THE AMAZON JUNGLE
Everyone knows Brazil is the place to go to if you want to check out the amazonian forrest, in reality you can access it from Ecuador, Peru & Bolivia being the cheapest! For only £50 you can go on a 3days/2dnights tour along the amazonian forrest.
You can either opt for a ‘Jungle tour’ for a more hands on, 'bear grylly’ experience. From what I’ve heard, this means cutting branches with machetes, eating fresh fruits from the trees, sleeping under the stars… living the jungle book life really? Or if you’re a lazy backpacker like myself and you would like to check out lots of wild, dangerous animals opt for the ‘pampas tour’. In this excursion you’ll wander around a boat on the look out for caymans, monkeys, sloths, pink dolphins, crocodiles & ANACONDAS! Luckily there was a crazy Australian guy on another tour who picked up (molested) the poor anaconda and wrapped it around his arm. You will also get to fish piranhas and eat them afterwards.
I really loved the pampas as we got to see lots of dangerous animal and relax on a boat for a few days, something you don’t get a chance to do a lot on a backpacking holiday.
WHERE TO BOOK?
We booked with a company called Escorpion, which was 550 bolivianos for a 3days/2nights pampas tour. I think if you look around you probably can get down to 500/450 but this place was recommended and was good, the guide was nice, the food was tasty and we saw plenty of wildlife!
One advice, do not book from La Paz or any hostel, they will literally charge you double the price for the same thing. Best thing you can do is book over the phone, check up some agencies online and call them. If you are coming with the earliest flight in the morning they will also come and pick you up from the airport for free and take you straight to the tour.
HOW TO GET THERE?
You’ve got two options, a 700 bolivianos flight that will take you 40minutes or a 15h to 30h bus ride (depending on the weather conditions) that will cost you 70 bolivianos. The flight is supposed to be very scenic, you’ll have the feeling you are on a private jet as there is only one row of seatings on each side. The bus can be a frightening experience as it runs along parts of the infamous DEATH ROAD. If you don’t look through the window you’ll be fine… Also it’s a bumpy ride so don’t expect to snooze much either!
If you are planning on booking a flight, doing it with your hostel might be the best option as they have flat rates all year round. If you are booking a bus just go straight to the bus station, they leave from La Paz around 1pm each day, we went with a company called TransTatai. They leave from Rurrenabaque from 6pm.
WHAT TO TAKE WITH YOU?
The forrest is pretty hot during the day but beware of the cold breeze on the boat. You should also take some warm clothes as it gets pretty chilly in the nighttime. They also only gave us little blankets so if you’ve got a sleeping bag with you, take it! Also pack some loose pants to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes, they got through my leggings and no time and left me with hundred of bites on each legs. There has been no case of Malaria reported in the region but if you want to be extra cautious you can also take some tablets with you.
Don’t forget essentials such as sunscreen, hat, cap, cowboy hat, sunnies, light torch, flip flops… just your usual travel gear really.