Riberalta, Bolivia: Amazon Attractions
20 km from Riberalta along the main highway to La Paz city stands Tumichuqua, which means Island of Palm Trees in Tacana native language. Tumichuqua is a marvelous lake of crystalline abundant waters that remain through the whole year. An island is located on the center of the lake, which bares abundant vegetation and fauna. Locals manifest that said island actually floats and changes its location slightly depending on weather conditions or the water level of the near Beni River. In this paradisiac place, The Summer Linguistic Institute worked for many years. This institute was a North American project which developed education and alphabetization tasks with people living in the region.
The habitants of the island keep the original infrastructure of colorful bungalows and a recreational center, one comfortable hotel, restaurants and even a karaoke. There’s permanent ground transportation from Riberalta at a very accessible price.
The Aquicuana Reserve is located outside Riberalta, a relatively short deviation from the main road to Brazil. The Rserve is partically accessible by car; however most of the Reserve is difficult to access with the use of a boat/canoe. Because of its unique characteristics, wild-like vegetation, abundant fauna and excellent conditions for sport fishing, this might be one of Bolivian’s best kept-secrets.
The communities of San Jose and Warnes are located within the Reserve and offer ecotourism activities. The Ecolodge Pisatahua is an isolated retreat center located in the reserve. Pisatahua provides guided jungle tours, educational services, permaculture courses and traditional plant-medicine/meditation retreats.
A ferry that crosses the River Beni, leads guests to the Department of Pando. In this department, along the Madre de Dios (Mother of God) River, the villages of Gonzalo Moreno and las Piedras are located. These are two colorful communities where fish and seasonal fruits are abundant. In Las Piedras you can find traces of Pre-Columbian ruins. Many archeologists and scientists from throughout the world to this region to conduct studies of the ruins. The fabled civilization of Patiti is believed to be located somewhere nearby.
The historical population of Cachuela Esperanza was established by Nicolás Suárez Callaú on March 31st, 1882 during the peak of the rubber industry. Located 90 kilometers from Riberalta, the difference in the level of the Beni River makes it difficult to navigate, because of the rapids formed, which become impossible to navigate during the dry season (July to November). The river rapids are truly a spectacular sight.
While little of the city remains, remnants show a splendorous past and truly modern city, which electric energy, potable water, hospitals, theater, telegraph services and a railroad, There’s permanent ground transportation from Riberalta at a very accessible price.
Villa Bella is located 30 kilometers from Cachuela Esperanza, where the Beni and the Mamoré River come together and form the Madera River. Villa Bella was a shipment port for the rubber exportations that traveled by railroad from Cachuela Esperanza.
Yata River is located 45 kilometers from Riberalta on the Guayaramerín highway. Besides tasting the wide variety of meat dishes located in Yata, you can witness numerous bufeos (Amazonian Dolphins) in their natural environment.
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