Catch a glimpse of anacondas and caimans as you navigate across the Yacuma river
Learn about the local community that has called this unique place home for centuries
All guides are highly trained and experienced in the Jungle/Pampas area
Explore some of the best nature and wildlife hotspots of the Pampas. Aside from the exotic species you’ll see, and the exciting adventures you’ll have, there’s the opportunity to meet the native people, and learn about a culture that has called this unique place home for centuries. This makes for a truly special experience.
All year round
Bala Tours Office, Calle Santa Cruz between Comercio & Avaroa, Rurrenabaque
Bala Tours Office, Calle Santa Cruz between Comercio & Avaroa, Rurrenabaque
The excursion will start at 9:00am, when we go from Rurrenabaque to the area of the Pampas, travelling by mini-bus. The journey will take about three hours, and upon arrival we’ll head straight to ‘Caracoles’, our eco-friendly housing that is located inside the Municipal Reservation of the River Yacuma. There’ll be a tasty lunch to enjoy, as well as some free time to rest in the outdoor hammocks, or settle in to your cabins.
We’ll jump on board the boat in the afternoon, and take a little trip downriver to see the wild fauna. The flourishing flora and vegetation can easily be spotted along the shore and dry lands as we merrily sail along. If you happen to be travelling during the dry season, you can be sure to catch sight of caiman, anacondas, turtles, capybaras, pink dolphins, different types of monkeys and countless species of birds. During the rainy season, it is more difficult to find caiman, anacondas and capybaras.
The cool early morning air is perfect for an early start to the day. We will go for a 3 to 4-hour morning hike on the Pampas to look for the silent anacondas and alligators. As you walk, take some time to breathe in nature’s wonders, and listen to the sounds of wild creatures as they happily go about their day.
After the hike, we will return to our housing to have lunch and to sit back and relax for a while. In the afternoon, we will navigate on the river Yacuma, fishing for piranhas the way the local people catch them, as well as enjoy a fun swim with the endangered pink dolphins. Swimming with these playful creatures is sure to be the highlight of your day. After dinner, there’ll be an evening walk and - with flashlights in hand - you may observe the shiny glint of alligators’ and caimans’ eyes, as well as spot the other night animals.
On the final morning, you once again will awaken to the sounds of the jungle, as the early morning light brings early morning risers. After breakfast, for our final tour, we will navigate on the river Yacuma to a place where you can see the yellow squirrel monkeys. Get the chance to observe these cute creatures playfully manoeuvring through the trees, and getting close to the waters’ edge for a drink. After lunch, we say goodbye to our staff, and return by mini-bus to Rurrenabaque, where we will arrive approximately at 5:00pm.
DAY 1: 08:30 - 08:45
Meeting point at Bala Tours Office
DAY 1: 09:00
Depart Rurrenabaque by mini-bus to the Pampas
DAY 1: 12:00
Arrive to Caracoles Lodge where you will be spending the night
DAY 1: 12:30
DAY 1: 13:30
Free time to rest in a hammock
DAY 1: 14:30
Take a boat ride to see the wildlife. During dry season you may see anacondas, turtles, pink dolphins, different species of monkeys and countless species of birds. During rainy season it may be more difficult
DAY 1: 19:00
DAY 2: 07:30
DAY 2: 08:30
Take a morning walk to look for anacondas and alligators
DAY 2: 11:30
Return to Caracoles Lodge
DAY 2: 12:00
DAY 2: 13:00
Free time to relax
DAY 2: 14:00
Take a boat ride up the Yacuma River to fish for piranhas and swim with pink dolphins
DAY 2: 19:00
DAY 2: 20:00
Guided night walk to see the nocturnal animals
DAY 3: 07:30
DAY 3: 08:30
Take a boat ride up Yacuma River to see the yellow monkey
DAY 3: 11:30
Return to Caracoles Lodge
DAY 3: 12:00
DAY 3: 14:00
Depart Caracoles Lodge
DAY 3: 17:00
Arrive to Rurrenabaque
- Accommodation in housing or tarp according to the itinerary
- Transport according to the itinerary
- Mineral water, juice and meals during your stay at the lodge
- Trips with native and bilingual guides
- Entrance to the protected area
- Alcoholic and soda water drinks
- Accommodation in Rurrenabaque
- Aeroplane tickets
- Sleeping bag
- Insect repellent
- Comfortable hiking shoes
- Long sleeved shirt (made of cotton)
- Sleeping mat
CHILD (UP TO 11 YRS OLD)
In order to obtain this discount, the child must be up to 11 years of age on the date they are due to take the tour.
Cancellation or changes of this tour:
CHANGES: Any changes to the tour date need to be done before 5:00 pm (La Paz time) 4 days before the tour begins.
NO SHOWS & CANCELLATIONS: If you cancel before 5:00 pm (La Paz time) 4 days before the tour begins or earlier, a 10% administration fee will apply (+ the card fee). After this time, there is a 100% no show or cancellation fee.
