Tsimane - Agua Negra Camp
- Fish for large migratory golden dorado in one of the Amazon's southernmost tributaries
- Engage in true adventure travel complete with dugout canoes, indigenous people, and a pristine jungle environment
- Enjoy easy wading and access to the Agua Negra and Secure Rivers
- Experience deluxe four-person safari-style tent camp with attached bathrooms
- Enjoy thoughtfully prepared meals paired with fine Argentine wines
The Agua Negra Camp is a remote, yet luxurious safari-style tent camp perched on a bluff overlooking the Secure River. Roughly 100 yards away is the small native village of Agua Negra, which makes this camp by far the most culturally rich of the Tsimane experiences. Here anglers will enjoy very comfortable, double occupancy safari tents with attached baths as well as the comfort of the main lodge building where drinks and meals are served. The fishing will be done on the Secure as well as on the Agua Negra River. The Agua Negra is smaller and offers big dorado, the region's most forgiving terrain as well as the greatest diversity of species including large pacu, pira pita, and the elusive striped catfish known as surubi.
Each week the four anglers participating in the Agua Negra program will fish two main river systems, the Secure and the Agua Negra. The Secure is larger and often carries a good amount of color. Typically this river will be fished from a motorized, narrow canoe-like boat called a super-dugout, but at times anglers will get out to wade fish. The Secure has lots of water and fishes well both above and beneath the camp. Anglers will also hike 15- to 20-minutes overland from camp to the Agua Negra River. Once there, they will get into traditional pole-powered dugouts and work their way either up or downstream. It is common to get out of the boat in shallow regions or to walk around fast water sections as a way to assist the native boatmen in making upstream progress. For the most part, the walking and wading is relatively easy with sandy beaches and pools with lots of woody debris and structure. In addition to the native boatmen, there will be one professional fly fishing guide for every two anglers. These guides have strong angling and English-speaking skills. While this trip is not physically demanding, a fair amount of walking is required, making it best suited for active anglers.
The Agua Negra Camp, built using locally-sourced hardwood combined with canvas tents, is in a spectacular setting and is best described as both rustic and elegant. The main lodge is where anglers enjoy meals and cocktails, while the camp offers guests spacious double occupancy safari-style tents with comfortable beds, full linens, and private bathrooms with showers. The lodge is also equipped with generator power with battery back-up, on demand hot water and wireless internet service. The lodge has a dedicated chef who serves a variety of thoughtfully prepared local and Argentine dishes and guest also have access to an open bar and excellent Argentine wines.
Day 1: Depart Home.
Day 2: Arrive Santa Cruz, Bolivia. In Bolivia guests will be met by a member of the Tsimane team and transferred to the hotel.
Day 3: Charter flight to Tsimane’s Secure Camp landing strip. At landing strip guests will be met by their guides who will transfer to Agua Negra Camp. At the camp guests will be shown to their tents and get ready for the next week of fishing.
Days 4 – 9: Six days of guided fishing
Day 10: In the morning, guests will pack up and transfer to air strip where they will meet their charter flight back to Santa Cruz. In Santa Cruz guests will be met by a member of the Tsimane staff who will take them to their hotel (included in package).
Day 11: Depart for Home.
Rates & Details
2024 Rate: Per person based on single occupancy and shared guiding
9 night/6 day package: $7,600 plus $670 native fees
Included: Accommodations and meals at Agua Negra Camp, arrival night and departure night lodging in Santa Cruz, guided fishing, charter flights, native fees
Not Included: Round trip airfare, fishing tackle and flies, guide gratuities, departure taxes
Species: Golden dorado, Amazon pacu
Season: June – October
Capacity: 4 anglers
Fly Water Q&A
Who is best suited to this destination? It is best if guests are in relatively good shape as most of the fishing at Agua Negra is walk and wade fishing. The wading is not dangerous, but there is a lot of it and this trip is best suited to active anglers. We recommend guests to at least do some walking or running the weeks prior to their visit.
Where is the lodge? Agua Negra Camp is in a National Park and Indigenous Territory in central Bolivia. The camp is located near the confluence of the Agua Negra and the Sécure Rivers.
How do I get there? To get to Agua Negra guests will need to fly to Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia (VVI). In Santa Cruz guests will be met at the airport by a lodge representative and transferred to a local hotel (included in package). The next day guests will be met at the hotel and transferred to the civil airport where they will take a two-hour charter flight to the Oromomo village. After arriving at the Oromomo village, guests will then boat upstream 2 ½ hours to the Agua Negra camp. At the camp guests will be shown to their safari style tents and then get set up to fish the afternoon.
When should I go? The camp is open during the Bolivian dry season from May to October.
How will I fish? 90% of the fishing at Agua Negra is done by wet wading or fishing from the banks. Sometime guests will fish out of narrow dugout canoes. Fishing is mostly done with floating lines to sighted fish using large streamers.
Is there wade fishing? Yes. Almost all the fishing is wade fishing.
Where will I fish? Anglers at Agua Negra have access to three unique rivers: the Sécure River, Agua Negra River and the Chimoro stream. The variety of options for water allows guests to fish fresh water every day, and rarely, if ever, repeat the same fishing beat.
How long does it take to reach the fishing grounds? The camp is set near the river and it can take a few minutes up to a few hours to reach the fishing beat for the day.
