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Amacayacu National Park
Amazonas, Colombia
Earth's Natural Wonders in South America
Area of national park: 11,350 square miles (29,385 km)
Amazon rainforest: 400,000 square miles (1,035,995 sq. km)
Established as a national park: 1975



The park covers an area of 293,500 hectares. It is situated in the southern part of the Amazonian Trapezoid, between the Amazon River to the south and the Cotuhé River to the north. The western border is the Amacayacu River and the Cabinas and Parnate streams; the eastern border, the Matamata and Lorena streams. Mean temperature is 27.5° The lowest rainfall occurs in July and the highest in October. The upper forest canopy in the park varies between thirty and fifty meters in height. There are 468 recorded species of birds, 11 species of herons, and 150 of aquatic mammals, including the Amazonian manatee and the river dolphin.

Reptiles have the greatest number of recorded species in Colombia, including four of the country’s six crocodile species. Fish are diverse and provide the basic sustenance of the inhabitants of the region. Around fourteen Indian tribes inhabit the Amazonian Trapezoid. Within the park area, there are two Tikuna Indian communities: Palmeras on the Amazon River and San Martin de Amacayacu on the Amacayacu River.[1]


Amacayacu National Park is a national park located along the Amazon River in the Amazonas Department in the south of Colombia. The word "Amacayacu" means "River of the Hamocs" in the indigenous language Quechua. The Ticuna people currently inhabit a part of the park.

In order to travel to the Amacayacu National Park, travellers must arrive in the city of Leticia then embark by boat to sail for the flow of the Amazon River.

From the park visitors can do different activities such as trips along the Amazon river to different islands like Mico's island where you can find hundreds of monkeys, Mocagua's island where one can see Victoria Regia or lotus flower and one of the most interesting activities: a trip up the amazon river to Tarapoto Lake which has botos or amazon dolphins.

The park includes accommodations that consists in a Maloka where travellers can sleep with a group of people in hamocs or cabins for 2 to 4 travellers.[2]

The travel journey lasts three days and it is very interesting although travellers must be very careful about mosquitos when the sun goes down. Travellers are advised to wear shirts with long sleeves and long trousers.

Thirty percent of Colombia is Amazon rainforest. Located on the northern bank of the Amazon, sandwiched next to the Cothue River, this Amacayacu National Park is Colombia's most pristine section of the Amazon. It is bordered in the east by the Amacayacu River. Trees here include the aptly named axebreaker with its huge buttress roots, and the strangler fig which gradually smothers the trees it uses for support to death. Amacayacu is rich in animal life. For two years, the British Ornithological Union conducted a bird count here and identified 490 species, including 11 classes of heron alone. Mammals are represented by about 150 species, including the three-toed sloth, tamandua, white-eared opossum, and cotton-top tamarin. Pink river dolphins or botos are seen in the Amazon. The vistor's center has platforms in the forest from which to watch the wildlife. The park is reached by air and river, with a 45 minute flight from Bogota to Leticia, followed by a three-hour boat trip. [3]

From the park visitors can do different activities such as trips along the Amazon river to different islands like Mico's island where you can find hundreds of monkeys, Mocagua's island where one can see Victoria Regia or lottus flower and one of the most interesting activities: a trip up the amazon river to Tarapoto Lake which has botos or amazon dolphins.

With the largest tropical rainforest and the most copious river in the world, the Amazonian region we share with our neighbors is another of Colombias treasures. It is a prodigious place, not only for the aboriginal people that inhabit it and the sheer size of the river, but also for the life it spawns and nurtures on land and water. Watch the You Tube video




The park is at the southern end of the Department of Amazonas and occupies a large part of the Amazon trapezoid.
The municipalities of Leticia and Puerto Nariño manage the 725,000 acres of protected area. “Amacayacu” means “Hammock River” in Quechua, probably a consequence of the arrival of missionaries into the area.

To reach the Park, fly to Leticia and take a launch north for 40 miles up the Amazon to the Matamata stream, which is the edge of the Park.

In 1542 the conquistador Francisco de Orellana started from the place where the Aguarico and Curarary river join in the Napo Valley in Ecuador and traveled to the mouth of the Amazon, also named Marañon. At the time that part of the Amazon basin was inhabited by Kahuapanas, Jeberos, Boras, Kotuenes, Jiduas, Muinanes, Mirañas, Andokes, Huitotos, Omaguas, Yaguas, Cocamas, Otucunas and Ticunas. Very few of them are left today, and only the Tikunas are still in their ancestral lands.

There are two types of terrain in this region: rolling and relatively dry land which does not flood and supports vegetation; and the floodlands The average temperature is 27°C. The Park has many examples of the spectacular Victoria lily. Capiron and Munguaba trees are characteristic of the swampy floodlands.

On the drier land trees grow to 100-130ft high. The taller species include the red and white cedar, caoba, ceiba and uvo. Amacacayu has some 150 species of mammals, including the pink dolphin and the endangered species such as the danta, jaguar, the manatee and the otter. The most spectacular of the primates is the golden lion tamarin, the smallest in the world. There are some 500 species of birds, including macaws and parrots. Among the reptiles are the jabuti tortoise – the largest fresh water tortoise in the world – and the black alligator. And there are boa constrictors, anacondas and coral snakes. Among the fish are the parcucú and the piranhas.[4]


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1.Columbia Travel-retrieved 6/19/2009
2.Wikipedia-Amacayacu National Park-retrieved 6/19/2009
3.1,001 Natural Wonders You Must See Before You Die 2005- Michael Bright-retrieved 6/19/2009
Wikipedia  text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
 4.Natural Parks of Columbia--retrieved 6/19/2009


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