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Guaviare Amazon Adventure Tour

Created with Sketch. San José del Guaviare, Colombia
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Duration

6 days / 5 nights

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Tour Type

Daily Tour

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Group Size

4 people

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Languages

English, Spanish

Overview

Are you ready to explore an off-the-beaten-track corner of the Colombian Amazon? This is an area that was until very recently considered off-limits for travellers. If this sounds tantalizing, then the Guaviare Amazon Adventure tour is for you!

Welcome to the jungle. Here, you will study ancient rock paintings in the depths of the jungle. Traverse bright red rivers flowing across the rocky plains of the Serrania La Lindosa! 

Key Destinations: Nuevo Tolima, Ciudad de Piedra, Los Tuneles, Pozos Naturales, Laguna Negra, Puerta de Orion, Rios de plantas aquaticas, Cerro Azul, El Raudal, Damas del Nare Lake. 

Flights only available from Wednesday to Monday.

This tour can be modified to be only 3 days as well. Inquire about modifications.

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Day One: Bogota-Guaviare flight (AM) // Check in to Hotel Aeropuerto // lunch // afternoon visit to Playa Guio and Laguna Negra // dinner
  • Day Two: Full day tour to Nuevo Tolima, Ciudad de Piedra, Los Tuneles, Pozos Naturales
  • Day Three: Full day tour to Cerro Azul and El Raudal (with boat trip on Guayabero River from El Raudal)
  • Day Four: Full day tour by river to Damas del Nare Lake
  • Day Five: Morning visit to aquatic plant rivers (June-November only) and Puerta de Orion // afternoon shopping for artesanias // visit to Indigenous community. 
  • Day Six: Morning birding trip near San Jose del Guaviare // Guaviare-Bogota flight (PM)

Itinerary

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Day One

We will depart bright and early from Bogota’s Puente Aéreo Terminal, landing in the small jungle city of San Jose del Guaviare an hour later. After checking in to your comfortable hotel you will enjoy lunch in the city with your local guide before heading out on your first trip of this exciting tour. This afternoon we will visit the jungle cabins of Playa Guio, where we will take a canoe (in the dry season it is possible that the creek will have dried out, in which case we will walk and drive) along a jungle creek to Laguna Negra, a spectacular blackwater lagoon surrounded by forest. There will be wonderful opportunities to spot birds and wild monkeys during this trip, as well as to enjoy the gorgeous Amazon scenery for which Guaviare is becoming famous. In the late afternoon we will return to the hotel.

Day Two

Today we will head out on our first full day tour, exploring the spectacular landscapes of the Serrania La Lindosa. This small mountain range to the south of San Jose del Guaviare is made up of the Precambrian granite of the Guyana Shield, the oldest rocks on Planet Earth! Home to unique rock formations and surreal landscapes, La Lindosa is one of Colombia’s most important archaeological sites and we will begin the day with a visit to Nuevo Tolima, one of the region’s most iconic destinations. A short hike up the face of a rocky hill takes us to a spectacular viewpoint over the jungle and plains stretching out as far as the eye can see, but it’s what’s behind us that will capture your imagination: a giant wall of blood-red rock paintings, thought to date back as much as 10,000 years. Painted by a forgotten Indigenous culture, the huge mural features images of people, animals, birds, and geometric shapes, and is astonishingly well-preserved. We will spend some time admiring the pictograms (always keeping an eye out for monkeys and eagles from the viewpoint) before heading on to our next stop.

Next on the itinerary is a stop at the surreal Stone City. The remains of ancient undersea rock formations which have taken on the appearance of the ruins of an ancient city, complete with avenues and squares, wandering these “streets” is a bizarre and unique experience, unlike anything else in Colombia. After exploring the Stone City, we will continue through the Serrania to Los Tuneles, another beautiful rock formation. In this case, the ancient rocks have formed tunnels and caves, and we will spend some time exploring these rocky passageways (mind your head!). 

After a long day of exploration, it’s time for some rest and relaxation! Our final stop is at the beautiful Pozos Naturales swimming holes. Here a red river flows across the craggy rock formations, and has formed a series of deep round pools, punctuated by waterfalls and rapids. We will finish the day relaxing on the warm rocks and swimming in the deep, cool pools. It’s the ideal way to cool off from the intense heat of a jungle day. Once you’re sufficiently relaxed, we will head back to San Jose del Guaviare for a well-earned rest. 

