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Rurrenabaque Bolivia & Choosing An Ethical Amazon Tour

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We were so excited to go to Rurrenabaque Bolivia and it didn’t disappoint. Wild pink dolphin spotting, huge caimans chilling by the water edge, piranha fishing, searching for anacondas, our trip into the Bolivia Amazon was epic and then some.

Of course most people come to this part of the country because it’s the gateway to the Bolivian Amazon, but there are also quite a few other things to do in Rurrenabaque if you have time.

Boat trip in Bolivia Amazon

In this Rurrenabaque guide we’re going to run you through the different types of Rurrenabaque tours and perhaps most importantly how to choose an ethical tour company.

Plus how to get to Rurrenabaque from La Paz or elsewhere in the country, the best places to stay in Rurrenabaque and also give you some ideas for where to go next in Bolivia.

So Where Is Rurrenabaque?

Rurrenabaque is a small town, situated alongside the Beni River in the north of Bolivia. Nicknamed ‘Rurre’ for short, it’s right on the edge of the vast 18,958 square kilometres of Madidi National Park and the surrounding pampas region of Bolivia’s Amazon basin.

Rurrenabaque Bolivia from above

Despite its close proximity to the La Paz Department, Rurrenabaque Bolivia, is pretty remote and not the easiest place to get to. Saying that, due to the country’s, shall we say… below par, transport infrastructure, not many places are.

Best Time To Go To Rurrenabaque

The best time to visit Rurrenabaque Bolivia is from June – September during the dry season when rainfall is at a minimum. Outside of that it rains a lot. Especially December – March which is the peak of the rainy season.

We visited during early February and although we did get super lucky with the Rurrenabaque weather for most of our trip, there were some days where it was just full on monsoon time.

Aside from getting soaked, the main thing to note when planning Rurrenabaque Amazon tours is that during the wet season the water levels are much higher than in the dry season.

This means that spotting animals is harder because there’s a much larger volume of water for them to be knocking about in. And unfortunately on our Rurrenabaque tour we didn’t get to see any Anacondas or catch any Piranhas.

Best time to go to Rurrenabaque is dry season

Our guide told us that during the dry season it’s pretty much guaranteed. And there’s way more caimans and monkeys hanging around too.

Having said that, if it is wet season when you happen to be in this part of Bolivia during your travels you should definitely still go because we still had an absolutely magical time.

We still saw all of these; toucans, macaws, herons, kingfishers, woodpeckers, owls, bufeos, cayman, turtles, capybaras, howler monkeys, yellow squirrel monkeys, anteaters, dragonflies, fireflies, bats, frogs, and sloths.


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How To Get To Rurrenabaque

There are basically two directions that you’ll be coming at Rurrenabaque from, La Paz in the west, or the east of Bolivia. The majority of visitors to Rurrenabaque Bolivia arrive from La Paz, just because the east of the country is less visited.

I Love Rurre Sign

And the majority of those take flights from La Paz to Rurrenabaque. But that’s not the only way you can get there and also not the cheapest way either.

La Paz To Rurrenabaque

Now there are Rurrenabaque tour packages like this one that include flights and transfer from the airports. Or you can arrange everything separately yourself which is what we did.

The company running flights from La Paz to Rurrenabaque is Amaszonas Línea Aérea and you can generally get return flights for around $150-170USD/£120-130GBP.

Top tip, keep the language in Spanish if you can as sometimes changing booking sites to English in South America puts the price up.

La Paz To Rurrenabaque Bus

The alternative to taking a La Paz to Rurrenabaque flight is to catch the bus. There’s some bad reviews about the La Paz to Rurrenabaque bus online. About how dangerous the road is and how shoddy the buses are.

We did this journey in the opposite direction taking the Rurrenabaque to La Paz bus but it was fine. We had a bit of the bumpy start when the driver reversed into a massive pothole in the bus station in Rurrenabaque, but other than it wasn’t half as bad as what we’d read.

La Paz To Rurrenabaque Bus

Although, the bus did look like it really wasn’t roadworthy. But if you’ve already travelled in Bolivia a bit you’ll know that’s pretty common.

The road directly in and out of Rurrenabaque is a muddy, bumpy one, but it’s relatively flat with no imminent death drops over the side. That we saw anyway. It’s a 20 hour overnight journey so we were asleep for at least parts of it.

I think it might feel different coming in the other direction from La Paz to Rurrenabaque, just because you’re going down rather than up on the steepest section of road near La Paz. This is the bit that freaks most people out and gets likened to the ‘real’ death road in La Paz.

But as we were going uphill into La Paz there was zero chance for the bus to be speeding. In fact we genuinely wondered if it was going to make it up some sections.

We met plenty of travellers who had come that route on a La Paz to Rurrenabaque bus though too and had no problems or near death experiences. I think it’s recently been tarmaced too so some reviews online probably predate that.

And if you can look past the fact that if the bus did fall off the road you would be a goner, there are some absolutely cracking views as you wind your way through the clouds.

The bus company running this route that we used is called Trans Totai and we just purchased the tickets directly at the bus station in Rurrenabaque. But Turbus Total also runs a service.

Rurrenabaque to La Paz bus

Just be aware that the buses leave from their private offices and not the main bus terminal in La Paz so make sure you turn up at the right one. Jumping in a cab is the easiest option.

Trinidad To Rurrenabaque

If you’re travelling to Rurrenabaque from the east of Bolivia from Santa Cruz for example, it’s a good idea to break the mega journey up with a couple of nights in Trinidad. You will have to stop there anyway, as there are no direct buses from Santa Cruz through to Rurrenabaque.

From Trinidad to Rurrenabaque there’s only a bus that runs one day a week. However, there are collectivos running the route everyday. Which given the poor quality of the road, being smaller vehicles with better control is a better option anyway.

You’ll also need to cross a few different rivers on wooden ferries which again – we’re going to suggest are safer with as little weight as possible. Although having said, we did see huge lorries coming across them so we’re sure you’ll be right.

Trinidad to Rurrenabaque car ferry

There’s a few different bus terminals in Trinidad so make sure you go to the right one. The collectivos from Trinidad to Rurrenabaque run from Parada a San Borja on Calle Beni y Calle Romulo Mendoza.

Unless it’s raining cats and dogs, in which case they won’t be running. For the most part the road is basically just made of mud so they won’t go if the rain is lashing down.

The cost of a collectivo from Trinidad to Rurrenabaque is $50B’s each ($7.25USD/£6GBP). It’s not the most comfortable of journeys and we had quite a long wait in a few towns along the route but there were no dramas.

In Rurrenabaque they just kind of dropped us near the central plaza and we jumped on a moto taxi to our hotel for 5B’s.

rurrenabaque bolivia amazon tour

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Choosing An Ethical Rurrenabaque Tour

There are a number of Amazon tour operators in Rurrenabaque and with that a range of quality. Both in terms of the standard of accomodation, but also more importantly the ethicalness of the tour.

We personally saw a guide with another tour operator handing out bananas which the tourists were then feeding to monkeys, encouraging them to come onto their boat.

Monkeys Rurrenabaque Bolivia

Our guide explained to us how it changes the behaviour of the monkeys and affects their ability to feed themselves. He told us that such close contact with humans also puts them more at risk of being caught by poachers who operate an illegal wildlife trade in this area.

We also read reviews of some tour companies who have their guides catch anacondas and keep them captive so as not to disappoint tourists. Really not cool.

The Rurrenabaque Pampas Tour that we did was with a company called Dolphins Travel Ecolodge and we wholly recommend them.

Dolphins Travel Ecolodge Office

However! Don’t just take our word for it, when it comes to choosing an ethical Amazon tour please make sure you do your own research and read the most recent reviews.

Also check with the tour company how many people will be in your group. There were 7 people in our group with one guide. Some have larger tourist to guide ratios and as such are not as safe.

The river dock is controlled by the Bolivian Navy who ensure boats aren’t overloaded with weight and have a maximum of 10 people in each.

Not all Rurrenabaque tour companies have 4×4’s too, some just use normal taxis.

considerations for which Rurrenabaque tour to choose

So that’s also something to bear in mind when choosing which Rurrenabaque tour company – especially if visiting in the rainy season. We saw lots of vehicles seriously stuck in the mud.

Which Rurrenabaque Tour To Choose?

The consideration you will have when booking Rurrenabaque Amazon Tours is that there are two types; Rurrenabaque Pampas Tours and Rurrenabaque Jungle Tours. They both have programs that vary in length. And if you can’t choose, you can do a combination of both.

Rurrenabaque tour group on river boat

On the whole, you should generally see more animals on the ‘Pampas tours’, but that’s just because you are in a much denser landscape on the jungle tours. But you have time to take things in because you are hiking and not on a boat.

People that did both told us that they didn’t prefer one over the other, that they were just different experiences.

Rurrenabaque Pampas Tour

This is the option that we chose with Dolphins Travel Ecolodge. We went with the most popular option of a three day, 2 night Pampas tour and loved every second of it. Even during the torrential downpour we had on our last day.

Rurrenabaque pampas tour accomodation

The cost of our Rurrenabaque Amazon tour was $1350B’s ($195 USD/£156GBP) each for a private lodge with double bed & bathroom. Plus the cost of the entrance to Madidi National Park which was 150B’s ($22USD/£17GBP).

By the way, by law, tour companies in Rurrenabaque should charge a min of $1200B’s per person. That the minimum you should expect to pay.

You can watch our experience of our Rurrenabaque Pampas Tour here:

Pampas Rurrenabaque Itinerary

Pampas tour day one:.

  • Leave Rurrenabaque at 9am.
  • Arrive in a town called Santa Rosa, near the boats to have lunch.
  • Boat trip along the Yacuma river for wildlife watching.
  • Arrive at the lodges late afternoon.
  • Sunset boat trip and night time caiman spotting.

Caiman at night on Yacuma River

Seeing their eyes glowing orange and purple in the pitch black was epic. Don’t forget a torch.

Pampas Tour Day Two:

  • After breakfast, head out into the savannah to search for anacondas and cobras.
  • Lunch and rest at the lodges.
  • Boat trip to see pink dolphins (or bufeos as they are locally known in Spanish).

Pink dolphins in Rurrenabaque Bolivia

You are allowed to get in the water to swim with them and some of our group did. We chose not to, not only because the water was black and contains things other than dolphins, but because we just didn’t feel like we needed to touch them in order to appreciate them.

Pampas Tour Day Three:

  • Sunrise boat trip
  • Back to the lodge for breakfast
  • Head out on the boat again for piranha fishing.
  • Lunch at the lodge then back to Rurrenabaque.

Piranha fishing in the Bolivian Amazon

Rurrenabaque Packing List

When it rains it rains & you gotta be prepared to do the activities anyway. Only take what you need, you can leave your big backpacks at either the tour office or hotel/hostel back in Rurrenabaque.

  • Quickdry Towel
  • Water Filter Bottle
  • Mosquito Spray
  • Portable Battery Pack
  • Raincoat ( Men | Women )
  • 2 x bottoms
  • White shirt

rurrenabaque bolivia amazon tour

We always travel with a filter water bottle. Not only does it stop us getting ill, but it means we’re not killing the planet or wasting money on plastic bottles. The GRAYL Geopress is hands down the best on the market & makes water from virtually any source safe to drink.

Where To Stay in Rurrenabaque

Cheap & cheerful: el curichal hostel.

The best hostel in town. If you’re after making some pals while staying in Rurrenabaque this social place with an outdoor pool is the place to book. Breakfast is included, there’s BBQ’s in evenings, hammocks to chill in during the day and even a small bar if you fancy a cold beer.

El Curichal Hostel

Mid-range: Hotel Tacuaral

This Rurrenabaque hotel doesn’t have much of an atmosphere. However, the ensuite rooms are huge. So if you’re after a quiet and seriously comfortable place to get some rest before or after your Amazon tour, this will be right up your street. The staff are great and it’s spotless.

Affordable Luxury: Hotel Maya de la Amazonia

Looking for somewhere more upmarket? Have a gander at this 5 star beauty. Rooms are large yet homely. There’s a huge outdoor pool set in a lovely garden and the breakfast consistently gets rave reviews. There’s a bar, secure baggage storage and onsite parking.

Where To Eat in Rurrenabaque

This small cafe does an excellent and reasonably priced menu del dia with vegan options. The frozen fruit smoothies are also awesome if you need to cool down. The service is great and the wifi was decent too.

Luz de Mar Rurrenabaque Cafe

Pizzeria La Bella Italia

The best pizzas in town. After being seated you’ll be presented with an ingredient card from which you build your own pizza by ticking off the toppings you want. The staff are so friendly the grub is inexpensive.

Pizzeria La Bella Italia

The French Bakery

We didn’t actually try anything from here because we had breakfast provided at our hotel. But each time we walked past the treats on offer looked incredible and it was plenty busy enough. There’s both savory and sweet pastries. We heard the chocolate croissants are the best.

Luna Lounge

A restaurant-bar with music and pool tables. If you’re after somewhere to have a few drinks and grab something to eat, this place seemed to have the best atmosphere. The service could have been better, it was pretty slow but the food was nice enough.

Rurrenabaque Bolivia FAQ’s

  • How bad are the mosquitos?

In a word, bad.

The lodges do have mosquito nets and screens, but make sure you take plenty of mosquito repellant with you. And don’t miss putting it on your bum and the backs of your legs. The seats on the boats are just elastic foldaway ones so you’re not sat on anything solid. We learnt this the hard way!

rurrenabaque bolivia amazon tour

It’s recommended you take a long sleeved white shirt as the mosquitos are more attracted to darker colours. We were skeptical about this at first, but it is true. Picking up some Vitamin B Complex can also help ward them off a little too.

  • Do the lodges have electricity?

Yes but only from solar power so it is limited. We could only charge phones & cameras and electricity is limited to 6:30pm – 9:30pm. Our lodge did have electric fans but you couldn’t use them overnight, so it was very hot.

Dolphins travel ecolodge

  • Is there hot water?

No and you don’t need it. Our lodge did provide towels.

  • What was the food like?

The food is really good and all diets are catered for. Our cook was knocking out some wicked vegan snap and the lodge also sold beer and wine.

  • Are you expected to tip?

I think it was more appreciated than expected. At our last meal the cook put a tips plate on the table and we left 50B’s. We also gave the guide 100B’s, although he didn’t ask for anything.

Where To Next In Bolivia?

  • Complete Guide To Santa Cruz de la Sierra
  • 13 Awesome Reasons to Visit Sucre
  • Guide To Samaipata & Amboro National Park
  • Potosi Bolivia: What to Do & Where to Stay
  • What To Do In Copacabana, Lake Titicaca
  • Why You Should Visit Tarija in the South

Good Reads About Bolivia

Bolivia travel insurance.

Taking an adventure in the Bolivian Amazon doesn’t come without risk, so make sure that you have good quality travel insurance that covers you for all the activities you will be doing.

Rurrenabaque Pampas tour

Our go to travel insurance provider is World Nomads. We’re big fans of their no nonsense approach and bullshit free policies. They cover loads activities as standard and you can even purchase policies after you’ve set off on your travels, just in case you forgot.

Don’t take the risk and get yourself a no obligation quote here:

Pin Me For Later…

Front of boat on river with overlay Complete Travel Guide To Rurrenabaque Bolivia

Yorkshire born & bred, Sarah is a professional blogger who loves to travel. Pushing her boundaries with new adventures is her jam, so you likely won’t find her in one place for too long. Also a serious Marmite addict. 

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Tracey Capes

I cannot find any flights from La Paz to Rurrenabaque? Have they stopped flying?

Sarah McAlister

Hi Tracey, no neither can I right now – that’s so weird! The airport was closed early this year because they just did a big improvement project which allowed for bigger aircraft but it was opened again as far as I’m aware. Hopefully it’s just temporary!

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Hi, we’re James & Sarah

rurrenabaque bolivia amazon tour

Full time backpackers turned vanlifers.

We’re here to provide you with valuable travel tips, kickass destination guides & serious vanlife inspiration to help you get your travel adventures off the ground!

rurrenabaque bolivia amazon tour


  • September 7, 2020
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Amazon tours in bolivia.

Your starting point for Amazon tours in Bolivia is the small frontier town of Rurrenabaque , north of La Paz.

There are two ways of getting there: flight or bus.

Flights are more expensive but only take 30 minutes. The bus is cheap, but it’s overnight, and it takes around 20 hours. We will cover both methods in more detail later in the post.

From Rurrenabaque, tour companies pick you up and take you into the Amazon. Tours last anywhere from 2-5 days depending on which companies you go with, but the standard tours are 3 days/2 nights. 

birdseye view of the Amazon, Bolivia


There are two types of Amazon tour on offer: Pampas or Jungle

Pampas Tour

The Pampas is the wetland area on the fringes of the Amazon, here’s some essential information:

  • Not in the actual Amazon jungle
  • Along the rivers and tributaries of the Amazon
  • Easier to see wildlife
  • Larger wildlife such as caimans, anacondas, and pink river dolphins
  • Cheaper than jungle tours

Jungle Tour

The jungle tour takes you into the actual Amazon rainforest. 

  • In the actual jungle
  • Less wildlife (as its harder to spot)
  • More insects/plant life focussed
  • Opportunity to meet indigenous tribes

Some companies offer extended tours which include both the jungle and the pampas as well if you want to do both. We’ve compared both type of tours along with the best tour companies in a more detailed post here:

  • Pampas Vs Jungle Tour: Which Is The Best Amazon Tour For You

Picture of the Amazon rainforest in Bolivia


The price of these tours varies massively depending on how you book.  If you visit in the low season with fewer tourists, then prices will be lower. Also, if you book in person or on a package tour, you can save a lot of money.

On average, Pampas tours range anywhere from $80-200 per person .

Jungle tours are more expensive and will range from $150-200+.

We cover how to save money when booking an Amazon tour in the next section. 

how to book an amazon tour from rurrenbaque, Bolivia


You have three options when booking an Amazon tour in Bolivia:

  • Book Online – book your tour online and organise flights yourself separately.
  • Book In Rurrenabaque – organise your transport to Rurrenabaque (flight or bus) and book the tour in person
  • Package deal – book your flights and tour together as a package in La Paz.

Don’t book online whatever you do. Prices are always inflated, and we hugely overpaid for our tour.

Indigena Tours charge $190 for their 3 Day Pampas tour online which we stupidly paid for because we wanted to get organised ahead of time. 

We recommend visiting tour companies in La Paz and booking directly with them.

Whilst we don’t have first-hand experience with this, we met other backpackers who did. They got their flights and tour together for around $100 cheaper than we paid for them online. We didn’t manage to get the name, but we imagine if you do some window shopping in the tourist areas you’ll be able to get some quotes.

Note we were in Bolivia in January which is low season so prices will be higher during peak season.

The second-best option is to organise your flights/bus and book a tour once you arrive in Rurrenabaque. Again, this will be much cheaper than it is online as they will want to sell their seats last minute. It’s also easier to haggle in person.

how to book an amazon tour from rurrenbaque, Bolivia


Flights from la paz to rurrenabaque.

Regular flights from La Paz cost anywhere between $100-200 return if booking yourself.

Amaszonas Airlines will have the most flights but best to check Sky Scanner for the best deals.

The flight takes around 30 minutes , and you will be treated to some fantastic views as you fly over the snow covered mountains of La Paz followed by the rivers of the Amazon.

All flights to the Amazon are via a small plane (60 seaters) so just a word of warning if you are a nervous flyer, you can feel the turbulence more on these things and bad weather can cause them to be delayed or cancelled – although both of our flights were fine.

Rurrenabaque Airport into town – Local taxis will wait outside the airport. The town is so small that at most it will be a 5-minute journey in a taxi costing around 20 BOB. You could walk if you wanted but its pretty hot once your in the jungle!

For more information on La Paz, check out our guides:

La Paz: 13 Best Things To Do

La Paz: 3-Day vs 5-Day Itinerary

Bus From La Paz To Rurrenabaque

Overnight bus from La Paz will take 20+ hours.

This is the cheapest option , but obviously, you lose a day travelling, which may not be great if you are on a tight schedule.

Oh, and the bus has a section along Death Road, which isn’t great either.

We checked Tickets Bolivia for the best companies and times but couldn’t find any online, so your best option will be to book in person at the main bus station in La Paz (Terminal de Buses, Plaza Antafogasta). 

the Amazon, Bolivia


The best time to visit is during the dry season between May and October.

Three reasons:

  • There’s hardly any rain
  • More wildlife
  • Apparently there are no mosquitoes.

Wet season (summer) is from November to April. Temperatures will be much hotter, and it will rain more. There’s also an abundance of mosquitoes.

The other thing to consider is that the Pampas changes depending on the season.

During the dry season, you will likely see more caimans as the water is lower and they will be out on the banks of the river. It’s also better for catching piranhas and finding anacondas. You wouldn’t be able to search through the fields for anacondas during rainy season as it would be quite dangerous.

Don’t worry too much about visiting outside of dry season though. There is still an abundance of wildlife regardless. We visited in January and saw lots of animals.

We also didn’t have a single day of rain on the tour but it did rain heavily on our last day in Rurrenabaque.We were  eaten alive by mosquitos even when wearing long sleeves and bug spray. The jungle bugs are something else.

Be sure to check out our month-long Bolivia itinerary to see how a trip to the Amazon fits in with travelling through the rest of this amazing country:

  • The Essential 1 Month Bolivia Backpacking Itinerary & Route

boating on the Amazon, Bolivia


5 day itinerary.

You can do an Amazon tour in 3 days but rushed or you can take 5 days if you want to stay in Rurrenabaque longer and take it easy.

We took 5 days in total for our journey and tour.

Here’s a breakdown of how we planned our journey to Rurrenabaque:

  • Day 1 – Midday flight to Rurrenabaque, check into hotel, meal and night in town
  • Day 2 – Start the 3 day Amazon tour
  • Day 3 – Amazon tour
  • Day 4 – Return from Amazon to Rurrenabaque, stay one night in the town
  • Day 5 –Midday flight to La Paz

We took our big bags on the plane and stayed an extra night on either side of the tour. We did this because we had the time and didn’t want to rush.

