Best time to travel to Bolivia

Capybara in Bolivia 2024

These large Bolivian rodents love bathing in the mud, feeding, and never stop being cute

Best time: May–October


Bolivia is home to the world's largest salt flats, snakes, and rodents. The capybara is the largest species of rodent found throughout the world, yet so cute and harmless. It seems to be whimsical and quite selective about foods: being a herbivore, it will eat some plants, but neglect others. However, it does tend to fancy fruit. This large furry rodent is notoriously messy and can usually be seen with its limbs and nose covered with mud, if not its whole body. One might find some near waters during the ​dry season from May to October. One of the greatest distribution areas is located in the Department of Beni, namely within the savanna floodplains of the Mamore and Beni Rivers.

Practical info

When is the ideal period to go to Bolivia to witness capybaras?

The best time to see capybaras in Bolivia is during the dry season between May and October. They are typically found near waters in the savanna floodplains of the Mamore and Beni Rivers in the Department of Beni. Nevertheless, capybaras can be spotted any time of the year, and their behavior is not necessarily dependent on the time of year. Show more

Apart from the Mamore and Beni Rivers savanna floodplains, where can I find capybaras in Bolivia?

Capybaras are spread out throughout Bolivia, in a variety of ecosystems, including wetlands, forests, and meadows. In the Amazon region, they are identified in river basins, whereas, in the Pampas, they are usually seen near swamps and marshes. Capybaras typically reside near freshwater spots and are most active during the dawn and dusk periods. Show more

What do capybaras eat in Bolivia?

In Bolivia, capybaras are herbivorous and eat grasses, aquatic plants, and fruits. Capybaras have a selective diet and have the ability to differentiate between toxic and non-toxic plants. They consume their own defecation, allowing them to retrieve any vital nutrients they may have missed previously. They have a unique digestive system that enables them to digest tough grasses that other herbivores have difficulty digesting. Show more

What is the significance of capybaras in Bolivian culture?

Capybaras are not particularly significant in Bolivian culture, unlike the llama or the alpaca. They are utilized for their meat and leather, and their habitat is jeopardized by human activity and deforestation. However, with the increase of ecotourism, the charm of capybaras attracts more visitors, and Bolivians are beginning to recognize the value of this exceptional species. Show more

What are some unique behaviors of capybaras that tourists can observe in Bolivia?

Capybaras are social creatures, frequently found in groups of 10-20 individuals. They are semi-aquatic and enjoy swimming, wading, and bathing in water bodies. They also possess a unique bark that they use to interact with others in their group. Since they have no known predators, and are not easily afraid of humans, capybaras can be easily seen and photographed. However, it is crucial to maintain a safe distance and respect their space. Show more

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Authors: Olha Savych