The Tsimane Agua Negra experience is based on a comfortable jungle lodge. Each room features double accommodation. Agua Negra operates a lodge located in an unspoiled area close to the junction of the Agua Negra and Sécure Rivers, and are suited for no more than 4 anglers at one time.
Tsimane is located within a National Park and Indigenous Territory, where the Amazon jungle meets the Andes mountain chain. The landscape is incredible, its rivers and streams are clear water gems cascading through the jungle and rugged mountain canyons. Tsimane blends, like no other destination on Earth, the best aspects of fly fishing: sight casting, freestone wading, floating lines, majestic vistas, mountain rivers; and hard-hitting, aggressive fish that will put a massive bend in an 8 or 9 weight fly rod, punctuated by repeated aerial acrobatics.
The landscape is incredible and its rivers are streams of clear running water, through jungle and the mountains, ideal for wading and sight-casting to monster dorado and pacu. The jungle remains in an absolute virgin state. Millions of butterflies of every imaginable color flitter in the warm breezes, while the whispers of hundreds of hidden birds and animals whisper from the depths of the jungle.
Anglers will set off every morning in locally constructed dugout canoes, specially developed for this environment and led by an expert dorado fly-fishing guide and two native assistants from the local Tsimane tribes. Indeed, the interaction with the natives is one of the most fulfilling parts of the Tsimane experience.
The Lower Agua Negra has features similar to a typical floodplain river (low gradient) but its water is clear and runs slow. The river meanders through a river valley with numerous sandy beaches, deep runs and cover to hold strong populations of dorado and yatoranas. The latter can be tempted using lightweight fly rods, dry flies, and/or small streamers. The lower Agua Negra is the perfect spot to sight-cast to dorado during feeding frenzy activity – an adrenaline infused angling moment not soon forgotten!
Undoubtedly, the upper section of the Agua Negra River is one of Tsimane’s jewels due to its excellent number of dorado and pirapitingas (pacus). Moreover, the largest number of surubim (South American Striped catfish) is found in this river. This is an ideal place for those anglers that want to try and trick these powerful catfish using flies. Fishing, usually done with sight casting, is prevalent in this region where the water is extremely clear. Since these large fish often move in schools, double hookups are frequent. Fishing in this section of the Agua Negra is done by walking upstream and sight fishing in low waters and prospecting for fish in runs and deep pools. To be successful on these waters you must use a floating line, long leader and delicate presentation.
Sécure River – the middle sector of the upper Sécure River runs from the Ushwea village to the confluence of the Chimoro and Sécure Rivers. The fishing here is carried out by wading downstream and the means of transportation is with dugout canoes, poled or powered by small outboard motors. The middle section of the Sécure River is shallow and open, similar to the rivers further down on the flood plain. Its clear waters gradually become stained due to tributaries that sweep sediments from the high plateau. More and more logs and fallen trees are found in the typical stone structure of the Sécure. The logs, sunken trees, and subsurface structure are the perfect ambush points for a large number of really large dorado. The highest concentration of sabalos (the main forage fish in these waters) can be found here, resulting in feeding frenzies of packs of ravenous dorado at times.
Reservations & Rates
Reservations should be made a year in advance. Tsimane has been one of those "instant" successes. Since Agua Negra Lodge hosts only 4 anglers at a time, spots fill fast.
The cost of the 9 night, 6 day fishing Agua Negra Lodge package is:
2023: $6,950 per person plus $570 indigenous & national park fees
2024: $7,600 per person plus $670 indigenous & national park fees.
Included in your angling package at the Tsimane Agua Negra Lodge is 6 and days guided fishing, and 7 nights at the jungle lodge; (with possibility for headwater camps overnights). All inclusive meals and, 2 nights at Santa Cruz Hotel, Ground transfers in Santa Cruz, and all round trip Charters flights.
Not included in your angling package at Tsimane Agua Negra Lodge are International Flight tickets, meals and beverage in hotel, tips and gratuities, special tours, trip insurance, Airport taxes, Indian fee + National Park Fee (USD $670 per angler pay directly in Bolivia).
Native Community Fee:
Starting in 2012, the Tipnis Natives (where Tsimane is located) have formed a board to protect their interests moving forward. This board includes representatives from all 22 Sécure River Communities, as well as all the communities in State of Beni. The leaders of the association have made the decision to implement a significant user tax on all visiting anglers. The funds from the tax will primarily be used for social projects, infrastructure development, transportation, and medical and education projects.
