Introducing Amazon Basin
The Amazon Basin is one of Bolivia’s largest and most mesmerizing parts. The rainforest is raucous with wildlife (the flora and fauna include rare species), and spending a few days roaming the sweaty jungle (and minding the bugs) is an experience you’re unlikely to forget. This is where you’ll find the deep and mysterious lushness that has drawn adventurers and explorers since the beginning of time. And it’s not only the forests that are enchanting: it’s also the richness of indigenous cultures, traditions and languages that exist in the region.
While Brazilian rainforests continue to suffer heavy depredation, the Amazon forests of northern Bolivia remain relatively intact, though, unfortunately, the region continues to face the serious problems of road construction and highland immigration that have led to an upsurge in logging and slash-and-burn agriculture.
Mossy hills peak around the town of Rurrenabaque, most people’s first point of entry into the region and the place from where to visit the fascinating Parque Nacional Madidi. This is home to a growing eco- and ethnotourism industry that looks to help local communities. The village of San Ignacio de Moxos has a kicking July fiesta where indigenous traditions, mixed with a strong Jesuit missionary influence, are vigorously celebrated. Trinidad, the region’s biggest settlement and an active cattle ranching center, is a transit point toward Santa Cruz.
All of the Amazon Basin’s main rivers are Amazon tributaries that would be considered great rivers in their own right in any smaller country. You can indulge in long journeys down these jungle waterways, using hotel-like riverboats, cargo boats, canoes or barges.