Bolivia travel blog by Mark Berman -
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The border crossing in Cobija on the northern frontier of Bolivia offers an opportunity to travel 5hrs south-west to Puerto Maldonado in Peru
via Assis (Brazilian border town) and Iñapari (Peruvian border town) (350kms) or 3hrs north-east to Rio Branco in Brazil (232kms from
Brasileia - the Brazilian border town across the river from Cobija). There is also a direct road from Cobija to Riberalta (443kms).
A Few Of Cobija's Sights
The city with a roof of palms is what Cobija is known as. I arrived by plane from La Paz
and walked from the airport to the center which is
around 4kms. Piñata Park (Parque Piñata) and the huge Three Heads monument (Tres Cabezas) are 3kms from the airport. On the opposite side of
the road from Piñata Park, adjacent to the Three Heads is a monument of a man with his plowing cows and loyal dog beside him. A few other
notable sights I found in Cobija are around the main square - Plaza German Busch with the church - Casa Parroquial Nuestra Señora del
Pilar (1930) and an old wooden pink building nearby. Opposite the church is a beautiful and huge ceramic mural by Jose Antonio Arnez Cabrera
which tells the story of the people. Not far from the plaza and church is the river and Paseo Junin (a nice walking area and passageway) to one
of Cobija's most iconic attractions, that being - The Bridge of Friendship (Puente de la Amistad) which crosses the Acre River to Brasileia in
Brazil. Up river slightly from the bridge is an army base. Cobija's Natural History Museum I haven't seen but has mainly dead animals and skeletons
on display. The annual trade fair (Feria de Muestras) runs in the 2nd half of August for around 10 days and features the arts and crafts of the
area and Pando region.
Bird-watching & Fishing
I'm sure Cobija has some amazing nature and wildlife to see out in the jungle, but as far as I could see there are no
tour offices or organised tours. Cobija does offer bird-watching opportunities and fishing in the rivers. The government office may be the place
to ask for information and about guides. Both Brazil nuts and Castaña chestnuts are processed in Cobija at the local plant, a tour here
could be interesting.
Roads To Peru & Rio Branco
Across the Acre River is the small Brazilian border town of Brasileia. The Puente de la Amistad (bridge) is not where
you get an exit stamp from Bolivia. Take a moto to the official border crossing a few kilometers away. After crossing into Brazil, take another
moto to their passport control. The road from Brasileia to Assis is around 115kms and is full of pot holes, it's a bumpy ride with many swerves.
From Iñapari on the Peruvian side, the road to Puerto Maldonado
has around 100 judder bars along it, quite extreme and this whole ride
from Brasileia to Puerto Maldonado will take up to 5hrs in a shared co-op taxi which is the standard way to do it. From Puerto Maldonado
all the way back to Brasileia, slept here, then headed to Rio Branco
, 3hrs in a shared co-op taxi and again a road full of potholes. The drivers of the co-op taxis drive extremely fast, 120kmsph.