Eco Club Pantanal Paraguayo
A community organization of local youth dedicated to conservation efforts in the area. They operate the town’s radio station Bahia Negra Poty and also have a small cultural center. Members are enthusiastic and can provide walking tours of Bahia Negra and Puerto Diana. Most are still in school though, so expect to work around their schedules. Tel: 0982 559 789 (Nilza Frutos) or 0982 814 022 (Saul Arias), a small log building with a radio tower out front about six blocks from the docks on the left-hand side Puerto Diana
Puerto Diana is one of the largest Ishir communities in Alto Paraguay, located about a three kilometers from Bahia Negra. Walk or drive there with a local guide to see how the Ishir make use of the area’s palm trees for housing, view the production of indigenous handicrafts, and meet community members. It is also possible to arrange fishing trips with community members. Though you can also venture off on your own, it is best to go accompanied by someone from Bahia Negra that knows the community well. Contact Cesar (Tel: 0981875651) the chief of Puerto Diana to arrange for a walking tour that includes nature trails for Gs. 40,000. Be sure to avoid the mid-day sun and take plenty of water.
Don Aliche (Tel: 0984 155 339) is an extremely knowledgeable local guide, available to lead motorboat trips along the river. He knows a lot about the area’s wildlife and will make a concrete effort to help you spot as many animals as possible. Should he not be available, contact Guyra or Hombre y Naturaleza. They will be able to recommend knowledgeable guides with proper equipment (and language skills, if necessary). As always, when hiring a guide, make sure to be very specific about whether prices include fuel. Those who are interested in doing so can inquire about fishing excursions in a traditional dugout canoe instead of a motorboat.
Hospedaje Hombre y Naturaleza (Centro Ecologico Onota) Elevated cabin built out of karanday logs. Enjoy a beautiful view of the river from the protection/comfort of a screened in porch. Rooms have bunk beds and private bathrooms. Camping facilities are also available and kitchen access is permitted. The lodge serves as a headquarters for Hombre y Naturaleza’s Centro Ecologico Onota. They can arrange for fishing and sightseeing excursions upriver as well as a visit to the Ishir community in Puerto 14 de Mayo. Hombre y Naturaleza also operates lodges in Bolivia. If you wish to continue upriver, they can arrange for transportation to Puerto Suarez (280 kilometers upriver) to visit the El Tumbador center next to Laguna Caceres. Tel: 0982 898 589 (Mario Bobadilla), 0982 862 543 (Sra Dionisia), located seven blocks from the docks on the left-hand side, Gs. 50,000 per person, camping Gs. 30,000 per person, fan
Don Aliche’s Hospedaje At the time of publishing, Don Aliche, the town’s charismatic river guide, is putting the finishing touches on a basic guest house with three small rooms as well as an area for hammocks. Tel: 0984 155 339. Although since Don Aliche is often on the river and out of cell phone range it is best to ask around for his hospedaje once you arrive in BaMa Negra or inquire with his family who run Despensa Maria Jose.