Colombia’s Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon Rainforest covers over half of Colombia’s territory—more than 248,000 square miles—an area larger than France.

East of the Andes, Colombia’s landscape descends into densely-forested river basin.

The rainfall collected here merges with waters from Peru and Ecuador to form the crucial tributaries of the Amazon.

Orange and black Tree Frog with black spots on orange bands in Colombian Amazon

Amazonas, Yavari, Purité, and Atacuari

These tributaries—the Amazonas, Yavari, Purité, and Atacuari—can be explored from the southeastern city of Leticia.

Some of the most pristine rainforests in the world are found here.

Fifty miles (two hours) northwest of Leticia, the 1,110-square mile Amacayacu National Park borders the northern bank of the Rio Amazonas.

Amazon Wildlife Watching and Birding

Here, comfortable riverside lodges offer multi-day programs focused on wildlife viewing.

Visitors to the Colombian Amazon can observe an array of species, including, but not limited to:

  • Manatees
  • Caimans
  • Jaguars
  • Monkeys
  • Giant Water Lilies

Visits to indigenous Yagua, Ticuna, and Cocoma communities can also be arranged.

Gold and black squirrel Monkey perched in tree, photographed on wildlife expediton in Amazon of Colombia

For those interested in birdwatching, the Colombian Amazon is prime birding territory, with around 500 avian species having been recorded there to date.

Some notable mentions include:

  • Blue-and-Yellow Macaws
  • Curassows
  • Cotingas
  • Hoatzins
  • 33 Varieties of Raptor

Lake Tarapoto Pink Dolphins

At Lake Tarapoto, an oxbow lake six miles west of Puerto Nariño, guests can kayak alongside pink freshwater dolphins.

The rainy season in the Amazon of Colombia extends from January to April.

Group of four tan and brown exotic-looking Hoatzin with pronounced brown head feathers, spotted birdwatching in the Amazon of Ecuador

Although intermittent showers should be expected during these months, temperatures are cooler, and high water allows access to a vast number of otherwise impassible side streams.

The dry season—July through September—is also the warmest, seeing highs in the 90s and 90% humidity.

Getting to Colombia’s Amazon

During these months, the blooms of Erythrina (“flame trees”) attract parrots, hummingbirds, and caciques.

Nonstop flights from Bogota reach Leticia in two hours.

From the town’s port, travelers can embark on a six-day voyage to Manaus, Brazil or a ten-hour cruise to Iquitos, Peru.


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