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Rurrenabaque, Jungle Trips, Bolivia

Rurrenabaque is the easiest place in Bolivia to organize a guided trip into the jungle. Any travellers coming to the jungle with the notion that they can wander into it without a guide are badly mistaken. It is very easy to become lost in the thick vegetation, and trails typically only last for a few meters into the bush before disappearing. Cardinal direction is hard to establish under the thick canopy and getting lost puts you in an immediate survival situation. Even with a guide, it could be handy to pick up a machete before heading out on a jungle trek.

There are two tour options in Rurrenabaque. The most popular is the “pampas” tour, essentially a boat tour into the swamps of the Amazon for several days. It is standard to find reptiles like crocodiles and anacondas, along with some mammals. The other option is a trek deep into the forested jungle, cutting and hacking over difficult terrain, and getting eaten alive by all the interesting insects and parasites in the area. Tourists tend to see far more animals in the “pampas” tour.

Once completely covered in bug bites and thoroughly sick of being in the bush, travellers can return to Rurrenabaque and hang out in a comfortable hostel for a couple of dollars a night, as long as they can tolerate the crowds of young Israelis that run the town. Rurrenabaque has probably the highest concentration of Israelis in South America.

M.J. Lloyd

James Tramplefoot has been, and will continue to be on the road indefinitely, for years and probably decades.