an advantage that anglers will want to take full advantage of. These fish are almost always easily put down if spooked, so every pool and run must be carefully approached, well-planned, and well-fished. Working closely with your guide will maximize each opportunity. In most situations, dorado are caught when they are leisurely feeding and unaware of an angler’s presence. That said, their “eats” and their attacks can be very swift and sudden, so accurate casts and timing become important variables. Being able to shoot 40 to 60 feet of line, minimize false casts, and deliver a large fly accurately and delicately is a huge advantage when fishing in this area. Like many saltwater situations, a powerful and accurate double-haul certainly helps.
The Pluma River is a moderately-sized, clear freestone river with an incredibly pristine and beautiful topography. It is more open than many of the other rivers in the area and is easier to wade due to its wide banks, mostly composed of smooth gravel and rock. In order to keep the Pluma River as virgin as possible, motors are restricted, except for a small stretch where the Pluma joins the Secure River.
The Secure River offers crystal clear waters wedged between lush jungle mountains. Many anglers consider the Itirizama to be the “jewel in the crown” of the Tsimane programs. It is similar in size and volume to the upper section of the Pluma River, but it has a steeper gradient and more rugged terrain, giving it a very different look and feel. The Itirizama runs from west to east through rugged canyons, creating the characteristics of a typical mountain stream with fast runs, rapids, waterfalls, and large boulders. This is the most physically intense section of the river to hike, wade, and fish, but the rewards of incredibly scenic beauty and some of the largest dorado in the area make it worth the extra effort. Size prevails over numbers, and this is a true trophy fishery.
Boats and Equipment
In the event of inclement weather conditions, anglers will utilize the dugout canoes to fish the local waters around the lodge. Otherwise, the primary method of accessing the fishery each day is via helicopter. Anglers are encouraged to bring all of their own gear, flies, and terminal tackle, although the onsite fly shop can assist anglers fill in any gaps in their equipment.
Rates and Terms
Remember that Yellow Dog’s services are completely free! When you book a trip with Yellow Dog, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge or outfitter. All prices listed below are per person, based on double occupancy, and quoted in U.S. dollars. Please contact Yellow Dog for current availability.
2024 Rates: $16,000 per Angler, plus $1,250 for Indigenous and national park fees.
- Seven nights at Secure and Pluma lodges with all the meals and beverages
- Wifi and laundry, free of charge, in both lodges
- A total of six (6) days of guided fishing, transported by helicopter (3 days in Pluma and 3 days in Sécure) or fishing in the regular Lodge waters if the weather doesn’t allow us to fly.
- Two (2) nights in a Santa Cruz five-star hotel, single room
- Transfers in/out of Viru Viru International Airport in Santa Cruz
What’s Not Included:
- International flights to Santa Cruz de la Sierra
- Food and drinks in Santa Cruz de la Sierra (except breakfast at the hotel)
- Tips and gratuities for the staff
- Tours in Santa Cruz de la Sierra
- Travel Insurance
- Air taxes and other taxes
Tsimane Golden Dorado Operations (Bolivia)
TERMS AND CONDITIONS – CANCELLATIONS
A non-refundable deposit of 50% per person is due at the time of booking to hold both space and guides for all Tsimane packages. In the case of cancellations, all deposits and payments are non-refundable. Because of the lodge’s strict no refund policy, we highly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance. No space or guides will be held without receipt of deposit. Full pre-payment is due 90 days prior to date of trip. Tsimane will not refund payments in the event poor weather, or for unused portions of any package. All baggage and personal belongings are the sole responsibility of its owners at all times. We highly recommend obtaining a comprehensible travel insurance covering loss and robbery of baggage and personal belongings. In no event will the lodges or agents be responsible for any losses. The lodges and agents will not be responsible for any loss, damage or injury arising while practicing sportfishing or any other activity, or for any loss damage or injury suffered aboard an airplane or a charter plane. The operator reserves the right to make changes to the trip itinerary whenever judged necessary by circumstances beyond control, or major force circumstances. In this case, no refund will be made, although the trip itinerary, dates and/or destination can be changed by Untamed Angling and a trip credit could be made with or without extra costs at the sole discretion of the operator. Please be aware that all guests will be required to sign and return an Untamed Angling Indemnity Form prior to the trip, and there will be no exceptions to this. No refunds can be made for unused arrangements or fishing time lost due to inclement weather. Receipt of deposit and/or final payment is acknowledgment that registrant has read and accepts the deposit, cancellation, refund and responsibility clauses for these Bolivia packages.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW YELLOW DOG GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS AND CANCELLATION POLICIES
Payment Terms For All Yellow Dog Trip Bookings
In order to lock in your trip reservation, we ask that you please remit payment at the time of receipt of invoice. For your convenience, Yellow Dog accepts on-line payments via a direct and secure ACH platform – a quick and easy way to complete your trip reservation. Note that all Yellow Dog invoices include a live link that takes you directly to the Yellow Dog ACH platform for fast and easy payment. For open and existing invoices with a remaining balance, payment reminders also include this easy link to the ACH page.
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Beginning September 1st, 2020, Yellow Dog will apply a 3% convenience fee for all credit card transactions.
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