What to see and do in the Colombian Amazon

If you are planning to visit the Colombian Amazon and you don’t know what to see and where to go, you should know that Leticia, Puerto Nariño, and its surroundings offer a large array of attractions and numerous services.

What to do in Leticia and its surroundings?

Leticia is the gateway to the Colombian Amazon, located only 2 or 3 kilometers from the International Airport Alfredo Vásquez Cobo. This city on the banks of the largest river in the world, also known as the meeting point between three borders: Colombia, Peru, and Brazil. Leticia offers you a large array of outdoor activities, such as kayaking, canopy, ecological walks, flora and fauna observation. Are you ready to discover the Colombian Amazon? Take a look at the following areas.

Reserva Natural Tanimboca

This reserve offers a large array of outdoor activities such as kayaking, climbing as well as of course a walk through the jungle. Furthermore, the Reserva Natural Tanimboca is famous for the tree houses. The Treehouses in Tanimboca are well-adapted cabins, at 6, 7 and 12 meters in height, with all the services necessary for a great rest.

Please note that this is the Amazon rainforest, you must follow the security rules and don’t forget to keep it clean. Once you start a thrilling hike across the rainforest, you will discover some of its secrets as well as admire the local animals like frogs and birds.

Later, you can climb the trees and slip by cables to 35 meters in height while admiring the breathtaking views of the imposing Colombian jungle. In this exciting “aerial tour” you will also be invited to cross a suspension bridge and perform a rappel descent. Later on, you can test your skills with the oars and embark in a kayak, towards the Maloca where you can enjoy a delicious lunch, with typical food of the area.

Amazon World Ecological Park

A couple of kilometers before arriving at Tanimboca from Leticia, you will find Mundo Amazónico Ecological Park, another ideal place to explore the Colombian Amazon. Mundo Amazónico invites you to immerse yourself in the jungle through its 29 hectares of Nature Reserve, made-up of a jungle path, a botanical garden, a cultural village, an aquarium area and a restaurant.

Among its attractions highlights a cultural route where you can visit three “Malokas”, the indigenous word for house, representing some of the ethnic groups of the region: Ticuna, Bora, and Kodama. These Malokas recreate the way of life and traditions of the natives who inhabited them. Furthermore, the tour also offers the possibility of becoming a real Amazonian by using the natives hunting tools like darts and blowgun or bow and arrow.

In addition, you can learn more about the native medicinal plants. Take the medicinal path and learn about the ancestral wisdom that has transcended several generations. During the hike across the Mundo Amazónico Ecological Park, you must taste an exquisite tea that combines some of the aromatic herbs you have seen along the way, among them the stevia. Don’t forget to visit the aquarium, in it, you will see closely other species of the Amazon such as piranha, eel, and candiru.

Santander Park

Santander park is located in the very heart of Leticia. At dusk, from 5:30 p.m. hundreds of parrots arrive at this area and delight visitors with their singing. Also, you have the opportunity to climb the bell tower to be able to see from a privileged point the spectacle. Also, in Santander Park, you can admire the lake, home to numerous fishes and with the characteristic plant of the region: the Victoria Regia, the largest water plant at the Amazon.

Tabatinga

Tabatinga is famous for being a city bordering Leticia, but that is part of Brazil. Generally, travelers go there to travel from Colombia to Brazil. Although the border as such does not exist, the only thing that identifies the change of country is a clock. Once you are in Tabatinga, the signs are immediately visible in Portuguese and along the street, you can see shops where you can get the traditional “Garoto chocolates”, Cachaça and sandals.

5 reasons to visit Caño Cristales: Enjoy a Journey in Sierra de la Macarena

Undoubtedly, the Amazon is home to stunning natural areas that surpass the imagination of many. One of those beautiful areas is the Rio de Los Cinco Colores. Rio de Los Cinco Colores boasts a fabulous location only 30 minutes flight from Villavicencio, in the renowned Sierra de la Macarena. Undoubtedly, Caño Cristales is the main attraction of the area and on this post, we will show you why.

Reasons to visit Caño Cristales

For its unique colours

And by “unique” we aren’t only saying a nice word. What makes Caño Cristales a unique wonder in the world is that the endemic algae that bloom in its waters. These endemic and special algae give different colours to the river. Its colours range from red, yellow, green, blue and black. This show of bright colours can be seen between in June and December; since the first half of the year, the plants are in the breeding season.

