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Discover Colombia’s Top 7 Destinations to Witness the Amazonian Victoria

victoria regia flower in Colombian amazon

Updated on 06/07/2024

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!

Did you know that the world’s largest aquatic flower is endemic to the Amazon and is found in Colombia? In this blog, we reveal the best places where you can see it in person.

Where to see the Amazonian Victoria in Colombia?

Botanical Garden of Bogotá

Location: Avenida José Celestino Mutis # 68-95, Engativa district, Bogotá.

Access: Entrance fee applies.

The Botanical Garden of Bogotá stands as one of the key centers for the conservation and research of flora and fauna from the high Andean ecosystems and páramos. Among its living collections lies the marvelous Victoria Amazonica.

To see this plant, you can visit the Amazon Rainforest section of the Tropicarium, where the temperature and humidity conditions needed by this species are recreated.

Services and Activities

  • Guided tours.
  • Flora and fauna observation.
  • Cafeteria and restaurant.
  • Library.
  • Discussions.
  • Parking.
  • Courses and workshops covering environmental, botanical, artistic, and cultural topics.
  • Exhibitions.

Schedule: Tuesday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Visit the Botanical Garden of Bogotá website for further information.

Botanical Garden of Cali

Location: Carrera 2 Oeste # 21-121 in the JBC offices, 1 kilometer from the Cali zoo and situated along the Cali River basin in Celsia, Valle del Cauca.

Access: Entrance fee applies.

The Botanical Garden of Cali stands as one of the few places outside its endemic zone in the Amazon where this species is preserved.

In fact, it was here, in mid-2023, that the Victoria Amazonica bloomed for the first time, giving visitors the chance to witness it in the pond at the Botanical Garden’s entrance. Currently, a much larger collection of Victorias can be observed here.

Services and Activities

  • Guided tours.
  • Hiking.
  • Regional flora and fauna observation.
  • Temporary botanical exhibitions.
  • Cultural events in the auditorium (music, dances, etc.).
  • Souvenir shop.
  • Parking.
  • Cafeteria and restaurants.

Schedule: Thursday to Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

For more information, visit the official website and plan your visit.

Victoria Regia Garden

Location: 5 miles deep via Leticia-Puerto Nariño road in the Amazonas.

Access: Entrance fee applies.

The Victoria Regia Garden is a natural and highly exotic botanical garden within the pristine depths of the Colombian Amazon jungle. It stands as the sole botanical garden in the country dedicated to the Victoria Amazonica.

Within a 2-hour journey, visitors can witness this plant at the Lake of Victoria Regia Leaves, boasting one of the largest collections of Victorias in the country.

Additionally, visitors can spot other types of regional flora around the lake or venture deeper into the Amazon jungle to enjoy many more activities, always accompanied by a local guide, of course!

Services and Activities

  • Guided tours through the Colombian Amazon virgin jungle.
  • Visit to the butterfly enclosure.
  • Lookout point to appreciate the Amazon River.
  • Tour to feed the caimans.
  • Flora and fauna observation.
  • Restaurant and cafeteria.
  • Restrooms.
  • Kiosks with hammocks for relaxation.
  • Private transportation.

Schedule: Monday to Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

How to get there

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

Once in Leticia, the only available route is by taking a boat along the Amazon River to the botanical garden, which is about a 20-minute journey. An advantage is that you can appreciate the jungle landscapes during the trip.

For more details, you can visit the official page to request further information.

Quindío Botanical Garden

Location: Municipality of Calarcá, 9,3 miles from Armenia in Quindío.

Access: Entrance fee applies.

The Quindío Botanical Garden stands as one of the most significant botanical gardens in Colombia and a prime tourist spot within the coffee axis.

As a non-profit organization dedicated to environmental research and education, it studies a large portion of the flora and fauna not only of the coffee axis but of the entire country.

The Victoria Amazonica is no exception, and this garden has a tropical garden with a climate adapted to the tropical rainforest and a lake where you can appreciate this giant plant and other types of lotus flowers.

Services and Activities

  • Butterfly garden (butterfly observation).
  • Bird and flora observation.
  • Hiking.
  • Palm museum.
  • Insect museum.
  • Geology museum.
  • Parking.
  • Restaurants and cafeterias.
  • Environmental guide service included.

Schedule: Monday to Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

How to get there

From Armenia, drive or take a bus from the transportation terminal to Calarcá, where the garden is located, approximately a 20-minute journey. Finally, instruct the driver to drop you off at the botanical garden entrance.

Visit the Quindío Botanical Garden website, where you can find more information there.