What type(s) of fish will I catch? The main event at Agua Negra is golden dorado, but it is possible to catch pacu, yatorana and various jungle catfish as well.
How many fish will I catch? Guests can expect to catch a few dorado per day and expect to catch one or two dorado over 12-pounds per week.
Will I see other anglers? No, guests will not see other anglers in their fishing beats.
What are the guides like? The guides are all safe, experienced, professional and speak good fishing English.
What are the physical demands? The trip is not physically demanding but a fair amount of walking and wet wading is required, making it best suited for active anglers.
Are there any special skills required? Not really, but anglers that are strong waders, can hike a few miles per day and can cast accurately are going to have more success.
Does the lodge provide equipment? The camp can provide loaner equipment if equipment is lost or broken but guests should bring their own.
What is your favorite setup for the trip? We recommend a fast-action 8- or 9-weight rod with a line specifically designed for jungle fishing and a leader built from heavy mono and wire.
What are the top flies? The typical dorado fly in Bolivia is the Andino Deceiver, but other bait fish patterns can be successful. Flies like the Tarpon Snake, Lefty’s Deceiver, Intruders, and Puglisi streamers have all worked great. It is recommended that flies do not have a lot of flash.
What are the options if water conditions become challenging? If guests get rained out, they will have to wait the weather out at the camp. It is rare but can happen in the very early and very late parts of the season.
What is a typical day like? 6:00AM - Coffee is hot 7:00AM – Breakfast 8:00AM - Head to fishing grounds 12:00AM to 1:00PM - Anglers will have a picnic style lunch on the river. 1:00PM - After lunch, fishing will resume until late afternoon when the guides will deliver anglers back to the lodge around 6PM. 6:30PM - Cocktails and appetizers are served. 8:00PM – Dinner is served
What is the general vibe, atmosphere, and style of the lodge? The camp is warm, welcoming, and laid back.
Is there an on-site owner, manager, or other point-person at the lodge? Yes. There is always a lodge manager onsite.
Where do we eat, and what are the meals like? Hearty and filling meals are taken in the main lodge building. The chef and the cuisine are Argentinian, and the food is presented with amazing flair especially for being in such a remote place. Argentinian wines are served with each meal.
What is the alcohol policy? Beer and wine are provided. If guests would like hard alcohol, they will need to bring it with them.
Where do we stay, and what are the accommodations like? The Agua Negra Camp experience is based on one very comfortable jungle lodge, built entirely from sustainable wood cut from the nearby jungle.
The camp features 3 tent cabins for up to 4 anglers + 1 host. Each tent has comfortable double beds, private bathrooms, and electricity. Single accommodations are available for an upcharge.
Is there internet and/or cell service? Wi-Fi is available in the tents and in the lodge. There is no cell service at the camp.
Are there other activities? Guests can interact with the indigenous people, eco tour and bird watch, but this is first and foremost a fishing lodge.
Are there any other expenses? Guests will need to pay a Native Fee to enter the Indigenous Territory and for expenses in Santa Cruz. Gratuities are not included.
Do I need a visa? No. U.S. citizens are not required to have a visa for tourism travel to Bolivia. U.S. citizens will be required to show a printed round trip airline ticket, hotel reservation, or invitation letter. Citizens of other countries should check with their local consulate.
Are there any health concerns, dangers, or annoyances? A Yellow Fever vaccination or waiver is required to enter the native areas. We strongly recommend visiting your doctor or county health department before departing for Bolivia. They should be able to help you with health care matters and securing your Yellow Fever Vaccination and Certification.
This part of the Bolivian jungle is surprisingly friendly. Some no-see-ums and some mosquitoes are in this area. This is however a wilderness area and we recommend guests not to go deep into the Jungle, pass through dense vegetation, over down logs or through fallen leaves.
All the buildings are constantly fumigated to avoid surprises and all beds have mosquito nets covering them. We strongly recommend wearing long sleeve shirts and long pants during your fishing week. The best way to protect yourself from insects is by applying insect repellent at least 3 times a day (morning, afternoon, and night). We suggest washing your clothes in Permethrin prior to traveling.
Anglers who wet wade in the jungle must take special care of their feet. While blistering and abrasion of wet skin is an issue, fungus is as well. To prevent getting foot fungus we recommend the following:
- Use neoprene socks
- Wash these socks out each evening
- Apply a heavy layer of moisturizing lotion to your feet before fishing each day (Arm and Hammer Foot Therapy is a good one)
- Use foot powder or Gold Bond at the end of each day
- Carry anti-fungal ointment
Eastern Bolivia is considered a Dengue Fever influenced area. This illness is dangerous in the low land areas and during the rainy season from December to April. Even though this is not the camp’s fishing area or season, there have been many cases in the city of Santa Cruz. To avoid this illness, we recommend guests always wear long sleeve shirts and pants and use insect repellent while in the city.
Eastern Bolivia is considered a Leishmaniasis influenced area. The disease is carried by infected sand flies and can cause open sores in addition to other health complications. Please note not all sand flies are carriers. Presently there is not a preventive inoculation or medications such as what we see with Yellow Fever or Malaria and no early detection method available. That said, like many worldwide health issues, the best method of addressing this issue is to wear the recommended clothing and repellent at least 3 times a day.
Please consult with the U.S. Department of State and the Center for Disease Control websites to get current recommendations before traveling to Bolivia.