The total Fee for guests at Agua Negra Lodge will be $570 ($450 per person to the Indians, plus $120 for a National Park Fee for the government)
The tax will be payable in (Cash $USD) to a representative in Santa Cruz and anglers will receive a receipt from the Association. This fee represents an important step in the continuing effort to protect our ability to continue to share this amazing and unique part of the world.
The Fly Shop® is not in the insurance business, but we recommend Travel Guard coverage as a service with a desire to see your best interests protected. It is impossible to know when an unfortunate situation (loss of luggage, fly rods, illness in the family, or an accident) may occur. However, such things can and do happen, and this insurance can provide a means of recourse against non-refundable financial losses.
• Travel Insurance Information
Seasons at Agua Negra Lodge
The season for Tsimane runs from June through Mid October.
The fishing at Tsimane is timed to coincide with the dry season so the rivers will be at their lowest. Temperatures can see the 90's during the day and drop to the 50's or 60's at night over the course of its season. Of course, rains can come at any time, but this is the best time of the year to fish there. The rivers are more like clear mountain trout streams where sight fishing is the rule.
Dorado, during their annual migration (on low/mid sections of rivers), are always following the schools of local baitfish, called Sabalo, as these are there primary source of food. The Sabalo (and corresponding Dorado) migration begins in March or April according the intensity of the rainy season and water level. By May and June schools of Sabalo and Dorado are running upstream and present throughout the river systems in good numbers. These migrations continue throughout the season, so fresh fish are constantly arriving in the upriver sections.
What we tend to see is that in the earlier parts of the season, there may be fewer fish in the river overall... but those fish are super hungry and incredibly aggressive to feed, making for some truly exciting action. As you get later and later in the season, there are indeed more fish around overall, though some of those fish have been in the system for an extended period of time and may not be quite as aggressive overall. In general, we find the balance between numbers of fish and aggressive behavior balance out, and hookups for anglers tend to be fairly consistent throughout the season. This means you can plan your trip around whenever you can be there, as ever week of the season has the potential to be the best!
This is the rainforest, with wild freestone rivers that are subject to runoff from periodic, intense storms. While blowouts are very rare, they can happen. Typically if the water comes up one day, it'll be fishable the next and seldom do anglers miss more than a couple of days without ideal conditions and hungry, happy fish.
Getting to Agua Negra Lodge
Getting to Bolivia these days is relatively simple and painless with a wide choice of convenient, daily flights from Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas, Miami, and New York.
Anglers will arrive in Santa Cruz, Bolivia where a lodge representative will be waiting for you in Viru Viru International Airport (VVI) and transfer you from the airport to the hotel, a five star property (included in the angling package – a 20-minute drive). The trip packages begin at Santa Cruz, Bolivia. There are many daily flights from major cities of the US and world-wide. You will need a passport valid to 6 months past your departure from Bolivia. US citizens will need to get a visitor's visa for
entry to Bolivia. At this time the cost of the visa is $160 USD and you can either get it in advance or upon arrival in Bolivia.
The next morning, you'll enjoy breakfast at the hotel. Tsimane’s local host will meet the group in the morning (usually around 9:30 am) to head to the local airport, then board the private charter flight to the Oromomo Indian Community landing strip (1:40 hrs flight). Upon landing you will be met by a member of the Tsimane staff who will take you upriver by boat for 2 hours to arrive at the Agua Negra Lodge.
After settling into the lodge and preparing gear with the guides, there will be a brief explanation of the fishing week and the fishing beats rotation. There is time in the afternoon for a half day of fishing at the home pools and nearby areas.
On your final day on the river, guests will pack up after breakfast and transfer back to the Indian Community where you will meet your charter flight back to Santa Cruz local airport. There you will be met by a member of the Tsimane staff who will take you to the hotel to overnight (in a double room, included in package).
BAGGAGE WEIGHT LIMITS: Please restrain bringing unnecessary weight to the jungle lodges. Luggage weight Limit is 25 kilos (55 lbs). We use small planes for transfers and we are really strict in all safety measures and baggage weight limits are strictly adhered to. You will be able to leave items not needed at camp with the Hotel KAMP's concierge if you are returning to the hotel at the end of the week. We recommend this for traveling clothes, etc. (THERE IS DAILY LAUNDRY SERVICE @ ALL THE LODGES)
A Bolivian Tourist Visa is required for entry to Bolivia. This can be purchased in the airport (approximately $160) upon arrival, or obtained in advance. A passport with 6 months validity is required.
