Bolivia’s well-preserved national parks reside some 40 percent of the earth’s animal and plant life, making it one of the best wildlife viewing destinations globally – most activity occurs in the Amazon region.
When most people imagine the Amazon, they’re likely to think of Brazil or Peru. However, the the Amazon basin covers some 9 countries throughout South America. The starting point for trips into the Bolivian Amazon is the city of Rurrenabaque, the gateway to the Amazon and thousands of bird species, cattle, fish, reptiles, and amphibians. Bolivia’s well-preserved national parks reside some 40 percent of the earth’s animal and plant life, making it one of the best wildlife viewing destinations globally – most of this activity occurs in the Amazon region.
Nature lovers will enjoy seeing exotic animals flourish in their natural environment, an exceedingly unusual sight in the declining habitats of today. Although there is nothing more exciting than spotting an animal in the wild, there are a handful of wildlife refuges and conservation parks that provide some of the most endangered creatures in Bolivia with a haven. Travelers have the rare opportunity to volunteer as caregivers as they work to rehabilitate and release them back into the wild, bonding with animals.
Diverse wildlife in the jungle & pampas
There are two areas to visit in the Bolivian Amazon: The Pampas & the Jungle. The pampas may not be your typical “Amazon experience”, given they are a wetland savannah bordering the Amazon basin, as opposed to deep in the jungle. Not being abundant with trees, the Pampas makes in much easier to spot wildlife including alligators, squirrel monkeys, and capybara.
If taking the Amazon jungle route, there are a number of activities like day /night canoe trips on Santa Rosa Lake, day/night jungle treks, piranha fishing, jewelry making, colorful spiders, giant bugs, and learn about the communities and their medicinal uses of trees and other plantlife.
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WHAT NOT TO MISS IN
THE BOLIVIAN AMAZON
‘Rurre’ is a popular ecotourism destination located on the banks of Rio Beni in the Bolivian Amazon Basin. Rurre gives you easy access to explore the jungles and pampas nearby. Rurre is the perfect jumping-off point for exploring the Amazon and its remarkable biodiversity, stunning landscapes, Inca archaeological sights, and indigenous cultures.
Madidi National Park
Madidi National Park is a jungle paradise situated in Bolivia’s upper Amazon river basin. Home to a record-breaking number of species and plants, the park is one of the largest protected areas in Bolivia. From snow-capped mountains to cloud forests and tropical jungles, Madidi offers up some of Bolivia’s most spectacular scenery.
Pampas de Yacume
The Pampas del Yacuma is vast, swampy grasslands that occupy much of the Beni region. They are home to a variety of wildlife, including dolphins, turtles, capybara, herons, kingfisher, elegant rose spoonbills, and giant storks. The Río Yacuma River bursts its banks in the rainy season and floods the surrounding grasslands’ vast expanses.
|La Paz, Bolivia||Is the highest capital of the word, situated at just over 3,600m (2Mi). In La Paz the new customs of the Western world collide and coexist with the old customs of the Aymara and the Quechua. Hi-tech international banks and government offices rub shoulders with vibrant street markets that still play a central role in the lives of the indigenous. Read more…|
Lake Titicaca & Sun Island
|Isla del Sol, Bolivia||The sacred and mystic Lake of the Inca is the highest navigable surface in the world. This magic territory harbors in its breast the archaeological complex of the oldest civilization on the continent. Venture to the visionary Island of Sun to admire the spectacular scenery and ancient Incan ruins.Read more…|
Uyuni Salt Flats
|Uyuni, Bolivia||The brightest spot on earth visible from space, this white salt desert hosts many natural wonders: fascinating colored lagoons, exotic rock formations, a diversity of animals, intact natural environment, volcanic craters and fumaroles blowing steam reaching up to 100 meters in height… Prepare to be amazed! Read more…|
|Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia||Santa Cruz is hugely popular as a place to visit or live because of its tropical desert climate created by its low-lying location and sunny skies year-round. This developed city is a fascinating mix of old and new, with high rise buildings that define the skyline juxtaposed with colonial churches and administrative buildings at the street level.|
Andes – Sucre & Potosi
|Sucre, Bolivia||“The White City” of Sucre has been immaculately preserved and oozes colonial charm with red-tiled roofs, baroque churches, and leafy plazas. Potosi embodies the rise and fall of Bolivia’s industrial history. Once a thriving mining town, it is now a fascinating example of colonial decline peppered with church lined cobbled streets. Read more…|
|Pampas, Bolivia||Two areas to visit in the Bolivian Amazon: The Pampas & Jungle. The pampas may not be seem like a typical “Amazon experience”, a wetland savannah bordering the Amazon basin. In the Amazon jungle, hosts a number of activities like jungle treks, piranha fishing, cultural encounters with communities, and botanical medicines.Read more…|
Depending on your client’s preferences, we can help you determine the best experiences tailored for your clients. From where to visit, when to go, what to do and how to get there safely, our travel experts will help you create an experience your clients will love.
Best times to visit Bolivia’s Amazon
A trip to the Bolivian Amazon, an adventure in and of itself, will see you explore one of the most unspoiled and remote, but still open, corners of the most important rainforest in the world. The Amazon has average temps between 25-30 ° C, hot and humid all year long, but they can quickly drop to a blissful 15 ° C at night time in winter. The Bolivian Amazon is the only destination you shouldn’t rely on to reach easily in summer, it being relatively remote and the fact that the main airstrip is carved out of the jungle, probably best to fly here between June and September to have better opportunities of simple and rewarding exploration and to enjoy the rare cool spell that also affects this area.
HOW TO GET THERE
A 30-minute flight on the airline Amaszonas from La Paz’s El Alto airport, will take you to the city of Rurrenabaque. Be prepared for a shaky propeller plane that only takes around 20 people per flight. We recommend a window seat which will allow you a short window of time to take in the breathtaking views of the rainforest. Flights average around $150-200 USD per person round trip to/from La Paz, and once in Rurrenabaque is the jump off city for trips that we can organize into either the Pampas Amazon, or the Amazon Jungle.
Transport in the jungle area is exclusively by boat or on foot. In the towns, there are taxis or “mototaxis” a hybrid taxi with a small cab in the back, available to get around.
WHERE TO STAY
There are a very limited number of basic lodges available to explore the national park of Madidi or the Pampas of Yacume. Be prepared to go off the grid and back to the basics: electricity is sparce, there is no WiFi and the lodges are wood structures with often open sides. A boat ride is necessary to reach them.
More highlights of Bolivia
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