But when the vast majority of the FARC guerillas quit fighting in 2017, other areas of the country became safe to travel to and it opened up fascinating areas in the Amazon made famous by the famous ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes, during his explorations in the early 1940's, as are mentioned at
Most of these areas are in part of the ancient Guyana Shield geologic formation that causes fantastic rock formations, such as the tepuis in Venezuela (like Angel Falls). Some are reasonably easy to get to and some have some creature comforts such as hotels nearby, but others still require a bit of work to get to and the travel is under primitive conditions, which requires flexibility in your itinerary planning due to changes in flights.
In some areas, where they grew coca for a living as little as 4 years ago, they are trying to use tourism to replace or supplement the income they used to get by farming and ranching. In other areas they want to use tourism to help to preserve their culture. They want tourists to see things that are in in danger of extinction and that are an intangible heritage of humanity, so that they will remain engraved in our memory and that of humanity, and thus be remembered forever.
Here are brief descriptions of some of these new areas:
- Mavecure Hills - Amazon jungle like Leticia and hills like the tepui formations of the Guyana Shield. Some petroglyphs. Considered a sacred site by the locals, it is located 50 km south of the city of Inírida on the Inírida River
- Araracuara: Amazon jungle as Leticia. But with small and exuberant formations of the Guyanese shield, with impressive landscapes. A cultural immersion expedition in the isolated Uitotos, Muinanes and Macunas tribes (among others) of the Amazon. Eat as they eat and to experience in a healthy way how the indigenous ancestors live, a living culture. A living museum. Overnight in native houses. Must be flexible because of local flight changes and delays. Near border of Caqueta and Amazonas regions.
- San José del Guaviare: Amazon like Leticia. Small formations of Serranía "Tepui", which belong to the "Serranía de la Lindosa" Has rock pictographs made by local indigenous cultures estimated to be around 20,000 years old. Also has savannah of the Orinoquía "Eastern plains". The land is graced by amazing protruding rock formations, full of labyrinths, natural bridges and rivers that flow over the plain rock slabs. These slabs are where you will find the stunning Macarenia Clavigera, the famous endemic and delicate plant which changes its color to red in the second semester of the year in the same manner as Caño Cristales. You sleep in a hotel in the City of Guaviare and the tours are day tours near the city.
- Caño Cristales: A meeting of Savannah of the Orinoquía, Amazon jungle like in Leticia and Guyana Shield, with rock formations, a beautiful river (with the famous endemic and delicate plant that changes its color to red in the second semester of the year) and waterfalls. Pictograms, but no paintings. Can do day trips from hotels in La Macarena or from community shelters or from an eco lodge. Near Serrania de La Macarena NP, southwest of San José del Guaviare.
- Vaupes and Apaporis River (southern part of the Vaupés department, near Rio Pure NP). It has an Amazon jungle, tepuis and you sleep in a tepui like Chiribiquete. They have original tribes, original dances, cave paintings and wonderful landscapes. A camping expedition for all those who feel the call to learn more about the ancient cultures of the Amazon and want to observe with respect (and without obligation to use sacred plants), admiration, transformation, and joy. Interacting with these people is conscious, respectful, cultural, natural, and sustainable tourism. We arrive at meeting spaces from association and agreements with the local tribes, helping to preserve knowledge through sharing, and caring for the territory by discovering it and recognizing it as our own. Must be flexible with itinerary because of flights.
- Putumayo and the Sibundoy Valley - You can have a medicinal, cultural or nature trip. Can have a conversation with a shaman about the Ayahuasca ritual and you can participate in a Yagé ceremony: "the vine of the soul" if you want, or you can have a more nature-oriented trip. Go to a town with countless cultural murals of tradition. Visit authentic craft shops of the cultural tradition of the indigenous people, mainly of looms, hand-carved wooden masks; necklaces and bracelets made with beads. Visit the Salado Hot Springs on a 6-hour walk through the beautiful village of Santiago and through traditional indigenous farms, until reaching the top of the hill to enter the beautiful and mystical paths of high Andean forest that descend to the hot springs. Reaching the hot springs that descend from the volcano and see its vapors among the Andean jungle forest is a unique gift.
- Mitu, Vaupes- This place is really surprising for all the corners it has in jungles, tepuis, rivers, and above all the strength in its indigenous culture. Almost 90% of the population is indigenous and they maintain their culture, tradition and language, preserving a wonderful relationship with nature, the sacred hills and animals. All nights are in a hotel in Mitú city, and you go on day tours from the city.
- Serrania De Chiribiquete National Park - The largest protected area in Colombia. Has over 75,000 figures made by indigenous people on the walls of the 60 rock shelters from 20,000 BCE, and are still made nowadays by the uncontacted peoples protected by the National Park. The indigenous communities, which are not directly present on the site, consider Chiribiquete as a sacred place that cannot be visited and that should be preserved unaltered. Only available as a flyover - can be from Bogota or as an add-on to a San José del Guaviare tour. Richard Evans Schultes called it "The Seventh Heaven". Hopefully overflights will resume in 2023.