Traveling Ted is a blog that takes readers along on my adventures hiking, canoeing, skiing, and international backpacking. Many blogs focus on one aspect of backpacking, but I tackle both the outdoor adventure side and international exploration as well.

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The title Colombia Amazon River is a bit of a misnomer as most of the pictures in this essay were taken from the Yavari River; however, our base for departure was Leticia, Colombia. We were also not in Colombia for most of this journey. The Yavari River is the border between Brazil and Peru and the Zacumba Rainforest Lodge is in Peru. It was nice to get two bonus countries out of the trip as I had never been to Brazil or Peru.

Colombia Amazon River

Colombia Amazon River – cough, cough, actually this is along the shore of the Yavari River in Peru

Heading up the Amazon for three days of adventure

Related: How to book an Amazon jungle tour out of Leticia

We left Leticia and took a boat up the Amazon River for one hour and then headed up the Yavari River for another hour until we arrived at our jungle home for two nights at the Zacumba Rainforest Lodge. I booked the trip with Amazon Jungle Trips, and they are an excellent outfit that I highly recommend.

Amazon River

My first view of the Amazon River as we pulled out of the estuary that led to Leticia

My only disappointment was we did not see the amount of wildlife I thought we would. Seeing wildlife is not something you can really control. That is what makes it exciting as you never know what you will see or will not see. I am not going to complain too much as we did see caimans, an anteater, pink and gray dolphins, and an impressive list of birds. However, we did not see any monkeys, snakes, toucans, tarantulas, tapirs, or macaws.

Black caiman Amazon River

One highlight was this black caiman we came across in a swampy backwater

I came here to see wildlife, but what we saw or did not see did not define the trip. It was awesome enough just to see the Amazon River when I descended by plane into Leticia, but to actually explore the Amazon jungle by foot, boat, and swim in one of its tributaries was awesome enough. Just seeing the Amazon River was a tick off the bucket list, but to sleep in a jungle lodge far from civilization in one of the world’s greatest jungles is something I will never forget.

Colombia Amazon River photo essay

Amazon River boat

The Amazon River was very busy with boat traffic, so it was no wonder we had to go far up a tributary to find more remote jungle

Amazon River fisherman

Colombia Amazon River photo essay – There were also a lot of small boats along the Amazon belonging to local fisherman

Yavari River sandbar

Eventually we hit the Yavari River and then traveled up this tributary – With its beautiful sandbars, it looked remarkably like the Wisconsin River

Yavari River dry season

Colombia Amazon River photo essay – It was dry season and during wet season the water is all the way up those high banks

Zacumba Rainforest Lodge

Our first view of home – The Zacumba Rainforest Lodge

Zacumba Rainforest Lodge hammocks

This was the popular hammock room overlooking the river at Zacumba Rainforest Lodge

Rubber tree Amazon jungle

Rubber from these trees used to be a big export from the Amazon until more commercial production from Malaysia replaced it

Amazon jungle tree

Colombia Amazon River photo essay – Huge root system on this impressive tree

Yavari River storm

As we ferry back to the lodge after a trek, we barely miss a storm up river on the Yavari

Yavari River sunset

Colombia Amazon River photo essay – Our first day ended with dolphin watching and a Yavari River sunset

Black caiman Amazon River

Activity for night one was hunting for black caiman – Our guide actually jumped in the water off our boat to momentarily capture this guy


Colombia Amazon River photo essay – Highlight of our morning was seeing this hoatzin and a few more in the trees along the shore of the freshwater lake

Yavari River Peru Brazil

Colombia Amazon River photo essay – Getting dropped off for another jungle trek

Amazon jungle pink flora

Pink floating flora in an Amazon backwater

Amazon flora

Formidable flora makes many parts of the jungle inaccessible as condensation from the humidity blurs this picture

Colombia Amazon River photo essay

Colombia Amazon River photo essay – Our resourceful guide cuts down a big tree stalk

Amazon River jungle

And makes a tree backpack – Hey can you make a fanny pack for me?

Yavari River machete

Colombia Amazon River photo essay – Trying to get a picture of me with a machete in front of the Yavari River, but hampered by poor lighting and dampness from the humidity on the camera lens

Yavari River swimming

Cooling off in the Yavari after the trek – Hey look out for that caiman

Piranha fishing

Trying our hand at piranha fishing – Many bites, but no luck

Amazon River dolphins

Colombia Amazon River photo essay – We had better luck at spotting dolphins

Yavari River sunset

An even better sunset on night two

Scorpion Amazon jungle

A scorpion was our lone interesting sighting on our night walk

Amazon River sunrise

Beautiful sunrise on the Yavari River

Amazon jungle

Great group of travelers enjoying the Amazon jungle

Amazon River

Heading back to Leticia on the boat after a great trip ended

Adventure on!

The goal of Traveling Ted is to inspire people to outdoor adventure travel and then provide tips on where and how to go. If you liked this post then sign up for the email newsletter. Notifications are sent out once or twice a month with what is new with Traveling Ted’s adventures. There is no spam and email information will not be shared. Other e-follow options include Facebook (click on the like box to the right) or twitter (click on the pretty bird on the rainbow above).