Ay friends, so we made it to Rurrenabaque. This is a small town and also called the bolivian entrance to the Amazonas – thus very, very VERY warm.
How did we make it there? Well, let me tell you there’s two ways: by plane (80 euros, 45min) or by bus (10euros, 15 hrs). Since we started the trip in Coroico (beautiful mountain town), we could only take the bus. Buut let’s rewind here, to the 3 verrry relaxed days we spent in Coroico.
Coroico is on about 1500 m, small and not very touristic. We stayed at Hostel Chawi, a hostel owned by an English pdude and his bolivina wife. He explained us on a little hand-drawn map, of a dozen nice hikes you could do in the region, to waterfalls, rivers, high points with beautiful views etc. Unfortunately he didn’t know that we felt just tired and wanted a nice place to sleep and hang.
So we slept very long, woke up to a beautiful view over the valley, had food in town and walked a bit around. There’s a cute place a bit higher up which is called Sol y Luna, where we had amazing food and slept in the hammocks. The temperature in Coroico is not hot at all, but during the day it gets quite warm, around 23 degrees. Funny about this trip was that while there, we learned that a friend of my dad lived there. So on our last day we managed to meet and he brought us to his beautiful farm of medicinal plants. It was very interesting to hear about how he and his wife started everything by themselves 30 years ago, and also to try rare bitter plants that have positive influence on your health.
From Coroico we could take the bus directly to Rurrenabaque, from an intersection down in the valley. Of course, we are in Bolivia where busses are never on time… So when they told us the bus would stop between 7 and 7.30pm, of course it was 9 pm.. We waited alone at this intersection in the darkness and when the lights of the food stands around started to turn off, we thought the bus would not come anymore. Even locals had approached us, saying normally the last bus would already have left! Well, luckily it did come 🙂
The bus however was horrible. The seats were so old, they were not straight anymore and we were sliding all the time under the seats in front of us. No way to sleep like this, plus the road is like a continuation of the death road. We sat in this old rocking bus and I saw the cliff right next to me! After 15hrs we had finally made it and also, finally some hot warm weather!
Rurre is small, seems almost carribean. Our hostel was called Curichal and had a pool and hammocks, which was awesome. We spent the day in the pool, eating and searching for a tour oprator, still not knowing if we should go into the jungle or to the pampas or both. We finally decided to do the pampas tour, firstly, cause the amount of animals you see is higher and it seemed less survival-ish. The jungle tour is cool, cause you learn a lot about the plants, for what you can use it and stuff like that, however sesing animals is rellay rare. . So the next morning we took off at 9am with the agency Escorpion.
The tour takes you first 3 hours in a car to Santa Rosa, a little town in the middle of nowhere and with a horrible road leading to it. There you get lunch served, meet your group proparly and continue to the river. Arriving at the river first the little boat needs to get loaded with the food for the next three days, gas and other things. Then everyone goes aboard and the trip starts. It did not take 10sec and we saw our first aligator! Next to aligators, there’s many birds and capybaras. If you are lucky (and we were) you can see also caymans, tucans, coatis, dolphins, monkeys and other blue parrots.
The tour first took us to the camp but slowly, driving along the river, stopping for pictures and to spot animals. Then after a quick arrival, settling in our rooms, the guide took us to a nice spot to see the sunset and drink a beer. On the way back to the camp we saw the aligator eyes shining in the darkness of the river. On day 2 we went on a search for anacondas. However, that was a tireing 3 hour walk at what felt like 40 degrees. And unfortunately we did not manage to find one. In the afternoon he took us piranha fishing, which was a lot of fun (cause I catched 3 out of 10).
We lost a lot of the beef we had brought as bait, so the piranhas definitely made a win that day. For dinner we got those same piranhas fried, and they tasted really good. They are really small though and have not much meat on them. Day 3 was all about swimming ‘with’ the dolphins, which meant swimming in the same water as them (and also same water as aligators!). After that we were pretty happy to get back to civilization since the heat and humidity was killing us.
That was our trip to Rurrenabaque! If we hadn’t stayed that long in Coroico we would definitely had spend another day at the pool, eating fish packed in banana leaves and drinking fresh juice. By the way, a good place for lunch is the restaurant Luz de Mar, which has an excellent menu for 25 bolivianos!