Rurrenabaque: Digital Nomad destination
Rurrenabaque in the tropical region of Bolivia is a little village which is often mentioned as the door to the amazon.
Now if you are still reading this sentences you might really want to read the rest of my blog post and see the photos yourself. :-) Enjoy
Bolivia = Authentic
If you are searching for the authentic South American experience you should consider Bolivia before visiting any other Latin American countries. Until today 2015 the experience will knock your socks off :-) Bolivia has been called one of the most “remote” countries of the western hemisphere. That’s maybe why it’s still such an authentic experience here…
The tropical town of Rurrenabaque, or “Rurre” how the locals call it, is literally the backpacker’s paradise in Bolivia maybe all South America. It is situated on the shores of the Rio Beni, and is the starting point for many jungle, pampas and riverboat exploration tours. The lowland tribe people here, the Tacana, are one of the few who were resistant to Christianity, so the town does not have the typical setup of a central cathedral square. There is a plaza in town but it’s not in the center and most of the time pretty empty :-)
Rurrenabaque welcomes you
We had a great start in Rurrenabaque. Being used previously to the “cold” people from the mountains the people in Rurre do talk with you and yes they even ask question and it’s pretty easy to have a nice conversation in face to face. On the phone it’s another story – one thing is the bad vocal phone quality and the other is they use again some other word combination than in other regions :-) We met a few people on the street and also a friend and traveler we had get to known a while ago in Samaipata our German friend – Matthias.
Image: People on the street at the sunday market in Rurrenabque. Bolivia is a multiethnic society. Of all the South American countries, Bolivia has the largest percentage of indigenous native Americans (Indians). The next largest ethnic group in the Bolivian population are the mestizos, those of mixed-race heritage; they make up 30%. Finally, 10 percent of the Bolivian population are of Spanish origin.
Climate in Rurre
Most of the time just one word. Awesome sunny. Sometimes rain non-stop.
Top tourist attractions
Jungle Tours and Pampas Tours are offered by more than 20 tour companies which are the main attractions around Rurre. This and the nightlife qualifies in my point of view as the top tourist attractions of Rurrenabaque. Wikitravel gives a great overview about it no need to re-invent the wheel here.
Yes. There is a lot of nightlife in Rurrenabaque. We haven’t been able to visit every bar – yet. But have visited very few so far. Like one of the first Bars in Rurre the Moskkito bar (with two “K”) which offers you the first Caipirinha – if you get the flyer :-) And the Funkey Monkey Bar which has a open space where you can see the stars on cloud free night. Romantic atmosphere depending what you are looking for.
Now the negative side of this is that Rurrenabaque it’s pretty loud. If you are seeking for a place to chill out near the amazon. This is not the place you should head to. Even so we have found cabana slightly outside of the town we have disco / club music whatever every day until 5PM really loud like on a festival and in the night until 10PM but not that loud any more. But still hear-able. This is a pity in our point of views because just thinking about all the natural diversity around this place.
This little bird is active in the morning hours make a noise like a water “blub”. Greentina recorded the sound of the and you listen to the Oropéndola bird here.
Without all the pollution from the humans like in this case the direct noise pollution much more natural could be listen to. But logically for the locals it’s similar than what we experienced back in Paraguay is that the louder the better and the party should never stop…
Sorry no nightlife photos here :-)
As you know you can’t do everything, need to focus.
There are a few taxis in Rurre and a few cars else you will see many many many many motorcycles. It’s similar to the city of Trinidad but not so many and it’s not so loud like in Trinidad. Plus there is no plaza where they can just drive around 10 times here :-)
Because there is no bridge yet connection with the neighbor village and additionally Rurrenabaque act’s like the center for all the far away communities which will bring their goods with a small boat over the Beni River to Rurre.