Lodging at Agua Negra Lodge
The Tsimane Agua Negra experience is based on a comfortable jungle lodge built out of sustainable local hardwood. Starting in 2024, each angler will enjoy a single/private cabin.
This remote jungle lodge offers new wood cabins with spring box beds, private bathrooms with hot water and electric light. Every evening guests will be delighted by the delicious International cuisine paired with great Argentine, Chile and Bolivian wines in a well-fashioned living and dining room. Satellite internet wireless connection and phone service are provided for all our guests in both lodges, and laundry service is available at the lodges at no additional cost.
Generators provide electricity, 220-volts, so be sure to bring the proper adapters depending on your electronic device and country of origin. You can charge batteries and use electric shavers or hair dryers. Solar panels are also incorporated into the electronic grid for increased efficiency and sustainability. Electric power is available from 6:00 am to 10:00 am, and again from 5:00 pm to 12:00 am.
Satellite Internet wireless connection and phone service is included for all guests.
Laundry service is provided at no additional cost. Just leave your close on the floor, and they will be returned washed and folded.
Fishing at Agua Negra Lodge
Tsimane blends, like no other destination on Earth, the best aspects of fly fishing: sight casting, freestone wading, floating lines, majestic vistas, mountain rivers with clear waters; and extremely sporting species of fish reaching very significant sizes. This has been described like streamer fishing in a freestone river for tarpon on steroids. The Dorado are acrobatic jumpers with tremendous strength.
Each day, teams of two anglers will fish the various beats in the area. In addition, depending on the fishing, weather and river conditions, groups of 2 anglers at a time will have the option of an over-night camp on the upper sections of the Agua Negra River. This allows for extended fishing times and access to some of the most untouched, headwater sections of the stream.
Typical fishing day: early in the morning, groups of two anglers will separate and depart the Agua Negra Lodge for the different fishing beats. It is a full day of fishing, with lunch on the fly, finally returning to the basecamp lodge in the evening for appetizers, cocktails, and a well-prepared meal.
The Agua Negra program is designed around 5 different fishing beats, which rotate every day, giving minimal pressure to the fishery. These beats include the lower, middle, and upper sections of the Agua Negra River, along with a section of the Sécure River where to two come together and the small Chimoro Creek. Some beats are accessed by boat, while others utilize a small track cut through the jungle via Suzuki 4x4 Samurai Jeeps. There is also a new out camp for those wishing to overnight in the remote upper Agua Negra headwaters. We recommend the upper outcamps only for very physically fit anglers, as all of the fishing is done walking and wading upstream and there is considerable hiking involved in reaching the upper camps. These headwater options aren’t for everyone, but allow the more adventurous anglers to extend their stay on the headwaters of these unique virgin mountain rivers, for a once-in-a-lifetime sight casting jungle experience.
Tsimane's operational area is about 125 miles (200km) from the Capital City La Paz and 270 miles (470 km) from Santa Cruz de la Sierra, our operation's base point and the most important city in the Country. There are many options to arrive to Santa Cruz's Viru Viru International Airport, including daily flights from Miami (American Airlines), Sao Paolo (Tam, Gol and Boliviana), Buenos Aires (Aerolineas Argentinas and Boliviana), Panama (Copa) and Lima (Taca) and therefore a quite direct connection to all of the main Airports of the world.
The attraction of Agua Negra and the magnificent Dorado that roam its waters is more than just great fishing.
Besides the Dorado (the king of the river) there are other species to pursue, such as Pacu (our jungle freshwater permit) and Yatoranas. Together these species make a trio very difficult to match in warm freshwater fly fishing. The rivers we fish are very similar to freestone trout rivers with similar looking pools, runs, pocket water, and riffles. If you are a good and pragmatic trout angler, you will feel comfortable reading and fishing these rivers.
Every week, groups of only 4 anglers will enjoy comfortable wilderness lodges which offer outstanding international cuisine. They will set off every morning in locally constructed dugout canoes, specially developed for this environment and led by an expert dorado fly-fishing guide and two native assistants from the local Tsimane tribes. Indeed, the interaction with the natives is one of the most fulfilling parts of the Tsimane experience.
