Aquicuana Reserve

This protected natural reserve is located about twenty kilometers from the city of Riberalta in the Beni Department in northern Bolivia and the Amazon. It is home to the Lake San José, to the Pisatahua medicinal retreat center, and two rural communities, San José and Warnes. Its name, Aquicuana, comes from its meaning: big trees.

History of the Reserve:

  • 1995: the municipality of Riberalta put in place the first law to protect the San José lake.
  • 2004: The Municipality expanded the reserve to 1600 Hectares
  • 2016: The Municipality, together with the two communities and Pisatahua plan to extend the Reserve to 20,000 Hectares. There is an inauguration of the Reserve.
  • 2018: A toll of 2 Bs ($0.30) is instituted at a checkpoint to allow the community of Warnes to monitor activity within the reserve and prohibit fishing and hunting. The 2016 new law is implemented to expand the Reserve to 20,000 hectares


The twin organizations Sustainable Bolivia and Fundacion Amazonia work hand-in-hand with the local communities to safeguard the natural heritage of the Reserve. The main objective is to protect the reserve from agricultural expansion and intensive livestock farming, deforestation, mining and extraction of its natural resources while supporting the local communities’ goals of improved living and economic conditions.

Environment and Climate

Meanwhile, nature dictates its law here. Both communities live in the dry and wet season and all activity must be adapted to it. Whether it is agriculture or tourism, the pace changes depending on the season. During the dry season it is possible to wander through the jungle to explore the flourishing nature of the reserve. It is a little more difficult during the wet season when parts of the reserve are not accessible.

This reserve ensures the protection of nature but it also allows its observation. It is possible thanks to the years of work of both associations and communities to observe a multitude of animals of the Amazon in a natural and protected environment. It is an ideal place for the observation of the fauna (fish, birds, mammals and insects) and the flora.

Sustainable Bolivia’s work in the reserve

With its 11 years experience in Bolivia, Sustainable Bolivia now works directly with the local communities in the reserve. The projects of the association aims at setting up projects of environmental remediation and permaculture. This includes toilets construction, well chlorination, health and environmental education workshops and agroecology projects, to mention only a few. In addition, the association wants to build a place to cook and serve meals and an information point for tourists wishing to visit the reserve.

There are also volunteering opportunities in the reserve itself in the areas of environment, education and health. Contact us for more information!