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RURRENABAQUE, BOLIVIAIn the Bolivian Amazon, where vast rivers wind endlessly through mountainous terrain and a thick blanket of fog creeps through the trees, the locals say the jungle can swallow you in a second. Venture too far and you may never find your way back.
But for the many tourists who visit Madidi National Park, the crown jewel of Bolivia’s protected rainforests, an excursion into its depths is not so much a danger but an exhilarating prospect. With good reason: a roster of tour agencies based out of Rurrenabaque—a small, bustling town on the edge of the park—promises safety for those seeking a journey into the wild fray.
While Madidi’s extreme landscape is not immune from tourist accidents or even fatalities, which occur every year, disappearances inside the park’s borders are rare. There hadn’t been a single visitor gone missing over the last fifteen years. Until now.
I was with the Madidi National Park rangers when they first received word that a 25-year old Chilean man, Maykool Coroseo Acuña, had suddenly disappeared within the confines of the park. Vanished by mysterious circumstances, they were told.
A witness’ murky account, transmitted by radio, said Maykool was last seen sitting on the steps of his cabin around 8:30 pm the night before. He had been on a rainforest tour with Max Adventures, a local agency, and had seemingly disappeared from their campground, without leaving a single track behind.
“This is a really strange case for us,” Madidi Park Director Marcos Uzquiano told me. “We’re not sure what happened last night, but we need to find out. It’s possible that someone may be lying.”http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/03/monkeys-saved-lost-tourist-bolivian-amazon-shamans/