Riberalta

Travel Guide South America Bolivia Beni Riberalta

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Introduction

Riberalta is a city in Bolivia's Beni Department.

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Sights and Activities

It's nice to have a stroll along the river, in dry season this is the closest you can get to sea beaches in Bolivia, long stretches of sandy beach with plenty of space to put up your towel.

Sometimes people play chess in the library, you can ask there if you want to have a game.

25 kilometres from Riberalta on the road towards La Paz is the community Tumichucua, which in native language means Isle of Palms. Here there’s a beautiful lake with a tropical Island in the centre.

There is an old Rubber-boom city, founded 1882, 90 kilometres from Riberalta. During the rubber- boom this was the biggest city of Beni. The travel agency offers trips here.

Las Piedras, in Gonzalo Moreno, is a small town about 5 kilometres from Riberalta on the other side of Rio Beni. You can get here by motorbike, taxi or bicycle. When you’ve crossed the river, go uphill a bit and where the road turns left there is a small path leading into the forest and to some inca ruins. They might be a little hard to spot, it is actually a fort and a wall where the river used to pass. Since the rivers are moving in the amazon, this fort was close to a rivercrossing between Rio Madre and Rio Beni. A strategical point for trading or military purposes. Not much research is done so far but an investigation was made by the university of Helsinki about 4 years ago. Archeological pieces was discovered and most of them are now in a museum in Lima while there is still a few pieces in the town of Las Piedras.

About 2 km from the ruins and the river is the town of Las Piedras. When you enter the town there is a small store at the right hand side next to the football field where you can have food (you’ll have to order in advance), play pool and also stay the night if you’d like. In the town there is also rests of a long wall built by the Incas. To see the archeological pieces, know more about the Inca ruins and the history of the Incas in the amazon, you can ask for a man named Mr Carlos Chipunano. If you speak a little Spanish, he can show you around and tell you about the facts known about the Incas around here for a tip.

If you want to go further, there is a lake about 9 kilometres from Las Piedras. In half of the way there is a resort (currently under construction) where you can have a swim, food, snacks and stay in cabins.

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Getting There

In dry season the bus from Rurrenabaque here takes about 16 hours and in wet season up to 1 week. It costs 130-140 Bolivianos. To La Paz 180 bs and around 36 hours (rough ride). To Guayara – merin it is about 3 hours. The main bus terminal is 7-10 blocks south of the center. A flight to Guayara- merin is about 15 dollars and to La Paz it costs 900 bolivianos. There are 2 companies, Amazsonas, the private one, and TAM, the military one.

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Getting Around

The taxis are all motorbikes which will charge around 3-4 bolivianos for a ride anywhere within town. You are better off with a name of the place you’re going to than an address. When you want a taxi you just have to flag down any motorbike to see if they’ll take you.

You can also rent motorcycles at the plaza principal for about $6 per day. There are some interesting villages outside of town worth visiting, though beware, most of the roads are deeply potholed and require slow speeds. If visiting the waterfront, you will most likely be stopped by the police wanting to see your papers, i.e. passport and driver's license.

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Sleep

There are numerous places to stay here, the most upmarket is Hotel Colonial. Hotel Campus is a big hotel with rooms of different prices, starting at 30 bs. They also have a pool. Smaller cheaper options are spread around town, one is Anexo Laza, close to the centre.

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Keep Connected

Internet

There are internet cafés practically everywhere, they typically cost about 3Bs/hour, or about $0.50 per hour. Wifi is not as common as in many other Latin American countries, but more and more places offer it now, either free (sometimes for a limited amount of time) or at a cost. Avoid using your cellphone (with your home SIM card) when there is no wifi, as that's extremely expensive.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to Bolivia is: 591. To make an international call from Bolivia, the code is: 0010. Emergency numbers include 110 (police), 118 (ambulance) and 119 (fire). Note that 911 forwards to the police (110).

Bolivia has three cellphone companies, Entel, Tigo, and Viva. If you are staying for a while, consider buying SIM cards for your cellphone. They are quite cheap and you get good network coverage in all main cities and towns. Entel sells good-priced international call possibilities for their SIMs. For example, you can buy 10 minutes for Bs20 (to be used in one day, disconnects automatically after expiration). You will need to register the SIM card at a local office of the telecom. You will need a photocopy of your passport and the mobile phone that you will use.

Practically every single town in Bolivia has an Entel office (almost always located in the main plaza). From here, you can make local, long-distance, and international calls. It's actually much more economical to make your international calls from an Entel office than to use an international calling card. To make local calls from a public phone, you need a phone card. You can buy them at any Entel office or any kiosk on the street. The average local call costs about Bs2 for 3 minutes.

Post

Correos Bolivia is the national postal service of the country. It offers a wide range of services at very reasonable prices. Services, speed and reliability are not up to the level it should be though and it can take several weeks for a simple card to arrive in Europe or North America. Most post offices in Bolivia are open Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 8:00pm, Saturday from 8:30am to 6:00pm, and Sunday from 9:00am to noon. It costs Bs5 to mail a letter to the United States, Bs7 to Australia, and Bs6 to Europe. From time to time, you can buy stamps at kiosks and newspaper stands. There are no public mailboxes, so you'll have to mail your letter from the post office. If you want to send packages overseas it's best to use an international courier company like DHL, TNT, FedEx or UPS, as they offer fast and reliable services at competitive prices.

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This is version 1. Last edited at 9:30 on Mar 5, 18 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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