Image: Now a days this is the transport vehicle Nr. 1 here in Rurrenabaque. Everybody who can afford a motorcycle will have one and drive around with it. There is one main road and the center of the town has cemented roads which are very nice compared to all the other natural roads around
Image: Until today there is no bridge between Rurrenabaque and the town on the other side of the River Beni which is called San Buena Ventura. Although a bridge is planned for a future Chinese factory there – it may and will take some time to be build. And all this because China is expecting population growth by 2020 (read: Why 2020 Is a Make-or-Break Year for China) and they need to feed all the little Chinese. For this they have come up with the great plan to grow all that food on the entire planet earth so that it can be shipped back to China. It seems to be there is no place left in China. Anyway they are going to grow sugar beets in the Bolivian Amazon for the Chinese… What a crazy world we live in.
Image: Any further exploration is only possible with a boat here. Rurrenabaque ends here and the great amazon basin starts here. Did you know that the world’s biggest rainforest and the largest river (Amazon) are located in South America!
Image: The most common way to travel in Bolivia is via the bus. They run everywhere throughout the country’s major towns and cities. Even deep in the amazon region of Bolivia. Like this one here which was left on the side of the road …
Rurrenabaque has plenty of Hotel. And plenty more Hotels are being build right now – 2015 and probably plenty more will be build in future. We invested half a day in checking the hotel rooms and comparing them and at the end we decided to rent a room in a cabana.
Image: The town of Rurrenbaque has visible been growing over the past few years.
Renting a room
We found a cabana to rent near Oscar’s Swimming pool. The owner is a guy from Switzerland which build everything himself and it’s all rock solid. Lucky us we have a small kitchen in our cabana so we where able to cook our own food most of the time and enjoy the maximum the tropical fruits for breakfast.
Image: This was the cabana we rented for 2 weeks near Oskars Swimming pool. The room was big and there was a little terrace on the left. The kitchen was very good and the toilet was great. The mattress of the bed was awful – after 5 minutes you slept on the wood… well cant have everything right?
Image: This was the view from our rented cabana in the early morning after 7AM. We where able to hear all kind of animals because most people and dogs and all the other noise pollution making elements where still kind of asleep :-)
Image: This is how some locals still live in Rurrenbaque, Bolivia today.
Image: Near our cabana was this amazing swimming pool with coconut palm trees
Well. This black box … this non-stopping black hole… this could be one of the most un answered questions of our time … in Rurrenbaque. But the truth is. It does work. Don’t go to far away from the town. Use ENTEL this works reliable currently (2015/Mai/28) and TiGo and VIVA are rather worthless in this region! TiGo works fine for phone calls but for Internet not. In case you want to read about the Digital Nomad tools we can recommend I’v previously written a article about that.
It seems that there are plenty of restaurant in the town. We have been eating a lot in a vegetarian restaurant for lunch called “Pimienta y Canella”. You get a fresh soup and a main meal which really does taste very well. We did try some other things but most of the time it’s a real challenge to chew to meat here so we go for the vegetarian version. Also when we cook at home 99% of time it’s vegetarian because of the great fresh tropical vegetables and fruits which are all broadly available and do taste very good here. I remember back in Switzerland Europe I was not able to eat 90% of “fresh” tropical fruits not even most local fruits because I had allergic reactions. None of those issues here. :-) You should see the food markets here – awesome!
Image: Local vegetables at the market called “Mercado de los campesinos” in Rurre
Image: The landscape and region of Rurrenabaque is full of big palm tree with plenty of Coconuts
Image: Fresh Bananas being brought directly by boat from the communities living in the neighbor valley of Rurrenabaque.
Image: We are trying out all tropical fruits and even more if they look like Bananas of course. Our favorite to eat raw are the little red ones. But the green Bananas here just looked perfect with the blue wall :-)
Image: In many backyards of the local I have discovered Papaya trees. They are everywhere.
Image: Did I mention that there are so many tropical fruits here just growing like crazy? Here we see plenty of Bananas
Image: They sell many potatoes at the market in Rurrenabaque. In the Quechua diet and culture the most basic food is the native potato.
There is a Banco Union which accepts VISA credit cards and a Banco FIE which also accepts VISA cards so if either of them runs out of money then the other ATM may have some cash left. Good luck.
Image: Amazon Landscape Layers with clouds near Rurrenabaque, Bolivia
Image: Amazon Landscape Layers near Rurrenabaque, Bolivia
Image: The great Beni River in tropical Bolivia