In March/April I visited Colombia in South America and Panamá and Costa Rica in Central America. The Colombia visit was organized by Zaia Travel, Colombia. The organization was well done, I can recommend the tour organizer.
I flew into Bogotá, where I stayed for the first night in the La Candelaria district.
The next morning I had some time to walk around La Candelaria. Efforts are being made to restore this neighborhood and it shows. There are a lot of nicely restored houses in La Candelaria.
From Bogotá I flew to Leticia in the far south of Colombia in the Amazon Rainforest. It was the rainy season, so much of the forest is flooded, transportation is exclusively by boat. I took a motor boat along the Amazon close to the Marashá Reserve. The reserve is actually located in Perú, but there are no border formalities to observe.
The last part of the transfer was on a row boat, where we started bird watching. I stayed at the lodge for two nights. The lodge is located on a private lake, very scenic, with lots of wildlife around it. We did an evening excursion after arrival, and two long excursions the next day, extending into the night. After the second night we took the row boat back to the Amazon, then a scheduled commercial boat to Calanoa, where I stayed in the Calanoa Jungle Lodge for two nights. After arrival we did a walking tour through the village. The next day we took a motor boat to Lake Tarapoto, where we saw the Amazon River Dolphin (Pink River Dolphin) and the Tucuxi (Grey River Dolphin). On the way back to the lodge we visited one of the large islands in the Amazon, where I saw both a two-toed sloth and a three-toed sloth, plus several interesting birds. It was a great day for animal watching.
After the second night in Calanoa we took the scheduled commercial boat on the Amazon back to Leticia. I flew from there to Neiva, where my new guide picked me up. I stayed there for a night. The next morning we did bird watching in the Tatacoa Desert. We then drove to San Agustín, where I stayed for two nights. My itinerary had me stay there for only one night, and the next night in Tierradentro. Unfortunately, there were violent protests in that area and the road from San Agustín to Tierradentro was blocked, so we had to change the itinerary. It was unfortunate that I missed the visit to Tierradentro, but the visit to San Agustín was fantastic.
The San Agustín civilization is not well known. It doesn't have a name. They left numerous impressive large stone statues around their grave sites. The oldest signs of occupation date back to about 3,300 BCE, the statues date from 10th century BCE to the 7th century CE. It is well worth a visit.
After the two nights in San Agustín we drove back to Neiva for another night. The next day I flew back to Bogotá for two nights. In Bogotá I did a city tour with visits to Monserrate and the Gold Museum. The Gold Museum is fantastic, a must-see if you visit Bogotá.
The next day my tour in Colombia ended, I continued on to Panamá.
The Amazon Rainforest in Colombia is great for wildlife watching. Don't let the rainy season deter you from visiting. You can see lots of wildlife from a boat going through the floating forest. I was lucky, it rained only once while I was there, in the early afternoon between excursions. As I understand it, the rains are usually afternoon thunderstorms that don't last very long.
San Agustín is definitely worth a visit. The stone statues there are impressive. From what I understand, Tierradentro is worth visiting as well, unfortunately it didn't work out for me.
Bogotá has some interesting parts. The mountain Monserrate is worth a visit, and La Candelaria is a nice neighborhood. I felt safe around La Candelaria, I don't know how it is in other areas.
I had a good time in Colombia, I enjoyed my visit.
All pictures are © Dr. Günther Eichhorn, unless otherwise noted.
The total number of pictures online on my website from Colombia is 562
Page last updated on Mon Feb 3 14:20:29 2020 (Mountain Standard Time)
Colombia - A forgotten Pre-Columbian Civilization and the Amazon Rainforest on gei.aerobaticsweb.org