Day Three

Today we will explore two more of Colombia’s most important ancient archaeological sites. First off will be the rock paintings of Cerro Azul. After a drive of roughly one-and-a-half hours through the countryside surrounding San Jose, we will arrive at a jungle-covered rocky hill. Some of the best-preserved pictograms in Colombia cover the walls of this hill, and we will spend the morning discovering these emotive paintings, which offer a unique window into the ancient past of the region. We will also visit caves full of bats, and enjoy the breathtaking view over a sea of green from the viewpoint halfway up the peak. If you’re very lucky you may even spot the near-mythical Orange-breasted Falcon, a little-known and endangered bird of prey that nests on the rock face. 

After Cerro Azul we will head on to the riverside community of El Raudal. Until very recently this village was a completely no-go zone – it was an important base of operations for FARC guerrillas and a hub in the local coca trade. In recent years, however, members of the community have started operating tours to visit the nearby rock paintings, and the village is slowly beginning to emerge from the shadows of war. After lunch in a local restaurant, we will jump into a canoe and navigate up the narrow canyons of the Guayabero River to the aforementioned rock paintings. Our route will also take us to a truly spectacular viewpoint, from which we can enjoy a wonderful 360-degree panorama overlooking the iconic Serrania de La Macarena National Park. 

From El Raudal we will continue back to San Jose del Guaviare for dinner. 

Day Four

It’s time for some Amazonian wildlife today as we visit Damas del Nare Lake, a hidden oxbow lake to the east of San Jose which has recently began to offer community ecotourism. We will reach the lake along the Guaviare River (the trip takes roughly two hours each way), which will give you ample opportunity to admire the Amazon landscapes of the region.

At Damas del Nare we will explore the network of creeks and flooded forest rivers surrounding the lake by wooden canoe. This method of travel will allow us to observe some of the many species of wild monkeys and birds which inhabit this lush jungle – keep an eye out for the noisy groups of brown woolly monkeys which often come out to watch our canoe pass by underneath the canopy. After a fresh fish lunch in a local house overlooking the lake, it’s time to visit the pink dolphins! A pod of these bizarre freshwater dolphins lives in the lagoon, and our local guide has built up quite a rapport with them over the years. In fact, all he has to do is slap the surface of the water and whistle and the dolphins appear! If you like you can jump into the lake and swim with these magnificent creatures (they may even give your feet a tickle, but don’t worry, they are not dangerous, just curious). 

In the late afternoon we will depart by river for San Jose del Guaviare. 

Day Five

On your final full day in Guaviare, we will dedicate the morning to exploring more of the Serrania La Lindosa, this time closer to San Jose. Our first port of call will be the surreal red rivers which have been dubbed the “twin” of the famous Cano Cristales. Between June and November these clear rivers appear bright red as the endemic Macarenia clavigera blooms. It’s a stunning sight, and this is one of the few areas on earth where you can enjoy it (for people wishing to visit outside the June-November season, this trip will be replaced with a visit to a nearby waterfall). 

After visiting the red rivers we’ll continue on to the Puerta de Orion, probably the most iconic rock formation in the area (and there’s stiff competition for that title!). This towering rock is 12m high and 15m wide at its base, and holds an important place in local Indigenous cosmology – during the summer solstice, it’s upper window perfectly frames the constellation of Orion. To reach the Puerta de Orion we will also hike through some of the most beautiful landscapes of the Serrania La Lindosa. 

In the afternoon there will be time to shop at local shops for Amazon artisan crafts before we visit a local Indigenous community to learn more about the unique cultures which still exist around the jungle of Guaviare. 

Day Six

It’s our final day in Guaviare, but there’s still time for some more exploring! The region is becoming known for its bird diversity, and this morning our local guide will take us on a short birding excursion on riverside trails near San Jose. With luck you will be able to spot toucans, parrots, tanagers, and herons, as well as more monkeys. 

In the late afternoon we will head to the airport (2 minutes from your hotel, so there’s no rush!) for our return flight to Bogota. 

Tour's Location

Created with Sketch. San José del Guaviare, Colombia

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