© Facebook/Reina de Enin
© Facebook/Reina de Enin

A sailing adventure in the Bolivian Amazon rainforest

4 minutes to read

Let’s talk about Beni, one of the nine departments of Bolivia, that usually is not in the bucket list of most visitors of the country: not because it is not an amazing place, but because not many foreigners know about it. So, let me tell you something. In Beni, you can enjoy an overnight sailing adventure in the Bolivian Amazon rainforest, be awaken by a beautiful sunrise accompanied by the singing of wild birds and spend a day discovering the biggest jungle of the world.

© iStock/wrangel
© iStock/wrangel

Mamoré River and Reina de Enin

The territory of the Amazon rainforest reaches 9 out of the 14 countries of South America and has several rivers traversing it like veins over a green landscape. One of those rivers is called the Mamoré and flows across Bolivia and Brazil, with approximately four-fifths of its length in Bolivia. With an average flow of 11.649 m3/s, Mamoré River is the main route to follow in this jungle adventure, on board of a catamaran called "Reina de Enin".

Reina de Enin is the only tourist ship with cabins to spend a night, that navigates in the Bolivian Amazon waters. It has a capacity for 34 passengers, allocated in double rooms. Departing from and arriving at Port Ballivián, the tours onboard can last from 1 to 7 days, with the 3-day and 4-day options being the most recommended. Meals are very varied and flexible: passengers with any food restrictions will be served the best way.

Port Ballivián, Beni
Port Ballivián, Beni
© Facebook/Reina de Enin
© Facebook/Reina de Enin

Encounters with nature

Each day will be a new discovery! The Amazon rainforest is an art in the constant change and movement, created by the shapes and colors of nature.

Guacamayas with their bright colors and toucans with their huge beak fly freely next to other bird species that most people never saw in person. At the same time, in the land, many animal species can be observed in their natural habitat, during trekking activities in the rainforest or navigation in smaller boats in the flooded jungle (both depending on the season).

© iStock/Enjoylife2
© iStock/Enjoylife2

In the other hand, the activities in the water go from fishing to swimming with the pink river dolphins... yes, there are dolphins in the Amazon jungle! Even though pink dolphins are wild and free, some of them can be extremely friendly, coming fairly close to humans and even, sometimes, interacting with them. This dolphin species is currently in extinction danger since, sadly, they are being hunted to be exhibited in aquariums around the world, even if they are hard to train and have a very high mortality rate in captivity. That is why it is very important to observe these dolphins and any other wild animals only in their natural environment.

© iStock-Daria Zekert
© iStock-Daria Zekert

Among the things to do at night, one of the most popular activities is “caimanear”, which means making a night safari in order to look for caimans. Do not worry, they are not as dangerous as they look.

© iStock/Lisatherrien
© iStock/Lisatherrien

Cultural encounter

It is unknown, exactly, how many tribes or families inhabit the expanse Amazon since they live in fairly disperse communities, sometimes in places that are not easy to access. Some of these communities have never been in contact with people from outside of the jungle. Some others have known locations, accessible by boat, and are happy to receive visitors, who can learn, in a face-to-face contact about their way of living. Short tours can include a visit to a country village. Though, during the tours of 4 or more days, visits to more isolated native communities from the jungle can be done.

To add even more to the experience, the cultural encounter is not only with the present but also with the past, with visits to the archaeological sites, where remains of jungle tribes from the 800 B.C. are found.

Finding peace in nature

Not the whole trip will be about discovering, there will surely be some moments when you will just lay down in one of the hammocks of the catamaran's terrace and feel the surrounding nature with all your senses. You might also be spending a relaxed time at the beaches of the river in front of a bonfire. Finally, watching the sun go down in the middle of wild nature is something you will admire as well.

© iStock-SL_Photography
© iStock-SL_Photography

Nature shows its best face when it is untouched, wild and free. That is what the sailing in Reina de Enin is all about! Nature lovers, if you would like to live what you just read, go update your bucket list of places to visit in Bolivia with this exciting sailing adventure in the Amazon rainforest!


The author

Vanesa Zegada

Vanesa Zegada

I am Vanesa and I am from Bolivia. I am in love with my homeland. It never stops surprising me, even if I am a local. It is a place full of diversity, traditions, interesting spots that I want to share with you through my stories on itinari.

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