River Yacuma
River Yacuma
4.5
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles179 reviews
Excellent
116
Very good
39
Average
13
Poor
6
Terrible
5

Anna S
8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
We had the most wonderful trip with Juan Carlos during our 3 day 2 night Pampas tour! I would highly recommend the experience, it was filled with so many amazing sights like a stunning sunrise and sunset, so much incredible wildlife and impressive feats of nature. Juan Carlos was such an expert on the area, it seemed like he could just sense where all the wildlife was hiding and had so much great information to share.
He was so kind and funny too, and really made an effort to get to know us which we all appreciated. The accommodation was very comfortable and the food throughout the trip was exceptional, a chef comes with you for your journey. Finally, it was very easy to organize the trip as the JaguarSirius team is very responsive and proactive. I really cannot recommend Juan Carlos and JaguarSirius enough!
Written February 28, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Diego C
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022 • Friends
Amazing 5 days tour in the jungle with the best possible guide: Severo. We were lucky to have the most delicious food cooked by Mercedes, an amazing woman. This duo of true and joyful people always laughing and smiling made this semi-survival experience unforgettable.
Written June 12, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

NilangaFernando
Cusco, Peru2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Myself and my wife were undecided between a jungle or pampas tour, but after much thought we opted for a richer experience as a whole in the jungle. We shopped around for ages but were convinced we should not pay bottom dollar for various reasons - mainly to do with concerns around malpractice in Madidi and the treatment of the staff (and their pay).

We went with Mashaquipe in the end - THIS WAS AN AMAZING DECISION. They have virtually no online presence and no marketing...

Our tour was three days but we wanted it to go on for longer (and it could have except for our return flight and other commitments). Our Guide (Alcide) and chef (Santos) advised us that one night in the middle of the jungle camping (not in the very clean, comfortable lodge Mashaquipe runs) would be a good thing to do, so we trusted them and off we went, along with another guy in our group. The group was only 3 tourists - which was remarkable as they would even have left with 2 - another positive of the company we chose.

The guide was immense, he knew so so much and we totally trusted him in the jungle, we learnt a huge amount from him about the indigenous peoples´ way of life in the jungle, and it was great to be with someone who spent their whole life walking and coexisting with the jungle. The food was brilliant too, by far the best we´ve had in Bolivia (which I know is not saying a huge amout but really it was great), and the jungle experience probably the most interesting thing we´ve done in SA.

If you are doing a jungle or pampas tour I cannot recommend Mashaquipe highly enough, their lodge is clean, well run and very comfortable, their guides and staff are so friendly, helpful and importantly happy to be there, but most importantly they ACTUALLY practice responsible eco-tourism and their profits are shared between the staff fairly - hence they have a small unit of very happy workers. We were sad to leave...
Written October 23, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Constantinejack
11 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2012 • Couples
OK guys - we have written this as four travellers the day after a Pampas tour with Dolphins Tours. May we say firstly that this is less a critique of Dolphin Tours and more to do with the general state of the Pampas tours of Rurrenabaque.
Firstly we were alarmed by the lack of safety and security advice about staying in the Pampas and Amazonia. At no point were we briefed about our conduct with the animals and a good example of this was when we swam with the pink dolphins, where we observed travellers from Fluvial Tours putting their hands over the dolphins' blowholes: the equivalent of suffocating them. At no point did their guide intervene, merely watching them do it.
In addition our friends at Fluvial had told us that they were allowed to feed the Squirrel monkeys (thus de-skillling the monkeys in foraging and hunting) and that they were also permitted to smash a wasps' nest with a stick – both of these incidents were started and encouraged by the guide. Abhorrent. The guides must take control and set the standard of behaviour.
At Dolphin, we were never given a schedule or for that fact, told about what we would need in terms of attire and equipment - at one point we were told we were going to see the sunset... we ended up at a bar and football game (which was great) but had no money as the guide did not tell us to bring cash - a silly oversight, which we remedied by a bar tab.
Most alarmingly, on the day that we were looking for the Anaconda snake, we found ourselves being left alone on a small island: the guide simply told us to look for it ourselves as he walked off a did something else. As you can imagine we were concerned that we had no experience of snakes and other fauna and flora of the jungle. Ridiculous and dangerous and most frightening when you are shouting at the top of your voice for a guide who does not show up until an hour later. This is totally unacceptable as the welfare of the tourists should be firmly at the centre of the guide and the company he represents.
There seems to be little or no regulation of the tours and their standards. The welfare of both the tourists and animals is totally disregarded by these companies whose guides appear to be freelance (certainly at Dolphins Tours) as so the quality is not consistent. We also suspected by the poor quality of the driving (crashing into bird nests, churning up fresh fauna and taking unnecessary shortcuts) that our driver may have still been a little intoxicated from the night before.
We urge each traveller to take the lead and demand the highest possible standards on their tours, especially when it comes to the safety and welfare of animals and each other. We are in a position of strength to use our buying power to negotiate the standards that this incredible area deserves and not allow these companies to destroy and harm the creature and their habitat. I am sure there are some responsible companies here but Fluvial are a Lonely Planet recommendation and I am sure they would retract this, were they to see what we saw.
The nature deserves to better. Please guys read this and take control.

