Photo by: Mark Layman_SS

About This Reserve

“Barba Azul” is what the locals call the Blue-throated Macaw in Bolivia, a name that translates to “Blue Beard,” referring to the bird’s distinctive blue patch beneath its bill. The reserve’s name pays homage to this and that it is the first protected area in the world for this Critically Endangered species. In 2018, a second protected area was established for the species in Bolivia called the Laney Rickman Reserve.

Barba Azul is a wildlife lover’s paradise and a playground for nature photographers. The tall grasslands provide habitat for speciality species like the Cock-tailed Tyrant and Black-masked Finch; the extensive wetlands attract flocks of waterbirds, including the Orinoco Goose; and the short-grass river shore habitat is used as a stop-over site by migrants like the Buff-breasted Sandpiper. Thanks to the reserve’s protection of the Omi River, Barba Azul is a critical source of water for dozens of mammals that include the giant anteater, pampas cat, puma, marsh deer, pampas deer, white-collared peccary, maned wolf, jaguar and capybara.

The Barba Azul Nature Reserve is located in the heart of Bolivia’s Beni savanna region, an area twice the size of Portugal in remote northern Bolivia. It is almost entirely ranched and its grassland habitat is burnt every year to clear the way for cattle. Barba Azul was established in 2008 by Bolivian non-profit Asociación Armonía with support from American Bird Conservancy to protect the grasslands, tropical hammock forests, cerrado savanna, and wetlands.

Accommodations

  • Visitor Cabin

    There are four visitor cabins, each with two twin bed and a private bathroom. The overnight rate includes all meals, boat trips, horse riding, and full access to the reserve.

  • Field Station

    Barba Azul also has a field station with workspace and rooms, and can accommodate school/university groups and researchers.

  • New Dining Facility

    American Bird Conservancy is supporting the construction of a new dining facility at Barba Azul, and it will be complete for the tourism season in 2019. The facility will be a common area to lounge, eat, and enjoy the birds you are sure to see.

  • Plane landing at reserve

    Access to the reserve is via a difficult and seasonal road between June and September. We recommend visitors opt instead for a pleasant one hour chartered flight from the city of Trinidad to the reserve’s landing strip.

Dining Available
Guide Available
Overnight Accomodation
Photography Opportunity
Trails Available
Water Activities

Reserve Information

Tour operators who visit this Reserve:

ABC-supported Reserve

What You'll See

  • A heron and caiman

    Armonia

  • Black-masked Finch

    Daniel Alarcon

  • Blue-throated Macaws

    Fabian Meijer

  • Buff-breasted Sandpipers

    Daniel Alarcon

  • Capybara

    Armonia

  • Cock-tailed Tyrant

    Jose Carlos Motta-Junior

  • Barba Azul Field Station

    Oscar Yabeta

  • Forest Oasis

    Armonia

  • Maned Wolf

    Armonia

  • Orinoco Geese

    Daniel Alarcon

  • River Sunset

    Armonia

  • Streamer-tailed Tyrants

    Daniel Alarcon

  • Yellow Armadillo

    Armonia

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