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Altitude: 155 m

Population: 94,500

Trinidadeños know how to enjoy the year-round balmy sunshine, and it involves whizzing around the tropical plaza and wide streets on the back of a motorbike. From a street side cafe, you could be forgiven for thinking you’re watching some kind of motorcycle regatta, as every possible type of motor and quad bike whizzes by you, doing the city circuit.

Motorbikes aside, Trinidad has a welcoming, laidback vibe and daily life revolves around watching sloths in the central plaza, or sampling local ice-cream in one of the many street side stores. Trinidad’s city metropolis is surrounded by rivers, tropical forest and the vast, flat pampas –where the area’s main activity, cattle ranching, takes place.

Often overshadowed as a tourist destination by its Amazonian neighbor, Rurrenabaque, you’ll be getting off the gringo trail if you choose to explore the Amazon from Trini, and it’s also the hop off destination for river trips up into the depths of the tropical forest. Situated 550 kilometers northwest of Santa Cruz on a paved road, Trinidad is the capital of the department of Beni, and de-facto capital of the Bolivian Amazon.

Founded as a Jesuit mission in 1686 under the name Santísima Trinidad, it was the second mission to be founded in the Moxos region, which is now part of the department of Beni. Its original position on the shores of the Río Mamoré proved too precarious, and it was moved to its current location in 1769, two years after the Jesuits were ejected from the region. The 19th century brought wealth and prosperity to the region, firstly from the quina shrub, the base product of the malaria treatment Quinine, and then from rubber, championed mainly by the infamous Suárez family (see Guayaramerín for more details).

The city is divided in two by the Arroyo de San Juan, an old river which used to host large boats to and from the Río Ibare during the rubber boom. Today, the stream has been filled with lilies to prevent flooding, and there a few green parks dotted along its edges. The arroyo is also home to a number of capybara, the world’s largest rodent. You can often find them wallowing in the mud among the lily plants.

Trini’s highlights revolve around its position in the heart of the Amazon. The Río Ibare is just a eight kilometers from town, and is the place to go for river trips, swimming in custom made pools on the riverbanks, fishing, walking or just relaxing. The Río Mamoré, the biggest river in Bolivia, is also easily accessible from town, and is your ticket to pink river dolphins, abundant wildlife and huge sandy beaches. Choose to cruise the rivers on the Reina de Enín, mixing comfort with the Amazon jungle, or choose a more rustic trip up to the Brazilian border.

The private reserve at Chuchini, 15 kilometers from town, gives you the chance to experience Amazon fauna and flora within half an hour drive from town. Find out about the fascinating Moxos culture at the Museo Etno-Arqueológico del Beni ‘Kenneth Lee’ and see the wealth of aquatic life that lives in the rivers around Trinidad at the Museo Ictícola del Beni.

Fish is an obvious specialty, head to one of the restaurants by the river or any one of the specialty fish restaurants in town. With cattle ranches on the town’s doorstep, prime steak is fresh and succulent. There are a number of good restaurants on and around the main plaza, but many of the more specialized restaurants can be found to the south of the city centre, on the other side of the arroyo.

Trinidad has a full range of hotels, most of which can be found in the city centre. There are also a number of accommodation options out of town, if you want to be out in the campo.


Other places nearby Trinidad: San Ignacio de Moxos, The Southwest, Salt Flats and Wine Regions, Riberalta, San Borja, Rurrenabaque, Magdalena, Chiquitos, Santa Ana del Yacuma , Parque Nacional Noel Kempff Mercado and Parque Nacional Madidi.

09 Nov 2009

Things to do in Trinidad

Museo Etno-Arqueológico del Beni ‘Kenneth Lee’

If you’re interested in learning more about the hydraulic cultures of the Moxos, then the Museo Etno-Arqueológico del Beni ‘Kenneth Lee’ is the place to come. The museum exhibits ...
Trinidad, Bolivia

Museo Ictícola del Beni

One of South America’s most important aquatic life museums can be found on the outskirts of Trinidad, at the Museo Ictícola del Beni. Based on the grounds of the Universidad Técnica del Beni, the ...
Trinidad, Bolivia

Trinidad Nightlife

Trinidad isn’t exactly teeming with entertainment options, but there are a few places to go out and enjoy yourself. You can catch a movie at the Cine Tropical (Calle Joaquín de Sierra between the ...
Trinidad, Bolivia
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