Parque Santander (Leticia, Colombia)

In the sleepy border town of Leticia, Colombia, Parque Santander is a unique spectacle.  The park is not just unique for Colombia but there is truly nothing else like it anywhere in the world.  Each evening as the sun is going down, thousands of small parrots (pericos) fly into the park to loudly chirp and before settling into a comfortable slumber for the night.  It’s not just the chirping of the parrots that informs the city that they are in the park, but the flapping of thousands of little winds that can be heard from blocks away.  While the little green parrots are a big draw for the park, it is much more than just a nightly resting place for the birds.  There are plenty of people meeting up in the park, teenagers hanging out, and local gossip to be had.

As the capital of the Colombian Amazonas, Leticia is often a jumping off spot for many of its visitors. At just 315 feet above sea level, the town is a wonderful mix of Peruvian, Brazilian, Colombian, and indigenous Amazonian communities.   A hub for moving goods from the Amazon to the downstream markets since the 1950s there is a variety of different foods, cultures, languages, and people all over the city.   With the steady influx of rice, plantains, fish, and spices, Leticia is a great spot for trying some food unique to this city but strangely familiar at the same time.

Travel Tips

  • There is a little pink museum just outside the park with great sunset views and it is a little away from the parrots but you will see thousands diving into the park.
  • It can smell a little like a giant bird cage if you go into the park but the noise is incredible and it is definitely worth it.
  • Spend 30 minutes watching the birds and it may rival any other wildlife you have seen in the Amazon.
  • With its proximity to the Amazon, there is a warm humid comfort in Leticia that makes spending all day in flip-flops and shorts more of a requirement than a suggestion.