A few weeks ago I talked about my first day in Leticia, Amazonas, including a trip to Brazil for dinner. I woke up the next day ready to spend the entire day on the Amazon River. The hotel arranged everything for us, so they arranged a boat driver, translator, and the ride to the docks. Come along to see the different stops we made throughout the day!
But first, let’s talk about our boat driver/Amazon guide. He was amazing! He’s a fisherman and I was amazed by how well he knew the land. He made me want to find people in Wisconsin and Minnesota who know their land as well as he did so that I can learn as much about my home as he shared about his. Our translator was also amazing and it was fun to get to know her throughout as we went on our tours.
I can’t even tell you how amazing it was to spend time on the Amazon River. That alone was a dream come true… but then there were the dolphins.
Again, our boat driver/Amazon guide was amazing and he always knew when dolphins were coming and where to hang out to see them. He called out to them and once even asked the dolphin to bring him some fish, which was such a fun glimpse at his personality.
I’ve loved dolphins since I was a little girl, so it was so cool to see the pink dolphins in person and to learn more about them. The dolphins are actually grey when they’re born and they become pink as they get older and become more active. We saw a lot of dolphins while we were out on the river and a lot of them were really pink, which I guess is unusual. So that was amazing.
One of our stops was Monkey Island. This was basically built to be a sanctuary for monkeys, so people are allowed to come visit the monkeys, but this is a place for the monkeys to live in the wild. You can come and just look at the monkeys or…
You can hold a banana and the monkeys will come to you.
This was such a weird experience. I could feel the monkeys on me, but I could barely feel them. Their touch was really light and airy. I told a friend about this experience and they were like, “You touched monkeys!” But really it was more like the monkeys touched me. I knew they were there, but I needed to see the photographic evidence to know for sure. 😂Of course… there was also another kind of evidence this had happened. If you looked closely and wondered, “Do I see brown specks on your hands? Is that…” Why yes, you would be correct.
The monkeys pooped on me. We were told this might happen and were assured that their poop is just filled with fruit and seeds, so after the monkeys left and we saw how covered I was our translator exclaimed, “See? Seeds!” Apparently, if they poop on you it’s good luck, so… I’m just waiting for all that good luck to kick in! 😂It honestly didn’t bother me; it’s all part of the adventure! How often do you have a chance to be pooped on by monkeys? (I say, “Not much!” But I know some who say, “I don’t need the chance.” 😂 Which side are you on?) I don’t think I would have appreciated the chance as much (since it was our first stop) if they didn’t have…
A place to wash off, so I was able to clean up right away. I felt my head as I washed off and didn’t think the monkey that sat on my head had pooped, but the first thing I did when I got back to the hotel that night was take a shower and scrub my head. 😂
(My jacket dried off really quickly. It was the perfect jacket for this trip. I got it from Maurices, but I haven’t seen it since I ordered it and had shipping expedited when I realized I didn’t have any light, long-sleeve jackets to take along.)
Reserva Natura Park
Our next step was Reserva Natura Park, where we got to see the Victoria amazonica–these really big water lilies.
We saw these water lilies while we were out on the river, too, but it was really spectacular to see them here.
Before we stopped at Puerto Nariño, we visited the Community of Macedonia, where the Tikuna tribe welcomed us with a welcome dance. They even pulled us into the dance, so we got to dance with them! Afterward, we were able to see the beautiful handicrafts they make and sell. I didn’t get many photos here.
Our second-to-last stop was Puerto Nariño. This was actually my least favorite stop on the trip, but I’m definitely alone in that. People typically love Puerto Nariño and I can totally see why. I was hot, tired, and still coming down from the high of being covered in monkeys! Also, while we were there we saw a little girl being rushed by a group to receive medical attention and I have thought about her quite a bit since. 💙
But it really is a lovely place to visit. Puerto Nariño is known for its efforts to be eco-friendly. As you can see in that first picture, there is a planter made from plastic bottles, and you could see the ways they’ve reused items all over. They purposefully don’t have any motorized vehicles (except for garbage trucks, I believe). It really was a beautiful place to visit and we got to meet some really cool people while we were there.
This is where we got lunch for the day and they served a delicious meal of soup, chicken, fish, rice, beans, and fresh juice. I have never been a big fan of fish, but I still think about this fish. They had limes to squeeze over the top of it and… it was definitely a great place to grab a meal!
Our last stop was Tarapatos Lake. Apparently, you can sometimes see dolphins here. We didn’t, but we weren’t lacking for dolphin sightings on our trip! (I would have taken more, though! 😂) I enjoyed sitting in the peace and quiet on the beautiful lake!
After that our day on the Amazon River was over. We went back and the boat ride back was just as lovely. I’m one of those who can easily spend a day on a boat and I really appreciated the ability to spend the day on a boat on the Amazon River in Colombia. It’s an experience that I think back to so often and treasure.
Once we were back in Leticia we went to a church where you can climb up to the tower to see small parrots fly in from the jungle at sunset to the trees where they sleep at night. I don’t think I have any photos of the birds flying in (there might be some video footage in the vlog I’ll share soon), but it was an amazing sight!
And that was our first full day in Leticia.