You must email email@example.com (include the name of the tour and the reservation number) to cancel this tour or to make any changes.
How does the wet season affect Rurrenabaque and tours?
These tours run year-round, and in general rain does not stop tours from going. The exception is when there has been very heavy, sustained rainfall, and the Rurrenabaque area becomes flooded (the pampas, the jungle floor, the local roads and even the town itself). This is not common but has happened in recent years, and you just have to check the local news prior to departure times, or ask us for the latest info. The main issues caused during wet season for Rurrenabaque are delays to the flights between La Paz – Rurre, and Rurre - La Paz, which can regularly be affected due to weather. We advise flying out the day before your tour, and flying back in the early morning the day after you tour, in order to give yourself some time in case of delays. Also, if there is something you have to be back for, such as an international flight, we recommended having one more buffer day beforehand, just to make sure. Delays of a whole day are also possible. We recommend Amaszonas Airline to travel to Rurrenabaque. Most people fly to Rurrenabaque, but there is also a bus service that takes about 18 hours during dry season. During the wet season, the journey can take as much as 40 hours, as the road is washed away, blocked by landslides, and becomes a river of mud. We strongly recommend against trying to take this bus during the wet season (we don't really recommend it during the dry season either!).
What is the difference between a Pampas Tour and a Jungle Tour in the Bolivian Amazon?
All Pampas Tours take place off of the Yacuma River, a wetland Savannah within the Amazon basin. There is a higher chance of seeing more wildlife with this tour option, as there is less vegetation in the Pampas region. Activities include swimming with pink dolphins, piranha fishing, exploring in a motor canoe, and spotting caiman and squirrel monkeys. On the other hand, the Jungle Tours all take place in the Madidi National Park. It is right in the middle of the Bolivian Amazon, and is one of the most biodiverse areas in the world, with millions of plant and animal species. With this tour, it is more of a challenge to see a variety of wildlife due to the very dense vegetation, but with a bit of patience it is possible to find caimans, amphibians, nocturnal birds, fish-eating bats, and if lucky, jaguars.
Which is the best season to visit the Bolivian Jungle and Pampas?
The climate is mostly tropical all year round, and therefore it is possible to visit during any season. However, the best time is in the dry season, from the beginning of April to the end of October.
Is there malaria in Rurrenabaque and in the areas where pampas and jungle tours take place?
Whilst it is feasible that malaria could exist in Rurrenabaque, the pampas, and the jungle areas nearby because there are plenty of mosquitoes, there have not been any reported instances of malaria. We do not consider it necessary to take malaria tablets for our tours, but if you wish to do so then you should bring them with you, as you might not be able to get the brand you want in Bolivia. There is also the possibility of Dengue Fever and Yellow Fever, so you must protect yourself from insect bites as much as possible. You should bring a good insect repellent with you, as there are not many good options available to purchase in Bolivia.
What are the essentials to bring to the tour?
One backpack, sturdy duffel bag, or easily managed suitcase, a daypack, sturdy shoes or hiking boots comfortable enough for walking, sandals or shoes you don't mind getting wet, a money belt or pouch (leave your wallet at home - they make easy targets for pickpockets in the city), personal medications, a camera, film, and a waterproof case, and clothing. Generally, the Amazon is quite hot, but during the evenings if it rains it can cool down quite a bit. Fast drying clothes that can be layered work best. Don’t forget anti-bacterial soap, wipes, or gel such as Purell, sunblock of at least SPF 15 (the tropical sun is strong), insect repellent with DEET (diethyl-meta-toluamide), anti-itch cream for insects bites, a flashlight or headlamp with extra batteries, a toothbrush, toothpaste, toiletries, etc, sunglasses, a swiss army style knife, a sun/rain hat, plastic bags (zip lock bags and a larger trash bag), a water bottle, a small padlock to lock your bag shut, a travel alarm clock, and a first aid kid.
I want to be really safe. Which things should I put in my own first aid kit?
A first aid kit could include: Pepto-Bismol for mild diarrhoea, throat lozenges, motion sickness medication, sunburn salve such as aloe vera gel, aspirin or other painkillers, antibiotics for travellers’ diarrhoea (TD), antacid tablets, band-aids/plasters/bandages, ACE bandage, mole skin for blisters/blister plasters.
What clothes should I bring to the tour?
You should bring: A light, water-resistant jacket that will keep you warm on a cool evening or during a sudden downpour, yet which can be stuffed away or worn loosely on a warm day, a cheap rain poncho (the lodges have ponchos, but it's best to be prepared!), a fleece or wool sweater, two pair of shorts and/or swimming trunks, a bathing suit, one to two pairs of pants (one that can be worn to a nice restaurant or club, and another rugged pair for hiking in the rainforest), one long-sleeved shirt or blouse (a long-sleeved cotton shirt is great for the jungle), and 2 to 3 short-sleeved shirts, cotton socks, and underwear.
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