Local adventurer plans group trip to Bolivia

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

When Joe Lowe came back several years ago from a Peace Corps stint in Bolivia, he knew he wanted to tell Columbus about the beauty and intrigue of the South American nation.

"The people there are really great, really welcoming to outsiders," Lowe said. "And just the landscape itself - there are so many ecological niches just right on top of each other."

Unable to stay away, he last year organized a trip to the Northern Tiquipaya Municipal Wildlife Reserve, located near the small city of Cochabamba. A handful of Columbus travelers ages 17 to 72 hiked through cloud forests, experienced local customs and stayed at a rough mountaintop lodge built by natives looking to attract eco-tourist dollars.

The trip went so well that Lowe started Yunga Perdida, a nonprofit that supports the wildlife preserve. He's now organizing a second excursion there this summer.

"[The local people] spent two years building the eco-lodge, then ran out of money for marketing," Lowe said. "We've taken that up to do the PR and marketing."

Those who want to join in will be gone from July 23 to Aug. 1. The trip costs about $1,800 (airfare included).

For more info, visit yungaperdida.org.