For our last weekend trip, our group split in half (about 7 people each) for two very different destinations. One group decided to go to Salar de Uyuni (Salt Flats) and the other opted for the Bolivian Amazons. I was one who decided on the latter for multiple reasons. First off both options offered completely different weathers: Salar would be somewhere below 0 while the Amazons would be very humid and in the high 80s which was much hotter than La Paz at the time. Not only do I prefer heat over cold in general (must be my cali ways) but I was also very sick at the time so a humid environment would be perfect for eliminating my cough sometime soon. Another reason for my choice was simply that the Amazons sounded like a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’ve never been much of an animal lover in general however once I heard the story of my mother’s upbringing in the celvas (jungle) of Peru, its been something on my bucket list. I was then even more sold on the idea when I heard of the agendas for both trips. For the Salt flats, it consisted of staying in a hotel made of salt, going in a 4×4 to see the various sites however the national park would most likely be closed due to weather and thermals were not an option. While the Amazons offered piranha fishing, anaconda hunting, and pink river dolphin swimming. It was without a doubt I would pick the latter. It was settled that we would head out early Friday morning at 9 am. From Bolivia, one can only make it to Rurrenabaque via plane so we made it to the airport at 7 am.
Unfortunately, when it was time for the 9 am flight, and we saw the dreaded RETRASADO (delayed.) We all checked the weather on our phones and saw that there was a storm currently in Rurrenabaque that didn’t seem to lighten up anytime soon. For the time being, many of us tried to get food or nap until our flight was ready to leave. We would constantly be ready to hear the news every hour and luckily at 11 we were ready to board!
To our dismay, the plane did a small circle outside of La Paz since the pilot realized he could not make it through the storm as he originally believed. We were pretty bummed at this point, but we were still determined to make it a great weekend in las pampas. Another hour passed after another until we finally saw our flight was ready to depart at 1 pm! We all knocked on wood and crossed our fingers and we were off for the second time.
The sight from the plane, although a short one, was absolutely gorgeous and breathtaking!
The reality of the Amazons didn’t set in until we reached the “airport.”
The plane landed in the middle of jungle. I mean its obvious now that’s what I should’ve expected however at the time I thought it was going to be much more tourist friendly but it was definitely jungle as promised. We were greeted with a van that would take us to our destination. Little did we know that this was a 3 hour ride on a dirt unpaved road.
That included a couple of road blocks on the way…
After the 3 hours and pit stop for lunch, we finally reached our destination, the Pampas. As we got out of the 4×4 we saw these canoes that I was surprised to hear we would be boarding for another 3 hours in a somewhat tiny canoe…
Nevertheless, it was amazing to be in the tropical environment of the Amazons where wildlife and nature was very much alive and present! For the next three hours we were at the ease and company of the river, the humidity of the Amazons, and the fellow animals who habited the Pampas.