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Spotting river dolphins in Bolivia

The bufeo (river dolphin) is a creature of myth, but you’re pretty much guaranteed a sighting on a river cruise in Bolivia’s north-eastern wetlands on the edge of the Amazon basin

It’s late afternoon and the sultry heat of the day is beginning to diminish. Young people circle the plaza on scooters, eyeing each other up as they cross paths. Oblivious to the sexual tension, a sloth – the most leisurely of tropical creatures – surveys the scene from a tree in the middle of the square while chewing slowly on a leaf.

Trinidad, in Bolivia’s north-eastern lowlands, not far from the border with Brazil, feels a million miles away from the Andean culture that dominates the South American country’s politics and culture. Capital of the province of Beni, Trinidad sits on the banks of the Marmoré, in an area of vast wetlands, jungles and rivers that flow into the Amazon further north. And the star resident of these waters is the bufeo, a beautiful pinky-grey river dolphin.

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May bank holiday weekend: family days out and activities in the UK

Brilliant family days out for the bank holiday weekend, from seaside fun and wildlife encounters to the best theme parks and free museums

Discover somewhere new on Britain’s coast this bank holiday. Daniel Start, author of Hidden Beaches, reveals some of Britain’s lesser-known coastal spots for family fun, with little coves, cool plunge pools and beach cafes. Plus we’ve got the inside word on seaside holidays in East Sussex, Kent, Devon, Cornwall, Northumberland and Wales, with locals’ tips to the best beaches, fish and chips, activities to try and more.

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