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.