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ESSENTIAL RURRENABAQUE — 4 days/3 nights

Rurrenabaque - Pampas & Jungle

 

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Rurrenabaque is a small and colorful Amazonian town on the far eastern spur of the Andes. From there you may want to travel north to the savannahs of Pampas del Yacuma where wildlife abounds, or explore to the south, up the Beni River where Pilon Lajas Biosphere Reserve and Madidi National Park are set.

In any case this trip is not for the faint-hearted! Several hours by 4WD on bumpy roads to the Yacuma river, or by dugout canoe up the Beni and Quiquibey or Tuichi rivers is an adventure in itself and worth the effort, for the show begins long before you get to your lodge.

Depending on the option chosen the scenery varies and wildlife viewing opportunities are different but always stunning. Guaranteed!

If you are looking for a tropical experience, Essential Rurrenabaque will enable you to explore some of the best nature and wildlife hotspots in Bolivia combined with breathtaking landscapes around the lively Amazonian town of Rurrenabaque.

You will spend three nights at jungle lodges/campsites deep in the savannahs of Pampas del Yacuma, or in the rainforest of Madidi National Park.

This trip is for adventurous travelers and photographers who are prepared for hot, humid and sometimes rainy weather.

WHERE?

• RURRENABAQUE - West of Trinidad although access is easier from La Paz, in the Upper Amazon Basin and on the foothills of the Andes, this lively tropical town of around 7,000 inhabitants, is a starting point for great rainforest and wildlife expeditions. Climate is hot and humid all year round.

• PAMPAS DEL YACUMA - The Pampas tour is the best chance for seeing animals, travelling by 4WD from Rurrenabaque, and then by dugout canoe and on foot along the Yacuma river and grasslands. Endless sightings of caimans, capybaras, amazon river dolphins and turtles, monkeys..., and of course great assorted riverbirds: from big white storks to small bright blue kingfisher, raptors, herons, egrets, toucans, small parrots and macaws... As soon as your boat sets off, it is like wandering into the best zoo in the world! The sheer numbers and closeness of all these amazing animals is overwhelming. Great photo opportunities.

• PILON LAJAS NATURE RESERVE & INDIGENOUS TERRITORY - This UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and Indigenous Territory for Conservation protects 988,000 acres (400.000 ha) of tropical rainforests. Two special biogeographical subregions meet here: montane cloud forests and humid forests. Most of the Reserve is formed by the Pilon Mountain Range reaching an altitude of 2,000 meters and flanking the wide alluvial valley of the Quiquibey River. Four indigenous ethnic groups, Tsimane, Moseten, Tacana, and Esse-Ejja inhabit today the Pilon Lajas territory. You reach your ecolodge after a three-hour dugout canoe trip, following the Beni River through the spectacular Bala Canyon before heading up the smaller Quiquibey River. The profits are used to improve the quality of life and finance community projects.

• MADIDI NATIONAL PARK - Madidi National Park encompasses 4.5 million acres (1.8 million hectares) of protected wilderness. Madidi protects some of the wildest and most pristine rainforest on earth, and the big animals such as herds of peccary, sloths, howler monkeys, giant otters and jaguar thrive here. You reach your ecolodge in Madidi after a five-hour dugout canoe trip, following the Beni River through spectacular Bala Gorge before heading up the smaller Tiuchi River. The lodge itself is owned and managed by the indigenous Quechua-Tacana community. With a lifetime of knowledge, the guides lead you in search of macaws, tapirs, monkeys, caimans and more. They also teach you how rainforest plants and trees are used for medicine, tools and food. Profits help finance small community projects and improve their livelihood.

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WHAT?

Nature Observation - Wildlife Viewing - Rainforest Hikes - Cultural Excursions - Community Projects - Photography

Pampas AND Jungle? A longer stay enables you to combine several tours—e.g. Pampas Reserve + Madidi National Park.

WHEN?

Year-Round Departures (depart virtually any day of the week).

May - October is dry season.

Option #1 - Pampas del Yacuma Wildlife Reserve

Day 1 - Drive from Rurrenabaque to Yacuma River (about 3 hours by 4WD). Begin your exploration of the area. [LD]

Days 2 & 3 - In-depth exploration of the Yacuma River and its surroundings by canoe and on foot for great wildlife viewing: several species of monkeys, turtles and pink river dolphins, rheas, anteaters, capybaras, caimans and even anacondas... Amazonian birdlife includes raptors, storks, herons, egrets, toucans, small parrots and macaws. Go piranha fishing... Most of the action is on the river banks and we guarantee many great sightings and unique photo opportunities. [BLD]

Day 4 - Day at leisure in "Rurre" for optional activities; Transfer to airport. [B]


Option #2 - Jungle Lodge at Madidi National Park

Day 1 - Prepare yourself for a long journey by dugout motorboat (from 4 to 6 hours depending on season and river condition) up the Beni and Tuichi rivers. Spectacular views of the Bolivian Amazon on the way. Arrive at your ecolodge in the afternoon. Time permitting, begin your exploration of the park. [LD]

Days 2 & 3 - Explore the park grounds around the lodge: a number of trails are available for half-day hikes around a variety of themes such as natural interpretation of the forest, natural history, ecological processes, medicinal plants and hardwood trees, animal behavior and bird and mammal watching... Complementary activities include handicrafts, canoe trips and paddling on lakes and rivers, videos about the Quechua-Tacana community and the Madidi National Park... Evening activities include short night walks to learn about the nocturnal wildlife activity and hear the sounds of the jungle: amphibians, reptiles, insects, tarantulas, rodents, birds and nocturnal monkeys. [BLD]

Day 4 - Return boat ride to "Rurre" (about 3 hours) for transfer out. [BL]


 

Bolivia Short Trip #6 - Essential Rurrenabaque

Meals Included: Breakfast [B], Lunch [L], Dinner [D]

Depart any day! Custom dates and prices available.
Contact one of our travel consultants for details.

Solutions for families, small and large groups – feel free to request a custom quote.

We organize tailor-made tours at competitive prices throughout Bolivia for individuals, couples or groups, off the usual tourist routes and accompanied by accredited local guides, to get you in direct contact with stunning Bolivian landscapes, the people and local culture.

Choose the duration of your Bolivia trip, the places you want to visit, type of accommodation, schedules, ways to get around and even your budget. Everything exactly as you prefer!

Contact us so that we can prepare a detailed tailor-made itinerary for you, based on your travel dates and personal conveniences.

If you are a group of 10 or more travelers, you can take advantage of the favorable conditions that Fremen Tours Bolivia has planned for you.

Complementary services:

We also arrange bus and train tickets (from $25, included in our Budget Tour Packages), flights (from $95, included in our Private Expeditions), additional nights in hotels in Rurre, etc. Ask us for a quote.

Regular airlines offer daily flights from La Paz to Rurre. Book your flights to&from Rurrenabaque through Fremen Tours — count $95 OW depending on airlines and schedules (included in our Private Expeditions, not included in our Budget Tour Packages). Due to the limited capacity of the aircrafts, tickets sell very quickly and we strongly recommend to reserve your seat well in advance.

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