Its wells, pools and waterfalls

Caño Cristales tours include visits to many areas of the river where geological formations generate interesting attractions for nature lovers. The Waterfall the Quartz or the stairs are it most famous stops, where waterfalls refresh the fatigued walkers. In addition, this area has a large number of natural swimming pools and wells. All these areas are perfect for exploring the bottom of the river with simple snorkel equipment. Do you want to learn more about the algae that colour the river? If so, don’t forget your fins and goggles and discover the river bottom. Of course, do not expect to see fish in these waters.  In this river, the water has been taken by plants and minerals that coexist harmoniously. If you are a water lover, don’t miss the chance to visit Caño Cristales.

The biodiversity of its surroundings

The Amazon is inhabited by hundreds of impressive animals that prowl along the banks of the river and the Serrania de la Macarena. What makes this ecosystem unique in the world, is that the Andean, Amazonian and Orinoquía regions meet, giving rise to a habitat where you can find anteaters, various types of felines (such as Jaguar and pumas), more than 500 Species of birds and thousands of insects and reptiles. So if you have the patience and passion of bird watching, you can devote a whole day to this activity.

Adventure tourism options

Besides being a destination for nature lovers, Caño Cristales also presents itself as a challenge for tourists who enjoy sport and adventure. Visiting Rio de Los Cinco Colores involves doing a great physical and mental effort, as you have to walk for few hours through hot and humid trails to reach its main attractions. On the other hand, those who organise a multi-day visit to Sierra de la Macarena can do rafting or kayaking on the Guayabero River, where the waters of Caño Cristales flow.

Its mysteries

Like all areas of difficult access, but which has housed ancestral villages for hundreds of years, the Sierra de la Macarena and Caño Cristales keep their mysteries that, on this occasion, are related to the Guayaberos. This small indigenous community still lives in these lands and its oldest members have left traces of their existence through petroglyphs and cave paintings on large rocks of the river. In addition, there is the legend of the attractive “Three Mirrors”, which relates that on full moon nights, the tribes took their offerings and delivered them to the River right in front of three rectangular and almost smooth rocks. Then the taita touched the water and the reflection of the moon projected on the stones showing the future of the members of the tribe. Certainly, this area is really special, once you there you will understand why.

How to get to Caño Cristales?

If you want to visit Caño Cristales, check out this information. Firstly, you must reach Villavicencio, the capital of Meta, and from there take a small plane to La Macarena. You can either do it by booking a tourist package or on your own. However, once you get there, it’s mandatory to hire a guide once you are at the Natural Park. Once in the village, you will find a large array of accommodation, restaurants and pubs.

Here are our reasons why everyone should visit Caño Cristales. Are you planning to spend your holidays in Colombia? If so, don’t miss the opportunity to visit this beautiful area of Colombia.

The Beach of Belen: An unknown jewel in North of Santander

A small town that attracts a large number of visitors thanks to the Natural Park Los Estoraques.

It’s difficult to find an isolated village in Colombia with charming areas. However, there is one, at least in the North of Santander. Unfortunately, this town sooner or later will become one of the main tourist destination in Colombia.

This town is Playa de Belén, barely 150 years old, but with a three-hundred-year-old atmosphere, which until now has remained isolated from massive tourism. Climb this infinite corkscrew, which seems to seek the sky during an important part of its more than 200 kilometres, is a unique Andean experience because in front of the abyss that borders all the time there is a semitropical forest intact and possessed of all possible greens. The final descent to the town of Abrego and from there to the Beach of Belen itself is so suggestive that you will wonder why you hadn’t read anything about this area before.

This small and charming town of very few streets is unique and one of a kind in its genre for many reasons. The main reason is that it doesn’t have the pretensions of a museum, but simply of being what it is, a beautiful and authentic town. Its cobbled streets, the spontaneous uniformity of its white houses with red doors, balconies and flowers everywhere, make it a unique village in Colombia.

