“The Amazon forest: The tropical jungle of the Americas”
The Amazon rainforest is the most complex biome on the planet and hosts more than half of the existing flora and fauna on Earth. It extends over nine countries, among them Colombia, which owns 6.7% of the total area, which corresponds to 477,274 square kilometers.
The Amazon region of Colombia has mighty rivers, some of white and others of black water, form impressive rapids and gigantic lagoons. The diversity of environments and climatic conditions that occur in the largest river basin in the world generates seasons of flood and drought that allow the existence of an unexplored biodiversity that hosts thousands of species yet to be discovered.
When traveling in Colombia in the Amazon region, you will find several ecosystems as find terra-firme equatorial humid forest (64.9%), flood forests (12%), Amazonian savannahs (3.4%), Guyanese shield formations such as tepuyes (15 %), the transition forests towards the Orinoquia, and the Andean mountain environments such as páramos and cloud forests (4.7%).
The Andean part of the Colombian Amazon corresponds to the Colombian massif in the departments of Nariño and Putumayo. The department of Caquetá is completely Amazonian, presenting a mountainous area, foothills, Amazonian flatlands and extensive Amazonian plains that house the large complexes of mesas and mountain ranges from the Guayanés Massif, such as Serranía del Chiribiquete.
The south of the department of Meta is a place of confluence of flora and fauna of the tropical humid forest of the Amazon, of the Andes and of the Orinoco. Beautiful destinations Caño Cristales and Sierra de la Macarena are situated in this region.
The departments of Guaviare and Guainía have transition zones between the Orinoquia and the Amazon with the influence of the Guayanés shield and a dense cover of humid forest. This place is the gateway to the jungle!
Finally, Vaupés and Amazonas have rivers of impressive flows and the best-preserved Amazonian biome in Colombia due to their high isolation and difficult access.
Transport inside the region is complicated. It is made principally by aquatic or aerial way. The principal airports are placed in the main capitals of this region as well as river ports.
- Leticia: National Airport Vásquez Cobo.
- Florencia: National Airport Gustavo Artunduaga.
- Puerto Asís: National Airport Tres de Mayo.
- Puerto Inírida: National Airport Puerto Inírida.
- Mitú: National Airport Néstor Villarreal.
Bird fairs and festivals
- Amacayacu National Natural Park.
It is the first protected area created in the Colombian Amazon region and the only area in the system of parks that conserves flooded forest of the Amazon River. It is possible to stay overnight in the jungle.
Canoeing through the Amacayacu river in the Matamata stream.
Dolphin and aquatic fauna watching.
Hiking to the chagras, the indigenous polyculture plots.
Jungle trails through the flooded forest and terra firme forest to see native flora, insects, birds, and mammals like monkeys, tapir, deer, jaguar and agouti, among others.
- Ecologic Park Mundo Amazónico.
Close to Leticia it is the perfect place to learn about: Amazonian plants, traditional and medicinal uses, biodiversity of the Amazon, traditional knowledge about the use of native plants, communitarian tourism and much more.
- Tanimboca Natural Reserve.
The Tanimboca Nature Reserve is an area of protected forest, managed to maintain the conservation and protection of the flora and fauna of the Amazon. You can do activities like:
Deep jungle expeditions guided by local indigenous people.
- Amazonas River
Isla de los Micos
Here you can find rivers of crystalline and pure water and big wetlands that are refuge for the Amazonian avifauna. Main activities:
- Birdwatching in Caquetá around the city of Florencia and nearby regions such as Piedmont (bota caucana), El Caguán, among others.
- Travel adventures in nature.
- Los cerros de Mavecure
The best-known attractions of the department can be reached in three hours by speedboat from Puerto Inírida, going up the Inírida River. There you will find 3 imposing hills called El Pajarito, El Mono and Mavecure. The latter can be easily climbed and from its 100 meters high peak it dominates all the surrounding forest and offers a great view over the snake-like river.
- La Bruja Lagoon
Situated 10 minutes by boat from Puerto Inírida, you will feel overwhelmed by the beauty of the surrounding forest when the canoe is slowly heading for the sunset.
- Caño Bocón
It is the paradise of fishing. Bocón is one of the main tributaries to the Inírida River. It is bordered by jungle. You get to a beautiful waterfall of about 10 meters. The fishing is fast and abundant: Peacocks, Payaras, Catfish, Palometas, Bocones, Morocotos, etc.
