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Top 5 Hidden Gems: Best Lakes and Rivers for Fishing in Colombia

Landscape trip across the Amazon river

Updated on 06/05/2024

Dear reader,
I would also like to recommend our Colombia travel guide, which provides a perfect overview of the tourist attractions in Colombia. Enjoy reading it!

From lakes surrounded by misty mountains to rivers embraced by the Amazon jungle. In this article, we will show you some rivers and lakes in Colombia, so you can go fishing in the middle of nature.

Why Fishing in Colombia?

I’ll explain it very briefly!

Colombia is a privileged country, as its topography gives rise to different water sources throughout the territory, making it one of the most attractive places in Latin America for fishing all year round.

Important:

  • Before embarking on this journey, you should know that fishing is regulated throughout the national territory.
  • This means you’ll need an authorization or fishing license, which you can obtain through the National Authority of Aquaculture and Fisheries (AUNAP), and you must carry it with you at all times. It’s quite easy to obtain.
  • When you book your fishing trip, ask your guide if the fishing license is included in the price and find out who will keep the fish you catch.
  • In these places, you’ll find many fish species, but your guide will indicate which ones can be kept and which ones can be cooked.

Let’s get started!

Best Rivers and Lakes for Fishing in Colombia

Lakes of Siecha – Cundinamarca

Location: In the Chingaza National Natural Park, 36 km from Bogotá in Cundinamarca.

Access: Entry to the park plus fishing activity have a cost.

The Siecha lagoons are a set of three lagoons in Chingaza National Park, the ideal destination for nature lovers, hikers, and fishing enthusiasts.

Fishing has been practiced in these lagoons for over 30 years; in fact, it’s their main tourist activity. Additionally, you can catch your own fish and take it with you. The most common fish species is the rainbow trout, typical of the region.

You’ll also find places serving international cuisine, an events center, and, of course, breathtaking landscapes towards the savannas.

Siecha Lake Chingaza
PNN Chingaza

Services and activities

  • Restaurant.
  • Camping area.
  • Visitor center.
  • Auditorium.
  • Hiking.
  • Photography and videos.
  • Observation of wildlife and flora.
  • Geological observation.

Important:

  • You must request a control fishing permit at the park entrance checkpoint, presenting your ID and national fishing license.
  • You must respect the maximum limit of 10 fishermen per day and the catch limit of 5 trout per person.
  • Be prepared for cold and rainy weather.

How to get there?

  • From Bogotá, the nearest city, take the La Calera route, passing by the ruins of Cementos Samper and Buenos Aires. After 22 km, you’ll reach the service post at Piedras Gordas, where you’ll find the park entrance and the Siecha lagoons sector.
  • You can only access by private or hired vehicle. There is no public transportation. If you’re traveling in winter, it’s best to bring a four-wheel-drive vehicle.

We invite you to check the official website for more information.

Yavarí River / Heliconia Natural Reserve – Amazonas

Location: The reserve is located in the heart of the Amazonian trapezoid on the Yavarí River, which marks the border between Brazil and Peru, 110 km from Leticia, near the Amazon River.

Access: Charged.

The Yavarí River is an important affluent of the Amazon River and a perfect place for regional artisanal fishing. In this river, you’ll find fish such as piranha, pirarucu, peacock bass, among others typical of the heart of the Amazon River.

If you’re looking for a fishing experience in the Amazon, we recommend Heliconia Natural Reserve, an ecological lodging located in the Colombian Amazon jungle, amidst humid forests and jungles.

To go fishing in this place, you don’t need experience. You’ll learn artisanal and traditional fishing from local guides. They’ll provide you with all the tools like hooks, nets, and harpoons.

Services and activities

  • Fishing.
  • Hiking.
  • Dolphin watching.
  • Community tourism.
  • Day and night canoeing.
  • Private transport.
  • Tour guide.
  • Cabins accommodation.
  • Restaurant.

Important:

  • You must book your fishing package in advance, as the reserve has limited capacity and only operates at certain times each year.
  • Bring comfortable clothing for the tropical climate such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts, sunglasses, insect repellent, and sunscreen.

How to get there?

From your city, take a flight to Leticia in Amazonas.

  • You can take public transportation, such as a taxi or a mototaxi, and ask to be taken to km 7 via the Ziora Amena indigenous community. The journey takes about 15 minutes.
  • You can take a tour directly with the reserve, as it includes private transportation from Leticia. They’ll pick you up from the hotel or wherever you are and take you in a safe vehicle.

Amazon River / Natamú Natural Reserve – Amazonas

Location: The river is located in the south of Colombia in the Amazonas department. The reserve is located 30 kilometers from Leticia and borders Peru by the Chinería River.

Access: Charged

The Amazon River is the king of rivers worldwide, with a length of 6,800 km. It’s a favorite fishing spot and a source of livelihood for many native communities throughout the Amazon.

