Side Trips from La Paz: Places to Explore



Labeled the "Pearl of Beni River," the small town of Rurrenabaque is the gateway to the Amazon Basin and the launching point for jungle and pampas tours along the Yucuma River. Prices are generally the same for both day trips and can be booked 24 hours in advance from tour companies in Rurrenabaque. Allow more time for the pampas tour since it involves three hours in a jeep followed by a three-hour canoe ride, compared to the jungle tour, which takes just three hours by boat.

The town itself has less than 8,000 permanent residents, most of which are Tacana natives and still speak the native language. Rurrenabaque, which translates to "Ravine of Ducks," is a haven for backpackers who are drawn to the areas eco-lodges and activities.

Nature is abundant here with more than 1,000 species of birds and 300 types of mammals and reptiles. Prepare yourself for the mosquitoes though, especially if you take the pampas tour.

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