The road to Fuerte Olimpo is accessed via a turn off on the Trans Chaco Highway at km 415, known as Cruce de Los Pioneros (from here it is 360 kilometers away) or from Loma Plata (330 kilometers away). A dirt road leads north from here to Toro Pampa, where it turns east to Fuerte Olimpo. The final stretch between Toro Pampa and Fuerte Olimpo is well known for being rich in bird life, especially flocks of large jaibiru storks. However this should only be attempted in a 4-wheel drive vehicle during the dry season with proper supplies (see Driving in the Chaco) and a guide as it is easy to get lost and there are few people on the road to provide help if needed.
Stel Turismo operates a twice-weekly bus services along the 770 kilometers from Asuncion to Fuerte Olimpo. Buses depart on Mondays and Fridays at 7pm arriving around the afternoon the following day, Gs. 165,000. They leave Fuerte Olimpo on Monday and Thursdays around midday arriving in the following morning in Asuncion. This schedule is subject to change due to weather and road conditions. During the rainy season the eighteen hour bus ride is likely to take much longer due to delays along the way.
The Aquidaban arrives from Concepcion on Thursdays between noon and 5pm. On its return from Bahia Negra, it arrives in Fuerte Olimpo between midnight and 3am. If you are traveling by boat from Bahia Negra, it is best to make your accommodation reservations ahead of time (see Lancha Aquidaban).
TAM military airlines will sometimes stop in Fuerte Olimpo during their Asuncion-Bahia Negra trips. However, this is not a particularly reliable option. Contact Sonia Suarez 0983 454 486 to confirm if a stop in Fuerte Olimpo is planned.
How to Spot a Yacare
Yacare, or caiman, can be easily spotted sunning themselves along the river banks, their mouths open in wide grins. They are a bit harder to pick out once submerged in the water, but not impossible. Look for small black protrusions in the water – usually only their two eyes will come up, but you can sometimes also spot bumps on their tails. It is also possible to both see and hear female yacares when they are in heat as they make loud pig-like grunts and snorts and raise their heads and tails high out of the water.