by Bennett Hennessey
A fancy hotel and restaurant has been made beside this middle altitude Andean lake. The main reason for visiting this site is for the Andean Duck. The hotel is surrounded by low impacted forest and could be interesting birding. The lake is very close to the Lodge “Los Volcanes” so the forest birding is very similar without the aquatic touch. The hotel is made for wealthy Bolivians to escape for the weekend, with isolated cabins for extra privacy. The hotel has a manicured golf course, and caters to that kind of crowd (see Laguna Volcan web page). We were told we can’t come in the front area, but us (as scruffy birdwatchers) can go around the back to look at the laguna. If you are staying at the hotel you can do what you like (and ask them what makes the hotel "eco"). In theory you could have lunch in the outdoor patio. But in my opinion, if you are going to put more time into this habitat, why not just go to the spectacular birding spot of “Los Volcanes.” My recommendation: go there, get your duck, and go.
Logistics: Laguna Volcan is along the old road to Cochabamba leaving Santa Cruz, about half the distance to Samaipata. The Laguna Volcan entrance is about 1 km west on the right of the entrance to Los Volcanes.