If you find yourself wanting to go to Rurrenabaque in Bolivia, I would tell you that it is absolutely a great place to go.
Being in a small jungle town like Rurre, blew my hat off. I actually loved the place and would go back anytime.
From there you will have a wide variety of tour operators from the Pampa or Selva tours. The choice will be yours, but shop around...it can be worth it.
There is one ''but''.
How to get there? You actually have only two options:
The first one is by plane:
It's a small bush plane with seats facing each other on both sides that can only hold about 20 people at a time. The flight takes around 45 minutes and costs close to 85$. I was told that the planes feel shaky but I have not heard of any accidents lately although I might be wrong), but I know there have been a few over the years.
Also I know flights are quite often canceled or delayed because of the weather and the people either have to stay in Rurre for a day or two or take the second option and take the bus to get back to La Paz.
Your second option is by bus:
It is said the bus takes between 16 to 20 hours, where the major part is on a bumpy gravel road. I chose this option to save on costs, because the bus costs only 70 Bolivianos, which is a mere 10$ (you catch these buses in the neighborhood of Villa Fatima in La Paz). Doing so both ways was saving me close to 150$ and since I have extra time I did not mind the time it would take.
If you choose to do the same, take into consideration that buses might take longer than expected due to a whole variety of reasons (construction, accidents and weather).
In my case there was road construction, and to let you know this construction will be going on for the next few years on different parts of the road (making it wide and more safe), but not every day and not at all times. It's a gamble. I ended up sitting in the bus for 27 hours to get to Rurre because of a few long stops.
On my way back to La Paz I got lucky and it only took 19 hours. You must also keep in mind that taking the bus is best during dry season. If you plan on going while it's rainy season it could get even worse.
Another bit of advice, if you are usually scared on the road and don't like the idea of riding on the side of a 100 feet cliff, it might not be your best option.
Bolivian drivers are a bit ''loco'' at times and drive very close to the edge.
On the bright side, you get to have views of places you would have never been.
Whichever option you take I can say that Rurrenabaque is a great destination.
You will want to spend more time once you get a feel of the weather after leaving the cold nights of La Paz.
So which will it be for you, plane or bus?