A RURAL ESCAPE

Colombia 2018 | TOURISM | PHOTO ESSAY: AMAZONAS

A journey into inland Colombia proves to be a stunning adventure filled with towns, forests, and waters that amaze.

Departmento del Amazonas, or Amazonas Department, is Colombia's largest by area and smallest by population. Its capital is connected to Bogotá with frequent flights, and the natural wonders are not to be missed. Bordering Peru and Brazil, the Colombian Amazon, with flora and fauna that will amaze adventurers.

Leticia

Colombia's southernmost city offers a range of cultural and ecological options, with Brazilian and Peruvian influences weaved throughout the town. The Museo Ethnografico Amazónico displays artifacts of indigenous peoples, some of whom still reside in the Amazon today. The Uirapuru Art Gallery also exhibits indigenous crafts and artifacts, presenting visitors with the biggest craft shop for souvenirs as well as a small museum. There are also many nature reserves and eco parks, such as Mundo Amazónico and its ecological park.

Puerto Nariño

Even further removed from the hustle and bustle of Colombia's major cities, the name of this more remote town in the Colombian Amazon comes from the famous Colombian general Antonio Nariño for his role in the war of independence against the Spanish. The only motorized mode of transport allowed in this municipality of 6,000 people, mostly indigenous residents from the Ticuna tribe, are motorboats. Residents and visitors get around on foot or by motorboat or canoe, and for this reason, it is often touted for its coexistence between humans and nature. The tranquility helps draw people into the captivating Amazonian scenery.

Amacayacu National Park

The 4,220-sqkm park is located on the Amazon River, and after arriving in Leticia, travelers travel up the river to enter the park. On Isla de los Micos, you will find hundreds of monkeys, and Tarapoto Lake is home to Amazon River dolphins, or botos. But if gorgeous plants are more appealing, Mocagua Island boasts the Victoria Regia lotus flower. Guided tours of the area help nature enthusiasts get closer to the otters, Amazonian manatees, and 468 species of birds. When not enjoying the diverse wildlife, visitors have the option of staying in hammocks or luxury cabins. It is best to go from July-September when the park is less flooded, though beware of mosquitos at night!