3 Day Itinerary

However, if you are looking to save time/days, you can get an early flight from La Paz and jump straight on a tour as you get off the plane.

You could even leave your big bags in La Paz at a hostel and only take a small backpack as you don’t need much in the Amazon. This means  will also save money on baggage.

Here’s the itinerary for 3 days:

  • Day 1 – earliest flight to Rurrenabaque, pickup from the airport and straight on to the Amazon tour
  • Day 2 – Amazon tour
  • Day 3 – return to Rurrenabaque, late afternoon flight to La Paz

You will have to book a late flight back to La Paz if you do this as you don’t return to Rurrenabaque until 4-5 PM on the last day.

Travelling other countries in South America apart from Bolivia? See how you can fit either of these two itineraries into a wider South America backpacking trip:

  • The Definitive 1-Month Chile, Bolivia & Argentina Itinerary

views across the Amazon, Bolivia


We decided to go with the Pampas tour as we wanted to see as much wildlife as possible. Here’s everything you will want to know if you choose this option.

Pampas Tour Itinerary

All tour companies advertise the same itinerary, and there will be little difference between them apart from food, sleeping arrangements and the tour guide.

Here’s the basic itinerary:

  • boat tour begins, arrival and lunch, a second boat tour of the Pampas, dinner, caiman spotting at night
  • Day 2 – breakfast, anaconda search, lunch, pink dolphin swimming, sunset
  • return to Santa Rosa, 2-hour drive back to Rurrenabaque

flag on the Amazon

Pampas Tour Day 1

We went with Indigena for our Pampas Tour. You are picked up at 9 AM from Rurrenabaque.

We ended up waiting 45 minutes at the airport for some random person who wasn’t even on our tour (we go into tour choices in greater detail in this post, but this is one of the reasons we won’t suggest our company) and then a 2-hour bumpy ride to our breakfast stop.

After breakfast, we had another 10 minutes in the car before reaching the boatyard.

Once everyone’s settled in the speedboat, the tour begins, and you have around 2 hours driving along the rivers searching for animals. Once you reach your accommodation, you have a short break followed by lunch.

bird in the trees

You then have a second tour along the rivers, stopping to fish for piranhas, before returning for dinner. After dinner, you get back in the boat and head out at dark with a powerful torch and search for caimans.

Our minds were blown within the first couple of hours of this tour.

As soon as you are travelling along the river you can see river turtles, birds of paradise and we also caught a few caimans.

Heading out at night to spot caimans is also a surreal experience and you can see loads as the torch light reflects off their eyes.

turtle on a branch in the Amazon

Pampas Tour Day 2

After breakfast, you suit up in wellies and head to a large flooded field – time to search for anacondas.

Unfortunately, we didn’t find any during our tour (just some shed skin), but we bumped into other tours that said they found one.

The guides are notorious for grabbing the anacondas and pulling them back so tours can see them. It sounds like most of the tours do this (which they shouldn’t), so if you are looking to avoid this, it’s best to check the reviews on Trip Advisor.

Wading through the field was still fun and one of the girls on our tour managed to spot a tarantula hiding in a plant.

people walking through fields, the Amazon, Bolivia

After lunch, you head back out to find and swim with pink river dolphins.

Whilst the Amazon river water is mucky, swimming with the dolphins is fun. They are curious and will swim close to check you out. You are pretty much guaranteed to see these unique creatures. Our guide assured us that swimming in the river is safe despite the previous mention of piranhas.

After swimming, you head to a spot on the pampas to chill and watch the sunset.

You can buy a few bits here like beer or pringles. It’s a relaxed part of the day, and the sunset over the Amazon was spectacular.

fish in bolivia

Pampas Tour Day 3

You have the choice to wake up early and watch the sunrise on the third day.

The sunrise was amazing, and we spotted a bunch of capybaras chilling in the trees right next to us to add to the experience.

After breakfast, you do one final tour around the Pampas trying to find dolphins once again before returning to the boatyard where you were dropped off on the first day.  Then once you are back at the boatyard you have a 2-hour drive back to Santa Rosa where you will be picked up and taken back to Rurrenabaque.

You should arrive back in town around 4-5 PM.

bird in the Amazon, Bolivia

Pampas Tour: Accommodation

Pampas tours are basic so don’t expect any luxuries while on tour.

You will be staying in a wooden cabin built on the edge of the river.

Beds are simple with mosquito nets. The door to your room will have a mosquito net as well and areas where you eat. The mosquitos are serious business as you can imagine.

The shower will be cold, but this isn’t too bad as the days are hot and muggy.

sunsetting over the Amazon, Bolivia

Pampas Tour: Food

We enjoyed the food on our tour.

We had a variety of different meals with lots of vegetable dishes and some meat. We have read some other bad reviews of the food on these tours, but we aren’t too fussy.

You won’t have a choice of what you eat on these tours so be warned. They will cater to vegetarians and vegans, but because you are so remote, options are limited.

crocodile with its mouth open on the Amazon, Bolivia

Pampas Tour: What To Bring

You will be able to survive with a small backpack for the 3 days. Here’s a short packing list of essentials:

  • Sun cream/hat – riding in the boat all day, you will have no protection from the sun.
  • Mosquito repellent – regardless of the season you visit in, bring it anyway
  • Loose-fitting, light coloured clothes – this will help with the heat and with mosquitos (they are attracted to dark colours). The perfect outfit if you visit in the wet season is long white trousers and a long white sleeved shirt. This will cover most of your skin, and you can use repellent for the exposed areas.
  • Swimwear – to swim with the dolphins
  • Flip flops – to wear around your accommodation
  • High ankle shoes – we wore our hiking boots. They gave us a bit of extra protection from mosquitos. Useful for getting on and off the boats if the ground is wet as they are waterproof
  • Travel towel
  • Shower gel – our accommodation didn’t have any
  • Portable charger – electricity is scare in the Amazon. Whilst we had one plug socket in our dining area, its best to just come prepared with a fully charged portable charger for your phone and an extra battery for a camera.

crocodile eyes in the Amazon, Bolivia


Whilst the accommodation is basic; you aren’t travelling to the Amazon to experience luxury. Roughing it is also part of the adventure.

You are going to see an incredible environment and rare animals.

We saw pink river dolphins, tonnes of caimans, river tortoises, monkeys, capybaras, and all sorts of exotic birds. Riding in the speedboat along the winding rivers all day searching for animals never got boring and the days are broken up nicely. Sitting down with a beer watching the sunset over the Pampas was incredible.

It’s also going to be one of the cheapest ways to visit the Amazon in South America. In countries like Brazil it is incredibly touristy and expensive, and whilst in places like Peru it will be cheaper, you will never get the bargain you get here.

We think it’s 100% worth it.

Just avoid it if you aren’t a fan of roughing it and can’t stand mosquitos. That was the only challenging part to deal with.

Where’s your next stop in Bolivia?

If you are working your way down south after La Paz then Uyuni is the next logical stop. Check out our guides to help you plan your trip:

  • The Essential Salar De Uyuni Guide  
  • Is A Salt Flats Tour Worth It? 6 Reasons Why You Can’t Miss Bolivia’s Best Tour
  • When Is The Best Time To Visit Salar De Uyuni
  • Salar De Uyuni: 1-Day Vs 3-Day Tour

Or if you are still planning your Bolivia trip, here are three great posts for you to check out:

  • Is Bolivia Worth It? 10 Reasons Why You Can’t Miss Bolivia’s Hidden Gem
  • Bolivia 3-Week Backpacking Itinerary & Route
  • South America 1-Month Backpacking Itinerary
  • Author Profile
  • Posts by the Author
  • The Ideal Argentina Itinerary [Two Unique One-Month Routes]
  • How To Get To The Galapagos Islands [From Anywhere]
  • 16 Reasons Why The Galápagos Islands Are Worth Visiting
  • Is Santiago Worth Visiting? 10 Great Reasons To Visit in 2024
  • How Many Days In La Paz? 3 and 5 Day Itinerary
  • Suitcase or Backpack: Which is Best for South America?

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Rurrenabaque | 3 Days In The Bolivian Amazon

How to organise a 3-day Pampa tour in Rurrenabaque – Travel Guide

As large as 7 million square kilometres, the Amazon covers 60% of the Brazilian territory but also the countries of Venezuela, Suriname, Guyana, Bolivia, Ecuador , Peru and Colombia. The Amazon forest is a dream we share with a lot of travellers in the hope of encountering a large wildlife diversity and living a unique travel experience.

In Bolivia , and more precisely, near the little town of Rurrenabaque , we hopped on a 3-day tour, looking for anacondas, pink dolphins and piranhas .

Here is a detailed guide on how to organise a Pampa tour in Rurrenabaque, filled with our best tips and advice for a successful tour in the Bolivian Amazon.

  • Why going on an Amazon Tour from Rurrenabaque?
  • Choose your tour: Pampa or Jungle
  • The Amazonian wildlife
  • Anaconda quest and piranha fishing
  • Swimming with the pink dolphins
  • Getting to Rurrenabaque, flying or busing?

Where to stay in Rurrenabaque?

  • Booking a tour: La Paz or Rurrenabaque
  • Our tips for a successful Pampa tour in Rurrenabaque
  • Cost and useful information


The adventure into the Amazon starts with a 40 min flight from La Paz, taking us from 4,100 to 800 masl… Goodbye woozy altitudes and cold climate, Hello humid and heavy breeze! From the dryness of the highlands to the luxuriant Amazon basin, it is a drastic change we gladly welcome after a few months in high and chilly altitudes.

From the plane, after passing close to the mountain Illimani culminating at 6,438 masl, the lowlands of the Amazon quickly appear under the shape of a windy river making its way through dark green forests. As we disembark our medium-sized plane, our breath is immediately taken away by the moisture of the air and the beautiful landscape that surrounds us.

Rurrenabaque will be our first stop for less than 24 h, just enough time to find an tour agency that will take us on a 3-day tour the next day. The most common tours that can be taken from Rurrenabaque are either the Jungle tour or the Pampa (we explain the difference at the beginning of this article). 

If the above didn’t already convinced you to visit the Amazon in Bolivia, here are 6 more reasons!

Bolivia-Rurrenabaque-squirel monkey

  • It’s one of the cheapest places to visit the Amazon
  • Wildlife is thriving
  • You will fish and eat Piranhas
  • It’s a lot warmer than in La Paz!
  • Swimming with pink dolphins is a once-in-a-lifetime experience
  • It’s only a 40 min flight from La Paz

Choose your tour | pampa or jungle

The town of Rurrenabaque itself is nothing much different from other towns in Bolivia (except Sucre maybe). The houses made of red brick are still unfinished and unpainted. The electric wires hang all around the place and the roads are still uneven. Maybe the biggest change would be the lack of “Cholita” since the population isn’t Aymara or Quechua, but Tacana, a native Amazonian ethnicity .

From Rurrenabaque, there are two types of tours that can be taken: the Pampa and the Jungle tour . While the first one is oriented toward wildlife sightseeing, the second focus on the native culture. If unsure of which one to take, a combination of the two can be arranged for a week-long in the Amazon.

The Jungle Tour

By leaving straight away Rurrenabaque by boat along the Beni River, the tour takes the visitor to the Madidi national park . The 2 nights will be spent in hammocks, right in the middle of the Jungle, or luxurious eco-camp, depending on the tour you choose and how much you are willing to pay.

The aim of the Jungle tour is to learn about the Amazonian rainforest, the people and their culture. Day walks will give the opportunity to learn about local culture as well as plants and their medicinal use, while only night strolls will target nocturnal wildlife.

The Pampa Tour

The tour starts and finishes with a 4-hour drive onto a bumpy gravel road. Once the little village of Santa Rosa is reached, the visitors hop on a boat that will take them to their eco-lodge and throughout the following days, to all the activities.

The aim of the Pampa tour is to see as many wildlife as possible , which in fairness won’t be that hard. Expectations are therefore to spot squirrel monkey, capybara, macaw, caiman, crocodile, and anaconda. The guide will also take the group to swim with pink dolphins and fish piranhas.

rurrenabaque bolivia amazon tour

What to expect from a pampa tour in Rurrenabaqu

Amazonian wildlife.

After a great night at our hostel spend participating in a Pub Quiz, we met our fellow companions at the agency we had chosen: Fluvial tour agency . The 5 of us hopped on a 4WD and drove toward the wetlands of Santa Rosa.

Later on, after a brief stop halfway, and another one for lunch, we arrived by a river where we met many other backpackers on the way back from their pampa tour. As we switched our sits from the jeep vs theirs on the boat, they all smile at us, satisfied, striking at us how amazing their trip was.

Within 30 min all the boats left the bank of the river to go to their eco-lodge, except for ours. A 6th traveller whose flight from La Paz had been delayed was on his way and the guide decided to wait for him.

While we waited for about 3 hours, our guide brought us onto the boat to find wildlife. It only took a couple of minutes until we saw a few crocodiles and a capybara family putting mud onto their body. This rodent that looks like a giant rat, does this to protect itself from mosquitoes and sandflies’ bites.

rurrenabaque bolivia amazon tour

The brown river shaded by giant trees is an eerily beautiful and peaceful place that we all try to take in as much as possible. As the tour continued we saw more birds such as bird of paradise . Not long after, big surprise for everyone… our first pink dolphins ! We were not expecting to see them this easily but according to our guide, in August, the river is low which helps to notice them. These dolphins are however very fast which make them hard to observe and photograph…

This river dolphins also called Boto , takes its name from the colour of its skin. This pink colour only appears with age as it is caused by a repeated abrasion of the skin. The younger ones tend to have a greyish tint.

Looking for crocodiles by night

As the day goes on, the 6th person joins us and the guide finally brings us to our Eco-Camp consisting of wooden sheds on stilts. That night, we hopped back onto the boat for a night cruise. With our torches, we looked for crocodiles and caimans which are more active at night.

If it wasn’t enough for our heart to only see the reflection of the light in their eyes coming in and out of the water, our guide started making deep throat noises which were quickly followed by a few loudest ones coming from the water. It was truly creepy and frightening to have this type of conversation with crocodiles!

One the way back, we all sat down in the dark, lights off, the boat guided by oar, watching the millions of stars above us and listening quietly to the nocturnal wildlife sounds. A pure moment of magic.

For more Bolivian wildlife, check our article about Santa Cruz de la Sierra

rurrenabaque bolivia amazon tour

Anaconda quest

After a night of hide and seek with mosquitos, we woke up to the pampa’s noises. A lullaby sang by crickets, birds and monkeys. After breakfast we went back to the boat for a couple of minutes, just to cross the river and hop off at the start of the trail which led us to a swamp. On our first full day in the Pampa, we are looking for Anaconda !

Jenny, not really convinced by all this, had a small freak out when a crocodile made a very loud noise that sounded just like the roar of a Jaguar… Already nervous by the hunt for a snake, her biggest fear, she managed to stay strong and continued the walk in the wetland.

After 40 minutes of looking for an anaconda, our guide finally found one. An incredible sight that the 6 us couldn’t believe. All the other tourists had told no snake had been found for the past week… Our luck then! The guide immediately catches the Anaconda to show it to the group closely.

Note : we will not share any picture of the anaconda being held for the reason that we do not agree with wildlife being touched or caught in the wild for the only purpose of a souvenir picture. It is important to choose tours and guides that respect the wildlife. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that many tour agency share the word about responsible tourism and wildlife protection. It however doesn’t mean, as tourists, we cannot stand for our believes when the occasion arise. In fact, when our guide decided to bring the snake back to the camp to show it to the other groups, we asked him to not do such a thing and leave the poor anaconda go on with its day. A couple of people supported us and the guide agreed to free up the anaconda. Sadly, this type of situation is probably not uncommon.


Piranha fishing

In the afternoon, we all got ready to go piranha fishing with the idea to eat what we catch ! It was Steven’s first time and we had a lot of fun trying to catch the fish. It is actually quite hard as the piranhas only bite a little bit but never close enough to the hook. They have very small mouths and are very fast.

On the way back, we stopped at the “bar”, a place where tour groups hang out playing soccer or volleyball while waiting for the sun to hide behind the horizon. Now, that was a nice evening, but as you would expect, we ended up under the attack of a mosquito army which made the whole experience a bit less enjoyable.

Bolivia-Rurrenabaque-Piranhas fishing

Swimming with pink dolphins

On the paper that looks amazing. But when you think about it twice, it is quite scary. Remember what we did the past 2 days? Yes, watching crocodiles and caimans and fishing piranhas … Are you really expecting us to jump into this water?

Well, despite whatever people will tell you, the water you swim in is not by miracle only filled with pink dolphins … all the above are present and probably much more. The water is also so murky it is impossible to see through. Are we in a horror movie?!

“Don’t panic!” said the guide… “If the Dolphins are in the water, nothing else will take the risk to stick around”.

In fact, the pink dolphins are known for attacking crocodiles , and the piranhas will only start their meal if there is a wound or blood. Steven spent a while swimming around trying to get closer to the dolphins. They were two, very fast, moving around the place, but we never got the chance to approach them.

Jenny also jumped in the water and enjoyed a relaxing time, sitting on a boué. It is such an incredible experience to swim in an affluent of the Amazon river and watch crocodiles and caimans chilling on the bank of the river, mouth open, taking on the heat of the morning sun, only a few meters away from us… a bit scary but unique.

rurrenabaque bolivia amazon tour

How to get to Rurrenabaque?

The main entry point to reach Rurrenabaque would be La Paz. There are two ways which are flying or taking the bus.

Flying to Rurrenabaque

Amaszonas runs about 6 daily flights for a cost of €165 minimum return. We bought a one-way ticket directly at the agency in La Paz as our credit card would not work on the website . We bought the way-back ticket in Rurrenabaque once we knew our return date.

A military airline also runs flights once a day but at the time of our visit, their only plane to Rurrenabaque was being repaired. It is usually cheaper to fly with them. To know the timetable and book the flight, check out their website: TAM .

NEXT READ: What to do in La paz?

It is not rare for the flights from La Paz to be cancelled or delayed . We got lucky, but out of our 4 other companions on the Pampa tour, 3 had issues with their flights. They all chose to fly with the earliest flight (on two different days) to start their tour immediately after landing.

The australian couple got their flight cancelled and were rescheduled on the next one, they decided to stay an extra day in Rurrenabaque and start the tour the following day. The other one also had a delay issue. We had to wait for him for 3 hours on our first day. The 5th person with us, took the bus, and had no issues!

If you can, make sure to allow time and maybe like us, stay in Rurrenabaque before and after the tour. If you don’t have the time, but have booked your tour in advance from La Paz, the agencies will usually arrange something for you and take care of changing you return flight tickets if needed.

rurrenabaque bolivia amazon tour

Taking the bus to Rurrenabaque

It is for sure the cheapest way to go to Rurrenabaque from La Paz (around 8€ one way with Turbus). It is also an interesting journey. A very bumpy one, on an unpaved windy one car size road…

Have you ever heard of the Death road ? Yes, the one that you can cycle and that is following 1,000 m cliffs high. Well, the tremendous project to build a road for vehicles to avoid the death road is still ongoing 20 years later. While a big part of the road has been paved and enlarged, there are still 3 passages that require the cars, trucks and buses to take the same old “death” road.

And this is only to Coroico/Caranavi… After that, the project has not even started and the unpaved road is still used by cars going both ways, the drop is still very impressive and not for the weak hearts.

Tips : We recommend to sit on the right side of the bus on the way to Rurrenabaque (and on the left to get back to La Paz). On the way down, the drop is on the left, and since this is the only road in Bolivia you are obliged to drive on the left (to be able to see the cliff and not drive into it…), it can be very scary to sit on the side of the escarpment. We have done this route twice to and from Caranavi in a 4WD, by night (the road is closed during the day for maintenance) and that was already really really frightening.

You can also bus from Santa Cruz de La Sierra . The trip is pretty much the same, bumpy, scary and long, but it can be a good way to visit Rurrenabaque without having to return to La Paz. 

We stayed at the hostel El Curichal and we loved it!

We are pretty hard to please in terms of hostelling but at El Curichal the atmosphere is really good thanks to the owner. He is such a genuinely funny guy who is constantly entertaining with Quiz Nights and Rib BBQ ! The rooms were cosy and the showers cleaned.

The swimming pool is huge. They had a couple of kittens who hung out on the beds, so if you are allergic better finding somewhere else, but if like us you are fond of cats, it is a must go to cuddle!

Booking a Pampa tour in rurrenabaque

To visit the Pampa or the Jungle you may wonder if booking in advance is best. There are no miracle answers, it all depends on your situation and the time you have.

Organising everything yourself

If you decide to organise everything yourself, you will have to buy your flight tickets, book a tour directly in Rurrenabaque and look for accommodation once in town. This is what we did and it worked perfectly fine. We arrived in Rurrenabaque in the morning, found a great hostel, went around to find a good deal with agency, spent the night and left for the pampa the very next day. 

This is probably the best way if you have time and are flexible. We also believe that prices are lower when we organise everything ourselves.

booking a tour from La Paz

If you book your flight last minute, there won’t a big difference in term of price between a self-organised tour and buying one from an agency in La Paz. All in all, with the flights and thankfully a negotiated tour rate, we ended up paying pretty much the same amount as a couple we met who booked their tour through an agency in La Paz a couple of days before.

We think the agencies in La Paz can afford such prices by buying the flights at the local rate (an Amaszonas agent confirmed that Bolivianos pay the flight tickets more than 50% cheaper than non-resident) and selling it to the tourists to the official rate which is around €165 return.

Note : If you book your flight ahead or decide to take the bus instead, you will save a good bit in transportation.

set Price & negotiation

Tour agencies in Rurrenabaque are supposed to sell Pampa or Jungle tours at the same price: 1200 Bs per person. This minimum set price has been defined by government law and it is illegal for an agency to offer a lower price.

Note: This law was established in December 2016 . So it is not new, and every agency knows it. Most of them actually display a sign from the government stating the law but there is no date. 

The person at the desk told us they could give us a special price because we were lucky ; the law is only effective from “mañana”… understand tomorrow. Yes, very lucky indeed, but shh “don’t tell anyone” in your group… They say this to everyone, every single day.

