Land-locked and sitting in the heart of the South American continent, a third of Bolivia lies within the Amazon basin. A tight blanket of tropical rainforest stifles valleys and rugged foothills, a whopping 1,000km from the river itself, and utterly remote from the country’s centres of population and economic activity. The biodiversity is intense, and much of the jungle remains intact, although increasingly under threat from loggers, farmers and developers as elsewhere in Amazonia. The extraordinary Madidi National Park embraces a swathe of rainforest heaving with exotic foliage and wildlife.

Remote, yes: nevertheless, the region has witnessed transformational economic upheavals: historically, the rubber boom and then the cocaine trade impacted on the landscape. Nowadays however, ecotourism is offering conservationists a lifeline. Far-flung, scantily populated and rarely visited, this is the authentic South America of the romantic imagination, a region for true adventurers.

The principal point of entry - just an hour’s spectacular flight over the snow-drenched Andes from La Paz - is quaint Rurrenabaque, a folksy riverside port with a grid of streets lined with low wooden houses, dwarf palms, mango trees and flowery bowers. A promenade runs along the river banks by the fish market, a popular place for sunset walks. Jungle lodges are few and far between and only accessible by boat: the watery journey is stunning.

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Where to go when - our guide to The Bolivian Amazon

Turquoise Fronted Parrot

The weather in The Bolivian Amazon is wide and varied

In the steamy Amazon rainforest, weather conditions remain hot and humid all year round, temperatures hovering around 30°C. Bolivia’s Madidi National Park is a haven for wildlife, sheltering jaguars, ocelots and tapirs as well as the more easily visible capybaras, caimans, spider monkeys and colourful birds. Wet season runs from November - April, bringing heavier rainfall and opening up access to new parts of the jungle via boat. The sunny dry season from May - October is ideal for wildlife spotting from jungle trails, with vibrant local festivities taking place in June and July.

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Real Latin american experts

  • Lina
    Lina Fuller - Travel Expert

    Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba (Argentina) to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.

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    Sally Dodge - Travel Expert

    A former Journey Latin America tour leader, Sally spent 7 years working, travelling and living throughout Latin America before returning to the UK to help people arrange their own adventures to this wonderful destination.

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    Sophie Barber - Travel Expert

    Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia and beyond to Antarctica.

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    Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.

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    Carrie Gallagher - Travel Expert

    A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours department.

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    Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Expert

    Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.

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