After ending our Pampas tour to the Amazon in Rurrenabaque, we were left with a free day before our flight to La Paz. But what is there to do in this town? We set out to find out, and we were definitely able to entertain ourselves until our flight the following morning. Here are the best of what we found in town, including a few excursions you can take outside of town if you still feel the need to explore!
Want to have some of the best pastries we have been able to find on our entire trip, then you should make your way to Paris Panaderia. That’s right, you wouldn’t think a place this small could pull out the goods, but this bakery was such a surprise that we kept returning to try (or even just to smell!).
We would recommend trying the chocolate croissant above all others, with a close second to the savoury (carne) treats they had as well. Rach even went as far as to say that it was better than the croissants in France- a big statement!
Eat Monkey or Turtle Near the Market
If you haven’t grown too attached to the monkeys and turtles that you have seen on your Amazon tour, you can return to Rurrenabaque and eat them for dinner.
That’s right, the indigenous that live by the river in the national park are able to hunt (others are not allowed) for animals including monkey and turtle. Some of this then filters through to Rurrenabaque where come dinner time you can purchase a plate with rice for the low price of 13Bs (or $2US).
The best place to find this is across the road from the main market in town at around 6pm. If you can’t find it just ask in the market and the people should be able to point you in the right direction.
If you are not yet sick of adventure, you can make your way just slightly out of town to do some hiking. We did not feel like doing much except for relaxing, so we ended up skipping this, however there are some good trails that we heard about and thought we would pass on.
For example, you can either walk to a mirador called the cross viewpoint, the hanging bridges, or to another mirador that has a swimming pool. For directions to either pick up a map from your hostel or ask at the front desk and they should be able to help you out- they are not hard to find.
Check Out the Town
While the place may seem small, Rurrenabaque does spread further than you think. And beyond the main road and all of the tour agencies are plenty of shops and other sights to keep you occupied.
Whether you’re looking for new fake Nike shoes or just need some snacks, this town has just the place for you to find it nice and cheap. You can easily spend a morning browsing the shops and second-hand stores, or just hanging out in the main square. Whilst we were there, some traditional dancing and activities were going on which was great to see and a good source of people watching!
Swim at the Pool of Your Hostel
If you choose wisely, you never even have to leave your accommodation either before or after your tour.
There are a few hostels in town that offer a pool for you to relax by, including where we stayed- El Curichal. It is quite easy to have a completely lazy day and sit by the pool, and afterwards have a few drinks at the bar.
See the Local Market and Buy Local Produce
The local market in Rurre isn’t the biggest we have ever seen, but it definitely provides the essentials and some good bargains if you negotiate.
We went here mainly for fruit, as you won’t find much else here besides meat and vegetables. It was good to be able to support the locals, especially in this, shall we say, interesting place to visit.
See the Sunset Over the River Beni
If you are not yet sick of sunsets, you can head on down to the local river and watch the sun exit over the hills.
If the weather stays nice then you can finish off your free day with one of the best places in town to view the sunset. The river is usually only a few streets away no matter where you are in Rurre, so why not take a short walk to check it out!
That should be more than enough to fill in your free day, though of course there are always many options for bars and restaurants to pass the time, or you could just book another tour and return to the amazing Amazon! We hope you enjoy Rurrenabaque and the Amazon as much as we did!