We found out it was still pretty easy to negotiate  with some tour operators, but the best price we were offered was a bit higher than expected,

>>> 850 Bs without the National Park entrance.

We couldn’t manage to get lower than this. Some agencies such as Max adventure which was strongly recommended to us refused any bargain. We went with  Fluvial tour operator , the same agency our Australian friends booked with from La Paz. We had nothing to complain about.

What if your flight is cancelled or delayed ?

In case of flight cancellation or delay, the agencies are actually very flexible and will give you the choice on joining a tour the next day (what happened to the Australians) or will drive you all the way as soon as you land (what happened to the English guy we waited for 3 hours on our first day).

As it looks like, Amaszonas is also quite flexible and will change your return ticket easily if need be.

rurrenabaque bolivia amazon tour

tips for a successful Pampa tour

  • Leave your big backpack in La Paz, you won’t need all your stuff in the Amazon.
  • The price for a private double bedroom is the same as for the dorm.
  • There is no need to bring extra food , as you are well fed at the Eco-camp. If you do so anyway, do not leave the food in your bed but deep inside your bag, or the monkeys will find them and will eat them right in front of you as you will be taking hundreds of pictures of them. You will notice too late this is actually your food they are feasting on.
  • Don’t forget a head torch . You will need it to come and go around the eco-camp and during the night boat tour. Don’t leave it unattended on your bed, it seems that monkeys also need light… ours was “stolen” at the same time as our cookies and bananas. They left Steven’s smartphone, though.
  • Bring big socks (knee-high if possible) to wear with your wellies during the anaconda hunt in the wetland. Note that you will more than likely be wearing wellies with holes!
  • Use  insect repellent . If you only bring a hand-luggage and can’t bring more than 100 ml liquid bottle, you can find cheap insect repellent in Rurrenabaque. Look for “Off” in pharmacies.
  • Book a nice place to stay on your way back. You will need an extra-hot shower and a very good bed upon your return. We chose the Wild Rover in La Paz for these reasons.
  • Drink a lot of water on your way back, even before taking the plane. Going from 800 to 4100 masl in 40 min is not the most recommended journey and you will probably suffer mild headaches and dizziness. Drinking water will help decrease the symptoms and keep you hydrated.

rurrenabaque bolivia amazon tour

Total cost of a pampa tour in Rurrenabaque

Total cost per person: €318 + food & snacks See details below

Flights La Paz – Rurrenabaque

  • La Paz to Rurrenabaque – Bs 679 (€87) – online booking with Amaszonas
  • Rurrenabaque to La Paz – 600 Bs (€77) – online booking with Amaszonas

Total flights: €165 per person

Accommodation in Rurrenabaque

  • Hostel El Curichal: 45 Bs pp/pn (€5.75) – dorm

Total accommodation: €11.5 per person

Pampa Tour from Rurrenabaque

  • Tour Fluvial: 850 Bs (€108) – negotiated
  • Entrance Rurrenabaque National Park: 150 Bs (€19)
  • Tip: €5 per day

Total tour: €142 per person - Visiting The Amazon Has Always Been High On Our List Of Things To Do In South America. While In Bolivia We Had The Chance To See The Amazon From Rurrenabaque. A Unique Experience Which Is Also One Of The Cheapest Options To Have An Amazon Experience.


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Jen  –  Owner, writer & photographer – has lived for the past 10 years across Oceania and Ireland while also travelling long-term in Latin America, North America and Europe. She has visited more than  60 countries  and set foot on every continent in the world!

>>  Favourite countries : New Zealand, Bolivia, Iceland. >>  Wishlist : Svalbard, Japan, Botswana, Alaska. >>  Philosophy : “We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.

Jen is a coffee nerd, passionate about  photography ,  wildlife  and  outdoor activities . Her organisation and curiosity make her a great travel companion always looking for DIY and off-the-grid adventures. For more info, check out the About page .

If you’ve found this travel guide useful and want to say Thank You, you can now buy me a virtual coffee!

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This sounds like such an amazing tour, guys! Thank you for sharing this experience with the rest of us! I really enjoyed your way of describing it. Ugh, I’m not sure I would have liked getting into that water either 😉 Exactly! Let’s stand up for animal rights and a more responsible travel industry! I strongly believe that I would opt for the same response of leaving the poor animal. But yes, you are right, properly doesn’t happen that often. Thanks for sharing!

Thank you Becci. The water is at first scary, but once everybody is in, I am sure you would have jumped too!

Stumbled across your blog while reading up on South America travels, I thoroughly enjoyed reading several articles of yours and this one in particular. Will be heading to SA myself end of this year, solo, so I’m really nervous and excited for it. Will be taking up recommendations from your blog, so thank you! 🙂

Thank you Chelsea. You are going to have an amazing time time SA. And no worries, you will never be alone! If you go to hostels you will meet lots of solo travellers just like you. If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us. We’ll be happy to help

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Travel in Bolivia & Peru | Kanoo Tours

Pampas & Jungle Tours Rurrenabaque

Pampas tours - bolivia jungle tours.

Bolivia Pampas & Jungle Tours Guide 2018 – Everything you need to plan & arrange your Bolivian Amazon Tour

Or click on the following sections to see tours by starting place


Save money by booking your Pampas & Jungle Tours and flight tickets together in these convenient all-in-one bundles

Our selection of Pampas Tour& Madidi Jungle Tour options with Flights included offers the cheapest possible way to book these combinations anywhere.

* Direct Price is total price to book the same options direct with the operator & airline.We can offer it cheaper than booking direct!

We offer our Pampas Tours for the same price as booking direct with very best operators in Rurrenabaque

Book with us for fast responses in fluent English or Spanish, confirmed spaces on tours, detailed quality information about your booking, highly secure Credit Card Payments & support via Cel/WhatsApp.

We offer our Madidi Jungle Tour options for the same price as booking direct with the best operators in Rurrenabaque.

A popular option is to visit both the Pampas & the Jungle and these combination tours are the best way to combine both these options

Book with us for Fast responses in fluent English or Spanish, confirmed spaces on tours, detailed quality information about your booking, highly secure Credit Card Payments & support via Cel/WhatsApp.

Chalalan is an award winning ecolodge offering premium Amazon Rainforest tour experiences.

We are an official agent for Amaszonas - our flight prices are exactly the same


A visit to the Bolivian Amazon is a highlight for many traveler’s that visit the country.

A large percentage of Bolivia is jungle or pampas wetlands and these tropical rainforests are home to an incredible amount of wildlife.

Rurrenabaque is the starting point for most Bolivian Amazon trips and offers a variety of tours from the most popular 3 Day Pampas Tours, multi day Madidi National Park Jungle tours or combination tours including both.

The town is easily accessible by several daily flights from La Paz and being a small town is a nice place to relax for a few days offering a completely different vibe to highlands.

We have a variety of different tour options for both the pampas and the jungle , ranging from the best budget options through to the world famous Chalalan Ecolodge.

We are also official agents for selling Amazonas Flight tickets (same price as the airline and issued using the airlines own system) and arrange hotel booking for a few recommended places in Rurrenabaque.

Not only can you can book everything you need in one place through us we also have some incredible value discounted tour + flights bundles that are the cheapest possible way to get these combinations anywhere!

Read through our guide below  and compare Pampas versus the Jungle tours to see which you would most like to do.Of course many people choose to do both as they offer different experiences.

  • 1. Pampas Tours
  • 2. Jungle Tours - Madidi National Park
  • 3. Combo Pampas & Jungle Tours
  • 4. Getting to Rurrenabaque
  • 5. Wildlife in the Pampas & Jungle
  • 6. Rurrenabaque Town
  • 7. Malaria, Yellow Fever & Dengue
  • 8. What To Take On Amazon Tours

Last Updated 3rd August 2018


Pampas Tours Rurrenabaque Bolivia

The most popular Amazon tour options in Bolivia are the 3 Day Pampas Tours and this is because it is the best place to easily spot wildlife.

The Pampas are open tropical wetlands which are home such animals as pink river dolphins, alligators, caiman, anacondas, turtles, capybaras, piranhas, monkeys, lots of birds and many others.

You can see more info on the animals you might see in the Wildlife Pampas & Jungle Section

Because it is not as dense as the jungle rainforest the animals are much easier to see and as you explore the river, canals and lagoons in a motor-powered canoe you are often able to get very close to them without startling them.

It is a great way to see wildlife in its natural habitat and get some amazing photos.

Most pampas tours are 3 days in duration which is the ideal length as any longer you would need to report some same activities and in 2 days you would spend over half the time jus traveling.

The first day you travel by road from Rurrenabaque to the town of Santa Rosa where, after lunch, you will board the boat and start the river trip towards your lodge.

The wildlife spotting starts here though, and you often see dolphins right by the boat port. Along the way your guide will be using his well-trained eyes to spot animals of interest and point them out to you, often stopping the boat to allow you to get a better look.

To time it takes to the lodge depends on which operator you are with as each has their own lodge in different areas but is commonly around 1 or 2 hours. After arriving you are shown to your room and given refreshments.

The lodges you stay in are rustic but adequate and will include bed & sheets/pillows, mosquito nets, electric lighting and probably a few sockets for charging things. Bathrooms are usually separate and shared although there are private bathroom options with some operators.

There will be a dining area and usually places with hammocks to relax. The buildings are usually of wooden construction, raised off the floor and have mosquito screens (no glass windows).

The activities during the tour usually include swimming with dolphins, piranha fishing, night time alligator & caiman spotting, looking for anacondas and more exploration by boat to spot animals.

Whilst there are no guarantees with wildlife most visitors get to see dolphins, monkeys, turtles, alligators, caimans, capybaras and lots of birds. It is common that someone catches a piranha during the fishing activity but not always and you will certainly need luck to find an anaconda although during dry season your chances are better.

It is not uncommon to see a sloth on the drive to Santa Rosa on the first morning as they hang about in the trees along the road.

So if you want to see lots of wildlife the Pampas Tours are the best option and because they are so popular there are daily group departures for most tour options.

You can see all the tour options by browsing  ALL TOURS


Jungle Tours Madidi Bolivia

Jungle Tours in Rurrenabaque offer a different experience to the pampas and most take place inside the world famous Madidi National Park.

These tours take you into the thick, dense tropical rainforest that most people imagine when they think of the Amazon jungle.

Madidi jungle is considered the most bio diverse environment on the planet and at 18958km2 is one of the largest national parks in the world.

Every year there are new species discovered in the Madidi and a 3 year survey started in 2015 that recently concluded managed to identify 1362 new species in that period alone! Check out this New York Times article  all about the study.

There was even a new species of monkey identified in 2004 called the Madidi Titi.

It is said to contain over 1100 species of bird which is about 11% of the species in the world.

The area is also home to 46 indigenous communities from six different tribes who live within the national park, many of who use traditional techniques to survive in the rainforest.

Jungle Tours to Madidi start from Rurrenabaque and after a boat ride up the Beni River you take a short walk to your jungle lodge that will be used as the base for excursions into the jungle areas around.

Most people take jungle tours of 2 or 3 days but there are options for 4, 5, 6 or even more days that enable you to trek deeper into the jungle and camp. These longer options can provide a better change of finding the more elusive animals like the jaguar that will often keep their distance from the areas inhabited by humans.

During a typical tour you will embark on a series of short hikes with your guide returning to the lodge for rests and meals after each. These hikes are not difficult, but the hot and humid atmosphere of the jungle can be quite tiring in itself.

Although you will try to find jungle animals such as wild pigs, monkeys and others but being thick and dense it is harder to spot them than in the pampas, but you usually get to see something.

You will also be exploring and learning about the rainforest environment, its medicinal plants, strange trees, finding weird and wonderful insects & arachnids such as the tarantula. Your guide might explain traditional hunting techniques or show you jungle fruits that can be eaten or used to make handicrafts.

A popular activity during the jungle trips is to go to where the wonderfully brightly colored macaws nest and observe them. The macaws nest in cliff faces and from this viewpoint you have a wonderful panorama of the surrounding jungle.

At night time the sounds of the jungle really come alive and it is then that the sheer quantity of living creatures that inhabit the jungle become most apparent. Taking a walk in the jungle at night time you get to experience a whole different side of the rainforest and for many this is an unforgettable experience.

The jungle tours offer an alternative experience to the Pampas tours and it completely depends on what your own interests are, the amount of time you have and your budget as to which you choose to.

Most people that take a jungle tour also do a pampas tours to ensure they have the complete amazon experience and a popular way to do this is with a tours that combines both.

You can see all options by browsing ALL TOURS


It is possible to book separate pampas and jungle tours but that will require that you spend a night in Rurrenabaque in between.

The pampas area is located about 2.5 -3 hours drive north east from Rurrenabaque and the Jungle lodges are accessed by boat boarded directly in Rurre and are located in a more south to south-west direction, so a return to Rurrenabaque is unavoidable.

If you book a combination Pampas and Jungle Tour then you will be transferred straight to the Jungle lodge after you return from you Pampas tour meaning you do not have to have a night in a hotel separately.

Combo Jungle & Pampas Tours are usually 5 Days which consist of  3 days in the Pampas followed by 2 days jungle tour. There are also 4 day combo tours that include 2 day pampas tour and 2 day jungle tour and a 6 day option with 3 days in each.


Getting to Rurrenabaque Bolivia

To get to Rurrenabaque you can either take a flight or go by road. Most people choose to take a plane as the prospect of an 18 hour or longer bus journey on what is the continuation for the “Worlds Most Dangerous Road” is usually not a popular idea.

Whilst it is possible to fly to Rurrenabaque on an early flight and start a tour the same day it is better if you can get there the day before as flights can be delayed sometimes.

For the flights returning to La Paz it is possible with some tours to get a flight back on the last day (last flights are usually around 5.30-6.00pm) but we advise people to allow time for possible delays especially if you have an international flight to catch same or next day. During rainy season it is not uncommon for people booked on the last flight of the day to have to wait until the following morning for a departure if backlogs occur.


The airline Amaszonas fly from La Paz to Rurrenabaque from 2 to 6 times a day depending on the season and day of the week (weekends flights are less frequent) and the flight time is about 45 minutes.

See Details for Rurrenabaque Flights

*We sell flights at the same price as Amazonas and issue the tickets using the same system.

The airline TAM is the only other airline that schedules flights to Rurrenabaque but have in general not been running flights for some time now so we cannot offer this.


For those looking to save money or simply wanting the experience of traveling by road to Rurrenabaque buses from La Paz depart from the Minasa Bus terminal near to the District of Villa Fatima in La Paz each morning around 11am (times change slightly sometimes so check)

The scheduled time for the journey is about 18 hours but it can often take longer and in rainy season there can be significant delays due to landslides and destroyed sections of road meaning trips of 40 hours plus are not unheard of.

If it also possible to rent 4x4s to drive you down to Rurrenabaque and it takes about 12 -14 hours usually but this is not a cheap option and not often done any more.


As Madidi National Park is known as the most ecologically diverse place on earth & the pampas protected area is teeming with mammals, birds, amphibians, fish and more we cannot attempt to list every kind of wildlife you might encounter in the region.

So you will find below a list of the most common or popular creatures that you might see during the Pampas or Jungle tours plus some interesting ones that you are less likely to see unless you are very lucky!

Please note though some are easier to see than others and being wildlife there are no guarantees you can spot them during a tour.


Click on an animal name to see more info

Pink River Dolphin in Pampas Bolivia

Pink River Dolphins - the slow-moving water of the Yacuma river is the preferred habitat of the rare freshwater pink river dolphin known locally as the Bufeo. It is a subspecies of the Amazon River Dolphin and is considered an endangered species. They are protected by Bolivian law and were declared a national treasure in 2012.

These inquisitive creatures sometimes interact with swimmers during the tours, playfully nibbling their feet and poking them with their noses. The quieter and smaller the group the better the chances they will approach.

Monkey in Pampas Bolivia

There are a variety of types of monkey in the Pampas area including squirrel monkeys, spider monkeys, howler monkeys, Beni and Olalla titi monkeys, and capuchin monkeys. 

Of these you will almost certainly see squirrel monkeys during a pampas tours as they are extremely inquisitive and have unfortunately become accustomed to receiving food from tourists. The braver monkeys of a group will often even climb aboard the boat to try to get snacks. You shouldn’t give the monkeys food as they can become dependent on it and especially not snacks and processed food as it can be very bad for them.

Spider monkeys & capuchin monkeys are quite often seen in the pampas also but howler monkeys are a little less common but still possible.

The Beni and Olalla titi monkeys are endangered species and are seldom seen during tours.

Alligator in Pampas Bolivia

Caiman (Caimaninae) are a subfamily of the alligator family (Alligatoridae) and there are a variety of types of which the Spectacled Caiman and the smaller Black Caiman are the most common to be seen in the Pampas area.

Black Caiman are the largest species of caiman and can grow up to lengths of 5 meters and weigh more than 400kg.They are the largest predator in the whole amazon.

Spectacled Caiman are smaller growing to a maximum size of about 2.5 meters and around 60kg. They are also referred to as White Caiman or Common Caiman.

Caiman are considered very aggressive and apart from humans have few natural predators they need to be aware of. Jaguars and anacondas have been known to prey on young caiman.

There are only two kinds of Alligator proper and that is the American Alligator and the Chinese Alligator neither of which live in South America. There are no crocodiles in Bolivia.

What are often referred to as alligators in the Pampas are in fact older adult Black Caiman as they are similar in size to the American Alligator when fully mature.

Anaconda in Pampas Bolivia

The green anaconda, sometimes called the common anaconda, is the largest snake in the world by body mass. It is a constrictor that often lies submerged in water awaiting its prey.

It can grow to be over 5 meters long but there are numerous myths of anacondas reaching much longer lengths giving birth to the mythical name “giant anaconda” but this has never been proven.

The numbers of anacondas in the Pampas region have fallen drastically in the last decades partly due to the effects of tourism and also due to local development.

You need a bit of luck to find one during a tour as you search through the swamp lands to try to find one lying in the water, but your chances are better in the dry season when there is less water for them to lie in.

Capybara in Pampas Bolivia

Capybaras are the largest rodents in the world and live in herds on the banks of rivers and lagoons.

Being the size of a large dog people are often surprised to find out they are rodents but luckily they have the cuteness of their close relative the guinea pig so people don’t have the same repulsion of them as they do of rats and mice!

Some people even keep capybaras as pets in the US and they are actually very friendly when domesticated.

Piranhas in Pampas Bolivia

Native to South America and usually growing up to a maximum of 30cm in length the Piranha is well known around the world.

One look at one in real life and most people decide they are pure evil in fish form. Razor sharp rows of teeth set in incredibly sharp jaws add to the myth that they can kill and strip a person of flesh in minutes.

Whilst most of these stories are exaggerated and piranhas rarely attack humans there was a famous case in Bolivia in 2012 when a drunken 18 year old fell in a river in Rosario de Yata and was eaten alive by Piranhas, so the stories are not entirely without basis.

During Pampas tours you fish for Piranhas using small chunks of meat or fish and can experience how fast they bite firsthand. Be careful with them if you catch one!

Turtles in Pampas Bolivia

As you travel along the river during your Pampas tour you will see lots of turtles sunning themselves in rows on logs near the river banks. Often as the boat gets closer they will dive into the water as the noise of the engine startles them.

These turtles are Yellow-Spotted river turtles and if you look closer you will see some yellow markings on the heads of the turtles that give it its name. The colors are brighter in the younger turtles than the older ones.

Sloth in Pampas Bolivia

Seen hanging around lazily in the high branches of trees the 3 toed sloth might seem like it never moves but it can in fact change trees a couple of times per day.

The reasons they are so slow moving is due to a very slow metabolism so moving very little conserves energy but also as a protection against some of their natural predators like big cats that hunt by sight and detection of movement.

3 toed sloths are in fact quite good swimmers, but this is rarely witnessed.

Birds in Pampas Bolivia

The pampas area is home to many species of birds including herons, kingfishers,storks, hoactzins, macaws, chuvi and great black hawks.

You never know what you will see exactly but you will certainly see a number of different birds during your tour.


Macaws in Madidi Jungle Bolivia

The jungle tours are the best place to go and see Macaws as there is a well-known nesting cliff that you can visit where it is easy to see these beautiful parrots.

They are at their noisiest early morning or late afternoon

Wild Pigs in Madidi Jungle Bolivia

These hairy black pigs roam in packs in the rainforest and seem to appear from no where very suddenly. They are hunted by the indigenous people in the region and often kept as “pets” in the village until such time they are needed for a feast.

They are not dangerous and will likely run away startled if they see you but you should not approach them if they have young with them as the mother can become protective.

Tapir in Madidi Jungle Bolivia

Yet another animal on the endangered list the Tapir which is the largest Amazonian mammal.

You might hear it referred to as a “jungle cow” by some guides but its long bendy snout means it is very dissimilar to a cow.

It might look sluggish but it can run and swim pretty quickly  which is its main defense as it is a peaceful herbivore and feeds mostly on roots and leaves.

Tarantula in Madidi Jungle Bolivia

There are in fact different kinds, thought to number of 900 types, of tarantula spider in different parts of the world.

They live in burrows with an entry hole on the surface so a common tactic that your guide might use to entice one out is to move a small stick near the entrance to fool it into thinking there is potential prey nearby.

The tarantulas in the Bolivian jungle are covered in thick black hair which can cause irritation to the skin of touched and of course have a painful venomous bite.

Giant Anteater Madidi Jungle Bolivia

Giant Anteaters, also called Ant Bears, live in jungles and in grassy plains and ,not surprisingly, live on a diet of ants and termites.

The have a long tongue that is very sticky that they use to access crevices and holes to harvest the ants.

It is not common to see them during a tour though but it has been known, more so on the longer jungle tour options.

Giant Armadillo Madidi Jungle Bolivia

The Giant Armadillo is another animal that likes to feast on ants and termites, but also worms and other insects, and it is yet another one of the animals in Madidi that is on the endangered list.

Often growing up to 30kg in weight the giant armadillo is the largest of the armadillo species.

It is nocturnal, lying dormant in a burrow during the day, and coming out to feed at night. Chances of spotting one on a tour are not very high but during your night walks it could be possible if you are lucky or the guide knows where one might be.

