Colombia: unknown extremes

End of the world waterfall

The adventure starts from the road that goes from Pasto to Mocoa; you cross a stretch known as “the trampoline of death,” named for being on the edge of a cliff; this makes it the most dangerous road in Colombia.

The waterfall lies between the mountains that separate Mocoa from Villa Garzon. You will arrive after a journey of approximately 2 hours through the jungle of the Putumayo. The area is guarded by an indigenous community where, in addition, they provide the guide service; these natives have built the path that runs through the seldom explored jungle, ancestral trees and other waterfalls. At 400 meters over sea level, the road stops at “The end of the world”.

Despite its name, it is not an apocalyptic scenario. The water, abundant and clean, hurdles down the mountain to fall in an abyss of 75 meters of height. It gives life to the Highland of Churumbelos that shelters Caquetá, Cauca, Huila and Putumayo departments. You can breathe pure jungle,and you are one with nature.

The return is by the same route; this includes the possibility of going to other waterfalls – up to 35 meters – through the thick jungle, so a guides company is mandatory.

Night Safari on the Amazon

In the harbor of Leticia, the capital, you can contact one of the boaters who offer the option of a night safari on the Amazon River. The tour begins at four in the afternoon to enjoy first a magic sunset, accompanied by the dance of the pink dolphins.

At nightfall, you reach an indigenous community in the jungle, which is accessed by a branch of the Amazon River. The light is low and the jungle very dense. Once inside the community the motorboat is changed by a wooden boat made by the natives. One of them acts as a guide and helps to row.

The boat passes through the branches on the road, for the river had made them part of it during the rainy season. After more than half an hour you can hear the alligators. The natives usually look for the young; about 60 cm in length, but in their adulthood can reach up to 7 meters.

In the boat you can feel when these animals enter the water which is striking; especially when you know that they can turn it over easily, leaving you defenseless in the middle of the Amazon. This is a time of great adrenaline, but at the same time, it is very satisfying to be inside this “lung” of the planet and observe the jungle in its natural state.

Guaviare Natural Wells

This is a tour of one of the least explored areas of Colombia. It is located 8 kilometers from San José del Guaviare, specifically in the central-eastern area of ​​Guaviare department. The paths are made of stone and go through the thick jungle. The river has carved the stone for years, forming natural pools around it that move from yellow to black, allowing the skin to look different in each well.

In Guaviare you can also enjoy the rocky formations that constitute the City of Stone. These rocks are characterized by resting in positions seemingly impossible to achieve, and in which you can guess shapes of animals. According to the locals, through the Orion gate – almost 15 meters high – you can see the Orion belt in December.

In Cerro Azul you can connect with the past through the pictograms painted on rock by the pre-Columbian indigenous communities, leaving a red imprint of their existence.

Green lagoon of the “Azufral” Volcano

From Pasto you can take a “chivero” (Jeep) to Túquerres. There, you take another Jeep, which takes approximately 20 minutes – climbing – along a mountain to reach the Natural Reserve; this area is guarded by National Parks. From there, you must walk 12 kilometers through the moor. The climate depends on the sun. Usually it is very cold and it can rain a little bit.

At four thousand meters over sea level, you arrive at a mountaineer’s hut, where they provide caloric foods to recover the energy consumed because of the cold. From there it descends 1 km through the crater of the “Azufral” Volcano, the lowest of the active volcanoes in Nariño. The color of the water is emerald green, making the lagoon as beautiful as this gemstone. The temperature of the water can vary from warm to boiling because of the vapors.

From the top of the crater you can enjoy a view of the Nariño landscapes which, thanks to the crops, looks like a multicolored rug that yields to the Rocky Hills of Gualcalá. The background is framed by the Pacific jungle.