How to Arrive
Due to its remote location and unpredictable conditions, travel to El Refugio requires flexibility and forward planning. The site can be accessed by air or overland. Air transport is available from Santa Cruz (the departmental capital) at a cost of approximately US $800.00 each way. The cost may be split by up to four passengers. Alternatively, researchers can travel to the town of San Ignacio de Velasco (approximately 10 hours via overnight bus from Santa Cruz; the journey costs less than US $10.00 each way) and hire a pilot with small aircraft for $300.00 with a maximum of three passengers. Depending on the number of passengers, extra weight available for transport of equipment and food may be limited. A landing strip adjacent to the main camp makes El Refugio accessible by air year round, weather conditions permitting.
Overland transport may also be arranged from either Santa Cruz or San Ignacio. If travelling from Santa Cruz, it may be necessary to stop overnight along the way. Driving time from San Ignacio may be as little as five hours in the dry season, but it varies at other times of the year depending on road conditions. During the dry season, it is possible to arrive directly across the Rio Paragua from the camp. During the rainy season, vehicles can arrive at a small permanent camp on the western boundary of the property, from where one can cross the pampa aguada (approximately 15 km) on horseback to the main camp. Pack animals are available for the transport of gear. The approximate cost of vehicle rental is $300.00 from Santa Cruz and $150.00 from San Ignacio.
Please contact the El Refugio administration with your proposed travel dates as far in advance as possible, so that we may assist you with the necessary travel arrangements.