Jaguar Madidi Jungle Bolivia

The majestic Jaguar is the largest cat species in South America and mostly lives in the tropical jungles and marshlands areas but also inhabits the grassy lowland plains.

It is an elusive animal and has for a long time been under threat due to cattle farmers seeing it as a menace or settlements seeing it as a danger.

In the last few years though the threat to jaguars has increased dramatically as the influence of China grows in Bolivia with the arrival of many Chinese business and immigrants, and with them an sharp increase in the illegal trade of rare animal parts.

Ocelots are much smaller and have a distinctive intricate pattern of dots and stripes in colors of black, white and orange. Its fur was once highly sort after but it now illegal which has gone a long way to ensure it is not an endangered species.

Pumas are often considered more of a mountain cat but can in fact live in a variety of environments including the jungle. They are mostly solitary but recent evidence suggests that they do in fact socialize with other pumas at certain times.

It is difficult to see a Jaguar, Ocelot or Puma during a jungle tour and even though your chances are better on the longer tours that go deeper into the jungle, it still requires a lot of luck.


Rurrenabaque Town Bolivia Amazon

The town of Rurrenabaque sits on the banks of the Beni River and is located about 250 miles (410km) from La Paz. It is part of the department of Beni and the municipality of Rurrenabaque of which it is the capital.

It has a small airport about 20 mins drive from the center and it mostly services flights to / from La Paz , although there are also sometimes scheduled flights to / from Santa Cruz.

Sitting at an altitude of about 300 meters it’s climate is sunny, hot and humid, usually averaging temperatures of around 30C up to about 35C.

It is a small town with a population of around 20,000 people but has plenty of facilities for tourists as it receives many visitors per year as it is the starting point or both Pampas and Jungle Tours.

The center of the two is made up of a few principal streets and a sleepy main plaza. You will find various hotels, hostels, agencies and tourist cafes dotted around as well as useful places like the Amaszonas office, a laundry, some banks and a small market all within easy walking distance of each other.

The bus station is just a few more blocks out of town and is also walkable.

Map of Rurrenabaque

“Rurre” as it is commonly referred to was put on the tourist map when an Israeli traveller called Yossi Ghinsberg was rescued by the locals from nearby San José de Uchupiamonas after an adventurous excursion went wrong in 1981.

He spent weeks lost in the jungle before being found and later returned to help them start the now world famous ecolodge Chalalan . His story attracted travellers to the area and the tourism industry in the town started to grow.

Yossi Ghinsberg turned his story into a book and in 2017 it was made into a film called Jungle staring Daniel Radcliffe .


Visitors to both the Jungle and Pampas should take care to protect themselves from mosquito bites and other insects both for their own comfort but also due to the possibility of contracting insect borne diseases.

Most tours and hotels supply mosquito nets in their accommodations, so you will just need to bring suitable clothing and insect repellent.

Whilst insect repellent is available in the pharmacies (drugstores) in Rurrenabaque it might not be possible to by good quality options and products such as high potency DEET based creams and sprays are not easy to get. You will a little more success in La Paz as there are some DEET products of up to 29% strength available, but you would be best to bring something from your home country for the best effectiveness.

N.B - DEET is extremely harmful to animals so whilst you should not be handling animals during your tour anyway be especially careful if you are wearing DEET. For example, if your group is successful in finding an anaconda do NOT under any circumstances touch the anaconda if you have DEET on your skin as snakes partly breathe through their skin and they are easily poisoned by the slightest contamination.

Whilst in theory malaria is a possibility the risk in Rurrenabaque, the pampas and the areas in the jungle visited by tourists is minimal. There has not be a recorded case of malaria being contracted in well over a decade. If you do want to take malarial medications then you should bring them with you as there will be limited types available.


Yellow fever is a potential risk in the area and you should have your yellow fever vaccination before traveling. It is in fact a requirement to enter Bolivia (even if it is not always enforced). Yellow fever tends to occur in outbreaks that are well publicized so it is quite easy to find out if there is a current risk when you are in the country.


Dengue fever is also a potential risk and, like yellow fever, outbreaks are usually reported and publicized when it is considered an issue. There tends to be a higher risk during rainy season when there is more stagnant water lying around making ideal breeding conditions for the mosquitoes.


Whilst Rurrenabaque is not a large town you can buy basics there no problem so no need to worry about running out of toothpaste, soap, ibuprofen etc. It is worth noting though that some things, due to the logistics of getting them there, are little bit more expensive.

Here are some things you should think about bringing with you:

  • Cash – there are a couple of ATMs in Rurre and they regular run out of cash and often do not work with foreign cards. Bring all the case you need with you for your trip – cards are not commonly accepted in restaurants and shops for payment.
  • Insect repellent & insect bite cream.
  • Any medications that you need / want. You can get things in Rurre but supplies are limited so best not to risk it for things that are essential.
  • A torch – jungle and pampas camps might use generator power, so useful for those late night trips to the bathroom if the lights are out. Also needed for the jungle night walks.
  • Good Quality Sun cream – you can get some in Rurre but again it might cost more and not be the kind you want.

It is hot and humid so you will likely want to be wearing shorts and tshirt most of the time but you will also need some lightweight long sleeve shirts and long trousers to protect for the early morning and evenings when the mosquitoes come out to bite. Synthetic materials that are quick drying are the way to go. Cotton does not dry easily and leave you feeling damp and permanently sweaty.

Hopefully our guide and info has inspired you visit Rurrenabaque and take one of the incredible Pampas or Jungle tours or one of the popular combo options.

Remember to check out our popular bundle options* with flights and tours as these are much cheaper than booking direct with the airline and operators themselves!

Last Updated 22nd August 2018

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Pampas Tour Dolphins Travel 3 Days

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3 Day Pampas Tour with Indígena Tours perfect for the budget backpacker at the best price available. Join one of the tours leaving daily and get to see lots of wildlife such as Pink River Dolphins, caiman, anaconda, monkeys and more.

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3-Day Jungle Tour (Mashaquipe Ecolodge) - Rurrenabaque

3-Day Jungle Tour (Mashaquipe Ecolodge)

This is our 3 day jungle tour operated by Mashaquipe (Madidi Nature & Culture Program). Visit Madidi National Park on a certified eco-tour and see the wonders of the Amazon rainforest. We work with "green action" certified operator Mashaquipe to offer quality eco-tours in Madidi. Upgrade to private cabins available.

6-Day Jungle & Pampas Tour (Mashaquipe Ecolodge)

6-Day Jungle & Pampas Tour (Mashaquipe Ecolodge)

This is our jungle & pampas 6 day combo tour operated by Mashaquipe (Jaguar and Anaconda Program). Visit the fascinating Madidi National park Jungle and the animal rich pampas on a certified eco-tour and see the wonders of the Amazon rainforest. We work with "green action" certified operator Mashaquipe to offer quality eco-tours in Madidi and in the Yacuma pampas. Accommodation in dorms or private cabins with shared bathroom in the jungle and private bathroom in the pampas.

3-Day Pampas Tour (Mashaquipe Ecolodge) - Rurrenabaque

3-Day Pampas Tour (Mashaquipe Ecolodge)

This is our 3 day pampas option operated by Mashaquipe. Visit the animal rich pampas on a certified eco-tour and see the wonders of the Amazon rainforest. We work with "green action" certified operator Mashaquipe to offer quality eco-tours in the Yacuma pampas. Upgrade to private single/double/triple rooms available.

3-Day Jungle Tour (Bala Tours Ecolodge)

3-Day Jungle Tour (Bala Tours Ecolodge)

This is our 3 day jungle tour operated by Bala Tours. The Ecolodge "El Tucuaral" is located in the world famous Madidi National Park near to Rurrenabaque and is owned and operated by our partner Bala Tours. This tour provides quality English-speaking guides, accommodations and services at a good value price - highly recommended.

3 day Tareche Program - Madidi Jungle Ecolodge

3-Day Jungle Tour (Madidi Jungle Ecolodge)

This is our 3 day jungle tour operated by Madidi Jungle Ecolodge (Tareche Program). We have chosen to work with the operator Madidi Jungle Ecolodge for these tours as they offer a high quality service. This  is  a  new venture   of   Community   Ecotourism  totally  created and managed   by   indigenous families from  San   Jose de   Uchupiamonas.  English-speaking guide for the tour. 

4-Day Jungle & Pampas Tour (Mashaquipe Ecolodge)

4-Day Jungle & Pampas Tour (Mashaquipe Ecolodge)

This is our jungle & pampas 4 day combo tour operated by Mashaquipe (Macaws & Caimans Program). Visit the fascinating Madidi National Park and the animal-rich pampas on a certified eco-tour and see the wonders of the Amazon rainforest. We work with "green action" certified operator Mashaquipe to offer quality eco-tours in Madidi and in the Santa Rosa del Yacuma pampas. Upgrade to private cabins with shared bathroom in the jungle and private bathroom in the pampas available.

4-Day Jungle Tour (Bala Tours Ecolodge)

4-Day Jungle Tour (Bala Tours Ecolodge)

This is our 4 day jungle tour operated by Bala Tours. The Ecolodge "El Tucuaral" is located in the world famous Madidi National Park near to Rurrenabaque and is owned and operated by our partner Bala Tours. This tour provides quality English-speaking guides, accommodations and services at a good value price - highly recommended.

4-Day Pampas Tour (Bala Tours Ecolodge)

4-Day Pampas Tour (Bala Tours Ecolodge)

This is our 4 day pampas tour operated by Bala Tours.  Carocoles Lodge is located in the wildlife rich Pampas area near to Rurrenabaque. This tour provides quality English speaking guides, accommodations and services at a good value price. Run by our partner agency Bala Tours this is a good value recommended option. Includes horseriding.

4-Day Wabu Program - Madidi Jungle Ecolodge

4-Day Jungle Tour (Madidi Jungle Ecolodge)

This is our 4 day jungle tour operated by Madidi Jungle Ecolodge (Wabu Program). We have chosen to work with the operator Madidi Jungle Ecolodge for these tours as they offer a high quality service. Madidi Jungle Ecolodge is a new venture of Community Ecotourism totally created and managed by indigenous families from San Jose de Uchupiamonas. English-speaking guide for the tour. 

4-Day Jungle Tour (Mashaquipe Ecolodge)

4-Day Jungle Tour (Mashaquipe Ecolodge)

This is our 4 day jungle tour operated by Mashaquipe (Madidi Magical Tour). Visit Madidi National Park on a certified eco-tour and see the wonders of the Amazon rainforest. We work with "green action" certified operator Mashaquipe to offer quality eco-tours in Madidi. Upgrade to private cabins available.

5-Day Jungle & Pampas Tour (Mashaquipe Ecolodge)

5-Day Jungle & Pampas Tour (Mashaquipe Ecolodge)

This is our jungle & pampas 5 day combo tour operated by Mashaquipe (Wabu & Dolphin Program). Visit the fascinating Madidi National Park and the animal-rich pampas on a certified eco-tour and see the wonders of the Amazon rainforest. We work with "green action" certified operator Mashaquipe to offer quality eco-tours in Madidi and in the Santa Rosa del Yacuma pampas. Upgrade to private cabins with shared bathroom in the jungle and private bathroom in the pampas available.

3-Day Pampas Tour (Bala Tours Ecolodge)

3-Day Pampas Tour (Bala Tours Ecolodge)

This is our 3 day pampas tour operated by Bala Tours.  Carocoles Lodge is located in the wildlife rich Pampas area near to Rurrenabaque. This tour provides quality English speaking guides, accommodations and services at a good value price. Run by our partner agency Bala Tours this is a good value recommended option.

3-Day Jungle Tour (Chalalan Ecolodge)

3-Day Jungle Tour (Chalalan Ecolodge)

This is our 3-day jungle tour at the Chalalan Ecolodge (Jochi Program). Chalalan is an award-winning community-owned ecolodge. Tours start in Rurrenabaque, Bolivia (transport to Rurrenabaque is not included but available separately) and range from 3 days/ 2 nights and more. During the busy season you should book well in advance as these tours book up fast!

5 day Biwa Program - Madidi Jungle Ecolodge

5-Day Jungle Tour (Madidi Jungle Ecolodge)

This is our 5 day jungle tour operated by Madidi Jungle Ecolodge (Biwa Program). We have chosen to work with the operator Madidi Jungle Ecolodge  for these tours as they offer a high quality service. This  is  a  new venture   of   Community   Ecotourism  totally  created and managed   by   indigenous families from  San   Jose de   Uchupiamonas.  English-speaking guide for the tour. 

5-Day Jungle & Pampas (Bala Tours Ecolodge)

5-Day Jungle & Pampas (Bala Tours Ecolodge)

This is our 5 day jungle and pampas combo tour operated by Bala Tours. This is a combo tour of pampas and jungle in Carocoles and El Tucuaral Lodges. This tour provides quality English-speaking guides, accommodations and services at a good value price. It is a great way to fit both the jungle and pampas into the same tour without having to stay in Rurrenabaque for a night in between.

2-Day Jungle Tour (Mashaquipe Ecolodge)

2-Day Jungle Tour (Mashaquipe Ecolodge)

This is our 2 day jungle tour operated by Mashaquipe. Visit the fascinating Madidi National Park on a certified eco-tour and see the wonders of the Amazon rainforest. We work with the "green action" certified operator Mashaquipe to offer quality eco-tours in Madidi. Upgrade to private cabins available.

5-Day Jungle Tour (Capibara Program) - Chalalan Ecolodge

5-Day Jungle Tour (Chalalan Ecolodge)

This is our 5-day jungle tour at the Chalalan Ecolodge (Capibara Program). Chalalan is an award-winning community-owned ecolodge. Tours start in Rurrenabaque, Bolivia (transport to Rurre is not included but available separately) and range from 3 days/ 2 nights and more. During the busy season you should book well in advance as these tours book up fast!

2-Day Community Tour (San Miguel del Bala)

2-Day Community Tour (San Miguel del Bala)

In this two day tour you will get to visit the Tacana community of San Miguel del Bala  and learn about their culture and traditions. You will see first hand the community lifestyle and visit the surrounding rainforest with a knowledgeble local guide. You will learn about traditional hunting techiques, forest medicines, visit a jungle waterfall and can take a jungle hike to a canyon. You will also see how this community-owned lodge benefits from the tourism project buy funding various project with the village.

3-Day Community & Jungle Tour (San Miguel del Bala) - Rurrenabaque

3-Day Community Jungle (San Miguel del Bala)

In this three day tour you will get to visit the Tacana community of San Miguel del Bala  and learn about their culture and traditions plus also visit the world famous Madidi National Park and spend your second night in an ecolodge there. You will see first hand the community lifestyle and visit the surrounding rainforest with a knowledgeble local guide. You will learn about traditional hunting techniques, forest medicines, visit a jungle waterfall and can take a jungle hike to a canyon.

2-Day Jungle Tour (Bala Tours Ecolodge)

2-Day Jungle Tour (Bala Tours Ecolodge)

This is our 2 day jungle tour operated by Bala Tours. The ecolodge "El Tucuaral" is located in the world famous Madidi National Park near to Rurrenabaque and is owned and operated by our partner Bala Tours. This tour provides quality English speaking guides, accommodations and services at a good value price - highly recommended.

2-Day Mapajo Program - Madidi Jungle Ecolodge

2-Day Jungle Tour (Madidi Jungle Ecolodge)

This is our 2 day jungle tour operated by Madidi Jungle Ecolodge (Mapajo Program). We have chosen to work with the operator Madidi Jungle Ecolodge for these tours as they offer a high quality service. This  is  a  new venture   of   Community   Ecotourism  totally  created and managed   by   indigenous families from  San   Jose de   Uchupiamonas.  English-speaking guide for the tour.

2-Day Pampas Tour (Mashaquipe Ecolodge) - Rurrenabaque

2-Day Pampas Tour (Mashaquipe Ecolodge)

This is our 2-day pampas option operated by Mashaquipe. Visit the animal rich pampas on a certified eco-tour and see the wonders of the Amazon rainforest. We work with "green action" certified operator Mashaquipe to offer quality eco-tours in the Yacuma pampas. Upgrade to private cabins with private bathrooms available.

6-Day Jungle Tour (Mashaquipe Ecolodge)

6-Day Jungle Tour (Mashaquipe Ecolodge)

This is our 6 day jungle tour operated by Mashaquipe (Challenging the Spirits of the Forest Program). Visit Madidi National Park on a certified eco-tour and see the wonders of the Amazon rainforest. We work with "green action" certified operator Mashaquipe to offer quality eco-tours in Madidi. This tour is focused on trekking and you will spend 4 out of 5 nights camping.

1-Day Community Tour (San Miguel del Bala) - Rurrenabaque

1-Day Community Tour (San Miguel del Bala)

In this one day tour you will get to visit the Tacana community of San Miguel del Bala and learn about their culture and traditions. You will see first hand the community lifestyle and visit the surrounding rainforest with a knowledgeble local guide. You will also have a delicious lunch cooked by the skilled local cooks. You will be able to choose two activities of your choice.

Full day Cullpana Program - Madidi Jungle Ecolodge

Full Day Jungle Tour (Madidi Jungle Ecolodge)

This is our 1 day jungle tour operated by Madidi Jungle Ecolodge (Cullpana Program). We have chosen to work with the operator Madidi Jungle Ecolodge for these tours as they offer a high quality service. This  is  a  new venture   of   Community   Ecotourism  totally  created and managed   by   indigenous families from  San   José de   Uchupiamonas.  English-speaking guide for the tour.

4 Day Community & Jungle Tour (San Miguel del Bala) - Rurrenabaque

4-Day Community Jungle (San Miguel del Bala)

In this four day tour you will get to visit the Tacana community of San Miguel del Bala and learn about their culture and traditions plus also visit the world famous Madidi National Park and spend your second night in an ecolodge there. You will see first hand the community lifestyle and visit the surrounding rainforest with a knowledgeble local guide. You will learn about traditional hunting techniques, forest medicines, visit a jungle waterfall and can take a jungle hike to a canyon. You will also see how this community owned lodge benefits from the tourism project buy funding various project with the village .

4-Day Jungle Tour (Pecari Program) - Chalalan Ecolodge

4-Day Jungle Tour (Chalalan Ecolodge)

This is our 4-day jungle tour at the Chalalan Ecolodge (Pecari Program). Chalalan is an award-winning community-owned ecolodge. Tours start in Rurrenabaque, Bolivia (transport to Rurre is not included but available separately) and range from 3 days/ 2 nights and more. During the busy season you should book well in advance as these tours book up fast!

5-Day Jungle Tour (Mashaquipe Ecolodge)

5-Day Jungle Tour (Mashaquipe Ecolodge)

This is our 5 day jungle tour operated by Mashaquipe (Circuit of the Jungle). Visit Madidi National Park on a certified eco-tour and see the wonders of the Amazon rainforest. We work with "green action" certified operator Mashaquipe to offer quality eco-tours in Madidi. This tour is focused on trekking and you will spend 3 out of 4 nights camping.

Torn Tackies Travel Blog

Visiting the Bolivian Amazon Rainforest: A Complete Guide 2024

Spider Monkeys. Tarantulas. Alligators. The Bolivian Amazon Rainforest has it all!

Before planning my trip to Bolivia, I had no idea that the country is home to the southern part of the Amazon Jungle. It’s relatively under the radar which means fewer tourists and a more authentic experience in the wild.

Now that I’ve been there, and done that, I’m sharing all my tips so you can plan the perfect trip to the Amazon in Bolivia.

Bolivian Amazon Rainforest

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Best time to visit Bolivian Amazon

The best time to visit the Bolivian Amazon is during the dry season, from May to October.

But you’ll need to manage your expectations! It’s still hot and humid during this time, mosquitos are rife and you can’t rule out the occasional rainshower – it is the Amazon rainforest after all.

I visited the Bolivian Amazon in May and this is the perfect time to plan your trip (in my opinion). Why?

Because the conditions are optimal for trekking in the jungle as there is not much rain. And the water level in the Pampas is high enough so that your boat can easily navigate through the wetlands, yet low enough so you can see wildlife on the banks of the river.

During the rainy season (December to April), expect a lot more mosquitos, higher levels of humidity, and daily rain showers.

Best places to visit Amazon Bolivia

How to get to the Amazon in Bolivia

The small village of Rurrenabaque is the gateway to the Bolivian Amazon.

To get here, you can either opt for a short (but expensive) flight from La Paz or a much longer (and sketchy) bus ride.

Flight from La Paz to Rurrenabaque

Rurrenabaque is a quick 40 minute flight from La Paz.

Ecojet is the only airline that flies into Rurrenabaque with flights scheduled on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Amazonas no longer flies to Rurrenabaque (despite what most blogs say).

The one-way flight from La Paz to Rurrenabaque will cost between 500 and 700 Bolivianos. It’s a pretty expensive flight but you’re paying for convenience.

Bolivian Amazon tours

Bus from La Paz to Rurrenabaque

The bus to Rurrenabaque may be the cheaper option but it’s a long 12 to 18 hour ride, usually overnight. The road is not the best, with numerous twists and turns along the way.

Buses depart daily between 4 and 7 pm and there are various options to choose from.

I recommend booking with the bus company “Flota Yunguena” which is a full cama bus, meaning your seats can recline fully. This is the premium bus and costs 150 Bolivianos one way.

The only downside is that they don’t operate every day so you may have to opt for a regular bus instead.

Most people I met had taken the bus to Rurrenabaque and had no complaints – only that it was a long ride.

The bus journey was previously rumored to be unsafe due to the conditions of the road. But there has been work done to fix this and it’s now considered the best way to get to the Bolivian Amazon for budget backpackers.

How to visit the Bolivian Amazon

There are two ways to experience the Amazon rainforest in Bolivia. The first is from Madidi National Park, otherwise known as “The Jungle”. The second is from the Pampas.

Both are vastly different and are located a few hours from each other.

I did a combo tour but if you have less than 3 days, you will need to choose one or the other.

The Bolivian Amazon: Jungle (Madidi National Park)

Amazon Jungle in Bolivia

The Bolivian Amazon Jungle is where you go if you’re looking for a true jungle experience. It’s how I always imagined the Amazon to be.

You’ll be woken up to the sound of the howler monkeys and common sightings include tarantulas, frogs, butterflies, and snakes.

