For anyone looking to experience the Amazon rainforest without waking up in the middle of the night covered in leeches, southern Colombia’s Amacayacu National Park offers the perfect mix of adventure and comfort.
Any jaunt to this southern Colombian jungle park will start in Leticia, the lazily paced capital of the Amazonas department. The streets are lined with palm trees, shops and cafes, where you can shop for pure cocoa chocolates and handicrafts, or while a way an afternoon sipping caipirinhas.
The park is 65 kms to the south of the city, and can be reached by a manic one-and-a-half hour speed-boat ride down the Amacayacu River. Situated in a large chunk of virgin rainforest, Amacayacu is brimming with wildlife and features plants that could kill you and others to bring you back.
A boardwalk makes strolling through the ancient forest easy, allowing you to concentrate on the squirrel monkeys and macaws above, while avoiding the more sinister creatures that crawl and slither.
Comfortable rooms with balconies overlooking the jungle can be booked through Aviatur. Houseboats complete with crew, accommodating up to eight people, can also be organized.
Twenty minutes up the river from Amacayacu sits the pristine community of Puerto Narino. In this tiny jungle settlement the Nututama Foundation works with local indigenous people to protect endangered species including turtles and the pink river dolphin. Clean but modest accommodation is available for those seeking a truly unique experience.
Avianca runs daily flights between Bogota and Leticia, and at under two hours, the jungle is closer than you think.