PS – this was written by 4 people who are laid back and relaxed about most things; mosquito bites, bed-bugs and uninteresting food are not things that get us upset about tours: it happens – we do however draw the line at personal safety and animal/habitat welfare, as we believe travellers have a tremendous responsibility to have as little an impact on the environment as possible. The pampas are gorgeous and a once in a lifetime opportunity (for many) but the tour ethos here deserves only 1 star. We welcome other travellers' insights into what they saw not just on their tour but in general.
Written January 26, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

shaz_jhb
johannesburg4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2011
We booked our Pampas tour in La Paz with Indigena Tours, and it was fantastic! Our guide, Victor, was absolutely excellent, with extensive knowledge on every sighting and every question we asked, and he spoke near-perfect English. He was really friendly and caring towards us, which made this trip very easy. He was also very ecologically aware, warning us not to handle any wildlife.

The trip from Rurrenabaque is pretty rough, but once we got onto our boat, it was an afternoon of sheer indulgence, relaxing in the sun and spotting bird and animal life. We didn't manage to find an anaconda, but we did see everything else, including macaws, capybaras, caimans and, of course, swimming with pink dolphins!

The food was much better than we expected, including fresh fruit and a good selection for the vegetarians amongst us. The lodgings were basic but more than sufficient, and we especially enjoyed the hammock room!

Although it was not rainy or very hot, there were TONS of mosquitoes in the evenings -- take plenty of insect repellent and, if at all possible, white clothes. If you don't have white, just avoid black, which really attracts them.

All in all, this was a fantastic trip and is highly recommended!
Written June 9, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

peterjubatus
Cusco, Peru2 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
I did this trip just over a week ago, and was keen to find a tour that didn't just claim to be responsible, but actually acted that way. After seeking advice we (my girlfriend and I) chose Dolphin's Tours.

The trip starts after a bone rattling three hour drive from Rurr to the river, and almost all the companies we saw used substandard vehicles (our tires were balder than Kojak, leading to a blowout and a spare put on that was already peeling). At the river bank though we met our guide, Eric, and immediately knew we had made a good choice. He wears a perpetual smile, but is not just about jokes. He let all the other groups move ahead of us, explaining that they often make noise so by going slowly and quietly we could see more. As an ex-safari guide I was thrilled with this approach.

What was not thrilling was when we spotted another boat ahead of us, operated by Flecha Tours. The group was singing loudly, then one of the customers grabbed some branches and started throwing sticks at the caiman (a type of alligator) on the banks. That his group didn't tell him to stop speaks poorly of them, but that the guide didn't prevent him doing it is appalling. To make it worse the guide even pulled over so he could get more sticks, which he started throwing at birds. Birds' bones are light and fragile, and even the smallest blow could have been a death sentence. This was some of the worst behaviour I have seen in any reserve or national park anywhere in the world.

The same guide was seen the next day catching an anaconda and letting his tourists handle it, even draping it over their necks. Nice for photos, sure, but snakes are just as capable of stress as we are, and the Deet (insect repellent) that is necessary to endure the jungle can permeate their skins and kill them. I don't know if this is typical of all Flecha guides but if Bolivia wants to sustain their tourism industry this behaviour needs weeding out.

On a positive, we saw many capybara, countless birds, four species of monkey, river dolphins, piranhas, agouti and had many highlights. I would recommend Dolphin's Tours for your Pampas Tour.

Peter Allison
Author
Whatever You Do, Don't Run
Don't Look Behind You
Written May 30, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

houtvangreetje
Oss4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2012 • Couples
It is very difficult to try to find a responsible and eco-friendly tour organization in Rurrenabaque. The story they told us at the agency came true!

The trip with Dolphin tours was good because:
*A good guide, new al the names of animals in English and explained why it is not good to feed the animals and why not to use sunscreen and deet before swimming with the dolphins.
*Food was very good and sufficient.
*Enough drinkingwater.
*Lodge is nice located in a quiet area. On your trip you don’t see many other boats of different companies.
*The bar of the lodge is also a viewpoint for good sunset.

