1. Beni is hot, humid, and tropical and surrounded by thick rainforest. Days can be sticky and you may find yourself changing clothes more than once.
2. If you tour, lightweight comfortable shoes that can be washed and will dry quickly and easily are recommended.
3. Yellow fever shots are required for all tourists who will visit tropical areas. Due to the number of mosquitoes, Northern Bolivia is also known for malaria.
Read more on our Beni Home Page and page 2 more about Beni.
Beni Travel Info: What to take
1. Sunglasses. Recommended all day, especially if you spend time on the rivers and lagoons.
2. Sun block. Re-apply often. Purchashing a sunblock without fragrance is recommended to ensure mosquitoes are not attracted.
3. Mosquito Repellent. A must throughout Beni, more so if you take pampas or river tours or jungle treks.
4. Light clothing. The climate in Beni is warm almost throughout the year and may only get cold for a few nights in June or July.
5. Rain jacket. During the rainy season warm rains are frequent and Beni often floods. Very light rain gear is recommended as the rain rarely cools the air.
6. Shopping There are plenty of stores and several supermarkets as well as open markets in Trinidad. In Rurrenabaque there are small stores and an open market.
7. Cameras, batteries, battery chargers, cellphone charger, electric current converter and if you use a digital camera, extra memory cards. The electricity in Beni is 220V.
8. Swimsuit: Beni has more rivers, lakes and lagoons than anywhere else in Bolivia - thank goodness cuz is it ever hot there!
9. Light colored long sleeves and pants: more for warding off mosquitoes than for warding off the cold. However:
10. Jacket or sweaters. Between July and September it can get cool especially at night.
Beni Travel Info: When to go
Beni receives ample amounts of precipitation during about 9 months of the year (October through May) and especially during the summer rainy season (December through March) when Beni regularly experiences serious flooding.
Beni's capital city, Trinidad, sits at just 237 meters above sea level. In the city of Trinidad, the average temperature during the winter (June through August, also the dry season) is 68ºF (20ºC) and between 75ºF and 85ºF (24ºC and 27ºC) during the rest of the year.
However, Trinidad is located in the southern half of Beni. Rurrenabaque is frequently hotter and in cities and towns farther north (such as Guayaramerín) average temperatures can be 10-15ºF (up to 7ºC) above that. Click here to see more about the climate in Bolivia.
Beni Travel Info: Tourist Information
1. The electricity in Beni is 220V.
2. There are several banks and credit unions in Trinidad and some hotels and restaurants accept credit cards. However, having cash on hand is recommended. Here's more on Bolivian money. There is no ATM in Rurrenabaque but there is a small PRODEM coop on Avaroa street (corner of Pando street) and there are 2-3 exchange houses. Few places take credit cards except the more equipped hotels.
3. There are several VIVA, TIGO and ENTEL international calling centers with fax and internet service and internet cafés throughout the city of Trinidad and Rurrebanaque has 15 internet cafés plus numerous calling centers. Here's how to place phone calls in Bolivia.
4. Beni has a low crime rate. However, by national law you must carry your documentation at all times.
5. Most tour operators in Trinidad speak Spanish. There are one or two that have English-speaking employees. In Rurrenabaque there are several foreign-owned hotels with employees or owners that speak English, German, or French.
6. Trinidad has several clinics and hospitals, numerous doctors, dentists and opticians, and several veterinarians. However, the quality leaves something to be desired.
Clínica Santísima Trinidad - Phone: 462-1045
Hospital Trinidad - Phone: 462-0776 or 462-1810
Hospital Obrero - Phone: 462-1509
Hospital Materno Infantil - Phone: 462-1533
7. If you need to do laundry in Trinidad, contact Moxos Tours. There are a couple of dry cleaning facilities and some hotels offer laundry services, although many will do your laundry by hand and sun-dry your clothing. In Rurrenabaque there are several places that offer laundry services.
8. Rurre has a Tourist Information office that is run by the local city government on Calle Vaca Diez corner of Avaroa but it's only open in the mornings and it doesn't open on weekends. In Trinidad you can visit the Tourism Director's office in the Prefecture building on the corner of the main plaza.
Beni Travel Info: How to Get There
From Santa Cruz there are numerous major inter-departmental bus lines that run from the Terminal Bimodal to Trinidad. They leave every morning between about 10 and 12 and every evening between about 5 and 8. It's a 9 hour trip but buses are modern and comfortable. Best option is the bus-cama (bed bus) at night. The seats tilt way back for sleeping and are well worth the extra $2-3 price.
From Trinidad there are both buses and small private planes that can take you to Rurrenabaque. It's an 18 hour bus ride and goes through San Ignacio de Moxos and other small towns for about $15-20 dollars. Bus camas are also available at the Trinidad bus station for this trip. During the rainy season roads are often flooded out for weeks. You can hire a private plane for about $80 per person and get to Rurrenabaque safely in under 2 hours. To go by private plane contact Moxos Tours.
From La Paz to Rurrenabaque it's a grueling 28 hour bus ride if you go straight through. However, your best bet is to make a stop at Yolosa or Coroico and spend a day or two there at one of the Yungas region's most picturesque towns. It would almost be a sin not to. From Coroico to Rurrenabaque it's still a 14-16 hour bus ride. There are some tour groups that offer river trips from Coroico to Rurrenabaque and these take a lazy 2-3 days. Trans Totaí and Turbus Totaí bus lines have daily routes to Rurre.
You can fly to Rurrenabaque or Trinidad from La Paz or Santa Cruz on a small airline called Amaszonas for about $80 or 90 per person. It has daily flights.
From Trinidad to Magdalena: There are buses that run to Magdalena from the Trinidad bus terminal, or you can go to the Trinidad airport and take a small private plane with a company called "Itonama", Hangar B 8, for about $40 per person one way.
See our page on Bolivian Buses and Bus Stations in Bolivia for contact information.