Recommendations for Visiting Botanical Gardens

  • According to each garden’s schedule, aim to arrive early to avoid crowds.
  • Explore all areas of the garden to fully appreciate its diversity.
  • Do not litter or leave any waste in the garden spaces, and always take care of the surrounding flora and fauna.
  • Apply sunscreen and always carry hydration.
  • Bring mosquito repellent.
  • Always wear comfortable walking attire such as sports shoes, caps, and sports sweaters.
  • Pets are not allowed.
  • Do not touch the exhibition showcases in the museum rooms.

Amacayacu National Natural Park

Location: In the “Amazonian Trapezium” between the borders with Brazil and Peru, 37 miles from Leticia, the nearest capital city.

Access: Entrance fee applies.

Amacayacu National Natural Park stands as one of the most important nature reserves in Colombia, where you’ll find over 5000 plant species, 468 bird species, and over 150 mammals.

Within the ecological trails leading to this flower, you can visit the one leading to Isla Mocagua, an elevated path of about half an hour where you’ll see several lakes with numerous white and pink Victorias.

Services and Activities

  • Hammock accommodation.
  • Meals.
  • Transportation.
  • Guided and environmental interpretation tours.
  • Trekking through terrestrial and aquatic trails.
  • Craft workshops.
  • Cultural demonstrations (dances, songs, games, etc.)

How to get there

  • You must reach Leticia, which has an international airport. Then, from the city’s port, take a boat along the Amazon River to the Matamatá creek, approximately a two-hour journey. This is the only available route.
  • You can also arrive by hydroplane over the Cotuché River.

If you wish to contact the park, visit the Amacayacu National Natural Park website and request further information.

Mundo Amazónico Ecological Park

Location: 15 minutes from Leticia at km 7 on the Leticia – Tarapacá road in the Amazonas.

Access: Entrance fee applies.

Mundo Amazónico Ecological Park is an environmental interpretation center where you’ll find collections of endemic and fruit-bearing plants of the Amazon, while delving deep into the true Amazon jungle.

If you want to spot the Victoria Amazonica in this place, you can visit the botanical garden of the park, where you’ll find a space with a natural pond dedicated to this floral species, where they are bred and bloom. It’s also a recommended place if you’re seeking an experience in the Amazon jungle.

Services and Activities

  • Aquarium for regional marine fauna observation.
  • Botanical garden.
  • Hiking.
  • Store with Amazon natural products.
  • Tourism in indigenous community villages.
  • Talks and workshops.
  • Restaurants.
  • Hammock areas for relaxation.
  • Private transportation.

Schedule: Monday to Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

How to get there

  • From your city, take a flight to Leticia. Once there, take public transportation such as a taxi or a mototaxi, and ask to be taken to km 7 on the road to the indigenous community of Ziora Amena. The journey takes about 15 minutes.
  • You can take a tour directly with the park, as it includes private transportation from Leticia. They will pick you up from your hotel or wherever you are and take you in a safe vehicle.

Visit the official website to review more information and plan your expedition.

Heliconia Natural Reserve

Location: Yavarí River, 110 km outside Leticia, in the Amazonas.

Access: Entrance fee applies.

Heliconia Natural Reserve is an ecological accommodation located in the Colombian Amazon jungle.

The good thing is that on these tours you will be not only in the Colombian Amazon rainforest, but also the Brazilian and Peruvian jungle, since the reserve is so extensive that it borders the Amazonian soil of Brazil and Peru, you will encounter a lot of flora and fauna.

To see the Victoria Amazonica, you can do so in front of the lake located in front of the lodging cabins. However, if you want to venture into the jungle to see them, you can. Just be sure to go with a guide!

Services and Activities

  • Fishing.
  • Walks.
  • Dolphin watching.
  • Community tourism.
  • Day and night canoeing.
  • Private transportation.
  • Tour guide.
  • Accommodation in cabins.
  • Restaurant.

How to get there

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

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

Visit the official website to review more information and make your reservation.

7 Fascinating Facts About the Amazonian Victoria You Didn’t Know

  • It’s the largest aquatic flower in the world; its circular leaves can measure up to 2 meters in diameter and withstand up to 40 kg of weight.
  • The underside of its leaves is covered with spines that protect them from herbivorous fish.
  • Its flower lasts only 48 hours and changes color and sex: the first night it’s white and feminine, and the second night it’s pink and masculine.
  • Its flower attracts beetles with its sweet aroma and traps them to carry its pollen to other flowers.
  • Its submerged stem can reach 8 meters in length, making the plant taller than it is wide.
  • It does not like to share its space with other plants, as it prevents sunlight from reaching the water under its leaves.
  • It’s named in honor of Queen Victoria of England, who ruled during the 18th century; it was discovered by English botanists in the Amazon.

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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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