Given its remote location, it is no surprise that visiting Bahia Negra requires a fair amount of time and a flexible schedule. Those who are pressed for time can fly there and take the boat or bus back -however this is only works if the weekly flight leaves as scheduled.
The Aquidaban is the most reliable method of transportation to Bahia Negra, although unfortunately it is also the slowest. Departing from Concepcion on Tuesday mornings it arrives in Bahia Negra around midday Friday. (If you are not thrilled about spending three days on the boat you can knock a day off by taking the bus from Concepcion to Vallemi on Tuesday and boarding the boat in Vallemi on Wednesday afternoon. However if the road between Concepcion and Vallemi is washed out, the bus ride could take longer than expected.) The Aquidaban departs Bahia Negra on Friday afternoons (about three hours after its arrival) and gets into Concepcion around Sunday afternoon. One way fare is Gs. 100,000 and is pro-rated if you are getting off along the way (see Lancha Aquidaban).
Due to time and budget constraints, some travelers may not be able to spend a week in Bahia Negra waiting for the Aquidaban to return. If you are making a roundtrip on the Aquidaban, consider using the time spent docked in Bahia Negra to take a short journey by motorboat further upriver for nature observation. The boat is docked for a couple of hours while merchandise is loaded and unloaded. Call ahead and reserve a river guide to meet you at the port and take you upriver. Make sure to double check the Aquidaban’s approximate departure time and request that your guide get you back in time. Should you arrive after the Aquidaban has left, your guide should be able to catch up to the boat the boat’s crew are used to having people board in the middle of the river via motorboat.
Transporte Aero Militar operates a twenty passenger cargo plane that usually departs on Wednesday mornings from Asuncion, sometimes making stops in Vallemi and/or Fuerte Olimpo along the way. This is the fastest way to get to Bahia Negra, although the plane’s departure can be pushed back to Thursday or Friday or cancelled entirely depending on weather conditions and passenger volume. This should be taken into consideration if you plan to fly to Bahia Negra on Wednesday and take the Aquidaban back on Friday. Flying both ways is ideal but is not often possible. Airfare is Gs.
350,000 one way, but you may also have to pay a per kilo surcharge for luggage. Reservations must be made in advance with Sonia Suarez in Asuncion at 0983 454486.
Stel Turismo (Tel: 021 558 196) has a weekly bus service during the dry season departing from Asuncion Tuesday evenings and arriving in Bahia Negra Wednesday afternoons. The bus departs Bahia Negra on Friday mornings although it will often wait for arriving Aquidaban passengers. The schedule is highly dependent on road conditions so be sure to double check with Stel Turismo before making plans. Poor road conditions and bus maintenance mean the bus can get stuck along the way for several hours and, in some cases, days. Bring food and water just in case. One way tickets cost Gs. 180,000.
By car one heads towards Fuerte Olimpo but continues north past Toro Pampa (instead of heading east) approximately 115 kilometers to Bahia Negra. As with Fuerte Olimpo, this journey should not be attempted outside of the dry season and without the aid of a guide. A 4-wheel drive vehicle loaded with proper supplies is essential (see Driving in the Chaco).