At Natamú Natural Reserve, you can stay in local cabins for several days. Fishing trips usually last more than two hours.

You start the journey by boat on the Chinería River, an affluent of the Amazon River. There, they’ll provide you with fishing rods, pieces of cut meat, and all the tools you need, and then head to the authentic Amazon River to start artisanal fishing.

fisherman in Amazon river

Services and activities

  • Independent cabin accommodation.
  • Restaurant with typical food.
  • Canoe transport.
  • Rest area with hammocks in front of the Chinería River.
  • Wildlife watching.
  • Sport and artisanal fishing.
  • Night safari.
  • Canoeing and kayaking.
  • Visit to local communities.

Important:

This activity is subject to weather conditions for the safety and care of tourists. In case of bad weather, it may be delayed or canceled.

How to get there?

From your city, take a flight to Leticia.

  • Once in Leticia, you must take a boat and navigate 15 km upstream on the Amazon River to the mouth of the Chinería River in Peru.
  • Another option is that you can hire the boat transport service offered by the reserve; they’ll pick you up in Leticia when you’re there.

Las Vegas Sport Fishing Lakes – Valle del Cauca

Location: In Ginebra, via La Floresta, about 50 km from Cali in Valle del Cauca.

Access: Entry to the club is free, but some services have a cost.

Las Vegas Sport Fishing Lakes is a club that offers a recreational fishing experience where you’ll find several lakes housing and breeding fish such as Yamú, cachama, red tilapia, carp, and catfish.

Although it’s free, there’s a fee for each fish you catch, but don’t worry, it’s quite affordable and worth it.

It’s a very complete place. It has amenities like bike rental, parks, and cabin accommodation. It’s designed especially for a family plan if that’s what you’re looking for.

Schedule: Monday to Sunday: 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Important:

  • You must book in advance.
  • Pets are allowed.

How to get there?

  • From Cali, you can take a route at the transportation terminal to Ginebra, about 1 hour journey.
  • Once in Ginebra, you can take another transportation service to the club via La Floresta, about 5 km away. There you’ll see a sign with the entrance to the fishing club.

We invite you to visit the official website for more information.

Nare River – Antioquia

Location: It is located near the municipalities of Alejandría and Puerto Nare in Antioquia, 217 km from Medellín.

Access: Charged

The Nare River is one of the most protected rivers in the country and an important affluent of the Magdalena River. Here you’ll find a privileged landscape and several pools suitable for fishing, where competitions are held annually.

The first option is that you can go to the municipalities of Alejandría or Puerto Nare in Antioquia, which are the two most popular places for this practice. You’ll always go out accompanied by guides.

In this river, you’ll find typical fish of the area such as peacock bass, bocachicos, mojarras, catfish, trout, and colossi of over 2 meters like the monstrous payara, a highly feared predator.

How to get to Alejandría and Puerto Nare?

  • To get to Alejandría from Medellín, you must take a bus route at the transportation terminal via Medellín – Guatapé – Alejandría, the journey takes almost 3 hours, 80 km.
  • To get to Puerto Nare from Medellín, there is a direct route to Puerto Nare at the transportation terminal. The journey takes 4 hours, 214 km.

The second option is that you can hire services from a lodging near the river.

In that case, we could recommend Refugio del Agua, one of the best places with high-quality amenities, where you’ll have a very pleasant fishing experience at reasonable prices.

Location: On the banks of the Nare River, Caracóli in Antioquia, 90 km from Medellín.

Services and activities

  • Accommodation.
  • Spa.
  • Free breakfast, Restaurant.
  • Sport fishing.
  • Ecological walks.
  • Boat rides, kayaking.
  • Horseback riding and bike rental.

How to get to Refugio del Agua?

From Medellín, make sure to get to Puerto Nare or Alejandría as explained earlier.

To get to Refugio del Agua, there’s only one way, and it’s by boat or canoe through the Nare River. This service is provided by the eco-hotel, and they’ll pick you up once you’ve arrived there.

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About Author

Frank

Frank

Hello! I'm Frank Spitzer, the founder and the heart behind Pelecanus, a specialized tour operator for Colombia travel. My journey in travel is vast and rich – I've explored over 60 countries, absorbing cultures, experiences, and stories along the way. Since 2017, I've been channeling this wealth of global experience into creating unforgettable travel experiences in Colombia. I'm recognized as a leading authority in Colombian tourism, with a deep-seated passion for sharing this beautiful country with the world. You can catch glimpses of my travel adventures and insights around Colombia on my YouTube channel. I'm also active on social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, where I share the vibrant culture and stunning landscapes of Colombia. For professional networking, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. Join me on this incredible journey, and let's explore the wonders of Colombia together!

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