A quick glance out of the window as the plane descends into Leticia reveals an endless stretch of towering green trees, interspersed with a powerful plunging river. Welcome to the Colombian Amazon. That river is the longest in the world, covering a whopping 6,800 kilometers and you’ve reached a part of the globe that’s home to 212 mammal species and 195 different kinds of reptile.
The Colombian Amazon represents the ultimate adventure for tourists who seek to connect with nature and discover some of Colombia’s most historic cultures.
Majestic rivers wind their way across this region like giant veins, facilitating commercial transactions and transportation to mystical places in the heart of the jungle. Whether you seek remote towns, natural reserves, wildlife parks or indigenous reservations, you’ll find everything and more in Amazonas, Colombia.
Indigenous groups bring an incomparable ethnic diversity to this world famous region. Discovering their rituals, culture and beliefs, interacting with community leaders and understanding tribes’ relationship with the natural world is a unique experience that allows visitors to evoke the authentic sabrosura of the Amazon.
This incredible habitat is home to as many species of flora and fauna as any eco-system on earth. It’s a truly fascinating place, not just for the cultural diversity of the region’s indigenous peoples but for the wildlife that grows and survives on the many shores of the Amazon River, the largest, widest and deepest in the world.
What to do in The Amazon
Amazonian wildlife puts on a spectacular show every day, starting with the pink river dolphins that populate its waters. At the point where Colombia, Peru and Brazil meet, indigenous cultures such as the Ticunas, Huitotos and Yucunas share the jungle and animals such as anteaters, cougars and deer lurk in the shadows. The medicinal plants here are part of ancient traditions and the giant trees, such as mahogany and cedars, are an awe-inspiring sight.
With more than 28 reservations, the cultural traditions of the indigenous peoples who inhabit this department are protected, honoring the history and preserving the charm of this ecological paradise.
Those who love ecological and adventure tourism are lured to the Amazon for its vast array of activities, such as tree-climbing, jungle hiking, canopying, boat trips and the chance to observe flora and fauna, and visit remote and undiscovered places.
Bird-watchers are entranced by more than 674 rare and fascinating bird species that live in the Amazon jungle. Each one decorates the skies with its plumage and brings the jungle alive with its song.
There is also the opportunity to try unusual delicacies, such as the mojojoy, fariña and freshwater fish, prepared with exotic recipes to ensure each visitor experiences a true taste of Amazonian sabrosura.
Celebrations in the Amazon are an unmissable experience. Visitors to the region enjoy the festivities for the Easter ‘Holy Week’ as well as Leticia’s birthday celebrations and the Festival of Amazonian Fellowship.
Life in the Amazon is so different to that of the rest of the world, it can sometime seem like a dream. There is a mystical quality to witnessing the world’s largest lily pad, the Victoria Regia, floating on a lake. Bird watchers travel from across the world to witness the region’s bird species in their natural habitat, in Colombia’s far south, and some visitors opt to ‘float’ from the tops of the rainforest’s highest trees.
Leticia is the capital of the Colombian Amazon. It’s a comfortable and hospitable city that, besides being a busy center of commerce, offers easy access to the dense forest and secluded sites where visitors practice adventure and eco-tourism amid the stunning Amazonian scenery.
Leticia’s tourist dock sits on the imaginary line between Colombia, Brazil and Peru, which means it’s easy to organize trips to interesting places in each of the three countries.
Visitors can purchase handicrafts produced by talented local artisans, sold on the various indigenous reservations and at local fairs. These intricate crafts are marked by their attention to detail and their designs, created with seeds, bark, feathers, hemp, fish scales and other materials gathered deep in the Amazon rainforest.
Witness the world’s biggest water lilies in the Amazon jungle and wander the streets of a village that has no cars. These are just two of the unique and interesting activities that make every trip to the south of Colombia special.
Visitors who want to test themselves have come to the right place. The Amazon is the region to climb thirty-five meter high trees, slide across a canopy for more than eighty meters, spend the night in a Ceiba tree and explore the jungle by the light of the moon. The lungs of the earth is certainly the setting for a unique adventure.
The region’s national natural parks preserve the rainforest and offer some of the best places to admire the Amazon’s flora and fauna. Cahuinari, Río Puré and Amacayacu are three of the most popular protected zones and are great places to hike jungle trails, take boat trips and go bird watching.
Monkey Island and Puerto Nariño are excellent places to visit. Monkey Island is the natural home of thousands of monkeys, and visitors to Puerto Nariño may spot pink dolphins, black alligators and the Victoria Regia in full bloom. This lily pad has been known to reach up to 1.5m in diameter, making it the largest on the planet.