Colombia: Calanoa Nature Reserve
An insider’s guided tour to the rainforest. One-of-a-kind trip exploring the Amazon rainforest, with a guided visit to the natural wonders of the rainforest as seen by an artist and by the aboriginal people: an adventure through the senses.
The Calanoa Natural Reserve, were we will be based, is at the very heart of the Amazon forest and its surroundings are an endless source of marvel. It is located by the banks of of the Amazon river, 60 km. upriver from the Colombia city of Leticia and besides the Amacayacu National Park. The Calanoa Project is a conservation venture that aims to develop a model of sustainable living for the humid tropics, integrating science, art and design with community development.
The Amazon rainforest is home for one of every two living species on the planet. The meaning of biodiversity and the dynamics of the rainforest will be approached through the senses. Paddling in a canoe at dusk or waking into the forest at night will allow you to listen to the sounds of life, while its aromas and tastes can be experienced through its unique fruits, beverages and refined gastronomy. Every day the forest and the river bring the most unexpected experiences: Birds and monkeys, frogs, butterflies and the most surprising insects, flowers and plants. You will be invited to appreciate the endless and amazing natural design: the colours, forms and patterns of biodiversity. And at the end of the day, a wonderful sunset over the mighty Amazon River.
Day 1: Travel day Bogotá-Leticia
Arrival at Leticia in the early afternoon, check-in and lunch at the hotel. We will walk to the local market in Leticia, enjoying the delicious and unique amazon fruits, and at dusk we will walk to Santander Park, where thousands of parrots gather for the night in a great concert. Welcome dinner at the neighbouring Brazilian town of Tabatinga.
Day 2: Leticia-Calanoa
Morning: early breakfast in Leticia.
Plan 1: Visit to a Huitoto maloca, a communal indigenous house. Dialogue with members of the community. The visitors can experience the traditional architecture (with all its symbolism explained), and listen to tales and myths about the tobacco and coca ritual, and admire the traditional crafts. Plan 2: As an alternative, visit to Mundo Amazonico, a park/botanical garden, great as an introduction to Amazonian useful and medicinal plants. Lunch in Leticia. Afternoon boat trip to Calanoa. Welcome refreshments and guided visit to the Reserve’s fruit garden and buildings, with an explanation of the Calanoa project concepts of sustainable design. Dinner.
Day 3: Calanoa
Morning: breakfast. Visit to Mocagua Island, which presents a different kind of forest and sounds, and a great location for bird watching. Back to the lodge, lunch will be served, with local produce and traditional food, Calanoa’s style. The kitchen is open for guests to visit it and participate in the preparation of food. This is an opportunity to know local produce and cooking techniques. Afternoon: Exploration of the Reserve, with indigenous guides. Crossing the reserve, to the Matamata creek, at the edge of the Amacayacu National Park, observing the extraordinary diversity of plants and animals. (For visitors between October and April, Diego will introduce useful observation techniques and tips for improving your photography skills). Return at dusk to the lodge by boat, drifting down the creek and listening to the sounds of the forest.
Day 4: Calanoa
Morning: breakfast. Bird watching around the lodge. Visit to the village of Mocagua. Lunch in Calanoa.
Afternoon: visit to the crafts village of Macedonia. Crossing to the Peruvian shore, close to Cacao Island, for river dolphins watching. Evening: If the water level allows, visit to Mocagua island’s lagoon, and caimans watching. Return to Calanoa.
Day 5: Calanoa
Breakfast. Plan 1: Boat trip to the Tikuna community of San Martin de Amacayacu. Meeting with local artisans. Lunch: local gastronomy. Afternoon: Canopying at Valencia, by the banks of the Amazon, (optional, US$30) return at dusk and dinner in Calanoa. Plan 2: for those who like to hike, you can cross from the Matamata creek, besides Calanoa, to the Amacayacu River, crossing the forest at the National Park, and arriving to San Martin de Amacayacu, were you will have lunch and return by boat to Calanoa (6 hours’ hike).
Day 6: Travel day
Early breakfast in Calanoa. Boat trip down the Amazon to Leticia. End of plan. Afternoon: flight to Bogotá.
Note: Plans may change according with climate or river conditions.
2017 Departure Dates & Costs
Daily departures based on 2 persons from November to March
Cost: $1,750 p/p based on twin share, includes domestic air