But, it’s an unforgiving place! The Bolivian Jungle is extremely humid and there’s no escaping the mosquitoes.

The dense forest and towering trees make it really difficult to spot wildlife, so don’t get your hopes up about seeing Jaguars or anything too exciting. But trekking through the jungle is an experience in itself.

The only way to access the Bolivian Jungle is to take a 3-hour boat ride from Rurrenabaque to Madidi National Park. From there, it’s a short trek into the jungle before getting settled into your lodge.

The Bolivian Amazon: Pampas

Pampas Amazon in Bolivia

The Pampas couldn’t be more different from the Jungle. Most accommodation is in a riverside lodge and the only way to explore the wetlands is by small boat.

Visiting the Pampas is a more relaxing experience and less harsh when compared to the jungle.

It’s the more popular option and you’ll see more wildlife because there’s no dense forest.

Pink Dolphins, Squirrel Monkeys, Cayman, Alligators, Capybaras, turtles – you’ll spot them all. You can even go piranha fishing.

To get to the Bolivian Pampas, you’ll take a 3-hour car ride north of Rurrenabaque.

After spending 3 days in the Jungle and 2 in the Pampas, I preferred the Jungle because it really took me out of my comfort zone and was more physically demanding.

Combo tours

If you have the time and budget, I highly recommend doing a combo tour to experience both sides of the Bolivian Amazon.

You’ll need 4 nights for this, 3 of which will be in the jungle and 1 in the Pampas.

Costs to visit the Amazon in Bolivia

There is a perception that the Bolivian Amazon is “cheap” – it’s not. However, you can do it on a relatively low budget if you get a group of 4 or more travelers together.

Tour prices vary depending on whether you visit the Bolivian Jungle or Pampas, and the size of your group.

Here are prices to consider.

Park entry fees

  • Madidi National Park (Bolivian Jungle): 200 Bolivianos per person
  • Pampas: 150 Bolivianos per person

All inclusive tours (Approximate)

  • 2N/3D Pampas tour: 1,000 Bolivianos per person
  • 3N/4D Jungle tour: 1,500 Bolivianos per person
  • 4N/5D Combo tour: 2,500 Bolivianos per person

Transport to Rurrenabaque

  • Bus from La Paz: 150 Bolivianos (one way)
  • Flight from La Paz: 600 Bolivianos (one way)

Wildlife Bolivia Amazon

Bolivian Amazon tours

There are scores of tour operators in both La Paz and Rurrenabaque that offer all-inclusive packages to the Amazon in Bolivia.

If you’re doing only the Bolivian Jungle or only Pampas, then you’re spoiled for choice. But do your research on the company before booking with them.

Some operators use food to attract the animals and touch the wildlife – yes, I’ve seen pictures of people holding alligators.

Rather pay a bit more for an ethical company that respects the animals and pays their guides a decent wage.

You can also book a “Survival” tour of the Bolivian Amazon Jungle. You’re given a liter of water and a machete and are guided through the jungle where you make your own shelter and live off the land. It’s best to get a small group together and enquire about this when you arrive in Rurrenabaque.

My personal recommendation

If you’re doing a combo tour (as I did), I advise choosing an operator that manages both parts of the tour to ensure a seamless itinerary.

There’s a lot of logistical planning that goes into coordinating travel between Madidi National Park and the Pampas, and the last thing you want is to be waiting hours for your boat or car to arrive.

Having said that, if you’re on a tight budget, you can book with a cheaper operator but expect that there will be delays at some stage. You get what you pay for!

I booked my Amazon tour through Mashaquipe Eco Tours and highly recommend them. They did not know I was a travel blogger and I personally paid for the tour myself. It cost USD 440 for a 4N/5D combo tour and while they are the more expensive option, the tour was exceptionally well organized.

Tips for visiting the Bolivian Amazon

December and January is the peak wet season. This means lots of mosquitos. Like thousands! It makes the experience of trekking in the jungle almost unbearable. If you can, rather avoid visiting the Bolivian Amazon during these months.

There is an ATM in Rurrenabaque. Most places accept card payments, but there is a 3 to 5% surcharge.

You’ll need to cover up in the Jungle to protect yourself from bites. I bought a long white shirt in Rurrenabaque for 50 Bolivianos.

There are ticks. Thoroughly inspect yourself every night. Also, check your shoes before putting them on.

Camping in the Amazon is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. If you have the choice, go for it! But with the humidity and mosquitoes, it won’t be the most comfortable night.

Warning: No amount of DEET insect repellant will save you from the mosquitos in the jungle. I didn’t take anti-malaria medication and according to the locals, there isn’t malaria here (but you may want to do additional research on this).

You can visit the Amazon from Peru. If you’re traveling to Peru, you can also visit the Amazon Jungle from there. I explored both the Bolivian Amazon and Peru Amazon, and both were completely different experiences. I’ve shared my guide to visiting the Peruvian Amazon here.

Final thoughts on visiting the Bolivian Jungle

Exploring the Bolivian Amazon was a bucket list adventure for me. But it wasn’t pretty (well, the jungle part at least).

This made me appreciate the Amazon even more – from the medicinal value of the trees and plants, to the communities who call the Amazon home.

Like it? Pin it!

Travel guide to the Bolivia Amazon Jungle in South AmericaTravel guide to the Bolivia Amazon Jungle in South America

Do you have any questions about visiting the Bolivian Amazon Rainforest? Drop me a message in the comments section below!

Looking for more Bolivia travel inspiration?  Check out my other posts!

  • Huayna Potosi Climb: A Comprehensive Guide to the Summit

rurrenabaque bolivia amazon tour

Hi, I'm Carryn. I’m an adventure travel blogger trying to figure out my way through life by traveling and exploring. Join me as I share my travel guides and tips for life abroad. Find out more about me here .

How to get to Chacahua: STEP-BY-STEP Details

The lost city trek in colombia: 27 things i wish i knew, 4 thoughts on “visiting the bolivian amazon rainforest: a complete guide 2024”.

Hey Carin, amazing article and very helpful! Thank you for being honest at the end of it about all the cons sides!!! Happy travels!

Thanks Ivana. Have a great trip!

Hey Carin, thanks for the informative article! I am heading to Rurrenabaque for a volunteering project and would like to take the bus there! I was also recommended to book the Flota Yunguena but could not find much information online. If you have any advice on where to book, schedule etc it would be amazing thanks!

Thanks for your message. I also found little information about the busses from La Paz to Rurrenbaque online. Are you spending some time in La Paz before heading to Rurrenbaque? Your accommodation will assist with booking your bus tickets if you ask them. I suggest sending them a message before you arrive to ask about dates and times.

Alternatively need to go to the bus station in La Paz (which is here) and make your booking in person. I’m not 100% sure if they depart from here but I’ve also found a number for them here which you can contact (I used Whatsapp for comms in Bolivia). Please let me know the outcome as I’m sure other readers have similar questions.

I booked my busses a day before and there was still availability.

Enjoy your time in Rurrenbaque. Carryn

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The Planet D: Adventure Travel Blog

Everything You Need to Know About Visiting the Bolivian Amazon

Written By: The Planet D

Adventure Travel , Bolivia

Updated On: March 20, 2022

You can get to the Amazon rainforest from several countries in South America thanks to its central location but visiting the Bolivian Amazon certainly has its perks.

Not only can you experience two sides to this magical destination (by boat or by trekking), you can also enjoy it for significantly cheaper than other countries ( not looking at you Brazil ).

From avoiding those pesky mosquitos to dressing for maximum comfort and aeration (yes it is as hot as you would imagine), here is everything you need to know before taking on the Amazon rainforest in Bolivia.

Table of Contents

Tips for Visiting the Bolivian Amazon

visiting the bolivian amazon

1. When to go to the Bolivian Amazon

The best time to visit the Amazon is obviously during the dry season which in Bolivia is from October to May .

One month on either side of this is also sufficient but be sure to pack your rain gear.

visiting amazon in bolivia featured image

We visited the Amazon in Bolivia in early April and were lucky enough to experience great weather.

The Pampas (wetlands) still had high water levels and so we enjoyed scenic boat rides through the trees and camped in hostels above alligator-infested waters.

2. How to get to the Amazon

There are two very different options to consider when getting to the Amazon from Bolivia’s capital of La Paz.

visiting the amazon from bolivia header image

A. Get to the Amazon by Bus

Option one is certainly cheaper but a bit of a long and risky trip. You can take the 35-hour bus journey from La Paz along largely rocky and difficult roads.

Most websites and guidebooks recommend not taking this option though we met several people who did. The trip costs about $10 each way.

B. Flights to the Bolivian Amazon

Option two is to take a 30-minute flight from La Paz’s El Alto airport to Rurrenabaque with the airline Amaszonas .

Be prepared for a shaky propeller plane that only takes around 20 people per flight.

Try to get a window seat to take in the breathtaking views of the rainforest (it literally looks like the image of the Amazon you have pictured in your head since you were little).

Flights cost on average $150-200 USD per person return to La Paz.

3. Where to stay in the Amazon of Bolivia

Your accommodation in the Amazon will be included in your tour whether you decide to take the Pampas tour or the jungle trek.

where to stay in bolivian amazon

As tours start early in the morning, it is likely you will spend a night in the town of Rurrenabaque.

We stayed at the Los Tucanes. It is a good, cheap and basic hotel in the city centre, known by all the tour agencies and an ideal pick-up location for your tour.

4. What tour to do in the Bolivian Amazon

monkeys in the bolivian amazon rainforest

You have two tour options from Rurrenabaque in Bolivia.

#1 the pampas tour.

The Pampas Tour takes you through the wetlands of the Amazon in Bolivia. You will see lots of animals on this trip and will stay in accommodation on the river. You will spend most of your time in boats exploring the area.

Highlights of this tour include swimming with dolphins, going alligator spotting at night, feeding spider monkeys and getting up early to watch the sunrise over the rainforest.

#2 The Jungle Trek

The harder tour of the two is the jungle trek, though it offers a more traditional excursion into the rainforest.

You may see fewer animals on this tour but you will enjoy the beautiful interior of the Amazon and understand a lot of the different plants and trees that grow there. Many tours stay in lodges along the trek and you will experience the Amazon as you always imagined it.

Note that there are even more mosquitos here than in the Pampas and you will be expected to trek into the jungle (which is not always easy in that heat). However, the experience will cost you about a third of the price as it would in Brazil.

Something to note when on your tours is that there is little structure in place for health and safety.   Guides tend to be local and will encourage you to get up close and personal with the animals. Always be on your guard and let your guide know if you are uncomfortable (seriously, you don’t have to touch an anaconda or an alligator if you do not want to!).

5. Booking your tour to the Amazon in Bolivia

Tours can be booked in advance through operators in La Paz or upon arrival in Rurrenabaque. There are dozens of operators offering tours so you will have no problem securing a place.

visit bolivian amazon

How much does an Amazon Tour Cost in Bolivia?

Tours in general cost between $90 and $150 USD for three nights accommodation and four days in the Amazon including all meals and complimentary water.

You will be picked up at your accommodation if it is located in the town of Rurrenabaque and driven three hours into the Amazon to begin your tour.

It is recommended that you do not pay less than $90 USD for a tour that seems to be in or around the lowest price offered by agencies.

Booking a cheaper tour might mean unfair pay for your guides or the people working in your accommodation on the tour. You may also get bad quality food and lodging which, trust me, is simply not worth it.

Hot Tips for Booking a Bolivian Rainforest Tour

  • Shop around when booking your tour to ensure that you get a company that promises your safety and the safety of the animals you may encounter on your trip.
  • The best policy is a tour operator that does not encourage interaction with the animals in their natural habitats.
  • Most tours offer an anaconda hunt in which guides encourage visitors to seek out snakes and pose with them for pictures.
  • This is obviously problematic and best avoided if possible.

6. What to bring to the Amazon

bolivian amazon rainforest monkey

Dressing for the Amazon is tricky because even though you want to wear as little as possible due to the heat, you also need to cover up so as not to be ravaged by mosquitos.

Therefore recommended clothes are light hiking trousers with detachable bottoms, light cotton string tops, light-colored shirts, shorts or flowy pants, and a rain jacket or poncho.

Water-proof hiking boots are necessary for the jungle treks but not essential for the Pampas tour. Swimwear, however, is essential for a trip into the wetlands (you don’t want to miss out swimming with dolphins now do you?).

Other items to bring include two bottles of high-DEET bug spray, a head-torch, flip flops, old shoes you don’t mind destroying, towel, malaria tablets, sun-screen, sun-hat or cap, and cash (there is no ATM in Rurrenabaque so this is essential).

All in all, an excursion into the Amazon is one of the most amazing things you can do during your time in South America. Take all the necessary steps and you will have a truly exhilarating experience you will never forget.

visiting the amazon in bolivia pinterest

  • Top 5 Things to do in Bolivia
  • What to Expect on an Amazon River Cruise
  • A Bolivia Salt Flats Tour in Uyuni: Everything You Need to Know

Travel Planning Resources

Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources that are tried and tested by yours truly.

Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner

Book your Hotel: Find the best prices on hotels with these two providers. If you are located in Europe use and if you are anywhere else use TripAdvisor

Find Apartment Rentals: You will find the cheapest prices on apartment rentals with VRBO . 

Travel Insurance: Don't leave home without it. Here is what we recommend:

  • Allianz - Occasional Travelers.
  • Medjet - Global air medical transport and travel security.

Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.

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About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine , the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

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4 thoughts on “Everything You Need to Know About Visiting the Bolivian Amazon”

This is one of my dream place, on my next adventure trip i ill visit Bolivia.Thanks for the article and mentioned everything clearly to make the trip memorable.

I’ll admit, the Bolivian Amazon was never something I had really considered visiting. It’s just not something I’d ever heard of people doing! I was surprised that it only costs $90 – $150 for the tour, plus that includes accomadation! That’s way cheaper than a lot of other destinations people could visit. Plus, you get to see animals up close and personal in their natural habitat. How cool is that? Although, I think I’d be in serious trouble with the mosquitoes. They always seem to love me more than everybody else…. Will definitely have to do some research into the tours and add it to my list for next year!

Visiting the Amazon is a travel dream for us, I’m happy you’ve written about this angle, I hadn’t actually realised it was possible to visit from Bolivia! It sounds like a far better deal as well as (presumably) fewer other tourists – this trip is going firmly on our South America bucket list!

Nice post along with the relevant article and photographs. It sounds quite interesting to know about recreational activities in Bolivia. Thanks a lot for sharing your travel experience.

This post is highly recommended to those adventure junkies who pursue adventure in Bolivia.

rurrenabaque bolivia amazon tour

Visiting the Amazon Rainforest on a Pampas Tour, Bolivia

Your Ultimate Guide to Visiting the Amazon Rainforest on a Pampas Tour, Bolivia

Pretty much all travellers to South America have a trip to the Amazon Rainforest on their list of must-do things. It’s understandable too, according to the WWF , the Amazon is the most biologically diverse place in the world.

Although it is possible to visit the rainforest from different countries all over South America, Bolivia is a fantastic choice because of its reasonably priced trips.

Read more: (opens in new tab)

  • Packing List for the Amazon Rainforest
  • A Guide to Misahuallí, Ecuador
  • Tips for Surviving the Jungle

Types of Amazon Rainforest tour

Pampas tours explore the waterways of the rainforest via boat and offer the opportunity to see a whole myriad of wildlife. Although visitors can visit Madidi National Park on a jungle tour from Bolivia’s Amazonian hub Rurrenabaque, this is not as popular as the pampas tours that are offered. There are a couple of reasons for this, the first being that jungle tours tend to be more expensive and the second being that owing to dense foliage, visitors are worried they will not see as much wildlife as they would on the pampas.  

Sloth in tree

A pampas tour can be an unforgettable experience if it is done right. Sadly, it isn’t as easy as booking on a trip and turning up though. As with any kind of activity involving animals, it is important to do your research beforehand to avoid supporting cruel practices.  

For travellers feeling overwhelmed who don’t know where to start planning their Amazon Rainforest tour, never fear! This guide is going to get you clued up on everything you need to know in order to visit the Bolivian Amazon on a pampas tour.  If you’re struggling with the fear factor of visiting the Amazon, then read this  survival guide first to settle your mind (or prepare you for the worst). 

Piranha in man's hands

Welcome to Rurrenabaque, Bolivia

In Bolivia, pretty much all of the pampas tours run out of the small town of Rurrenabaque, located in the northern part of the country. In all honesty, there is little to do in this sleepy jungle town so unless you are intending to visit either the jungle or the pampas, it is probably not worth the journey.

How do I get to Rurrenabaque?

There are two options for travellers looking to reach Rurrenabaque.  

The first is to travel by bus but beware, this is not for the faint of heart! Whilst it is insanely cheap at just 90 bolivianos a journey ($13US), the route can take between 12 and 36 hours! It is a dangerous trip and accidents happen regularly. Although I don’t want to scare anyone reading this, it is important that you know people can and do die making this journey.  

The second and safest option is to fly. Direct flights can be arranged from La Paz and only take around 40 minutes. Although not as cheap as the bus, they are reasonably priced, costing around $90US each way.

Rurrenabaque airport

Top tip: For some strange reason, it can actually be cheaper to book flights through a travel agent in La Paz rather than reserving them independently online.  

How do I book a pampas tour?

It is possible to arrange your pampas tour in La Paz. Most agencies will offer a package deal which will include the tour itself as well as flights and airport pick-up by your tour company. This is the best option for travellers on a tight time schedule.  

However, if you have the time to look, you are likely to find a cheaper tour in the town of Rurrenabaque. Competition is fierce and you will see some operators offering 3-day pampas tours at rock bottom prices. Approach these agencies with caution.  

Although it is often ignored, pampas tour providers do have a government set minimum to charge for trips. This was introduced with the intention of preventing unethical companies from damaging the local ecosystem through cutting corners.  

You should be prepared to pay around $180US for a 3-day tour from a reputable provider. These prices do not include the additional 150 bolivianos ($20US) entrance fee into the park.

Caiman on bridge

Ethical companies that come highly recommended include Dolphin Travel, Mashaquipe and Bala Tours.

Choosing a pampas tour in Rurrenabaque

There are tons of companies offerings trips into the pampas and it can be difficult to know how to pick a good tour provider. These are my top tips for choosing a great and ethical pampas tour:

  • Do not go with any agency that feeds or touches the animals

Unfortunately, this is all too common on pampas tours. In order to please tourists, some guides will draw monkeys and other wildlife onto the boats with food. Do not underestimate how harmful this can be for wild animals. It takes away their independence and encourages them to become reliant on humans. This will reduce their hunting skills and their ability to survive in the wild.  

Pampas tour, Rurrenabaque

  • Be wary about very cheap prices

Cheap prices will mean cut corners. You may find that the guides are not getting paid a fair wage or that the food is substandard on these kinds of tours. During my time in Rurrenabaque, I heard of people getting food poisoning on cheap tours because the agencies couldn’t be bothered to buy in filtered water. A saving of $60US isn’t really worth a week in the hospital, is it?

  • Look up reviews on Tripadvisor and ask in Facebook Community groups

When it comes to choosing a pampas tour, one of the best tools that you have in your armoury is to ask your fellow travellers about their experience. When gathering opinions, be sure to ask about the quality of the accommodation, food and whether the animal experience was ethical.  

  • Ask questions

If you have any concerns, make sure to ask someone at the company before you book. Layout your expectations and make it clear that you will not be purchasing tour if there is anything you are unhappy about. If responsible travel is a high priority to you, make this very clear from the outset.  

Monkey on boat

What to expect from your pampas tour

Most pampas tours offer either a 2-day or 3-day trip. Considering the price difference between the two, it is worth opting for a 3-day tour.  

The vast majority of the trip will take place on a motorised canoe. Here you will tour the pampas with a guide to look for capybaras, caiman, pink dolphins and more. Most 3-day tours will include:  

  • Shared accommodation in a jungle lodge

Accommodation is usually basic and will include a mosquito net. However, the nets are not always in the best of conditions and you are advised to use repellent at night all the same.  

  • Meals at the lodge

Vegetarian options are usually available for no extra charge but be sure to check with your tour company prior to departure.  

Chef and piranhas

  • Transport to and from Rurrenabaque

This will usually be in a 4×4. Unfortunately, much like the rest of Bolivia, the roads are in need of maintenance here!  

  • Drinking water

Make sure that this is filtered as it is very easy to get ill otherwise.  

Although you would expect these to be English speaking by default, this is not the case with all companies. Make sure to clarify this before you book.  

  • A night boat trip to look for caimans

Don’t forget to bring your head torch!

Fun Fact:  You can actually tell species of caiman apart from the difference in their eye colour!

Caiman in water

  • A short hike to search for anaconda

Be aware that spotting an anaconda is unlikely as many of the trip providers go to the same spot and as a result, far fewer anacondas frequent these areas now.  

  • The opportunity to go piranha fishing

This was one of the trip highlights for me. If you have a successful fishing trip, your chefs may even cook up your catch for the evening meal!  

  • Swimming with the pink river dolphins

Although these animals aren’t the easiest to see in the murky brown water, they are truly beautiful. Before swimming, make sure you are not wearing any insect repellent or suncream as this is not good for the health of the dolphins. Any responsible provider will insist on this prior to you departing for the swimming experience.  

People swimming in river

What should I bring on my pampas tour?

Packing for a pampas tour can be challenging owing to the humidity of the climate. Visitors should bear in mind that mosquitos are rife in the region and bite prevention should be a priority. For my 3-day pampas trip, this is what made it into my bag:

  • Sweat-wicking leggings (full length)
  • Light cotton trousers
  • 2 quick-dry t-shirts
  • Long-sleeved t-shirt
  • Walking boots
  • DEET insect repellent
  • Solid shampoo
  • Solid conditioner
  • Microfibre towel
  • Cash for extras (Beware that there are very few places to withdraw money in Rurrenabaque)
  • Rain jacket
  • Anti diarrhoea tablets

The main thing to remember is that you will want to stay covered to avoid mosquito bites. However, because of the temperature, you will need your clothes to be as cool as possible. The pampas offers very little in the way of shade from the sun so you will absolutely need to bring sun protection.

