A tangle of impossibly green rainforest, snaking rivers and traditional communities; the Amazon Jungle is a mythical land indeed.
In Colombia, the Amazon makes up a third of the country, and from Leticia – the border town to the south – you can explore not only the Colombian side, but hop over into Brazil for even deeper discoveries. From beguiling wildlife walks to canoeing and craft-making, there are so many exciting experiences that await you in the Amazon.
Leticia is the gateway to the Amazon in Colombia, studded right in the southern tip of the country and ready to welcome visitors thanks to its airport, clutch of hotels and position next to the river, where boat trips into the jungle begin. From here, the choice is yours: drift westwards to delve deeper into the Colombian side, encountering indigenous groups and emerging eco-boutiques like the Calanoa Nature Reserve, where work is being done to connect guests with the local people and environment. Or, head in the other direction to dip into the Brazilian Amazon, to swim in natural pools and get up close to all manner of wildlife; you might even try your hand at catching Caimans – and releasing them, of course!
Omagua Reserve in Leticia
Just 11km from town, the Omagua Reserve is weaved together with boardwalks, hanging bridges and observation towers to offer an in-depth immersion into the rainforest. You’ll be able to spy all manner of birds, Monkeys, Lizards, insects, mammals and flowers on your treetop tour, with the help of an expert guide who will point out fascinating species.
Arts and crafts in the jungle
On top of incredible nature, the Amazon flourishes with unique art and crafts, and there’s plenty of scope to get involved and try your hand at it yourself. One such place to do so is Calanoa Jungle Lodge, a project that seeks to uphold local indigenous communities, scientific research, sustainability and education in the region, whose arts program seeks to reinforce the exchange between visitor and environment by encouraging art in its many forms – from photography to fibre arts, ceramics to painting – with the help of an onsite studio, and of course the endless inspiration of the rainforest.
Intriguing wildlife discoveries
The flora and fauna of the Colombian Amazon is, naturally, a key highlight to any time spent here. A nature hike will have you getting up close to a plethora of birdlife, Crocodiles, Monkeys, Sloths and Armadillos, and then there’s always the chance of spotting Pink River Dolphins, which are an icon of the Amazon. Take your experience up a notch by drifting out on a nocturnal safari by canoe along the waters, where the soundtrack of the jungle is sure to awaken your senses and stir your soul.