- Viejita Lagoon
Another paradise for fishing in Colombia. Downstream from Puerto Inírida, where the river delivers its waters to the Guaviare. After two hours of navigation towards the east, you can leave the river and walk around 15 minutes through the jungle until you reach the Viejita lagoon.
- Estrella fluvial del Sur
This is a must see in Colombia. Estrella fluvial del Sur is really something special. In the fluvial star three rivers converge: the Guaviare, the Atabapo and the Inírida. Upon merging they give origin to the great Orinoco River, one of the longest in the south American continent and one of the top five largest rivers in the world. Estrella fluvial del Sur, with its many rivers and lagoons, has been declared as a Ramsar Territory, giving it recognition as a wetland of international importance, whose ecological and social value transcends the borders of a single country and benefits humanity.
The department of Guaviare is in a transitional zone between the plains of the Orinoquia and the jungles of the Amazon, with presence of rocky outcrops, remnants of the Guyanese Shield.
- Pink dolphin watching
- Trekking to Serranía de La Lindosa, with around 300 bird species or Caño Lajas, which is similar to Caño Cristales or the rocy outcrop Puerta de Orión and the cerro Azul region where it is possible to find rock paintings.
- Hornoyaco waterfall
With an approximate height of 55 meters it located east of Mocoa in the Serranía del Churumbelo. Hornoyaco is a beautiful large volume waterfall that forms a deep cooling lake.
- Fin del Mundo waterfall
The main waterfall has an approximate height of 75 meters. There are also several smaller waterfalls and places to swim before the Fin del Mundo waterfall. You can enjoy crystal-clear water in the main pool.
- God’s eye waterfall
This unique waterfall is flowing and falling through a hole in the middle of a rock. Its height is approximately 35 meters.
- Mandiyaco canyon
Located at the northwest of Mocoa on the road to Pitalito, Huila (km20), the river forms the natural border between the departments of Putumayo and Cauca. The narrow canyon features unusual rock formations that reflect the turbulent waters that created them. You will find carving rock pools, surreal shapes, natural bridges and labyrinthine tunnels. The Mandiyaco River passes along the Serranía del Churumbelo.
- Paway Natural Reserve
Paway means in inga language “to fly”. It is a natural reserve that is dedicated to promoting sustainable use of biodiversity.
Amazon Research Center (CEA, in Spanish)
This reservoir of flora and fauna is also a Research Center led by Corpoamazonia (Corporation for the sustainable development of the south of the Amazon).
- Urcusique cavern
Located near the main road that goes from Mocoa to the municipality of Villagarzon a variety of animals like … and … among others can be found.
- ITP Botanical Garden
The Botanical Garden of the Putumayo Technological Institute (ITP) is located at 580 meters above sea level, in the jurisdiction of the Caliyaco District. This biological research center has a total area of 19 hectares and is endowed with a wide variety of Amazonian plants. Currently ITP´s students perform applied research to recover this site that is considered a very important biological wealth. Activities:
- Outdoor recreation activities.
Remains almost unexplored, but recently is emerging as a good destiny for birdwatching in Colombia.
- National Natural Park El Tuparro
The Park was declared as National Monument and Core Zone of the Biosphere Reserve El Tuparro in 1982. The park fulfills three complementary functions: conservation, sustainable development and support for research and education. The park hosts wonderful rivers like the Orinoco, the fourth longest river on the planet; the river Tomo, with uncountable meanders, and the Tuparro river, of greenish waters. The islands within those rivers, such as Guahibos, are very extensive. There are savannas with riparian forests and forests of moriche palm that are the most beautiful vegetal landscape of the Llanos. In the Tuparro there are tepuis from whose summits all the immensity is covered. The fauna is numerous and among others there are jaguars, large anacondas, deer, chigüiros, turtles, babillas, caymans and all kinds of birds.
- Bojonawi Nature Reserve
As part of the El Tuparro Biosphere Reserve it is located on the Orinoco River. It limits with Caño Negro and the Agua Linda Natural Reserve. The Reserve in the Orinoquia is special as it connects with the Amazon, which makes it a unique biodiversity corridor. Initiatives as Bojonawi help to protect the endangered species and improve the flow of the Orinoco River. Indigenous communities that live nearby also start to understand and implement sustainable tourism.
Colombia, there is more to discover you could ever imagine.
HIKING & TREKKING
RIVERS & OCEANS
We invite you to take a deeper look and to contact us if you have any questions.
Below you will find our favorite nature tours around Colombia.