Trinidad and southern Beni

The capital of the lowland Beni department, Trinidad, has the look and feel of Santa Cruz 40 years ago. Trinidad vies with Iquitos in Peru as the motorcycle capital of South America. The plaza resembles a race track at night. Sometimes you'll see entire families, including grandparents and distant cousins all on one small bike. In fact, the only people who walk here are the tourists. If you do manage to converse with the locals, on their way to or from their bikes, you'll find them open and friendly.

The city was founded in 1686 as one of the earliest Jesuit settlements in the region by Father Cipriano Barace, a revered missionary who was later martyred by an indigenous tribe he was attempting to convert. There are no buildings in Trinidad that remain from the missionary era. The impressive cathedral was built at the beginning of the 20th century on the site of the original Jesuit church.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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