Visiting the Amazon in Colombia
Adventure awaits in the remote Amazon Jungle! The Amazon Region is not only one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world, it is also rich in ancient wisdom and traditions maintained by the indigenous communities inhabiting the area. In Colombia, the Amazon Region is formed by the Amazonas Department in the southeast of the country, as well as the Vaupés, Caquetá, Guainía, Guaviare and Putumayo departments. These despartments share similar weather and landscapes. The large diversity of plants and animal species found in this area of the country contribute to Colombia being the most biodiverse country in the world per square meter.
Top Places to Visit in the Amazon
Leticia – The small town is the capital city of the Amazonas Department in Colombia. Daily flights connect Leticia and Bogota. Hotels, restaurants and some tourist attractions are found here.
Puerto Nariño – This quaint Amazonian village is also called "the cradle of the Amazon." It is inhabited mainly by indigenous communities. The town is a world-class model for sustainable living and proof that people and nature can peacefully co-exist.
Amacayacu National Park – This park can be reached by boat from Leticia and spans about 725,255 acres. It is home to more than 5,000 plant species and about 470 bird species. The park in prone to flooding, which could mean temporary closures.
Monkey Island – A refuge for different primates, where visitors can learn about these fascinating creatures and interact with some of the playful species.
Natutama Interpretive Centre – Learn about underwater life in this education centre located in Puerto Nariño. Visitors can see aquatic mammals, fish and listen to talks about Amazon conservation.
Top Things to Do in the Amazon
Visit Indigenous Villages – There are several indigenous tribes that live in the Amazon, including the Ticuna, Yaguas and Cocamas. Tourists can visit their villages and learn about their fascinating culture and history.
Search for Pink Dolphins – Go on a river boat tour through the Amazon to search for pink dolphins. These creatures can be spotted along with other dolphin species.
Sleep in an Eco-Lodge – Fall asleep to the sound of nature by staying in an eco-lodge in the jungle. These lodges offer various amenities, but most are very basic.
Visit Parque Santander at Dusk – Watch thousands of small, squawking parrots fly to the trees of Santander Park in Leticia to sleep. Seeing these small birds zooming through the sky will be a treat.
Jungle Hikes – Trek through the remote Amazon Jungle while learning about the indigenous people, flora and fauna specific to this region of Colombia.
Amazon Travel Information
The Amazon Jungle is a tropical rain forest, so expect heavy humidity with high temperatures around 31°C (88°F) and low temperatures around 22°C (72°F). The warmest month is usually November and the coolest month is usually July. Travellers should pack warmer clothes to sleep in between June and August. A lot of rain is also to be expected. The wettest month is January and the driest month is July. Be sure to pack an umbrella.
Freshwater fish are the main component of Amazonian cuisine. There are dozens of exceptionally tasty species of fish, including pirarucu, the largest freshwater fish, which is usually served grilled or fried. Mandioca arepas (pastries made of cassava flour) are also a basic food staple in the region. Besides fish and mandioca, other typical foods in the Amazon are the local fruits, which have unique flavour and names such as arza, caimo, copazu, umari, carambola and cayarana.
Any time of the year is a good time to visit the Amazon Region, but if you want to see a traditional festival and learn more about their traditions and culture, there are certain times to visit. The Brotherhood Festival (Festival de la Confraternidad) is held in July in Leticia. This festival brings together folklore, cuisine and the ethnic culture of Colombia, Brazil and Peru. November features the Pirarucú de Oro in Leticia, which is a folk music festival.
The easiest way to get to the Amazon in Colombia is by taking a flight from Bogota to Leticia. There are several daily arrival and departing flights. Visitors need to pay a 40,000 COP (about 10 GBP) tourist tax in cash at the Leticia airport upon arrival. It’s not recommended to get to the Amazon Region by car because of damaged or non-existent roads. Taxis can take visitors from the Leticia airport into the main part of town.
It’s highly recommended that visitors under 60 years old get a Yellow Fever shot at least two weeks before arriving to the Amazon Region. People over 60 should talk to their doctor to find out if they should get the shot. Travellers should carry proof of receiving the shot, although it’s not a requirement. It’s also recommended to take drugs to prevent Malaria, although the risk of contracting Malaria in Colombia is low.
Exploring the Amazon with Uncover Colombia: Day 1
I certainly didn’t know what to expect when my small plane headed to Leticia, Colombia landed at the most basic, no-frills airport I had ever seen. But that’s what’s to be expected when you arrive on the cusp of the Amazon...Read more
Exploring the Amazon with Uncover Colombia: Day 2
A quick breakfast of scrambled eggs, fresh fruit grown in the Amazon region, bread, Colombian coffee and juice prepped me for the day. A quick breakfast of scrambled eggs, fresh fruit grown in the Amazon region...Read more