Crossing Pando Department overland

by Jorge Sanchez - 1 year, 1 month ago


I reached Rurrenabaque after a most exciting bus journey from La Paz crossing the sinister Camino de la Muerte (the Road of Death), also known as Yungas Road.

In the evening of the next day I boarded another bus in Rurrenabaque (Beni department), in order to save money paying a hotel, and headed to the border with Brazil, to Pando department, to the town of Cobija, at the border with Acre state (Brazil), a journey that would take me several days and nights sleeping in the nature because most of the rivers, like the Rio Beni and the Rio Madre de Dios, do not have bridges and we, all the passengers, had to wait a long time for a barge, or raft, to cross to the other side of the river. 

I thought that after having crossed the Road of Death, from La Paz to Rurrenabaque, the most difficult part of my journey to the Department of Pando was already a matter of the past, but today I can assure that the road from Rurrenabaque to Cobija, in Pando, was still more hazardous and much harder. I was advised to take the vaccination against yellow fever if I wanted to be accepted as a tourist into Brazil dangerous areas, such as Amazonas and Acre. In Cobija I paid 80 bolivianos for such document.

We made many stops to eat. Fish was delicious and also the meat of Jochi, known abroad as paca (lowland paca), an animal that is protected in Brazil.

Once in Cobija (Pando capital) I traveled to the border with Acre, in Brazil. The bridge over the river Acre marks the border between the two countries. On the right you are in Bolivia, on the left you are in Brazil. There is no control, people can cross the bridge without passport or visa, or immigration officers.


I was so anxious to get into Brazil that I prefered to sleep in the first brazilian village (Brasileia) than in Cobija. But the next day I had to go back to Cobija in order to get an exit stamp from Bolivia in my passport. Now I had before me eleven more days of adventure traveling by boats and sleeping in hammocks along the rivers Madeira and Amazon, until finally I arrived to Belem, in Para state (Brazil).

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