The Colombian Amazon.
The Colombian Amazon Forest covers more than half of the area of Colombia, but only 3% of the population lives here. It is an area with a great bio and cultural diversity. The Colombian Amazon is by many seen as the cradle of civilization in South America and the lungs of the world.
The climate of the Colombian Amazon is characterized by big temperatures and humidity.
Still there are a lot of mysteries surrounding the Amazon and its people. Clear is that there have been people living in the Amazon since at least more than 12.000 years ago, and that form the forest people migrated to the coast and Andes a long time ago in pre Incan times. Nowadays in the Amazonia of Colombia there are still many indigenous cultures and languages.
When the Spanish arrived the Colombian Amazon rainforest was seen as an inhospitable place that also was thought to keep treasures in the form of gold and cinnamon. In search for these treasures Francisco Orellana launched an expedition, and it is said that instead encountering the El Dorado or city of cinnamon the expedition ended up eating their own horses and dogs, but managed to cross the south American continent from The Andes tot the Antilles. In this journey following the course of the largest river system in the world; The Amazon. For the indigenous people they encountered the first contact with europeans brought flues and disease that affected them drastically.
Missionaries also tried to enter the forest to christianize the amazon people in which they succeeded to an extent. But the deep forest always has given the possibility for isolation from the outside world. It is said that now around 20,000 people live in the Colombian Rain forest but that 100 years ago this were much more. It is estimated that some 30 ethical groups live in the Colombian amazon area with different languages and cosmo-visions in which nature and cosmos play an important part. But the amazon region is nowadays a cultural mix as well. A long time ago settlers already went to the region in search of land and turned into a paradise for the landless. During the second half of the 20th century armed conflict and loss of land in central Colombia led people to seek land on the new frontier in the Amazon region as well. In the same period many Afro-Colombians migrated to Putumayo because of oil production and the construction of a petrol pipeline.
Rubber production at the beginning of the twentieth century, and now eco-tourism led to the growth of Leticia. Leticia is the most important tourist hub for tourists to the Colombian amazon now. Leticia lies 100 meters above seal level and has a population of a bit less than 50,000. The average temperature is between 22 and 30 degrees℃ with a humid climate. There are two seasons a rainy season from February until the end of July and a dry seasons from august until January.
Leticia can be reached only by plain or boat. To fly from the major airports in Colombia you can reach the city within one hour. Leticia has connections by boat to Iquitos (Peru) and Manaus (Brasil).