Fishing in these rivers, regardless of the huge populations of fish, represents several challenges for the angler. These fish can be spooky in such small and clear water and every pool and run must be thought-out and a plan developed with your guide before casting a fly into it. Dorado are very fast swimmers, super aggressive and flies must be placed not only with accuracy but also at the right time. Anglers who are able to shoot 60 feet of line with one or two false casts will have a big advantage. Being able to double haul in order to generate line speed will be a huge advantage. The flies we use are generally quite large and most anglers find it difficult to cast them accurately, with distance – in a hurry. We encourage guests to practice in order to get familiar with their equipment, flies and lines.
It's also worth noting that it is important to go light, carrying what you need in your shirt and pants pockets; a few flies, a spool of mono and wire is all you need with pliers on your waist and nothing else. Leave the rest of the gear in the boat, which will always be located close by in case you need something out of your kit.
Setting The Hook:
Dorado, Yatorana and Pirapitinga have extremely bony and hard mouths. A low rod strip-set is the only method that consistently buries the fly hook into these fish's mouth, just like a tarpon set. If you are not familiar with the strip-set, it might take some getting used to.
Catch & Release:
Tsimane practices a strict catch and release policy on all species. Avoid unnecessary handling of the fish. Barbless hooks are mandatory. Handling these fish requires special precautions, not only to avoid harming them but also to prevent injuries to anglers. All of these fish have very strong jaws and razor sharp teeth. And they know how to use them.
Most of the fishing at Tsimane is done by wading in the river or fishing from the bank. The river structure varies tremendously, from sandy and small gravel beaches to sharp volcanic rock shoals transitioning through all kind of freestones and boulders. There is a lot of walking, so we recommend guests to at least do some walking/running the weeks prior to their visit to prepare and get in shape.
What Makes This Destination Special and Unique?
• THE MOST UNIQUE DORADO FISHERY IN THE WORLD
Tsimane is the only fishery we know of, anywhere in the World, where you can wade fish in clear mountain streams for Dorado. Tsimane is an extremely unique fishery, an exotic jungle fly fishing adventure, far off the beaten path and the #1 jungle fishing trip in World. If you had to make one jungle trip in your life, this is the trip; it will change you for life.
• THE MOST RESPECTED JUNGLE OUTFITTER IN THE WORLD
Tsimane is outfitted by the “Jungle Guys” Untamed Angling, the most experienced and recognized jungle outfitters in the world; the same fanatic anglers that discovered the Rio Marie’, the giant peacock bass fishing destination in Brazil. These folks are pros with years of operating experience in the Jungle; you are in very capable hands. The management and staff will take care of all the logistics, support and mechanics of the trip, all you have to do is fish as hard as you can and enjoy the experience.
• GIVING BACK TO THE ENVIRONMENT AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
Tsimane is an award winning collaborative program between local Indigenous Indians, the Bolivian Government and Untamed Angling in an effort to promote conservation, sustainability and culture. A portion of your dollars are making a difference in native’s life and the understanding and conservation of the Bolivian Jungle and its native species.
• DELUXE JUNGLE FISHING LODGE IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE
Just because you’re in the most remote corner of the Bolivian Jungle mountain lands doesn’t mean you have to be uncomfortable. Anglers fishing at Tsimane are accommodated in a deluxe lodge boasting every imaginable amenity you would expect in a topnotch fishing lodge. Spacious guest rooms with full bathrooms, 24 hour power, ceiling fans along with fine cuisine prepared by a trained chef are what to expect. You sleep comfortably at night after a dining on world-class food and be well rested and fueled for a full day of fishing trophy dorado.
• WILDLIFE VIEWING ODYSSEY
Tsiamne Lodges are located in a National Park; an Indigenous Territory named TIPNIS, within the regions of Beni and Cochabamba. It is part of the Vilcabamba - Amboró Conservation Corridor, in the Sub-Andean strip of the tropical Andes between Peru and Bolivia. Every day angler will see hundreds of Macaws, Toucans, giant and colorful butterflies, different mammals like jaguars, tapirs, and native deer, all living inside a pristine jungle forest environment. Anglers come to Tsimane to fish, but are exposed to wildlife viewing odyssey like a National Geographic movie. Bring your camera and your binoculars for this trip, you don’t want to miss a thing…