Certainly, the most remarkable characteristic of  Beach of Belen, are its inhabitants, unlike other beautiful towns of Colombia in which the visitors are seen as a mobile ATM. In this town, everyone is alike, and the don’t have the crazy idea to name “Charming Hotels” or “boutique hotels” and Gourmet Bistro all the Restaurants to change regular prices to European rates.

The Beach of Belen: The Estoraques

The Beach of Belen: An unknown jewel in North of Santander

But the jewel in the crown are the Estoraques. The Estoraques are geological formations carved by water and the wind for millennia, whose result is a labyrinth of columns, caves and pedestals. It’s worthy to climb to the top of the hills by marked paths and enjoy the silence of a unique landscape in the country, both beautiful and strange to the eyes, which seems like coming out of a Stars Wars movie.

Some travellers combine the visit to the park with Pinar, which is a small plateau reforested with huge pines, at a height suitable for relaxing panoramas and meetings of friends, families and lovers, located half an hour walk from the Estoraques Natural Park. The average temperature of the area, which is 21 degrees Celsius, makes neither the cold nor the heat are an obstacle to enjoying the hiking route.

Staying in La Playa de Belén several days is worth to take the pulse of the village without any effort. Finally, we all agree that  Beach of Belen is an unknown jewel that will soon be discovered as many other beautiful Colombian destinations until now unknown due to the bad reputation of the country. If you want to visit a beautiful area of Colombia, we suggest you enjoy a trip to  Beach of Belen, before turning it into another tourist area invaded by visitors and menus that serve English Breakfast for 8£.

Things to do in La Guajira: What makes La Guajira unique?

La Guajira is one of the 32 departments of Colombia. Located in the extreme north of the country, La Guajira is a distant, isolated, conflictive peninsula that penetrates the Caribbean and share areas with Venezuela. This peninsula, almost deserted, is full of beautiful areas, mostly provided by its calm sea and a small green oasis. Cradle and home of the Wayuu culture, children of the earth and rain, where reality is confused with fantasy and where are woven artistic hammocks, backpacks and other beautiful craftsmanship.

What makes La Guajira unique? Many things! The first is that in just a sigh passes from the humid tropical rainforests of the Sierra Nevada and Tayrona territory to a desert territory that resembles the Spanish Cabo de Gata. If you want to discover this isolated land, we suggest you check out the following post and discover top things to do in La Guajira. Check it out!

Things to do in La Guajira

Firstly, we suggest you visit the Capital of this department, Riochacha. The capital of La Guajira is a big and shabby city where the “vallenato” sounds in every corner. Not surprisingly, this rhythm, one of the most famous in Colombia, was invented here. Riohacha has little to see beyond the Paseo de la Marina, a palm-fringed boardwalk, lively at night, that separates urban traffic and the huge Caribbean white sand beaches. But it is a good place from which to plan excursions to the natural sites of La Guajira.

Alta Guajira desert  and Cabo de la Vela

One of the most beautiful and most demanded excursions is the one to Cabo de la Vela. To Cabo de la Vela are nearly 120 kilometres but the asphalt finishes in Uribia. Then comes a well-maintained track that runs parallel to the railroad line. This railroad serves to carry coal from the mines of Cerrejón to Puerto Bolivar. After that comes a road of sand and mud, where cactus reaches considerable heights. This is the Alta Guajira desert and offers one of the most striking landscapes of the country. Alta Guajira Desert always rank on the top things to do in La Guajira.

This is also the territory of the Wayuu, the indigenous of La Guajira. A nomadic people who have lived for centuries in these deserts herding their goats, fishing in the waters of the Caribbean and moving from side to side in search of rain, and keep the water in wells called jagüeyes. The Wayuu are one of the most homogenous and less-acculturated ethnic groups in Colombia. The people from this tribe are rough, hard, and reluctant to talk to strangers. The Wayuu have resisted this wild corner with very few changes in their lifestyle.

After 3 hours travel through wilderness you finally reach Cabo de la Vela. Cabo de la Vela is a humble area with one street that looks like the Far-West. There is electricity, but for some reason, the electrons refuse to reach this remote place, so the little lighting that exists is thanks to solar panels. There isn’t piped water either; all the waters come from tank trucks of Riohacha at the price of Dom Perignon. But, the beauty of this coastal desert attracts those tourists looking for unique experiences surrounded by impressive nature and a feeling to be back in the origins.

