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Amazon River at Sunset

Colombian Amazon

The Colombian Amazon accounts for almost a third of the country’s landmass and is located in the south-east of the country.

The gateway to the Amazon is the bustling town of Leticia on the banks of the Amazon River, reached only by plane or boat, as it is miles from any road networks. Most adventures into the rainforest start from here, also a point where Peru, Colombia and Brazil meet, known as the Tres Fronteras. This area of the Amazon Basin, although much smaller than its neighbouring countries, is largely unexplored in Colombia and relentlessly flooded in some regions, access is often limited to boats only.

Mountains, Colombia
Mountains, Colombia

Highlights of Colombia & Sail Rosario Islands

This journey through Colombia takes in a host of the nation’s highlights, from the grand colonial churches and street art of Bogota to the UNESCO World Heritage city and coffee-growing regions of Cartagena. With just a sprinkling of internal flights and some indulgent nights spent aboard a privately chartered yacht exploring the turquoise waters of the Rosario Islands, this is a beyond the ordinary way to experience the “gateway to South America”.

13 days

from $13,399 pp

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Salt production, Guajira Peninsula, Colombia
Guajira Peninsula, Colombia

Off-the-Beaten-Track in Colombia

This Colombian adventure unveils some of the nation’s most offbeat locations, while still taking time to privately tour the galleries and architectural highlights of the cosmopolitan capital. An extraordinary trip for intrepid visitors to “the gateway to South America”, it traverses both the Amazon Rainforest and the Guajira Peninsula.

18 days

from $6,033 pp

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Tucan, Uakari Lodge, Amazon, Brazil
Toucan, Amazon

A little more about the Colombian Amazon

The rainforest is bordered by a number of national parks, most notably Amacayacu National Park, a two-hour boat journey from Leticia. Public access is restricted, but the park is well organised for trekking and is popular with wildlife enthusiasts, particularly ornithologists. Quite literally teeming with life, this whole wilderness area supports an array of wildlife from exotic birds to wild cats and monkeys and is worthy of the effort it may take to get here.

Experiences

Amazonian Country-Hopping

Consider exploring the Amazon in more than one country, moving between Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Colombia or Bolivia to experience the remotest corners of the Amazon Basin.

Swing in a Hammock

After a morning of adventure, head back to your cabin to swing in a hammock to read a good book (or simply for a siesta).

Observe Ant Armies

Hike through the rainforest to seek out armies of leafcutter and bullet ants, watching from a safe distance as they carry out their methodical work.

Discover Amacayacu National Park

Journey to Amacayacu National Park, known as the River of Hammocks, for a superb Amazon experience in an area inhabited by the Ticuna people.

Embark on Night Walks

Head into the dense forests, with a head torch to find its unique nocturnal animal and insect species.

Discover Tasty Fruits

Forage for fruits in the company with an expert naturalist guide, tasting unusual and exotic varieties like the vitamin-rich Arazá.

Cruise the Amazon

Sail on the world’s mightiest river during an authentic Amazon cruise that navigates far off the beaten track.

Search for Pink River Dolphins

Head out to try and find the elusive and magnificent pink river dolphins, which only live in the fresh waters of the Amazon Rainforest.

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Heliconia Reserva £££££

  • Colombia
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

Located on a quiet tributary of the Javari River, just over the border into Brazil (59 miles by river from Leticia) and surrounded by jungle vegetation and heliconias hide the Heliconia Reserva jungle lodge. Maloka Indian thatched-roof wooden cabins offer simple living with charming open bathrooms and garden views and are spread out among trails connected by wooden paths. The terrace bar-restaurant serves home-made local dishes and there are activities such as canoeing, canopy trails, bird and dolphin watching, as well as walks and visits to native communities.

Calanoa Amazonas £££££

  • Colombia
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

Calanoa Amazonas is located in the heart of the Colombian jungle bordering both Peru and Brazil, 30 minutes by boat from Leticia. Each cabin is a two storey A-frame structure. Downstairs has a netted double bed with its own private bathroom and the loft space in each cabin can also sleep up to six people, so a great option for families. A boardwalk connects the cabins with the social areas and doubles as an excellent platform for watching birds and monkeys.

Reserva Natural Palmari £££££

  • Colombia
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

Reserva Natural Palmari is located across the border in Brazil, three to four hours (depending on water levels and boat engine available) downriver from Leticia, Colombia. Accommodation options include three cabins (with small front terrace), four bedrooms with private bathrooms (cold water), as well as a ‘maloka’ and an ‘enramada’ for overnight stays in hammocks or dormitory-style beds with a communal bathroom. Further facilities include a visitors centre, watchtower, restaurant serving simple dishes and a river-front viewing terrace with loungers. Activities available in the reserve are designed to experience the best of the Amazon’s flora and fauna and include nature treks, canoeing, traditional fishing, making typical handicrafts, swimming in natural lakes and visiting the indigenous Marubo and Mayoruna communities.

Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

James Armitage

James has discovered the huge variety of landscapes from the flat Llanos flood plains to the towering Andes and the rich golden beaches of the Pacific and Caribbean coasts.
Talk with our experts
  • 1 855 2037885

John Faithfull

Colombia is a firm Latin favourite with John, who’s most memorable moment in the country included an exhausting hike through the wild (and lawless) Darien Gap with The Times journalist Martin Fletcher.
Talk with our experts
  • 1 855 2037885

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Our trip to Colombia and Peru, organised by James, exceeded all of our expectations! We travelled initially to see our eldest son who lives in California and then decided that (while close by) we would "nip" to Peru with the aim of visiting Machu Picchu, and onward to Colombia. A spectacular and memorable trip of a lifetime.

Destinations: Colombia & Peru
Travel Expert: James

Sailing around the Rosario Islands was not something we had even considered, but we are so grateful to John for putting this enchanting archipelago on our radar.

Destination: Colombia
Travel Expert: John

John put together a phenomenal itinerary to Colombia that included the Colombian Amazon, a place that we understand to be little visited. What a trip it was – you have made Steppes clients out of us, John.

Destination: Colombia
Travel Expert: John

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you.

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