Girl dangling piranha

Recommended places to stay in Rurrenabaque

This post contains affiliate links. If you use them, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

Best budget option: Hotel Oriental

This backpacker favourite is located in the centre of Rurrenabaque, close to all of the tour agencies and restaurants. The whole place is very clean and there is a garden complete with hammocks for chilling out in.

A good breakfast is included in the price and they offer a range of cheap private rooms, starting at just $14USD for a single room.  

Great mid-range choice: Pampa & Selva

Another centrally located hotel, Pampa & Selva makes for a convenient base from which to explore Rurrenabaque. The showers are hot (which isn’t always easy to come by here) and the beds are comfortable.  

Guests rate the WiFi particularly well which is great for those who want to stay connected. The staff are hugely knowledgeable about the local area and can recommend a good agency for the pampas tour. Again, breakfast is included in the price. A single room with a private bathroom starts at $21USD.  

Treat yourself: Hotel Maya de la Amazonia

Although the decor is somewhat lacking (imagine your gran owned a guesthouse), the rooms at Hotel Maya de la Amazonia are spacious and comfortable. All rooms come with a TV, desk and a private bathroom. To make things even better, they also boast a big swimming pool outside which is exactly what you need to cool off in sweaty Rurrenabaque!  

Hotel Maya de la Amazonia offer free tea and coffee all day and a hearty breakfast is included in the room price. A single room starts at $42USD per night, including air conditioning.  

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Rurrenabaque and around

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Set on the banks of the Río Beni some 430km by road north of La Paz, the small town of RURRENABAQUE has emerged in recent years as the most popular ecotourism destination in the Bolivian Amazon, and indeed one of the most popular tourist destinations in the whole country, with some thirty thousand visitors annually. If you’ve just arrived from the hassle and pollution of La Paz its appeal won’t be long in beguiling you, as you’re whisked from the timber-roofed airport on a motorbike with the wind in your hair, to be dropped off among some of the friendliest, most laidback people in the Beni. Picturesquely located on a broad sweep of the Río Beni, between the last forest-covered foothills of the Andes and the great lowland plains, Rurrenabaque – or “Rurre”, as it’s known to its residents – is close to some of the best-preserved and most accessible wilderness areas in the region, including the spectacular rainforests of Parque Nacional Madidi and the Reserva de Biosfera y Territorio Indígena Pilon Lajas , as well as the wildlife-rich pampas along the Río Yacuma . All of these are easily visited with one of Rurrenabaque’s staggering number of tour agencies. Though there’s not a lot to see or do in the town itself – it’s the kind of place you plan on visiting for a few days and end up spending a week, month or even longer.

Pampas del Yacuma

Parque nacional madidi, the threat to the forest, yossi ginsberg and rurre’s tourist year zero, brief history.

Rurrenabaque first came to prominence during the rubber boom in the late nineteenth century, serving as the gateway to the Amazon region from the highlands. Until fairly recently, the extraction and processing of timber from the surrounding rainforest was Rurrenabaque’s main industry, but this has been curtailed somewhat by the exhaustion of valuable timber species and the establishment of Parque Nacional Madidi and other protected areas. The booming ecotourism industry has emerged as one of the few economic alternatives to this highly destructive and largely illegal activity.

Tailor-made travel itineraries for Bolivia, created by local experts

Highlights of Bolivia

4 days  / from 1320 USD

Highlights of Bolivia

Bolivia for those on a tight timeline. In just 4 days, you will visit the de facto capital La Paz, a day tour to Lake Titicaca with the beautiful Copacabana town. A short flight to Uyuni will allow you to explore the wonders of salt processing before heading back to La Paz.

Andean Triangle - Chile, Bolivia and Argentina

16 days  / from 5050 USD

Andean Triangle - Chile, Bolivia and Argentina

Start your South American adventure in Santiago de Chile before exploring the wonders of the Atacama desert. A short hop across the border and you'll find yourself in the middle of the Bolivian salt flat. Afterwards, you'll continue to Argentina with Salta and Buenos Aires.

Multi-country adventures from salt flats to the Andes

14 days  / from 2271 USD

Multi-country adventures from salt flats to the Andes

South America is full of wonders and this trip packs Argentina, Chile and Bolivia into 2 weeks. Bustling Buenos Aires, beautiful valleys around Salta, the surreal looking surroundings of San Pedro de Atacama, the salt flat of Uyuni as well as Lake Titicaca are all part of this itinerary.

Tailor-made trips for   Bolivia

Northeast of Rurrenabaque, the dense forests of the Andean foothills quickly give way to the Pampas del Yacuma : the vast, swampy grasslands that dominate much of the Beni. Though they have been grazed by cattle for hundreds of years, the pampas still support a great deal of wildlife, particularly along the forested banks of the great rivers that meander across them. The pampas themselves are not that impressive: a great expanse of swamp and tangled cattle pasture with the occasional lake. Tours with the agencies listed here (many of whom now have shared or private lodges in the pampas) are nevertheless worth it just for the amount of wildlife you’ll see along the Río Yacuma.

The Río Yacuma

In the rainy season (roughly Nov–April), the Río Yacuma river bursts its banks and floods great expanses of the surrounding grasslands, causing wildlife to become more dispersed and breeding ferocious mosquitoes. In the dry season, however, it’s reduced to a narrow river that attracts an amazing abundance of fauna. Sinister black-and-white caymans – some over 2m long – lounge on the muddy banks, slipping quietly into the water as you pass; turtles queue up to sun themselves on logs protruding from the water; groups of capybara , the world’s largest rodent, watch with apparent indifference as canoes pass right in front of their noses. Most spectacular of all, though, are the pink freshwater dolphins , known as bufeos , that fish and play in the wide bends of the river. In addition, all manner of birds live on the banks, including herons, three different species of kingfisher, elegant roseate spoonbills, massive storks and the clumsy hoatzin.

On Rurrenabaque’ s doorstep, and covering nearly nineteen thousand square kilometres, PARQUE NACIONAL MADIDI is home to some of the most diverse plant and animal life in South America. In altitude it ranges from less than 300m to over 5500m above sea level, encompassing a variety of Andean and Amazonian ecosystems that range from dense tropical rainforests and seasonally flooded savannahs to pristine cloudforest and glacial mountain peaks. The park is home to an astonishing variety of wildlife: more than seven hundred species of animal have been recorded, along with some 860 species of bird, although the total may be more like one thousand – more than in the whole of North America. There are also more than five thousand species of flowering plant. Madidi was recognized as a national park in 1995 and, together with the neighbouring Pilon Lajas reserve and Parque Nacional Tambopata-Candamo across the border in Peru, forms a corridor of biodiversity that is generally considered to be one of the 25 most critical conservation areas in the world.

The real wonder of the park is its spectacular scenery and the bewildering complexity of the rainforest ecosystem, and you should treat viewing wildlife as a bonus rather than the main purpose of a visit to the park. Having said that, on a standard three- or four-day trip you should see a fair amount of wildlife, including several species of monkey, capybaras, caymans and a veritable cornucopia of birds, including brightly coloured toucans, macaws and parrots. If you’re lucky you may also see larger animals like the mighty jaguar or the lumbering tapir. Be warned, though, that many species are rare, nocturnal and shy, and the areas of the park most easily accessible by river were logged and hunted until relatively recently.

If you want to get into the park’s really pristine areas you’ll need to go on a trip of about a week, travelling on foot or horseback into the more remote regions of the forest around the headwaters of the Río Madidi . The upper regions of the park can only be reached from the highlands north of La Paz, and even from there they are pretty much inaccessible unless you organize a serious expedition.

Although the forests of the Beni can appear endless when you fly over them by plane or pass through by boat, in fact, they’re disappearing at an alarming rate. In such a vast area no one can tell exactly how fast the forests are disappearing, even with satellite monitoring, but latest estimates suggest that Bolivia is losing about three thousand square kilometres of forest a year, one of the highest rates worldwide; much of it is in the Beni, with catastrophic consequences for the region’s unique ecosystems.

The causes of this deforestation are various. The most obvious culprits are timber companies , ranging from small gangs with chainsaws to major commercial operations. Rather than clear-cutting the forest, they concentrate on valuable hardwood species such as mahogany and Spanish cedar. But for every tree they extract several others are damaged, and the trails they cut into even the most remote areas open the way for colonists who are responsible for even greater destruction.

Successive Bolivian governments have seen the comparatively empty lands of the Amazon as a solution to poverty and land shortage in the highlands, encouraging the migration of poor farmers from the Andes, who have moved down into the lowlands, clearing the forest to plant food and cash crops. Every year towards the end of the dry season the skies above Bolivia are obscured by thick smoke from thousands of fires set to clear the forest for agriculture and cattle pasture , a process known as chaqueo . Yet when the forest cover is slashed and burned on a wide scale, nutrients are quickly leached away by rain, and within a few years soil fertility declines so much that the land becomes useless for agriculture.

Having finally recognized the potential biological value of the country’s rainforests, the government has now established extensive national parks and other protected areas in the Amazon, as well as recognizing large areas as indigenous territory (arguably the most effective way of protecting the rainforest) and introducing new laws to limit logging and forest clearance. Bolivia, moreover, is now the unlikely world leader in forest certification , with more than two million hectares of forest certified. Yet the immense scale and remoteness of the region makes enforcing legislation almost impossible, and many of the protected areas exist only on paper.

Rurrenabaque’s tourist boom was in part inspired by the adventures of Yossi Ginsberg , an Israeli traveller who in 1981 tried to reach Rurrenabaque independently from the highlands with his two companions, trekking down through what’s now Parque Nacional Madidi. Lost in the forest and running out of food, the group split up. Ginsberg continued and eventually reached the Río Tuichi, where he was rescued and taken to Rurrenabaque. His two companions were never seen again. Ginsberg’s account of the ill-fated expedition, Back from Tuichi , became a bestseller in Israel, inspiring many Israeli backpackers to visit the region, while his rescuer founded Rurrenabaque’s first rainforest tour company (see Private tour operators). A film is in the works.

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How to Visit the Amazon Rainforest in Bolivia

A lone canoe on the winding rivers of the Amazon in Bolivia

Bolivia provides a budget-friendly option for exploring the rainforest. It’s cheaper, and the tours are less crowded than the ones in the Brazilian Amazon. In this guest post, Erin from Never Ending Voyage shows us how we can experience the rainforest by going through Bolivia at a cheaper price!

The Amazon is the world’s largest tropical rainforest, covering some 5.5 million square kilometers (3.4 million square miles). Given the opportunity to see rare flora and fauna there, it should come as no surprise that it’s at the top of many travelers’ “to-do” lists.

When most people think of the Amazon, they tend to think of Brazil .

Yet the Amazon basin actually stretches across nine countries in South America , which means that you don’t have to take an expensive tour in Brazil to see the jungle. For the budget-savvy traveler, Bolivia provides an amazing (and affordable) alternative from which to visit the basin.

Not only is it cheaper and less crowded but it’s just as biologically diverse as Brazil!

In this post, we’ll show you everything you need to know to have an amazing Amazon experience in Bolivia!  

Where Do You Start?

The starting point for trips into the Bolivian Amazon is the town of Rurrenabaque. It’s straightforward here to sign up for tours, and it’ll be cheaper than if you book in advance in La Paz. Moreover, it’s a small town, so it’s easy to wander around and find a guesthouse for around $5-10 USD a night while you check out a few tour agencies.

There are two ways to visit the Amazon from here:

A large alligator near the water's edge in the Bolivian rainforest

All the tour operators operate nearly identical three-day/two-night trips for around $75 USD plus the park entrance fee (which will be around $20 USD). Tours generally include all transportation, all food, and a guide. You get what you pay for, so expect basic accommodations and meals (I recommend bringing snacks). And your guide may not be the most knowledgeable if you go with an especially cheap operator. Since guides are so important to the overall experience, make sure you ask around for a company with good, knowledgeable guides.

After a very bumpy three-hour jeep ride to the edge of the jungle, you’ll transfer to a motorized canoe and travel a further three hours along the river to your lodge. The river trip was the highlight for us, as we got up close to an amazing array of wildlife: hundreds of alligators, entire families of capybaras, turtles sunbathing on logs, and trees full of tiny yellow squirrel monkeys — all while birds such as egrets, herons, roseate spoonbills, blue kingfishers, eagles, and hoatzin (pheasant-like birds with blue faces and spiky hair) flew and nested around us.

A brown capybara looking for predators in Bolivia

The riverside camp is in a peaceful setting among the trees, with plenty of wildlife-spotting opportunities (I had monkeys peering into my room!). The accommodations are shared wooden huts on stilts, and you’ll wake up to the raucous sounds of howler monkeys. A generator provides power until 10pm so you can enjoy cold beers while lounging in a hammock and watching the sunset over the river.

The pampas tours are a great way to view lots of wildlife for a very affordable price, but choose your tour operator carefully and make sure they don’t touch or feed any of the animals — especially the anacondas.

The tip of a red canoe as it floats along in the Bolivian amazon rainforest

For a more classic Amazon experience, opt for a jungle tour, where you can stay at an eco-lodge and do activities from there. Note that this can be pricey: We (my other half and I) paid $207 USD each for a three-day/two-night tour with Madidi Travel to its Serere Lodge, but we did get a large, comfortable bungalow, great food, and a very professionally run trip. We also liked that the profits from the trip went back into conservation work for the area. Although it’s triple the price of a pampas trip, this is still much less than you’d pay for a similar experience in Brazil .

Serere Lodge is reached by a three-hour canoe ride and a short trek through the jungle. You can choose from a range of activities, including canoe trips on the lake next to the camp (at night you can see the glowing red eyes of caimans, which are like alligators), day and night treks in the jungle, piranha fishing, and making jewelry from nuts and seeds.

Jungle treks are tiring in the heat and humidity, and there were many more mosquitoes than in the pampas. It is also much more difficult to spot wildlife — you could spend hours and not see one monkey, while we’d canoed past dozens of them in the pampas. It was interesting to see colorful spiders and giant bugs, and learn about the medicinal uses of trees and plants, though.

In general, we just enjoyed the peace of being in the jungle, especially from the comfort of a hammock, even if we didn’t see a lot of wildlife.

A fancy jungle lodge surrounded by lush jungle Bolivia rainforest

There are cheaper jungle tours available, with more basic accommodation, for prices similar to pampas trips. We also met someone who had hired a guide independently and trekked and camped out in the jungle. This will save you money and possibly be a more authentic experience, but conditions in the jungle are hard, so don’t undertake one of these treks lightly.

If you have the budget and time, I’d recommend both the pampas and jungle trips, but otherwise, you’ll need to prioritize spotting wildlife in the pampas or a more classic jungle experience.  

10 Travel Tips for the Bolivian Amazon

  • The best time to visit the Bolivian Amazon is the dry season, from May to October, when there is more wildlife attracted to the rivers and fewer mosquitoes.
  • The jungle trek is more physically demanding than the pampas tour, so be sure to have good footwear and proper hiking clothing.
  • If you’re doing the jungle tour, you’ll want to wear waterproof hiking boots or shoes.
  • Wear light trekking clothes as it can get warm, but also make sure to cover up so you aren’t attacked by mosquitoes. Bring bug spray with you as well.
  • You can get to Rurrenabaque from La Paz by a horrendous, bumpy, 30-hour bus ride or take the scenic 35-minute flight across snowy mountains and into the jungle. We flew with Amaszonas for $75 each way, but TAM might be a little cheaper. Obviously, the $10 bus ride will save you money, but it might not be worth it for your sanity! Check Skyscanner for the best prices.
  • There is no reliable ATM in Rurrenabaque, so bring plenty of cash.
  • Many tour operators will offer anaconda hunts on which you can pose for photos. Don’t go on these. Wild animals should be viewed from a distance only; they aren’t pets.
  • Many guides will encourage you to get up close and personal with many of the animals that you see. For your own safety, don’t.
  • To make sure you get a reliable tour operator, don’t pay less than around $90-100 USD for your jungle tour. Anything below that price point will like be less than ideal.
  • We did our pampas trip with Indigena Tours. I can’t say I recommend them, as it was quite badly organized, the food portions were too small, and our guide wasn’t very helpful. But at least they didn’t touch any of the animals, which is a common problem here. There are definitely worse tour companies in Rurrenabaque. Ultimately it’s a cheap trip and you get what you pay for (there aren’t any more expensive, better-run options), but it was worth it for us to see so much wildlife.

Visiting the Amazon jungle is a highlight for many travelers in South America , and it’d be a shame to miss out because you can’t afford the high cost of trips in Brazil. For us, Bolivia made for a perfect affordable alternative.

If you’re heading to Bolivia anyway (and you should — it’s an amazing country!), be sure to consider taking an Amazon tour here. You won’t be disappointed!

Erin McNeaney and her partner Simon sold everything they owned and left the UK in March 2010 to travel the world forever. You can follow their adventures at Never Ending Voyage , or Twitter and Facebook.

Book Your Trip to Bolivia: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight. It is my favorite search engine because it searches websites and airlines around the globe, so you always know no stone is being left unturned!

Book Your Accommodation You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as it has the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use as it consistently returns the cheapest rates for guesthouses and hotels.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancelations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it, as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:

  • Safety Wing (for everyone below 70)
  • Insure My Trip (for those 70 and over)
  • Medjet (for additional repatriation coverage)

Looking for the Best Companies to Save Money With? Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m on the road. They will save you money too.

Got a comment on this article? Join the conversation on Facebook , Instagram , or Twitter and share your thoughts!

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. I recommend only products and companies I use and the income goes to keeping the site community supported and ad free.

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An Insider's Guide to Rurrenabaque, Bolivia

Monkey on the pampas trip

Keen to get deep into the heart of the Amazon rain forest and right up close with some awesome exotic wildlife? Then look no further than Rurrenabaque, a northern Bolivian town that offers some of the continent’s best (and cheapest) jungle experiences. Read our guide to learn everything you need to know about this amazing part of Bolivia.

Bus: Daily buses ply the route between La Paz and Rurrenabaque, usually departing in the morning. Tickets are cheap at about 100 BOB (US$14.50) each way but the journey is no laughing matter. The trip takes at least 15 hours, often much more if it’s been raining, and the roads are bumpy, windy and terrifyingly treacherous. It’s pretty much on par with the notorious Death Road.

Adventurous souls looking to head further into the jungle can take a daily bus to Rivalta which takes 12 hours if the road is in good condition. Don’t even think about traveling there by bus in the wet season.

Plane: Amazonas and TAM offer several daily flights between La Paz and Rurrenabaque. Prices vary depending on availability but expect to pay US$80 to US$100 each way. Bear in mind that flights are frequently delayed for days on end during the rainy season.

Rurre Airport


Backpacker: Hostal Curichal is the best backpacker option in town. Right in the center, it’s got a swimming pool, hammocks, common areas, kitchen facilities, WiFi and bar. Basically everything a backpacker needs. Dorm beds start at 50 BOB (US$7). Hostel El Curichal, Comercio, Rurrenabaque, Bolivia Hostel: Los Tucanes de Rurre has a much more relaxed, family friendly vibe than Curichal. Rooms are located around a central patio with plenty of hammocks and there’s even a pet Toucan to keep guests company. Basic rooms with shared bathrooms start at 50 BOB ($US7) per person. Los Tucanes de Rurre, Av. Aniceto Arce s/n esq. Boliviar, Rurrenabaque, Bolivia 3 8922039 Mid range: Hotel Maya de la Amazonia is Rurre’s fanciest dig. In the town center right on the riverbank, facilities include a swimming pool, terraces with a view, a great buffet breakfast and WiFi. Doubles start at 490 BOB (US$70)

Hotel Maya de la Amazonia, Comercio, Rurrenabaque, Bolivia

Main street, Rurrenabaque, Bolivia

Eating and Drinking

Juliano’s: A French-Tunisian expat by the name of Juliano serves up the town’s finest European fare, with steak, pizza and Moroccan spicy chicken among the crowd favorites. Save some room for his delectable deserts. Juliano’s Restaurant, Santa Cruz, Rurrenabaque, Bolivia The French Bakery: As you would expect, here you’ll find a variety of French bakery goods fresh from the oven. Delicious, cheap and an absolute must while in Rurrenabaque.

The French Bakery, Avaroa, Rurrenabaque, Bolivia

Sunrise in the Pampas

Pampas Tours

One of the best wildlife experiences in Latin America and the main reason most people travel to Rurrenabaque, the three day pampas tour is a highlight of any South American adventure. Expect to see a huge array of exotic wildlife including several species of monkey, capybaras , snakes and anteaters. Bird watchers can tick off a number of species including the toucan and colorful blue macaw, while piranhas, pink dolphins, caiman and turtles can be spotted swimming through the water.

Turtles on the pampas trip

The three day tour includes numerous wildlife safaris from a dugout canoe, an anaconda hunt through grasslands, swimming with playful pink river dolphins and fishing for piranha which are later eaten for lunch.

Dozens of travel agencies in both La Paz and Rurrenabaque offer exactly the same tour which departs daily. Prices tend to fluctuate frequently but expect to pay at least $US120 for the three day tour which includes food, accommodation, transport and activities. An absolute bargain when compared to similar offerings in the continent.

Don’t let the guides handle wildlife as this can cause the animals permanent psychological damage.

Amazon Basin, Rurrenabaque, Bolivia

Community run lodges

There are a number of lodges in the region run by local indigenous communities that offer a more luxurious and intimate alternative to the standard pampas tour. Chalalán is the most well-known but there are many other options such as Berraco del Madidi, San Miguel del Bala , Mashaquipe and Mapajo . These are all based in different regions near Rurrenabaque and have their own private lodges, transport and guides. Although much more expensive than the standard pampas tour, they provide an authentic eco-tourism experience away from the backpacker crowd.


Jungle Trips

The other popular attraction is to head into the thick steamy jungle of nearby Madidi National Park on foot. Trips run anywhere between 1 and 30 days and can either include camping or basic community lodging. It’s very hard to spot animals in the jungle, but visitors will instead be treated to a variety of insects, birds and plant life. More adventurous travelers can opt for a jungle survival tour where they head into the unknown with little more than a machete (and a qualified guide).

