©iStock / DC_Colombia
©iStock / DC_Colombia

Exploring the Amazonas; Leticia and Puerto Nariño

3 minutes to read

This is more than just a place to visit; it is an experience to be lived. The biggest area of the Amazonas jungle is between Brazil and Perú, but also shared with  Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Guyana, French Guyana, and Surinam. This tropical forest is the largest one in the world, and it produces 20% of the oxygen of all our planet.

© Michelle Jiménez
© Michelle Jiménez

Colombia is divided into 32 departments, and one of them is the Amazonas, located in the south at the end bottom of the country. There are only two cities in this department: Leticia and Puerto Nariño

Leticia

Leticia is the capital of the department. The main square is a really nice place to chill at a beautiful pond and surrounded by trees and plants. Try to make it there just a bit before the sunset to see and hear hundreds of parrots flying into the trees, located around the square. Visit the nearby cathedral from where you can get a beautiful view of the city while on the bell tower. And if you are into museums, visit the ethnographic one in Leticia to learn more about the native groups from the region. In the city, you can also taste some nice food: Colombian, Peruvian or Brazilian. 

Museo Etnográfico del Banco de la República
Museo Etnográfico del Banco de la República
Cra. 11 #9-43, Leticia, Amazonas, Colombia
Catedral Nuestra Señora de la Paz, Leticia
Catedral Nuestra Señora de la Paz, Leticia
Leticia, Amazonas, Colombia

Puerto Nariño 

Puerto Nariño is the first certified self-sustainable touristic destination in Colombia. There are no cars in this town, and the only way to access it is through the river. While there, go up to the lookout tower and get amazing views of the whole town and the Amazonas river. Stroll through the streets and admire the beauty of the simplicity in this charming and colorful place. Interact with local animals, and admire 'the love and care' put into the houses, gardens, and surroundings. Taste the delicious and refreshing homemade icecreams, made out of fruits such as copoazú and açaí - that in Colombia are mainly found just in this area. 

Puerto Nariño's lookout tower
Puerto Nariño's lookout tower
Puerto Narino, Puerto Nariño, Amazonas, Colombia

Types of accomodation

One could think that going to the Amazonas means sleeping with zero or minimal facilities and comfort. But there are several options for accommodation for all price ranges. There are four stars hotels and lodges, B&Bs, eco-hotels, hostels, rooms on top of the trees, cabins in the jungle, tents, hotel-boats, amongst others. You can stay in the city or its surroundings: you can stay in the low forest or the deep jungle — there are plenty of options to choose from depending on your preferences and budget.

What to do

Apart from visiting the two cities in the Colombian part of the Amazonas, there are other activities to do and places to see. 

There is a daily boat tour that you can book; it takes you along the Amazonas river and makes a few stops in floating towns located around the river. In one of them, you will be able to see and interact with some animals such as sloths, turtles, jaguars, and snakes. There is another one where you can watch a typical dance performed by the natives. There is also a place called 'Isla de Los micos,' which is full of adorable monkeys; you can just visit them or even hold them. There are bananas available for you to feed them and make friends with. They are very friendly and would come to play with you quickly. While on the boat, it is possible as well, that you spot some pink dolphins - typical animals of this area. 

Isla de los Micos
Isla de los Micos
Isla de los Micos, Rio, Leticia, Amazonas, Colombia

There are also different types of hiking tours available. You can choose from a one day hike around the lower jungle - or a two, three days or week-long hike, which would take you deeper in the jungle. Another of the activities that you can do is the canopy. Climb to the top of a tree of about 20 meters, and go through ropes and rope bridges from one tree to the other before descending again; this one is truly an exciting and fantastic experience.

© Michelle Jiménez
© Michelle Jiménez

The Amazonas is the type of place where you can truly find yourself, a place where 'butterflies ride on the bus next to you.' A region with mixed cultures that can still preserve its native roots. The people have managed to preserve their authentic contemporary culture. It is suitable for all people, anyone can go, and in my opinion, everyone should go. Enjoy!


The author

Michelle Jiménez

Michelle Jiménez

I am Michelle, 30 years old, from Colombia. Passionate about traveling and different cultures, cuisines and languages. Nature and sports lover. I am in love with Colombia and I’ll do my best to make you fall in love too.

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