No opportunity has forced me as much as the Amazon. In my head, I always imagined that this destination belonged only to the heroic explorers of adventure films. I was wondering: are there actually giant anacondas and piranhas that you can attack? Will the trees be as tall as the books describe them? Will tarantulas be the size of a palm tree?
The preparation of delirium in the Amazon is secret. I planned this expedition with certain considerations in mind. The first was prevention with the yellow fever vaccine, which, although recommended and not compulsory, has a preventive purpose and gives more security to the traveler exposed to so many mosquitoes at their destination. On the other hand, I was careful what I brought: long-sleeved shirts and light trousers for walking, mosquito repellent, medium-value trekking or hiking shoes, jacket for travel and shower, torch pocket, thoughtless balaclava, batteries, rechargeable batteries, thermos. water bottle and backpack for trekking. I do not recommend running with a suitcase because it is impractical for transfers.
Welcome to the Maikuchiga Foundation, located in the heart of the Colombian jungle. An order dedicated to the protection and conservation of monkeys.María Gallardo
How to access the Amazon?
The Amazon is the widest river in the world, it has a distance of about 7,020 kilometers and is the widest hydrographic basin in the world, crossing nine countries (Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana , French Guiana and Suriname). The first step is therefore to designate the country to be inspected. I have explored the Colombian and Peruvian Amazon and can confirm that both have undeniable beauty.
To run towards the Amazonian jungle of Colombia you have to do a gliding flight from the city of Bogotá to Leticia, located in the south of the country, it is the entrance to this parallel world. As for Peru, a good option is to jump from Fresa to Iquitos, one of the ports with the best access to the jungle.
My days started landing in Leticia to explore the Colombian Amazon. After dodging a torrential downpour, I boarded a ricochet which cruised for a few minutes. I won’t forget the moment when my helmsman told me in a jubilant voice: “We are officially in the Amazon! I have to admit, I felt like Indiana Jones.
The second surprise was the displacement of Kurupira, a confusion of floating huts supported by tree trunks called catahuas that grow in the declining jungle. There are different types of accommodation in the Amazon; like lodges, stilt houses, inns and constructions in the middle of the jungle. I’ve stayed more than once in the Colombian Amazon, but my favorite was Calanoa, a boutique hotel with cabins built from the treetops.
A Yagua man with his granddaughter in a replica Yagua village in the Peruvian Amazon.mariel galante
One of the best activities
Although a delirium in the Amazon is already of the caliber of almost any tourist, the enchantment that surrounds its wild identity makes for a standout adventure. At all times, the traveler is exposed to few unknowns. These are must-have experiences.
- He wanders in the jungle day and shade. Guided by a native of the Amazon, I traveled several paths. We found owls, monkeys, giant frogs, bullet ants, insects I had never used in my life, lizards, tapirs and even the shadow of a bush dog that got escaped in seconds. I confirm that the tarantulas are bigger than a palm tree and that the value of the trees exceeds all expectations, there are some that exceed 80 meters!
- river navigation. Days in this region consist of cruising the Amazon to inspect riverside towns, indigenous peoples, and wildlife sanctuaries. A great expedition is to see pink dolphins. Even though I had no luck finding them, it was exciting to remember that I was looking for them.
- Formation of native tribes. The Amazon is made up of departments inhabited by indigenous peoples. Three main cities dominate the river: Cocamas, Yaguas and Ticunas, the latter being the largest population in the Amazon basin. Although there are still isolated tribes, there are others with longstanding influence from the recent world who live in urbanized areas. In Peru, for example, I visited a replica of a Yaguas city. They dressed in their typical costumes, performed a few dances, taught me how to use the blowgun (a rustic weapon used to hunt jungle animals) and offered to dress me in their traditional attire.
- Visits to animal shelters. This region has a serious problem with the pet trade, so it’s common to find foundations like Maikuchiga tucked away deep in the Colombian jungle. This order is dedicated to the protection and conservation of monkeys. The goal is to gradually adapt them to the jungle. Life with monkeys is fun and touching.
- Take a close look at a piranha. Is it dangerous to swim in the waters of the Amazon? As outrageous as this may sound, and according to the natives it poses no danger, there are many animals with a bad reputation, such as piranhas, but it is not universal that they attack each other. To see them, there are tours that will take you to specific areas of the river so you can fish for them. Speaking of anacondas, there is a variant of this species, but those who claim to measure more than 10 meters have remained between myth and currency.
What is the best time of year to go to the Amazon?
The climate of the Amazon is hot and very humid for most of the year. November to March is the rainy season, but that not only complicates the fun, but also injects adrenaline. In February, the boats sail and reach the treetops. From July to October there is little rain and for many tourists this is the best season.
Mariel Gallardo with a meeting of children from the Yagua tribe.mariel galante
Practical ways to plan this delirium
It seems ideal to me to spend six days and five nights in this destination. As with all fun, you can organize it yourself or hire an agency to handle all the planning. The latter are easier because they solve the whole itinerary: flights, accommodation, meals and excursions. To explore the Colombian Amazon, there are several specialized agencies like Siempre Colombia Travel that offer six-day all-inclusive packages starting at $590. In Peru, we recommend Explorama, a company that always offers all-inclusive expeditions at good prices.
The majesty of the Amazon exceeded my expectations and made me consciously reiterate why travelers consider it such a typical stopover. Without a doubt, it is a land of patience, mysticism and soul that allowed me to create a transformational effort.
Maria Gallardo She is the creator of the YouTube channel Mariel de Delirio and the blog marieldeviaje.com. Through his videos and stories, he gives glowing advice and inspires people to run around the world.