BUT.....:

The official minimum price by law in Rurre for jungle or pampas a 3 day tour is 900 Bs. The companies that offer the trip for less are mostly the irresponsible and un-ecofriendly ones!

You can go with companies like Flecha tours, Fluvial tours for as less as 600 Bs (sometimes even cheaper from La Paz) but they are not ecofriendly, and touch and feed animals (cause death and illness because of deet and sunscreen). These companies are popular with Israelis.

Also when companies are not fully booked you can end up with another company (so not the story where you paid for). So ask this before booking. At the time we were there people from Donato tours, Indigenous tours, Incaland tours and Fluvial were put at another tour than what they booked.
Written June 15, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Joliday
Birmingham, UK148 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I was anxious after reading lots of reviews, about choosing a good tour operator who respected the environment. I was pleased with Bala Tours. We bought a 2 night 3 day tour through Kanoo Tours in La Paz. Kanoo also booked our flights to Rurrenabaque. Due to the local elections, we were given an extra night free in the pampas by Bala Tours which was nice!

Our tour guide was great, very knowledgeable and friendly. His English was very good.

There was only one other person on our tour so we received a personalised service.

The lodge in the pampas was good. Simple, wooden construction with screened windows for mozzies. We had a private double, no bathroom. The shared bathroom was close by and was clean. Showers were cold but this is welcome in the heat and humidity of the pampas. There were frogs in the bathroom and lots of bats inside and out (sleeping lodge too) although they don't come anywhere near you, and this is the pampas!

There were no mozzies as it was dry season and we had no problems with any other bugs. A mozzie net covered the bed anyway. Towels and soap was provided.

Food was good, varied and plentiful, however I got sick and believe it was something I ate. However, I think this can happen anywhere, it's just your luck! No one else was sick while we were at the lodge (there were other people on tours with Bala, who had separate guides).

The staff were very good when I was ill and our guide waited and rearranged our days to accommodate me until I was better.

We saw so many animals,including Caimen, lots of different minkeys and Pink Dolphins. Brilliant!

I would recommend Bala Tours to anyone. I'm also really glad we chose the Pampas over the Jungle as you see more animals.
Written October 27, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Simon M
Berlin, Germany1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2015 • Couples
i write this review very late and feeling sorry to that...me and my girlfriend chrissi were taking a 3 days semi-survival jungle tour with JOSE and it was one of the best tours we ever did. weve been in rurrenabaque at the end of may/beginnng of june.2015. i don´t want to say too much cause i will destroy the positive surprise for everyone. i just can say that JOSE told and teached us a lot about the animals and the plants of the jungle and now as we are back in germany think a lot about the good times we had there. you will go fishing, see different animals, eat good food(even if its semi-survival....).we have been in a 4 people group + JOSE and so it was very ersonal. you can sk every question you want to ask and you will get an asnwer....damn i wann go back and doin some full- survivor tour one day!!!hpefully it will happen sooner or later.also the company escorpion tours are very nice and the helpful, theres really nothing bad to say. we also took the pampas tour and were totally satisfied with it (but with another guide, but also pretty pretty cool!)
anyway now its summer in germany(cold and a lot of rain) and we stil think bout the good times and experiences we had with this company!
anyway got there and make the experience!
Jose, if you read this, thanx man !!!
hasta luego (2018?!?)
SIMON and CHRISTIANE
(unfortunately i dont have a picture on my computer at the moment, sorry!)
Written July 28, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Negar F
10 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2013
My husband and I booked our Pampas tour with Jaguar tour company (which is part of Flecha tour company). They offered us a cheap deal (500 Bolivianos for 3 days & 2 nights) and they also said that their guides were experienced & respected the environment.

Negatives:
- On the 1st day on the boat, the guide decided to feed some Monkeys. The monkeys came into the boat and were fed bananas. One of the park rules was that no animal should be handled or fed. This rules was again broken when the he picked up a baby alligator and brought it into the boat to show us. He also tried to catch an anaconda but once we protested he decided against it.
- another park rule is that routes should not be created in the park. Our guide decided to take us on an 'off the trail' walk and proceeded to cut down shrubs, plants, etc... It was shocking how little respect he had for the pampas.
- finally the double rooms were in extremely bad condition. There was mosquito blood all over the net and the sheets were not clean. We moved room on the second night and slept in the dorm as there were less Mosquitos and a better mosquito net. The Toilets were horrific!

Positives:
- food was good.
- we loved being on the boat and watching the beautiful scenery and animals.
- the guide had a great ability to spot birds/ animals which he then showed us.

All in all it was a great trip but the Flecha/ Jaguar company need to be investigated as they are not behaving in accordance with the park rules. Avoid this company at all costs!
Written April 28, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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