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 – 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.
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.
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
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
Colombia Amazon River photo essay – There were also a lot of small boats along the Amazon belonging to local fisherman
Eventually we hit the Yavari River and then traveled up this tributary – With its beautiful sandbars, it looked remarkably like the Wisconsin River
Colombia Amazon River photo essay – It was dry season and during wet season the water is all the way up those high banks
Our first view of home – The Zacumba Rainforest Lodge
This was the popular hammock room overlooking the river at Zacumba Rainforest Lodge
Rubber from these trees used to be a big export from the Amazon until more commercial production from Malaysia replaced it
Colombia Amazon River photo essay – Huge root system on this impressive tree
As we ferry back to the lodge after a trek, we barely miss a storm up river on the Yavari
Colombia Amazon River photo essay – Our first day ended with dolphin watching and a Yavari River sunset
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
Colombia Amazon River photo essay – Getting dropped off for another jungle trek
Pink floating flora in an Amazon backwater
Formidable flora makes many parts of the jungle inaccessible as condensation from the humidity blurs this picture
Colombia Amazon River photo essay – Our resourceful guide cuts down a big tree stalk
And makes a tree backpack – Hey can you make a fanny pack for me?
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
Cooling off in the Yavari after the trek – Hey look out for that caiman
Trying our hand at piranha fishing – Many bites, but no luck
Colombia Amazon River photo essay – We had better luck at spotting dolphins
An even better sunset on night two
A scorpion was our lone interesting sighting on our night walk
Beautiful sunrise on the Yavari River
Great group of travelers enjoying the Amazon jungle
Heading back to Leticia on the boat after a great trip ended
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