Bolivia: The pampas and rainforest near Rurrenabaque

by Joan

Madidi National Park

Madidi National Park

Madidi National Park Traditional rafting

What made this memorable for me was the varied and beautiful scenery, the wildlife and the amazing tour company - Mashaquipe - that I went with.

The pampas is mostly flat and you chug along in a boat looking at the wildlife. The river Yacuma has a narrow belt of trees and shrubs each side of it where animals and birds congregate.

I saw four species of monkeys, capybara, many birds and in the river pink river dolphins, caimen and river turtles.

The rainforest is a totally different experience with majestic trees and a massive range of plants. Madidi National Park is one of the most biodiverse areas of the world and contains more species of birds than the whole of the USA but in a fraction of the land area.

The tour guides are all indigenous people and they know so much about the rainforest - uses of plants, the animals etc. It is one of the best things I have ever done.

Rurrenabaque itself is small but felt very safe with friendly helpful people. There is a nice viewpoint that you can climb up to and you can go horse riding in a (more degraded) part of the rainforest with another company which was fun.

There are some good restaurants and some average hotels and hostels. The majority of visitors seem to be young people but despite being more mature I felt happy there, not out of place.

Really, a trip to Bolivia would be incomplete without a tour of the Bolivian Amazon basin from Rurrenabaque.

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