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Introduction

Beni, in the northeastern Amazonian side of Bolivia, is one of the 9 departments in the country and covers over 200,000 square kilometres. It is not one of the most popular areas regarding tourism, despite of the enormous potential of attractions there. It is relatively undeveloped and unpromoted. Still, Beni has tons of places to show, inviting mostly to adventure and ethnographical experiences.

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Geography

Beni borders upon Brazil to the northeast, and the departments of Santa Cruz to the southeast, La Paz to the west, Pando to the northwest, and Cochabamba to the south. Beni's territory is mainly covered by rainforest (particularly the northern and eastern portions of the department) and pampa (notably the grassland Moxos Plain to the south, closer to the Andean reaches). Much of Beni is at about 155 metres above sea level. Although most of the department is flat, along the border with La Paz there are two sierra chains called Eva Eva and Pelado. Beni is criss-crossed by numerous Rivers, all of which are Amazon tributaries. The largest of these are the Iténez (also known as Guaporé), Mamoré, Madre de Dios, Madera, Yata, Ivón, Machupo, Itonama, Baures, San Martín, San Miguel, San Simón, Negro, Sécure, Yacuma, Maniquí, Ibare and Apere, all of which are navigable. Beni also has numerous lakes and lagoons. The most important of these are: Laguna Suárez, Rogagua, Rogaguado, San Luis, San Pablo, Huachi, Huatunas, Yusala, Huachuna, Agua Clara, Ginebra, La Dichosa, Bolivia, Navidad, Las Abras, Larga, Maracaibo and Aquiles Lake.

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Cities

  • Trinidad - The capital of Beni, also called the "Jewel of the Amazon". It is a very eye-catching town that is slowly but steadily becoming a city.
  • Riberalta - An interesting town with a serious frontier-like feeling, set in the northern Bolivian jungle.
  • Rurrenabaque - A popular base for jungle and pampa trips.

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Sights and Activities

  • Plaza Mariscal José Ballivián in Trinidad
  • Beni Biological Station Biosphere Reserve
  • Chuchini Ecolodge y Wildlife Reserve (14 kilometres to the north of Trinidad).

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Weather

Beni is hot and humid during most of the year with an annual rainfall average between 1,000-4,000 mm. It is one of the wettest regions in Bolivia, with more wetlands than the better-known Pantanal. During the winter (June and July) the weather can be cool and winds blowing northward from the South Pole and Argentina's Patagonia region can cause temperatures to drop quite drastically very quickly.

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Eat

  • Keperi - Tasty piece of cooked meat. It is very tender and it is served with rice and cheese, fried yuca and cold beer. All meat dishes are usually big servings.
  • Piranha - The rivers are full of fish and piranha is a delicious treat.
  • Snake - As expected in places near a jungle, the Amazon cuisine includes species that are uncommon in other parts of the world. Those who try it ask for second servings.

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This is version 3. Last edited at 9:27 on Mar 5, 18 by Utrecht. 4 articles link to this page.

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