Rainforest, Rurrenabaque, Bolivia

Ayahuasca ceremonies with a local shaman can be arranged in the jungle. Prices vary considerably depending on the size of the group. While the substance is legal in Bolivia, it is wise to carefully consider the dangers before indulging.

Ayahuasca brewing


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Amazon Jungle In Bolivia

Home » Blog » Bolivia » Amazon Jungle In Bolivia

Exploring the Amazon Jungle in Bolivia was one of the highlights of our trip to South America. We choose to stay at the Madidi Jungle Ecolodge, just outside Rurrenabaque, Bolivia, because we knew there were practicing responsible tourism. Right when we met our jungle guide, Simon, we knew the Amazon experience would be unforgettable.

Being that we are in our mid-twenties, Ben and I have a little more disposable income, if you will, than the average 18-year-old backpacker. We are past the “I will eat dirt and Saltines to save money”  phase, and have learned that while traveling there are times to save and times to splurge.

Trust me, we had our share of Ramen Noodle nights while in South America. But we also had our splurges.

One of those was our four-day adventure in the Amazon Jungle, a childhood dream of mine.

Spending a little extra money on a tour company that respects the environment and treats its workers fairly is something that’s important to us. So rather than choose the cheapest company around, as we did during our travels in our younger years, we started researching different jungle excursions before even stepping foot in South America.

You’re certainly able to book a tour when you arrive in the jungle town of Rurrenabaque. But as some of our friends discovered, most of those companies have questionable lodging, serve minimal food, and the proceeds go to one lodge owner. 

The lodge we chose to stay at, on the other hand, is run by the indigenous community and the proceeds benefit the entire tribe. And when the difference between a cheap lodge and a nice one is just $50, it was an easy choice. 

We could not have been more pleased with our decision to stay at the Madidi Jungle Ecolodge .

Related Article: Read more about our favorite eco-friendly products for travelers . 

Welcome to the Jungle

Our journey into the jungle began with a flight.

Not just any flight.

The Amazonas plane we boarded in La Paz fit just nineteen people, barely. I am five feet four inches, and I had to duck down as I squeezed through the tiny isle to find my seat.

Amazon Forest Bolivia Madidi Jungle

Poor six-foot-tall Ben.

Another interesting feature about this plane was that there was no door partitioning off the cockpit from the rest of the cabin. We were able to hear every buzz and beep that came from the apparatuses the pilots were controlling.

And there were a lot  of unsettling beeps coming from the cockpit.

After our plane landed successfully on a little runway (thank goodness), we were brought to the airport by shuttle. I use the word “airport” very loosely. It was more of a large, open house with a few chairs and a small booth at which you could claim your luggage.

The next morning we hopped aboard a riverboat for a three and a half hour journey deeper into the jungle. The only other people on board, aside from the driver, was a lovely British couple. We spent nearly the whole ride chatting with them and taking in the incredible scenery.

It was a good thing we got along with the other couple because, as we soon found out, we would be spending the majority of our time in the jungle together.

Madidi Jungle Ecolodge Amazon Forest Bolivia

Madidi Jungle Ecolodge

We arrived at the lodge around lunchtime, and were served a delicious, three-course meal. After stuffing ourselves with homemade jungle fare, we had time to relax in hammocks before the first of many jungle hikes.

We were introduced to our guide, Simon, a spunky little man who stood just over 5 feet tall and had an infectious, toothless grin. He grew up in the jungle and knew its every crack and crevice.

Madidi Jungle Ecolodge Amazon Forest Bolivia

Simon also had a special talent for making animal calls indistinguishable from the real thing. I don’t know how he did it, but when he sensed capuchin monkeys were close, he would make their specific call and out of the treetops they would emerge.

Madidi Jungle Ecolodge Amazon Forest Bolivia

I swear Simon was able to spot the un-spot-able. Once as we were walking along the jungle path, he stopped abruptly and pointed to a brown leaf on the ground. Seeing we were confused, he used a stick to lift the edge of the leaf back, revealing a tiny brown, camouflaged frog. He must have seen just its foot as he was walking along the trail.

Seriously, that man had eyes like a hawk.

This green leaf looks ordinary, but when crushed with water, it makes a purple dye...

This green leaf looks ordinary, but when crushed with water, it makes a purple dye…

...perfect for warrior paint!!! (or dying clothes)

…perfect for warrior paint!!! (or dying clothes)

Another one of my favorite “Simon Moments” was when he informed us that a herd of wild pigs was near. When I asked how he knew they were close, he said that he could smell them. Then he added, “I don’t like those pigs. Except when they are on my dinner plate.”

A spurt of laughter ensued, and then he grew quiet and raised his hands, cupping them around his mouth. Simon then made a sound that I can’t even begin to describe – a sort of whooping and loud barking. A second passed, and then off in the distance we heard a cacophony of stomping hoofs and snorting as the herd scuttled away.

We turned to Simon, who was laughing uncontrollably. “I don’t like them, and they don’t like the jaguar,” he said, explaining the strange sound he made just moments before.

Fishing Day

During our third day in the jungle, we took a boat ride even deeper into the jungle to a remote little lake where we would be fishing… for nothing other than the infamous Amazonian piranha.

On our way to the remote lake, we saw several families of capybaras - the largest rodent in the world! Looks kind of like a giant guinea pig, doesn't it?

With just a roll of fishing line – no pole needed – and some hunks of fresh meat, we were ready to catch some piranhas! It wasn’t a scene from the movies where the sharp-toothed fish started snapping hungrily at the surface.

Piranha bait. And a tiny butterfly.

We had to wait. For a while.

Most of the time when we though we had a bite it was a false alarm, and we would pull in our line only to find our chunk of meat was missing. But finally I got a bite! I pulled a tiny piranha into our boat that was too small to keep.

My tiny piranha!

This continued for quite some time – our meat continued to disappear mysteriously, and we did lots of waiting. Eventually we did catch two piranhas that were large enough.

Simon told us that most days they can’t pull their lines in quick enough – the fish are constantly biting. I guess we were a little unlucky.

I think Simon felt bad we hadn’t caught much, so once we got back on the river, he prepared a huge rope and put a large fish on the end.

“ Now we catch a catfish ,” he explained.

Again, it took some patience, but before long he had something hooked. 

A big something.

He fought with it a bit, and at one point just about lost his index finger. Finally, the catfish was close enough to see.

It was enormous by any standards… well, except for Simon. He said it was “average”, and that a big one was at least 70 kilograms. 

That’s more than I weigh!

Madidi Jungle Ecolodge Amazon Forest Bolivia

For our last dinner at the lodge, we were served a beautiful, traditional Amazonian meal of catfish wrapped in a banana leaf.

It was incredible.

We also had a side of piranha – our catch from the day – which tasted surprisingly similar to sunfish.

Madidi Jungle Ecolodge Amazon Forest Bolivia

Before boarding the boat back to Rurrenbaque the next morning, we embarked on one last excursion. Instead of exploring the river by boat, we used a different mode of transportation…

Rubber inner tubes!

Madidi Jungle Ecolodge Amazon Forest Bolivia

Yes, this was the same river in which we had spotted caimans and other intimidating creatures lurking. I tried not to think about what might be swimming in the murky water alongside me and enjoyed floating down the lazy river. We all sang “Just Around the River Bend” and held on for dear life as we flew through churning rapids.

It was a perfect end to our Amazonian adventure.

On the boat ride back to town, Simon serenaded us on a wooden flute.

On the boat ride back to town, Simon serenaded us on a wooden flute.

During our time at the Madidi Ecolodge, we saw more animals, insects and fauna than we could count, and we learned about the jungle as well as the community that calls it their home.

It was an unforgettable experience that was well worth a few extra bucks.

More photos in the Amazon:

Some of the trees were MASSIVE!

You might also like…

Death Road in Bolivia

Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats

La Paz – Home Base for Traveling Bolivia

Crazy Journey to La Paz

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Amazon Jungle In Bolivia

We want to hear from you!

What do you think of the Amazon jungle in Bolivia? Would you want to visit? Comment below and we’ll do our best to get back to you!

Comments (5) on “ Amazon Jungle In Bolivia ”

rio truly an impressive subject thanks so much for unselfish i volition impose this bang-up site every unmated solar day

This is so amazing! You guys looked like you had a blast! I’m not sure how long ago you posted this but I am just now reading through all your adventures because my friend and I are headed to Bolivia for two weeks! I just had a couple questions if you have time to answer of course:) One being, did you guys get any vaccinations before you left? If so which ones? And also, your trip here through the amazon, when you arrived at this amazing bungalow/company did they provide these tours? Like was it a package you got or did you just have things planned that you wanted to do in the amazon and found guides for them? Thank you so much

Hi Ryley, Thanks for your comment. We got yellow fever and typhoid vaccinations before we traveled to South America. We were caught up on all our other ones, but be sure to check the CDC website for more advice.

The amazon tour company we went with, Madidi Jungle Ecolodge, was an all inclusive with bungalow, food and guide for tours. We highly recommend it!

HI how much was the package overall and for how many nights ? thanks

Hi Shereen, We did 3 days/2 nights and the package was around $260 USD I believe. This price includes everything! We would highly recommend it!

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Visiting the Bolivian Amazon Jungle

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South America is home to the largest rainforest on the planet – The Amazon Jungle – which is full of amazing wildlife, scenic landscapes and unique experiences.

On my travels around the continent I’ve been able to visit this huge swatch of rainforest in various countries, including Peru, Brazil and Venezuela. However, most recently I visited the Amazon Rainforest during a couple of months spent throughout Bolivia.

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What's in this guide?

In this guide I’ll share my experience of what it was like visiting the Amazon Jungle in Bolivia, where I traveled to various regions including the Madidi National Park.

I’ll give my honest opinion on what it’s like compared with other South American countries, the animals I saw as well as the very best tours you can join here.

Why Visit the Amazon Jungle in Bolivia?

First and foremost, the Amazon Jungle in Bolivia was one of the more novel experiences I had when visiting the jungle anywhere here in South America.

rurrenabaque bolivia amazon tour

Of course this can vary depending on where you visit, however generally other jungle destinations like Iquitos (Peru) or Manaus (Brazil) are going to feel over-touristy, and also much harder to relax within the cities. Even on the rainforest tours you’ll bump into dozens of other tourist groups and boats along the way, which takes away some of the magic.

In Bolivia it can vary, and when I visited I based myself in the jungle town of Rurrenabaque . This gateway town is quite touristy, however still small and underdeveloped which made it feel nicer.

The Pampas Region was also touristy, however the trip to the Madidi National Park was desolate (both of which are easy to reach from Rurrenabaque). You could walk for hours without seeing another human here, which makes it perfect for spotting rarer animals. You’ll also get to make your own chocolate, learn survival skills, take ayahuasca among other unique activities that you can choose to do here.

Speaking of wildlife, the Madidi National Park is actually one of the most biodiverse regions on Earth! So far they’ve recorded a total of 8500+ species here, however there’s probably a tonne more given how remote and dense this area of the rainforest can get.

In the Pampas you’ll most likely see Capybara, Caiman, Monkeys and Pink Dolphins. Jaguars have been recorded in the area, and whilst I didn’t personally see one, a friend did visit and caught a glimpse of a Jaguar walking along the sandbanks. In the deeper rainforest anything goes, so you’ll probably see more wildlife like Tarantulas, Snakes and Tapir. Again rarer mammals can be spotted too, such as Jaguars, Ocelots and Wild Pigs.

Lastly, the cheaper cost of heading here will make it a really attractive option for most travelers. Tours in places like Manaus can get expensive real quick – however in Rurrenabaque you can find some amazing deals. I paid about 1500 BOB (roughly $200) for a 3 Day Tour, which included all meals, private accommodation, all transport, hikes, wildlife spotting and more.

Overall it’s much more authentic than the Amazon in Peru and Brazil, and for me was similar to the Amazon Jungle trip I did in Venezuela .

How to get to the Bolivian Amazon

The Bolivian Amazon can be visited in numerous areas throughout Bolivia. My experience (and therefore this guide) will focus on Rurrenabaque, however you can also visit from towns like Trinidad, Riberalta and even Santa Cruz de la Sierra further south in Bolivia.

visiting la paz bolivia

To get to Rurrenabaque you’ll first need to head to La Paz . Once in the capital, you’ll then have two main options – the bus or flight.

The bus remains the cheapest option , costing around $10 for the 13 hour journey. Most buses depart around 2-5pm, and I personally used Flota Yungueña for the trip which I recommend. They are located near the Villa Fátima Bus Station.

Not only will you arrive in the early morning (where you can then transfer directly to a jungle tour if you wish), you will also see some incredible mountain scenery as you pass along the notorious Death Road. Don’t worry though – the drivers are pros here so you’ll be in safe hands along the whole route.

death road views

Those who prefer to travel in comfort and style can also fly from La Paz to Rurrenabaque. A one-way flight begins around $120 (without baggage included), and will take just 40 minutes to arrive compared with the 13 hour bus.

Flying is definitely better for those on a stricter time-schedule, however remember that the bus will always arrive before any jungle tours start anyhow (even with delays – given the usual arrival time is 5:00am and most tours don’t leave until 10:00am).

Once in Rurrenabaque, you can easily visit parts around the city independently by walking around. However booking a tour is a must when wanting to head deeper into the Amazon Jungle.

Where to Stay in the Bolivian Jungle

Rurrenabaque has been on the map for a quite some time now, which is all thanks to the survival story of a lost traveler. This was then made into a film “The Jungle” which starred Daniel Radcliffe (it’s a true story so I recommend watching it for extra travel inspiration).

As a result, it means we can find quite a range of accommodation options here in the town . You’ll still want to keep your expectations low though, given this is a remote area of Bolivia.

Those on a shoestring backpacking budget will want to stay at El Curichal Hostel . Here you’ll have a choice of either dorm beds or private rooms, along with an on-site swimming pool and breakfast included in the room rate.

rurrenabaque bolivia

If you’re after a bit of extra luxury, then you’ll want to stay at Pampa & Selva . Located right next to the Beni River, it’s the perfect place to see the sunrise where you’ll have your own balcony and hammock. As well as staying in a comfortable private room, you’ll also be close to many restaurants and amenities.

When booking to stay a night within the Madidi National Park (usually included with a jungle tour), it’s important to keep your expectations low. Personally I thought the place we stayed at was beautiful with unforgettable views and nice meals on-site. However there were of course lots of insects, and also no hot water for showers.

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My Experience in the Bolivian Amazon Jungle

Now let’s get into what happened during my time here in the Bolivian Jungle.

Here I’ll cover all, including the best and worst bits of my experience. It’s also important to note that just because I did or didn’t see certain wildlife, won’t guarantee the same for you (it’s a remote wild region after all with its own rules).

Always make sure to set realistic expectations before heading here or anywhere else in Latin America. This will make it far more enjoyable for you at the end of the day!

Back in Bolivia Again (Round 2)

During my first trip to Bolivia , I actually managed to see the entire country without visiting the Amazon Jungle. It wasn’t really in my plans, however after I heard a friend saw a Jaguar on a tour, I knew I had to come back (it’s a big Bucket List Item for me).

beni river bolivia

Fast-forward a year or so and I was back in Bolivia, this time staying a month in La Paz. The flights were quite expensive, so we decided to take the bus from Villa Fátima (you can find the location here – which was otherwise quite confusing to find alone). The bus took around 13 hours and departed in the afternoon, meaning we had some unforgettable views of El Yungas Road (also known as Death Road – the deadliest road on the planet).

Rurrenabaque had a much warmer climate, and although it’s touristy it felt way more authentic compared with say Iquitos or Manaus. Instead of booking a tour online, we walked in from agency to agency and got a custom trip sorted with JaguarTours (who I highly recommend – overall a solid experience and they work with really knowledgeable guides). This included a night within the Madidi National Park, getting involved with cultural practices like making our own chocolate as well as 2 days in the Pampas.

We stayed at Hotel Tacuaral for a few nights before and after our tour, which was basic but what was needed.

Heading Deep into the Madidi National Park

On the first day we set off early on a motorized canoe into the deeper rainforest. Within just a few minutes we felt far from civilization, which was the whole point of this experience. Our guide then took us on walks through the jungle, spotting rare plants as well as animals like colorful Frogs, Tarantulas and even a cave full of Bats.

deep amazon jungle bolivia

What I loved about this tour was how they integrated local tribes and their own lifestyles into the itinerary. This meant we met an indigenous family living here, learnt how to make chocolate from cacao seeds with them and also tried native food dishes from the region.

Overall it’s much harder to see animals given the thick vegetation, however there’s something special about walking around this remote part of the Amazon Jungle. This was especially true at night, where we stayed in a windowless cabin and could hear all kinds of animals and insects around us. Goes without saying – however make sure you bring good insect repellent for this part of the trip.

windowless cabin amazon jungle

There was meant to be a night tour too however we were too tired to go on it, so we instead took the early morning tour where we saw the sunrise. If you’re lucky you can see wild monkeys and other mammals at this time of day, however we weren’t as fortunate (this did kind of suck and was a low point – however it’s important to remember that it’s harder to spot animals in the thicker jungle).

Spotting Animals in the Pampas Region

After all of the jungle hikes (as well as a pretty filling buffet breakfast at the lodge), we then headed back to Rurrenabaque to join up with a group tour to head to the Pampas.

pampas rurrenabaque bolivia

Within just an hour of driving we started to get our fill of seeing larger wildlife, which included Ostriches, Capybara and many exotic birds . After a few more hours we reached the boat, and this is where things got more interesting.

Along the 3/4 hour boat ride we saw dozens and dozens of Capybara, Caiman and also curious Monkeys who came within touching distance of us. We even stopped along the way to watch a few Pink River Dolphins go about their daily business too.

Aside from seeing more animals, the great thing about heading to the Pampas Region is that you’ll have many interesting activities and experiences included too. Piranha Fishing was one of these (however this time I wasn’t so lucky like I was in Brazil and caught nothing), and also some early-morning wildlife spotting walks.

caiman amazon jungle bolivia

All in all, I was really happy to have picked the combined tour as each region offered something that the other couldn’t guarantee. The Madidi National Park was much more authentic and offered true Amazon sceneries, whilst the Pampas guaranteed seeing various types of jungle animals . Now whilst I still didn’t see a wild Jaguar (and remains one of my last and biggest bucket list items to this day), it was definitely one of my favorite Amazon Jungle experiences out here in South America.

Alternatives to Rurrenabaque (other Jungle Experiences in Bolivia)

As a traveler who loves getting off the beaten path, I try my best to uncover other hidden gems and areas which aren’t quite as well-known.

In Bolivia, Rurrenabaque remains the most popular option, however it’s not the only one (which is ideal if you’re far from La Paz such as in the south of the country).

jardin de las delicias bolivia

Santa Cruz de la Sierra is another gateway to seeing the jungle in Bolivia, although it’s not technically the Amazon Jungle. Still we can enjoy unique landscapes and even see rare animals too like Jaguars. The Amboró National Park is a really diverse area that is close to the city, where many jungle tours often head for various days. You can also visit the Jardín de las Delicias for a memorable waterfall swim.

Further south we can find the beginnings of the Gran Chaco, which is mostly on the other side of the border in Paraguay. This is a really unique region to visit, where you can visit Palm Savannahs and also see Giant Anteaters ( read more about the Gran Chaco here ).

My Top Tips for Visiting the Amazon Jungle in Bolivia

Now I’ll go through some of the best ways you can prepare for a trip into Bolivia’s portion of the Amazon Jungle.

How to Choose the Best Jungle Tours

A frequent concern amongst travelers (and also one that I had) was making sure I selected the right tour. It’s important to know that there’s two main areas you can visit here (The Pampas and The Madidi National Park), each with their own style, environment and benefits.

The Pampas is almost like a safari-style environment . You can guarantee you’ll see animals here (especially Monkeys, Caiman and Capybara), although it can feel more touristy. Trees are much smaller here given it’s maintained, so is best only for seeing animals rather than for an authentic jungle experience.

bolivian jungle tours

The Madidi National Park is the true, wild Amazon Jungle . Anything goes here – meaning you may see less animals (and it is harder given the jungle and cover is thicker). However you may also see rare species too like Jaguars, Howler Monkeys and different types of Frogs and Tarantulas. You will however get to walk through the beating heart of the Amazon, surrounded by unforgettable scenery.

Both regions are great for different reasons, so it all depends on what you personally want to do . As mentioned I did a 3 day Tour (1 day in Madidi and 2 days in the Pampas), and think it’s the best for an overall experience of the Bolivian Jungle. In Rurrenabaque you can book last minute tours, however be prepared to visit a few different agencies since they can differ on price and activity flexibility.

You can also pre-book this all-inclusive jungle tour , which is best for those who want everything ready before they arrive in Rurrenabaque. Here you’ll spend 4 days exploring both of these unique ecosystems, staying with local communities as you get a much more immersive experience.

When is the Best Time to Explore the Bolivian Jungle?

Usually with the Amazon Jungle we’ll find it’s both hot and wet all year-round. Whilst this area near Rurrenabaque is somewhat similar in terms of heat, the dry season can actually promise much less rainfall which makes it the most ideal time to visit.

best time to visit the bolivian jungle

The dry season runs from late June until October, where average temperatures hover between 73-82°F. Highs can reach a pretty toasty 91°F, whilst evening lows can drop down to 66°F. You can expect anywhere from 2-4 inches of rainfall per month, which is actually really good considering it is the Amazon Jungle (in some areas like Iquitos rainfall can reach up to 10+ inches within a single month).

The dry season is considered the best time to spot land-based animals , given river banks enlarge (as there’s less water flowing through) which attracts more mammals. I went in September and ended up seeing plenty of Capybara, Monkeys and even a Coati too. This is the time to come if you want a shot at seeing some Jaguars.

The wet season begins in November and lasts until May. Average temperatures range from 75-80°F, with highs of 89°F and lows of 69°F. Whilst quite similar to the temperatures found in the dry season, the difference in rainfall on the other hand is pretty significant. Anywhere from 4-10 inches can fall throughout each month here. Because of this, this time of year attracts more mosquitoes so make sure you bring a solid, high DEET Mosquito Spray with you.

