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Riberalta: Traveling off the beaten track, by Chloé

Bolivia is starting to be popular destination, especially known for the Salar of Uyni, a salt desert changing according to the weather. It is one of the must-see attractions, just like Titicaca Lake, a huge lake with wildlife & ruins of Incas. But today, I’ve decided to talk about another destination, more intimate but just as charming. Let me take you to Riberalta!

Riberalta is the Capital of the Bolivian Amazon, in the Beni department, divided between the authenticity of its center and its vast jungle. Riberalta is the meeting point of the two great rivers: the Manutata “Mother of God” and the “Blessed One”. This strategic position allowed it to become a very important commercial center, especially with the rubber boom produced here.

What attracted me to Riberalta?

– TRAVEL DIFFERENTLY: Riberalta is a destination where life is good. Marked by its authenticity and simplicity, it is a perfect destination for people looking for a more human adventure. Here, you have to live with the rhythm of the weather, to go on the stalls of the markets to find tropical fruits and fresh or to go the evening by motorbike around the central square and enjoy the cool evening.

– THE FEELING OF FREEDOM: One of the charms of this city is how you get around.  Whether you move alone or with your family, you have to be on two wheels. It is not uncommon to see scooters equipped with a small plastic chair as a “baby seat”. You will have no problem finding a “moto taxi” that can take you in the city for less than 0,50$. In terms of security, jackets, gloves or helmets don’t exist, but that contributes to the incomparable feeling of freedom that you get from it.

– ENJOY THE SUNSET: During the dry season, the sun sets between 6pm and 7pm. Overlooking the two giant rivers, La Costanera is certainly one of the most beautiful views to enjoy a show of breathtaking colors. If you want more, you can continue the walk and stay at one of the small cabins offering the best local fish.

– THE BEAUTY OF NATURE: Getting off the beaten path allows you to discover provinces that remain untouched. Nature, animals, plants, community… the immersion is complete! For the more adventurous, it is possible to cross the river by boat. On the shore right in front of Riberalta there are various authentic camps living mainly from fishing, agriculture, and the breeding and harvesting Brazilian nuts to later export them. With all this, the immersion is guaranteed. Many species of birds have been listed and birding is one of the specialty of the region. You can find birds of prey, herons, ducks, serifes, crows, darters, kingfishers and countless species of small birds. The many species of reptiles, monkeys and tigers living near the camps feed the imagination of the locals. The legends around the anaconda are transmitted from generation to generation and help reinforce the mystery that emerges from this exotic environment. Immersed in the midst of this luscious biodiversity, one is easily bewitched by the hundreds of shades of green, sounds in a spectacle of giant trees, luscious plants and colorful flowers.

Convinced? Let me give you the practical information to get to Riberalta!

To go there:

Getting to Riberalta is not that difficult as there are three national airlines going to the city: Ecojet, TAM and Amaszonas. But it is also possible to opt for a bus, if the season allows it and the (very) long trip doesn’t bother you.

When to go?

The climate is tropical and warm with an average temperature of 26 ° C, as the city is located in the Amazon. There are mainly two seasons in Riberalta, the rainy season, to avoid if you do not want to swim instead of walking, and the dry season starting in March and ends in November.

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