A quick recap of our vacation to Leticia, Amazonas so far: the day we arrived included dinner in Brazil and a tour of our bungalow. And the next day we spent the day on the Amazon River.

We woke up bright and early on our last day in Leticia, ready to go back out on the river for a birdwatching excursion. I left my DSLR in Bogota so that I wasn’t worried about it as we got on and off the boats, so I don’t have a lot of pictures of the birds (or sloths!) that we saw. I knew I’d miss out on some of those great shots when I left it behind, but for me, it was totally worth it in order to avoid the stress of carrying it around.

BIRDWATCHING

This is the best bird photo that I got.

We went out with the same boat driver/guide and translator that we had the day before. And again, we were so lucky to have him as our guide for most of our trip. He was able to spot birds and sloths that I wouldn’t have seen hanging out in trees and had so much information to share.

There were two others on this excursion with us, but they weren’t with us the day before, so when we started to see a lot of pink dolphins again he told our translator that the dolphins must be drawn to us. It was the best thing to say to this dolphin-lover! 😂🙂

One cool thing is that you can see how high water levels have been over the years by looking at the trunks of trees. The bottom of the tree trunks are always darker because they show how high the water level has been.

He pulled these little fruits off a tree for everyone to try.

It was beautiful and once again I was just so grateful to be able to spend time in a boat on the Amazon River for a few hours. I’m always drawn to water; any body of water is a healing place for me to be.

After a few hours our birdwatching adventure was done and had some time to unwind at the hotel until it was time for lunch.

LUNCH IN PERU

We told the hotel we’d like to have lunch in Peru, so they found a boat to take us there.

It was raining when we went out for lunch and the restaurant was open so it was fun to sit and listen to the rain. They had music playing and an area that would have been perfect to get up and dance in if you were inclined, but there were kids who were running around in it. It was such a fun place for a meal!

PREP FOR THE AMAZON

One thing to be aware of when planning a trip like this is to see what you need to do in order to prepare yourself to stay healthy while you’re gone and when you return.

I like to look at the CDC website to see their recommendation for travel and research all of it so that I’m informed, but I also get a travel health consultation with a doctor at a travel clinic. For this trip, I ended up getting a few vaccines and a prescription for malaria medication, as well as the recommendation of some over the counter meds to bring in case I had any gastrointestinal issues. You know… the joys of international travel. (And luckily I didn’t, but it can happen.) So do your research on what you might need, find a good travel clinic in your area, and talk to a doctor so that you can stay healthy during and after your vacation.

Additionally, for the Amazon I was told to bring a good insect repellant. I remember seeing recommendations of what to bring online, but I was traveling with family and they recommended specific products, so I went with those. They also told me to treat the clothes I planned to wear with an insect repellent. Again, they told me what to buy. I basically had to spray every item with a repellent that lasts for two washes. I also made sure I had a good sunscreen with me after getting the worst sunburn of my life the first time I visited Bogota. That one lasted forever! And I still don’t know why I shared the picture in that post online… no part of that is good. 😂

I brought the bottle of insect repellent in the photo with me when we went on our final excursion in Leticia.

NIGHT SAFARI

The night safari was the part of our trip that made me a little uncomfortable. I didn’t expect to see much. I just thought it would be cool to sit on a boat in the jungle at night and listen to the sounds and maybe see the red eyes of the alligators in the water. (We heard lots of sounds, but didn’t see any alligators.)

For this excursion we piled into a canoe and left just in time to watch the sun start to set. The birds were flying from the jungle to roost on the trees and it was an amazing sight to see all of these birds flying through the air.

I was uncomfortable because the guide had a flashlight that he’d shine on some of the animals so that we could see them. I didn’t want to be a disruption in their nighttime routine, I just wanted to see and experience what I was able to without bothering them. I don’t know if this is how every nighttime jungle excursion operates, but I was really uneasy about it. I wanted to let all the animals rest.

He was also obsessed with a specific kind of owl and kept playing owl sounds to try and attract the owl.

But this excursion was filled with so much beauty…

If you look closely at the trees in the second photo, you can see some of the birds that already found a place for the night. And then we saw the most beautiful sunset.

It was such a beautiful way to end our time in Leticia.

The next morning we got up, had breakfast, and went back to the airport to go back to Bogota.

I don’t know what to say to end this. It was a dream trip and I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to go. I think about Leticia and the things we did often and use a lot of these photos regularly when making graphics for work.

After I returned a few people asked if this was my last time going to Colombia. The relatives that I visited each time I went left later that year. There are so many different things to see and do in Colombia and I definitely plan to go back. I’d also love go back to Leticia again to be able to do some things we couldn’t fit into this trip. (And yes, I’ll admit: I looked at airplane tickets a few times while writing these posts. 😂)

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