Mount of the Candle and Pilón de Azucar

Things to do in La Guajira

From Cabo de la Vela you can visit the beautiful Monte la Vela (Mount of the Candle). This Mount gives a name to the Cabo, this mount has, of course, a candle shape. Or go for a swim in beautiful, solitary beaches such as Pilón de Azucar. Pilón de Azucar is a medium-sized beach with golden sands bordered by parched cliffs of great beauty. Then at dusk, you have to walk to the lighthouse, sit there and enjoy the sunset on the Caribbean. Admire the beautiful performance of colours.

Furthermore, if you want to enjoy more adventures, you can visit Punta Gallinas and Macuira National Park, located on the northern end of the peninsula of La Guajira. This National Park doesn’t offer many tourist services, however, visitors thinks that this area features the most beautiful sands in the Caribbean.

Are you ready to live a fabulous adventure in Colombia? If so, don’t miss the opportunity to visit La Guajira. Have you ever been to this area? Did you enjoy our post regarding Things to do in La Guajira? Comment!

Exploring Tayrona Beaches: A fabulous adventure in the jungle.

Summer is just around the corner and it is time to start exploring lovely locations like Tayrona Park. The Park is famous for its wild beauty, the diversity of its flora and fauna, its paradisiacal beaches and for its pre-Hispanic ruins. All its attractions make it an excellent destination for those looking for unique adventures, for practice water sports or simply soak up the sun. But certainly, the best experience is the opportunity for exploring Tayrona Beaches, check out our selection and enjoy a fabulous adventure in the jungle.

Exploring Tayrona Beaches

Exploring Tayrona Beaches: A fabulous adventure in the jungle.

Why is Tayrona Park so spectacular? Thanks to its location.

The park comprises a stretch of the coast between the Caribbean Sea and the highest mountain in Colombia: the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, which is stick to the sea but rises to 5,700 meters. It’s the highest mountain in the world by the sea and maintains in its crests perpetual snow and several square kilometres of glaciers (Yes, there are glaciers in Colombia).

Do you understand why Tayrona is so spectacular? It’s a unique area with distinct morphology, special microclimate and a fabulous flora different from the rest of the Caribbean coast. It is one of the most beautiful coastlines of Colombia, full of excellent landscapes.

The main entrance to the Park is 31 kilometres from the city of Santa Marta along La Guajira road. On this point, you must leave your car. Please note that you can only continue by foot or on horseback along a path that goes through the rainforest, mangroves and lonely beaches.

The Caribbean Sea is famous for being smooth for sailing and with shallow waters perfect for bathing, but in this area the sea is rough. A large number of beaches are banned. In fact, it’s not prohibited to swim there. However, you will find warning signs with the number of people that have drowned on the area. The path is easy, suitable for all public, in good conditions, with wooden walkways and steps.

Only, 3.2 km from the entrance you will find the beach of Arrecifes. This beach has cabins for spend the night, camping area, services and restaurants. The beach is not suitable for bathing. If you want to swim and admire a beautiful beach you must walk a little further until beach of Arenilla. Beach of Arenilla is perfect for a refreshing bath. Furthermore, this area also features some bars and restaurants. Another fabulous area is La Piscina, a reef-reposed Bay wrapped in a scenic landscape of large rounded rocks of granite, white sand and lush vegetation that reaches to the sea.

At 4 kilometres from Arrecifes, you will reach the end of the trail: Cape San Juan. This is the most beautiful and photographed area of the park. Here you will find lovely bays, perfect for baths and soak up the sun. The area features a camping area with restaurant and services. Furthermore, Cape San Juan has a circular wooden lookout that penetrates the sea, and from where you get the best panoramic views of these mountains crowned by perpetual snow. Certainly, this area provides one of the great natural scenarios of Colombia.

Practical information

The entrance to the Tayrona National Natural Park costs around 37,500 pesos (16 euros).  “Ecohabs cabins” are the most glamorous accommodation of the Park, with easy access by car from the main entrance. The cabins for 4 pax cost around 700,000 pesos (290 euros). The huts of the beach of Arrecifes for 5 pax can cost around 550,000 pesos (229€).

