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November 2010

Colombia Flag Colombia: Amacayacu National Park Flag Colombia

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Entrance to the Amacayacu National Park, Amazon rainforest, Colombia

Amacaycu National Park is one of the highlights of a visit to the Colombian Amazon and the Leticia region.

Tourism is well developped, with several facilities and easy access. But it hasn't always been this way. A few years ago, permits had to be obtained in Bogota, and those were not automatically granted.
Visiting the park was a privilege not granted to many travellers.

Things have changed and nowadays Amacayacu National Park is the main destination of an increasing number of visitors to the Colombian Amazon.

This doesn't mean that the place is heavy touristed and that mass tourism make their way here. Amacayacu is still a hidden trasure away from tourism hordes.

Floating houses in Amacayacu National Park, Amazon rainforest, Colombia: an expensive but unique way to experience the Amazon

Two Colombian tourism giants are in charge of visitors to the park: Aviatur and Decameron.

There are several accomodation options: dormitories, family rooms and double rooms.

The most luxourious and expensive way to spend a night in this part of the Amazon is on a floating house, where you can navigate and enjoy different views while still feeling at home.

The bus station in Amacayacu National Park, Colombia

But all the other options, well, they are not cheap! A dorm bed can cost some 40 euro, and a double room some 60 euro per person. A night at a floating house costs some 300 to 400 euro (depending on the peso / euro change)

OK, I know it's the jungle and that Amacayacu is a very isolated place. But a few years ago I visited the Sepilok Reserve in Malaysia, and prices were far lower.

Sepilok is in the Borneo Jungle, and its Jungle Resort has all types of accomodation, from dorm beds to luxourious rooms, and dorm prices started at 4€!

Hiking under high trees at Amacayacu National Park
Picture by my girlfriend Chloé

I think the high prices are mainly to keep the crowds away, which is good for conservation. I don't know what can justify this huge price difference between parks in Malaysia and here.

This is more like in Africa, where staying in bush lodges is very expensive. But lodges in Africa are luxourious, here the only luxourious things are the floating houses.

I hope operators and the government reinvest the money in the Amazon rainforest conservation.

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A lizard watching you in Amacayacu National Park in Colombia
Photo by my girlfriend Chloé

Tourists come to Amacayacu National Park for its great views, its fauna and its flora. The best way to enjoy it is to go hiking on one of the many walking trails of the park.

There are hikes for everyone, from the 45 minutes easy jungle trail, to several days camping and hiking in the jungle.

A spider in Amacayacu National Park in Colombia

We didn't see many animals while walking in Amacayacu National Park, but I know they were there, they mimicry in the leaves, flowers and roots.

But we saw a lot of interesting trees, including some Ceibas, which are among the tallest trees on Earth.

Amacayacu National Park in Colombia

Amacayacu National Park covers 293 500 hectares of jungle. It's a conservation and protected area for the local fauna and flora.

The word "Amacayacu" means "River of the Hamocs" in the indigenous language Quechua. I don't why a Quechua name was given to a place on Ticuna territory.

Amacayacu National Park is also home to several Ticuna people, living in a more traditional way than the ones that live in Macedonia or other nearby communities.

For more information on the park, visit Amacayacu official website.

Guess what's written! It makes sense in cyrillic and Latin

A popular daytrip Leticia or from Amacayacu National Park is the pleasant small town of Puerto Nariño.

Colombia Links:

Colombia official Tourist board
Lonely Planet Colombia guides
Leticia on Trip Advisor
Compare cheap flights to Colombia
Hotels in Amacayacu National Park with
Amacayacu National Park official website

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Colombia travel guide

Colombia travel guide

Put that Gabriel García Márquez novel down and start planning your Colombian adventure! Before you know it, you'll be strolling the cobbled streets of colonial Cartagena...

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