Given there’s more rain and mosquitoes, you may be wondering what the point is in heading during this period. However there’s various benefits of a visit during the wet season . Firstly the rivers will be fuller, meaning you can head deeper into the jungle by boat, where you can easily spot Pink River Dolphins (as well as see more Caiman and catch Piranhas using local fishing techniques). As well as this the jungle will be even more green than normal, making for some unforgettable photos.

Regardless of when you visit, it’s important to remember that the weather is unpredictable and can change rapidly. Showers are quick and heavy too, so you’ll want to make sure you’ve got a solid Poncho ready!

What to Pack

Whilst on smaller tours or day trips you can half-heartedly arrange your bag in 5 minutes, with the jungle you’ll want to properly plan in advance.

It can be quite an unforgiving environment , so it’s best to make sure you have everything you could possibly need whilst here.

This includes the following:

  • A Poncho or Rain Jacket (rain can sometimes be heavy even during the dry season)
  • Light and Breathable Clothes
  • Long Trousers (to avoid getting bit by snakes or insects)
  • Hiking Boots (we recommend these for men and these for women )
  • A Hat or Cap
  • A Waterproof Cover for your DayPack
  • Lots of Sunscreen (apply it daily)
  • Mosquito Repellent (with at least 50% DEET)
  • Medications (as well as anything you personally need, we would recommend bringing anti-diarrhoea tablets and ibuprofen)
  • First-Aid Kit (this includes necessities like plastic bandages and rubbing alcohol – although of course your tour will most likely have everything you could need)
  • A Water Bottle
  • A Powerful Torch (for night-time walks)

Do I Need Travel Insurance?

Taking out travel insurance is always a good idea when heading to Latin America. However I’d say that for a trip to the Amazon Jungle it’s even more important, given the amount of potential hazards here.

Of course it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll get into a scrap with the local animals here (and hopefully you don’t considering there are alligators, Jaguars and others to contend with), however even minor things like twisting an ankle or getting food poisoning are of course still possible here.

We recommend taking out a travel insurance policy with World Nomads , who provide cover for you when you head into the Bolivian Jungle. Their policy is valid for over 150 different types of activities, which makes it an overall solid choice for a trip to The Amazon Jungle (considering everything that you can see and do here).

The Amazon Jungle is one of a kind, and here we can find different experiences depending on the country we visit. Bolivia remains one of the more authentic, and we’ll also find some of the highest levels of biodiversity here when compared with others .

In this guide I’ve covered everything you need to know about visiting the Amazon Jungle in Bolivia. This includes the best time to visit, what animals you can see, the best tours and much, much more.

Are you still planning your route around Bolivia? Then be sure to read our comprehensive Backpacking Bolivia Itinerary for more practical tips and inspiration.

👉🏽 P.S. If you’ve found this guide helpful, buy us a coffee here to say thanks! Or, support us by downloading our South America Travel Bible to get our best content.

“ Dear traveler! Some links in this post contain affiliate links. Meaning, if you click through and make a purchase, book a hostel or sign up for a tour, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you . Your support means a lot and helps us to carry on traveling and maintaining the quality of this site for you.”

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How did Rurrenabaque, a small jungle town in Bolivia, evolve from a key player in the nation’s timber industry to a leading eco-tourism destination? Located on the banks of Rio Beni, near some of the most pristine and accessible nature preserves in the area, Rurrenabaque is as picturesque as its name is daunting for foreigners to pronounce. Unfortunately, a great deal of the local forests are dwindling, which is why Kuoda supports eco-tourism in Rurrenabaque.

Here’s all you need to know about Rurrenabaque, Bolivia, a destination of rare and complex wilderness:  

Where is Rurrenabaque

Rurrenabaque Bolivia

Rurrenabaque is where the Bolivian Andes meet the Amazon, a place where the beauty lies not so much in the town but in the laidback locals and the surrounding natural areas.

Located 266 miles (428km) northeast of La Paz, Bolivia’s high-altitude capital, Rurrenabaque is a breath of fresh air. Before its natural beauty was recognized and preserved, however, the small town would be used as a gateway from the Amazon to the highlands during the nineteenth-century rubber boom.

Thanks to the creation of Parque Nacional Madidi and the rise of ecotourism, Rurrenabaque has since curtailed its exhaustion of valuable timber.  

How to get there

Rurrenabaque With Kuoda

From La Paz, Rurrrenabaque can be reached by either plane or bus. The fastest option is flying, averaging 40 minutes, while the most scenic and cheapest option would be by bus. That said, watching snow-capped mountains turn into the lush Amazon jungle from a bird’s-eye view can also be quite breathtaking. And let’s face it: a 20-hour bus ride on bumpy rides is downright grueling.

What to do in Rurrenabaque

Madidi Park Bolivia

 Parque Nacional Madidi

Nearly 900 species of birds and around 150 types of mammals call Bolivia’s Madidi National Park home—and we haven’t even mentioned the number of fish, reptiles and amphibians that can be seen here as well! Part of the reason this park displays such diverse wildlife is the fact that the altitude ranges from 300 meters to over 5500 meters above sea level.

From cloud forest to low-sitting savannahs, the park encompasses an area of 18,958 square kilometers, making the Madidi National Park one of the largest protected areas in Bolivia. It is also extremely dense with lush foliage which is why Kuoda matches our guests with the most knowledgeable guides.

Besides the vast array of endemic flora and fauna, what makes Madidi worth protecting? Over 40 indigenous tribes live in this section of the rainforest and continue to use the plants for medicinal purposes.

 Pampas del Yacuma

The variety of flora and fauna inhabiting these swampy wetlands make the three-hour drive from Rurrenabaque to the Yacuma Pampas well worth it. Imagine gliding down the Yacuma River and spotting a pink dolphin, for example! Of course, there’s never a playful monkey too far away to flirt with visitors so be sure to keep your camera at the ready.

Ecolodges dot the area to support the local economy which in turn helps protect this wondrous natural area. Kuoda travelers may choose from a variety of activities, including jungle treks, immersive community visits, piranha fishing and swimming in the river.

It doesn’t take long before one needs a refreshing break from the Amazonian heat. Just over half a mile upstream from the town of Rurrenabaque is El Chorro waterfall. Surrounded by small pools for soaking, the cascade can only be reached by boat, adding to its allure.

An engraved rock across from the waterfall depicts a serpent which, according to local legend, served as a warning: if the river’s water level reached the serpent that meant that the river was too high to be navigable.

 Adventure activities

If spotting a lengthy anaconda, hair-raising tarantula or white caiman doesn’t satisfy your need for a thrill, strap on your hiking boots and head out for an adventure.

Many eco-lodges offer zip line activities, allowing you to fly through the rainforest canopy like one of the many colorful winged creatures that thrive in the area. Prefer to keep your feet on the ground? There are plenty of gorgeous hiking trails in Rurrenabaque, varying in length and difficulty, just ask our Kuoda travel experts!

Best time to go

Best time to go

The rainforest climate of Rurrenabaque means rain can be expected even during the so-called dry season. The most rainfall is seen between November-April. This is when the river level rises and floods much, though not all, of the forested land. The wet season would be ideal for those wanting to spend more time exploring by boat than by foot. The driest season lands between May-October, ideal for jungle treks.  

Rurrenabaque is fascinating any time of year, however, like most of the Amazon, the best time to visit is just before the rainy season or soon after it ends. This way heavy rainfall is not as likely to scare away wildlife and the river is high enough to navigate by boat.

Where to visit nearby

  • La Paz: The world’s highest capital. A 40-minute flight from Rurrenabaque.
  • Lake Titicaca: The world’s highest navigable lake, located on the border of southern Peru and northern Bolivia. Depart from La Paz and arrive in Copacabana, on the shores of the lake, in four hours.
  • Salar de Uyuni: The world’s largest salt flat can be reached via a flight from La Paz.  

How to enjoy Rurrenabaque with Kuoda

Rurrenabaque Activities

When seeking an immersive jungle experience in a remote South American destination, Rurrenabaque is your place. On a personalized journey designed by Kuoda, you can experience the best that this small Bolivian jungle town has to offer: from nearby nature escapes and wildlife spotting to visits and homestays with indigenous communities. All the while, we’ll ensure that your trip is carefully crafted to support our commitment to sustainability. Contact us today to start planning your journey to Rurrenabaqye, Bolivia: [email protected]

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Rurrenabaque Tours

Pampas and jungle tours of the bolivian amazon.

Whether tourists wish to discover the ancient survival skills of the jungle, visit the astonishing wildlife of the pampas, explore daily life on a Bolivian ranch, challenge themselves on a jungle tour adventure, or simply relax by a swimming pool after a day of craft shopping in the tropical sunshine, we offer all the resources needed to plan a perfect trip to Rurrenabaque.

2019-08-20 Updated: 2019-08-23

Pampas Tour, Rurrenabaque

Pampas Tour

3 Days, 2 Nights

Discover the natural wonders of the Madidi National Park, located in the Northwest region of La Paz department.

Jungle Tour, Rurrenabaque

Jungle Tour

This 3 Day tour of the amazing Bolivian Amazon is a unique experience that will take you to the heart of the Madidi National Park. Learn the secrets of the rainforest and be amazed by its distinctive fauna!

Jungle and Pampas Combined Tour, Rurrenabaque

Jungle and Pampas Combined Tour

5 Days, 4 Nights

This combined experience takes the best of the traditional tours in Rurrenabaque and the Madidi National Park. Observe wild animals such as caimans, monkeys, capybaras, pink dolphins, dears, piranhas and more.

Penena Tour Rurrenabaque, Rurrenabaque

Penena Tour Rurrenabaque

This tour takes you to the heart of the Madidi National Park, close to the San Jose de Uchupiamonas community in the Tuichi valley.

Eslabon Program, Rurrenabaque

Eslabon Program

4 Days, 3 Nights

This expedition tour will take you on a discovery of the remote Madidi National Park's natural wonders, rainforest and rivers.

Chalalan Eco Lodge and San Jose de Uchupiamonas Community Tour, Rurrenabaque

Chalalan Eco Lodge and San Jose de Uchupiamonas Community Tour

6 Days, 5 Nights

The tour takes place in the heart of the Madidi National Park, near the indigenous community of San Jose Uchupiamonas.

Tapacare Programme - Chalalan, Rurrenabaque

Tapacare Programme - Chalalan

Enjoy the beauty of the wild nature of Rurrenabaque. This adventurous tour includes plenty outdoor activities always including contact with the stunning nature of the region. Discover the wild jungle and have the experience of you life at Chalalan.

rurrenabaque bolivia amazon tour

Bolivia Travel Expert

Follow us on, bolivia travel information.

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  • Lake Titicaca
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Contact vivian, our chief bolivia travel expert.

Send us some details so we can start creating your tailor-made trip. Or if you would like to speak to us directly, call us via Skype or Whatsapp.

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  • Tour Length (days): Type of Accomodation: Premium Basic
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Tour details

  • What to bring

Traveler in madidi and pampas tour

Rurrenabaque Bolivia Amazon Tour

Madidi Park and Pampas del Yacuma in 4 days from Rurrenabaque

Breakfast included and access to rest areas for Howlanders travelers during waiting periods between arrival and tour start. See frequently asked questions.

Explore the immense biodiversity of the Amazon rainforest and stay in an ecolodge with this 4-day guided tour of Madidi Park and Pampas del Yacuma.

Rurrenabaque Bolivia Amazon Tour : get lost in the heart of the Bolivian Amazon and enjoy unusual landscapes and ecosystems. Live a unique experience staying in an ecolodge that is part of a rural tourism project run by a native community and soak up their culture. Navigate its rivers, walk through the jungle, and discover all the secrets of one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world with a native guide.

Are you ready to live in the Rurrenabaque jungle? 🐒

  • Food (with vegetarian options)
  • Mineral water
  • Experienced bilingual guide (Spanish / English)
  • Camping equipment (sleeping bag - mattress and mosquito net)
  • Accomodation: 1 night in Camping and 2 nights in Lodge

Not included

  • Breakfast of the first day
  • Access to Madidi (200 Bolivian pesos/person)
  • Access to Pampas (150 Bolivian pesos/person)

Important information

👩‍👩‍👦‍👦 Small group: 6 travelers.

The 4 days tour through the jungle of Rurrenabaque is done only in small groups of 6 travelers with 1 guide. For the boat transfers, you can take up to 10 travelers in the Madidi area and up to 8 in Pampas.

Cancellation policy

Free date change or free cancellation! You can cancel this tour and you'll receive 100% refund of the amount paid if you cancel more than 48 hours in advance. After this time, or in case you do not show up, no refunds will be given.

Tour itinerary

Day 1 boat route - madidi national park.

Pick up and boat trip on the Beni and Tuichi Rivers

After picking up all the travelers, we will start at 8:30 AM a boat trip on the Beni and Tuichi rivers , a 3-hour trip during which we will enjoy the incredible scenery as we enter the Madidi National Park . 

At noon, we will arrive at our lodge where we will be welcomed with an exotic fruit juice, and we will settle into our rooms and later have lunch together.

boat trip in tuichi river

Walk through the jungle

In the afternoon we will make our first excursion to the jungle, a walk through an ecological trail where we will discover the flora of the place and our guide will explain its uses in traditional medicine, handicrafts, and construction. 

We will also be able to observe some species of monkeys, wild boars, birds, and many insects. We will return to the lodge for dinner and rest until the next day.

Madidi hike around the ecolodge

DAY 2 Monumental trees - Farallón de las Parabas - Rafting

Farallon de las Parabas 

We will have breakfast at 7:00 AM. and hike for three hours . During the walk, we will see monumental trees and the exuberant nature of the area. We will arrive at an area known as “ El Farallon de las Parabas ”, where we will observe macaws, parrots and other birds as well as contemplate the impressive view of the Amazon and the rivers that flow in this place.

farallon parabas parrot flying

Rafting and traditional activities

We will continue our adventure on the Tuichi River, where we will build a rustic log raft to navigate for 2 hours until we reach our lodge. But don't worry, if you prefer to continue by boat you can also do it. Upon arrival, we will have lunch and rest, and in the afternoon we will be able to choose between different activities such as sport fishing or a traditional handicraft workshop until dinner time.

Madidi Park and Pampas del Yacuma in 4 days from Rurrenabaque

DAY 3 Transfer to the lodge in Santa Rosa - Yacuma river and pink dolphins

Trip to Santa Rosa

We will wake up early and have breakfast to start our way to our new lodge. We will arrive in Rurrenabaque at 8:30 PM and there the car will be waiting for us to take us to Santa Rosa . During the trip we will see sloths, anteaters, toucans and other animals.

santa rosa sloth

Yacuma River and pink dolphins

At noon, we will take the boat for a 20-minute ride to our lodge. Upon arrival, we will settle into our rooms, have lunch together and have time to rest. 

In the afternoon we will go boating on the Yacuma River , where we can admire the wildlife that inhabits this area of the river: lizards, caimans, birds, capybaras, turtles, etc. We will also arrive in an area where we will be able to see pink dolphins and swim near them.

Pink dolphin in Yacuma river

DAY 4 Sunrise in the jungle and return to Rurrenabaque

Sunrise in the jungle

To contemplate the sunrise we will wake up at 5:00 a.m. and go out to witness the sunrise and appreciate the sounds of the jungle, since during this time of the morning all the birds and howler monkeys are at their most active.

sunrise from the yacuma river

Return to Rurrenabaque

We will return to the lodge for breakfast and continue the morning with a boat ride on the Yacuma River until we reach a suitable place to walk and look for the impressive anaconda . During our tour the fauna is still present, and we will be able to see birds, capybaras, caimans, turtles and other animals.

 We will return to the lodge for lunch and in the afternoon we will take the vehicle that will take us back to Rurrenabaque, where our Rurrenabaque Bolivia Amazon Tour will come to an end.

Anaconda in Yacuma River

What to bring to Rurrenabaque Bolivia Amazon Tour

  • Insect repellent
  • Long-sleeved and short-sleeved t-shirts (to prevent insect bites)
  • Cotton pants
  • Trekking footwear trekking
  • Refillable water bottle

Where does the tour Rurrenabaque Bolivia Amazon Tour start

⭐ The tour includes pick-up at the airport or the city of Rurrenabaque upon arrival and transfer to the lodge. As well as transfer back from the lodge to the same points at the end of the tour.

✈ The fastest and most comfortable way to get to Rurrenabaque is by plane from the city of La Paz. The flight takes 25 minutes and is operated by Ecojet Airlines on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 8:30 am. 

🚌 If the flight schedules do not fit into your travel itinerary, you can also reach Rurrenabaque from La Paz by bus. The overland trip takes approximately 12-15 hours (440 km). We recommend the Flota Yungueña bus company for comfort and safety, although you will need to go to their office to purchase a ticket. These buses leave daily from 03:00 PM.

Questions & Answers

I'm vegetarian or vegan, will i be able to enjoy the meals, is it safe to do an amazon rainforest tour, what happens if i arrive hours before the tour starts or my return bus leaves hours after the tour ends, rurrenabaque bolivia amazon tour tour reviews with howlanders, other tours that might interest you from bolivia.

Rurrenabaque Bolivia Amazon 5-Day Tour

Rurrenabaque Bolivia Amazon 5-Day Tour

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    Rurrenabaque and around. Set on the banks of the Río Beni some 430km by road north of La Paz, the small town of RURRENABAQUE has emerged in recent years as the most popular ecotourism destination in the Bolivian Amazon, and indeed one of the most popular tourist destinations in the whole country, with some thirty thousand visitors annually.

  13. THE TOP 5 Rurrenabaque Tours & Excursions (UPDATED 2024)

    Rurrenabaque Bolivia Amazon 5-Day Tour, the most complete option to live a unique experience staying in an ecolodge that is part of a rural tourism project run by a native community and soak up their culture. 5 days to get lost in the heart of the Bolivian Amazon and enjoy unusual landscapes and ecosystems. You will navigate its rivers, walk ...

  14. How to Visit the Amazon Rainforest in Bolivia

    There are two ways to visit the Amazon from here: 1. The Pampas. The pampas tours are the cheapest option and are where you'll see the most wildlife, including alligators, squirrel monkeys, and capybaras (giant semiaquatic rodents). It may not be the classic Amazon jungle experience you envisioned, though, as the pampas are a wetland savannah ...

  15. An Insider's Guide To Rurrenabaque Bolivia

    Los Tucanes de Rurre, Av. Aniceto Arce s/n esq. Boliviar, Rurrenabaque, Bolivia 3 8922039. Mid range: Hotel Maya de la Amazonia is Rurre's fanciest dig. In the town center right on the riverbank, facilities include a swimming pool, terraces with a view, a great buffet breakfast and WiFi. Doubles start at 490 BOB (US$70) Hotel Maya de la ...

  16. Amazon Jungle In Bolivia

    Exploring the Amazon Jungle in Bolivia was one of the highlights of our trip to South America. We choose to stay at the Madidi Jungle Ecolodge, just outside Rurrenabaque, Bolivia, because we knew there were practicing responsible tourism. Right when we met our jungle guide, Simon, we knew the Amazon experience would be unforgettable.

  17. Rurrenabaque Tours

    Rurrenabaque Tours All; Rurrenabaque Tours ... Located in the Beni Department of Bolivia is the spectacular Madidi National Park. ... 1 day tour 1 day tour full 2 days tour 3 days tour 4 days tour 6 days tour 7 days tour 8 days tour amazon tour amboro national park beni birding tour bird watching birdwatching tour blue macaw bolivian pantanal ...

  18. THE 5 BEST Rurrenabaque Tours & Excursions

    1. Rurrenabaque Bolivia Amazon 5 Day Tour -native community project-. Rurrenabaque Bolivia Amazon 5-Day Tour, the most complete option to live a unique experience staying in an ecolodge that…. 2. Rurrenabaque Pampas. 3 Days & 2 Nights. PRIVATE TOUR.

  19. Pampas in Rurrenabaque

    On this ecotour from Rurrenabaque, wildlife lovers spend three full days in the Bolivian Amazon Basin and the Pampas. Spend two nights at an ecolodge equipped with mosquito nets, hammocks, and full board. Guided boat trips take you among the habitats of different species including crocodiles and caiman. Search for anacondas, pink dolphins (seasonal), capybaras, monkeys, giant anteaters ...

  20. A Travel Guide to Visiting the Amazon in Bolivia

    The starting point for tours to the Bolivian Amazon is Rurrenabaque, a small town sitting 400km north of La Paz. This is the gateway to the pristine forests of Madidi National Park and the wildlife-rich Las Pampas of the Yacuma River. Because of this, you can explore two sides of the Amazon, by trekking or by boat.

  21. The Bolivian Amazon Jungle (How to Prepare For A Trip )

    To get to Rurrenabaque you'll first need to head to La Paz. Once in the capital, you'll then have two main options - the bus or flight. The bus remains the cheapest option, costing around $10 for the 13 hour journey. Most buses depart around 2-5pm, and I personally used Flota Yungueña for the trip which I recommend.

  22. Rurrenabaque, Bolivia: Where the Andes Meet the Amazon

    Rurrenabaque is where the Bolivian Andes meet the Amazon, a place where the beauty lies not so much in the town but in the laidback locals and the surrounding natural areas. Located 266 miles (428km) northeast of La Paz, Bolivia's high-altitude capital, Rurrenabaque is a breath of fresh air. Before its natural beauty was recognized and ...

  23. Rurrenabaque Tours

    Rurrenabaque Tours Pampas and jungle tours of the Bolivian Amazon. Whether tourists wish to discover the ancient survival skills of the jungle, visit the astonishing wildlife of the pampas, explore daily life on a Bolivian ranch, challenge themselves on a jungle tour adventure, or simply relax by a swimming pool after a day of craft shopping in the tropical sunshine, we offer all the resources ...

  24. Rurrenabaque Bolivia Amazon Tour ≫ Full Board

    Rurrenabaque Bolivia Amazon Tour: get lost in the heart of the Bolivian Amazon and enjoy unusual landscapes and ecosystems. Live a unique experience staying in an ecolodge that is part of a rural tourism project run by a native community and soak up their culture. Navigate its rivers, walk through the jungle, and discover all the secrets of one ...