Are you ready for exploring Tayrona Beaches? If so, don’t miss this guide and enjoy the best areas of this Natural Park.

Top 6 Things To Do in Colombia: The Lesser known attractions to explore.

Do you want to discover beautiful and unknown areas of Colombia? On this post, we present you the Top 6 Things To Do in Colombia, the Lesser known attractions to explore on your next holidays. Do you think you know the country well? Check out this list and learn more about this beautiful South American country.

Top 6 Things To Do in Colombia

Diving with Hammerhead Sharks on the island of Malpelo (Colombian Pacific)

Things To Do in Colombia

The plan we propose to you:

Malpelo is one of the five places on the planet where you can dive with hammerhead sharks. In fact, Malpelo is known as the “Shark Heaven”. Furthermore, Malpelo is famous for its vast variety of marine life. Certainly, this Pacific island is one of the best-kept secrets in the country. Please note, due to the extreme conditions this excursion is only for experimented divers.

How to get there:

In order to visit Malpelo, you need to get permission from the National Natural Park of Colombia. Since this island is a protected area, the only way to visit it is aboard a liveaboard with permission; furthermore, anchoring on the nearby areas is prohibited.

How much will cost?

The 5-day plan will cost you around 4,000 USD.

Walking across the Canyon of Chicamocha (Santander)

The plan we propose to you:

In two days you will pass across the municipalities of Villanueva, Jordán and Los Santos. On this route, you will have the opportunity to enter the canyon, which, by the way, is deeper than the famous Grand Canyon in the United States. On the Canyon, you will have the chance to admire the Chicamocha River and the McCormick Suspension Bridge. Certainly, this is an area that must be included on in any Top of Things To Do in Colombia.

How to get there:

The tour starts in Barichara, so you can check out the transportation schedules to arrive at this area.

Recommendations

The hiking route lasts at least five hours, so be prepared. Wear comfortable clothes, hiking shoes and sticks.

Walking the Circunvalar Garden of the Cerro de Medellin

The plan we propose to you:

We propose you a fabulous walk through the “Path of Life” in the capital of Antioquia. In addition to ecological roads, this path comes with squares, picnic areas and viewpoints for breathtaking panoramic views. If you want to take it easy, we suggest you take the traditional one-hour tour. If you want better views, you can take the two hours tour and reach the top of Pan de Azúcar hill. But, if you area an adventurous traveller, you can take the other 2 hours trail and get to Arví park.

How to get there:

The easiest way is to take the bus number 106 get off in El Plan.

Recommendations:

Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.

The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta

The plan we propose to you:

Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is the world’s most irreplaceable area. This fabulous Reserve boasts a network of ecosystems that shelter countless life forms and it is also home to a large number of indigenous communities. This imposing mountain features a fabulous location in the north of Colombia. In addition, very close to Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta you will find one of the most popular parks of Colombia, The National Park of Tayrona. This park features beautiful beaches as well as a large array of outdoor activities.

Recommendations

To avoid risks, you should get vaccinated against dengue fever and yellow fever.

Camping in the peaks of the white Ritacuba, (Boyacá)

The plan we propose to you:

The idea is to walk to the top of Ritacuba Blanco, one of the highest peaks in Colombia, which is 5300 meters above sea level. There you have to pass a night and admire the spectacular landscapes offered by the dawn.

Recommendations:

Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Also, depending on the season you should also bring a coat.

Playing a football game in Santa Cruz del Islote

Top 6 Things To Do in Colombia

The plan we propose to you:

Santa Cruz del Islote is the most densely populated island on earth. In Santa Cruz del Islote there are 1274 inhabitants, 97 houses and features a large number of mini football fields. If you have the opportunity to visit this tiny piece of Colombia, don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy a nice football game at any of its numerous mini fields.

How to get there

From Cartagena you must take a bus to San Onofre, once there you must take a taxi to the coastal town of Rincón del Mar. From Rincón del Mar you must go aboard a boat and reach Santa Cruz del Islote.

Recommendation:

Don’t forget to bring sun lotion and to carry money. If you love seafood, the local lobster is to die for and the best part is its price.

Here our list of the Top 6 Things To Do in Colombia: The Lesser known attractions to explore. Have you ever been to Colombia? Would you like to add other attractions to this top? Comment.