Colombia off the beaten track - Feb 13 - Feb 17, 2019
Our visit to Amazonas felt like a real adventure!
We were met in bustling Leticia by Darwin, our English-speaking guide, and spent the next 90 minutes awe-struck by the immensity of the river and the expertise of the boatman, who skilfully navigated past tree trunks and other floating debris as we sped our way upstream to Callanoa.
Our ‘home’ at the ecolodge was a beautifully designed 2-storey casita (more than just a cabin). Surrounded by a garden of heliconias and other floral delights, we were immersed in the sounds of birds in the secondary forest – the crested oropendolas with their liquid ‘glopping’ call, yellow-rumped caciques, and a multitude of diverse tanagers - with a rhythmic backing of frogs and cicadas.
We spent three comfortable nights here on the banks of the river Amazon as the river was rising at the start of its annual flood.
Each day started with a tasty breakfast –often in the company of a visiting troupe of squirrel monkeys or black-mantled tamarins. Then we would be hailed by the enthusiastic Darwin and taken off for a visit to the neighbouring village or, further afield, by boat, to flooded forests and islands, where we cruised amongst the trees spotting birds, sloths, pink dolphins and other wildlife. We will never forget the huge horizons and looming cloudscapes (nor the tremendous downpour that caught us midriver).
Going back to the lodge each day for lunch and supper –usually fish (always locally caught) and always delicious - provided opportunities to relax and rehydrate with a beer or exotic fruit juice.
We would love to return to the Amazonas wilderness in the future and, after a blessing from the local shaman at Callanoa, who knows, maybe in spirit at least...
The people who helped to make the trip so good:
-Darwin, a cheerful and knowledgeable guide. He appeared to know the area and the people and interacted well with the local guides to enable us to get the most out of our visit.
-The owner of the ecolodge, Diego. He was often present at meals when he was willing to answer our questions and to explain the ideas behind the Callanoa project. He aims to develop sustainable tourism as a way of restoring the natural forest and to provide the local people with employment and a cash income.