The Jungle of Bolivia – 10 Noteworthy Lessons

You really can swing on the vines like Tarzan

Cost:$28/day plus $18 National Park admission fee

My second trip into the jungle, I chose to leave the river and get into the surrounding hills. My German friend Linda and I walked around Rurrenabaque to find a good tour and ended up going with one where the guides spoke very little English. Linda was fluent and I was getting to the point where I could comprehend a lot of what was said even if I couldn’t respond intelligently.

I loved this trip as well. It was one of the strangest and richest experiences I have had in Bolivia. By the end of it, I had gone longer without showering than I could remember but I also learned a few things.

10 Noteworthy Lessons

Basic accommodations

1. “Basic accomodations” means you sleep under a tarp. It also means your outhouse only has two walls, neither of which give you privacy from the trail.
2. In the absence of a shower, rinsing off in muddy river water feels just as good. Getting rid of the muddy residue may take days though.
3. You aren’t supposed to pee in the river because there is a spiky fish that will swim into your “hoo-ha” according to our guide.
4. Bolivians from Rurrenabaque are the happiest Bolivians I’ve met.
5. Grubs are good. They taste somewhat like scrambled eggs.
6. It’s not coffee grounds in the bottom of your coffee cup, it’s silt from the river water.
7. Muddy river water coffee won’t give you food poisoning but a salad from a reputable restaurant will.
8. When you are really hungry soup served from a plastic bucket tastes like it was made by the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld.
9. I happen to sleep really well under a tarp in the jungle.
10. You make better friends when there is no electricity.

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