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Rurrenabaque is a smaller town and municipality in the North of Bolivia, on the Beni River.

It has in recent years become popular with international tourism as it is an easy gateway for visits to Madidi National Park (within the Bolivian rainforest), as well as the surrounding pampas.

Locals commonly refer to the town by its shortened nickname, "Rurre".

Rurrenabaque is in the Jose Ballivian Province of the Beni Department, Bolivia.

The Rurrenabaque municipio (Cuarta seccion de Jose Ballivian) has 14,000 inhabitants out of which 8,000 live in Rurrenabaque itself. .

Rurrenabaque is reached by bus, 410 km from La Paz (18 hours), or by airplane (1 hour).

Two airlines have flights to Rurrenabaque: Amaszonas (Linea Aerea Amaszonas) and TAM - Transporte Aereo Militar.

The bus from La Paz pass through Coroico, 70 km from La Paz.

On a part of the road from La Paz to Coroico a new highway has been opened at the end of 2006, and the old 'death road' is now only for bikers. This 'death road' is also called the Yungas Road.

Rurrenabaque is on the east bank of the Beni River. It is expected that a bridge will be built over the river to connect with the town San Buenaventura on the west bank. The coming bridge is a part of a road project that is expected to be carried out in the years from 2008. It will considerably broaden the economic relationship between the two towns, which has been traditionally stunted by limited and expensive transport by boat. Since the river simultaneously widens and shallows at the San Buenaventura section, the top current becomes much stronger than on many sections of the river. Most boats and motors capable of crossing the stretch of river represent an investment beyond the means of most individual Bolivian families, but a bridge will allow San Buenaventura to enjoy the same accessibility as that enjoyed between Rurrenabaque and the neighboring town of Reyes.

The airfield in Rurrenabaque has a grass runway, giving some problems in wet weather; it may turn into mud that the planes can't land on. The runway will be paved, the work is going on, but it isn't expected to be finished in 2007. Also, low clouds can prevent planes from landing, and the nearby mountains dont make things better.

The airlines could instead use the airport in the nearby town Reyes (32 kilometres and one hour by bus at north east), but they seldom do so. There are no mountains near Reyes, and the airport often has better weather and not so low clouds. (Reyes (Los Santos Reyes) is the capital of the Jose Ballivian Province in the Beni Department).

Rurrenabaque is a starting point for ecotourism, and some eco-lodges are found in the area. The oldest and best known - though rather pricey - is Chalalan Ecolodge in Chalalan on the Tuichi River. Another is the San Miguel del Bala Eco-Lodge on the banks of the Beni River, reached by boat 40 minutes up stream from Rurrenabaque.

Events, festivities: The 2nd of February: Fiesta de Rurre - Anniversary of Rurrenabaque - The day of La Virgen de Candelaria.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Rurrenabaque

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