Most people know about the country’s Andean bowler hats and llamas but a third of Bolivia lies within the Amazon basin, albeit 1,000km from the river itself. Cut off from the highlands for centuries the frontier-feel settlements, savannah, swamps and rainforest have more in common physically and culturally with its neighbour, Brazil. Remote, scarcely populated and rarely visited it’s a region for real adventurers with some of the most bio-diverse rainforest on the planet.
It’s little known that the region has been the theatre for huge chapters of human drama, the vestiges of which remain. Wild tribes – fabled to have founded a sophisticated civilisation - repelled the conquistadores only to be subdued by Jesuit missionaries; later the rubber boom brought immense riches and sophisticated towns. Nowadays abandoned missions, railways, mansions and mills lie alongside vast cattle ranches; the cocaine business brought new prosperity for a few and now eco-tourism has spurred a revival.