Rurrenabaque, known as ‘the Touristic Pearl of Beni’, is located in the intersection of the Beni River, the foothills of the Andes and the endless plains of the tropical forest. It is known for being the gateway to the Bolivian Amazon. It is located in the middle of the jungle and is the ideal place to start an adventure to biodiversity, exuberant landscapes and native cultures, turning this region into something special. Rurrenabaque is located in the department of Beni, in the vicinity of the Madidi National Park. It has a population of about 10.000 inhabitants.
Its landscapes are unique and its cuisine is exclusive. It is considered the third most visited tourist destination of Bolivia, after Lake Titicaca (La Paz) and the Uyuni Salt Flat (Potosi).
Rurrenabaque becomes worldwide famous in the early 80's when Israeli Yossi Ghinsberg, a traveler who got lost in the Beni jungle for 20 days and managed to survive by eating fruit and snake meat and had to be careful of the threats of jaguars. After being rescued by the Beni hunter Abelardo Tico Tudela, Ghinsberg wrote his experience in a book entitled ‘Jungle’ or also known as ‘Back from the Tuichi’, that sold over a million copies around the world and this year was translated into Spanish.
One of its main attractions is La Pampa, which is located in the municipalities of Reyes and Santa Rosa. You can also visit the jungle of the Madidi National Park and the protected area of Pilon Lajas.
The Madidi National Park is characterized by having one of the parks with more biodiversity in flora and fauna as well as in ecological floors from the snowline up to the Amazonian plains housing community ethnic groups in its territory. It was declared by the National Geographic magazine as one of the areas with most biodiversity on the planet and one of the 20 places with major tourist attractions at world level. Due to its enormous environmental quality, it generates significant economic benefits to the region because of conservation and ecotourism. The great diversity of habitats determines the presence of an abundant variety of species of plants; 4,838 species of vascular plants were registered, but it is estimated that the total flora reaches 5,000 species. The fauna of the park has similar patterns of diversity; there are 1,370 species of vertebrates. It is estimated that future studies will reveal the presence of 600 more species.
With an area of 616,453 hectares, Pampas of Yacuma River is located in the largest municipal protected are in Bolivia and perhaps the whole world, according to specialists. Originally conceived as an area of 15,000 hectares, ‘Pampas of Yacuma River’ is located in a region of high biodiversity in the Amazonian jungle and the savannah of the department of Beni. Still considered as a threatened ecosystem, it houses a myriad of endangered and endemic species such as blue-beard macaws, two species of monkeys (Callicebus modestus and Callicebus olallae), marsh deers, giant armadillo, river dolphin (Inia geoffrensis), river turtle, anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), and Jaguar (Panthera onca).
- Location: Norwest of Bolivia, in the province Ballivian in the department of Beni, inside the Bolivian Amazon, on the bank of Beni River.
- Altitude: 229 masl
- Average temperature: 26 °C (because of high humidity)
There are two ways to get to Rurrenabaque. By land, you must travel 18 hours by bus departing from La Paz. The bus takes the La Paz-Caranavi-Yucumo-Rurrenabaque route (460 km). The other way is to take a 50-minute flight from La Paz to Rurrenabaque. The air companies flying to Rurrenabaque are Amaszonas and TAM Militar.