Florencia is the capital of the department of Caquetá and is an emerging destination most visited in recent months due to its great variety of nature.
If you have never considered the possibility of traveling to Florence before, it is probably because this destination rarely appears on the list of favorites of national and international travelers; however, today we want to tell you why it is worth traveling to Florence and we are going to help you plan your trip.
Table of Contents
Why travel to Florencia Caquetá?
Florencia is a young city located in the foothills of the Cordillera Oriental. It limits to the north with the department of Huila and the municipality of El Paujil, to the east with the municipalities of El Paujil and La Montañita, to the south with the municipalities of Milán and Morelia, and to the west with the municipality of Belén de the Andaquíes and the department of Huila.
The department of Caquetá is bathed by 16 rivers and innumerable streams, of those rivers, Florencia is surrounded by the Hacha, Caraño, Orteguaza, San Pedro and Bodoquero rivers; and through some streams such as La Sardina and La Perdiz; important center for the history of the city. This fact makes Florence and its surroundings an important hydrographic center and one of the best tourist destinations in the south of the country.
In general, the vocation of Florence is ecological tourism, which means that each of the activities that can be carried out in the city aims to conserve and care for the natural resources and cultures of its surroundings; In addition, as it is not a massive destination, the crowds are very few. So if you are one of those who prefers to visit natural surroundings and hates being in the middle of a tumult of people, Florence is the ideal destination for you.
What to see and what to do in Florencia, Caquetá?
With more than 200,000 people living on the banks of the Hacha River and the La Perdiz creek, Florencia is a place that has been classified as the golden gate of the Amazon. Its landscapes, its people, its culture, its fauna and its flora have captivated and fascinated locals and foreigners who dared to visit it.
Florence has a particular combination of city and jungle, which allows for an important variety of cultures and tribes to be in the same area. Also, being surrounded by various rivers and streams there are numerous reserves, parks and gardens to visit. There are many options to see and do, but below we are going to summarize them in five:
Visit all its squares and parks
The city is surrounded by parks and squares with abundant vegetation and important colonial buildings. This is our first recommendation since in these places the locals meet to talk, have a drink and spend the afternoon under the historic palm trees that surround these places.
One of the busiest parks in Parque General Santander, where the government buildings and several commercial premises open to visitors are located. Likewise, Plaza San Francisco de Asís and Plaza de Banderas are special places.
And so, there are many more parks and squares that are worth visiting to get to know the beauty of the city and its historical importance for the country.
Visit its museums
After the parks, the museums of Florence are one of its most important attractions. In them it is possible to know, not only part of the history of the city, but also its ancestral culture.
In the Caquetá Museum, for example, you can find more than two thousand historical pieces of the city from the indigenous era to the present day. In addition to this, there is a library specialized in indigenous cultures and objects belonging to the settlers and rubber tappers.
One of the main objectives of the museum is to document and write historical and socio-cultural aspects of the department, which is why it is cataloged as a national pride. The Caquetá Museum opens its doors from Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 noon, and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Another museum worth visiting is the Caquetá Feliz Artunduaga Historical Museum and Trail, which, unlike the previous one, has a 30-minute open-air tour; in which through 12 stations surrounded by flowers and vegetation typical of the region, you can learn about the history of the city since the arrival of the settlers. The fee for the entire park is $5,000 (aprox 1.2 dollars) for the general public and $3,000 (0.7 dollars) for students.
Visit its natural reserves
As we said before, the city is surrounded by various rivers and streams that cross the entire department of Caquetá. Many of the city’s nature reserves are located near these rivers and streams, so ecological tourism is one of the great strengths of Florence. Some recommended reservations are:
- The “El Danubio” Nature Reserve is a suitable place for hiking, bird watching from Mirador el Milagro, and “tubing”, or a tour of the Bodoquero River on board a simple tire. There are waterfalls up to twenty meters high.
- In the “La Dalia” Reserve, walks of up to four hours can be made, in which visitors will come across a narrow canyon, whose walls can reach twenty meters in height.
- River “Orteguaza“. Although it is not a reserve as such, a ferry ride is one of the unmissable plans for those who visit the city, especially if they enjoy bird watching and contact with jungle nature. The journey includes a walk to the mouth of the Hacha River, and a stop for lunch at a river beach.
- Cueva de los Guácharos National Natural Park: It is not in Florencia as such, but 56 kilometers to the south, in the municipality of San José del Fragua. However, it is one of the most beautiful places in the department that you cannot miss. This park, created in 1960, was the first PNN (National Natural Park) in the country; It has 9 thousand hectares and is the home of the guácharo, a bird discovered in 1799 by the German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt. There it is possible to camp and also stay at the visitor center.
Bathe in its spas and natural pools
Again, water is the protagonist. The city has many spas, natural pools, rivers and waterfalls where visitors can live an incredible experience surrounded by the abundant nature of the Colombian Amazon.
Of all the possible options, the “Las Pailas” spa is one of the best and is the most visited of all. This spa is a set of natural pools of cold and crystalline waters formed by the “Mochilero” creek, which is embedded in the jungle vegetation. Many trees completely cover the sky, creating a unique sense of isolation and relaxation.
The resort is located just 12 kilometers from the city, in the Costa Rica village of the Santo Domingo corregimiento.
As for the waterfalls, “La Avispa” and “el Avispón”, “La Novia” and “El Quebradón” are some of the most worth visiting.
Do the tour to the Petroglyphs of El Encanto
You cannot leave Florence without first having visited the Petroglyphs of El Encanto. This place is a rock one meter high by sixteen meters wide on which pre-Columbian indigenous people drew symbols with figures of human beings and animals.
This frieze was covered by the waters of the Hacha River until 1962. Its name comes from the sensation produced by observing such an ancient piece surrounded by native vegetation and the river. If you want to know more about the ancestral communities and their legacy, the Petroglyphs of El Encanto are a must-see destination in Florence.
The petroglyphs of El Encanto are located one kilometer from the city center, so getting to the stone is very easy and the surrounding panorama is very beautiful; Although this part of the river is frequented by fishermen, in general the area is very lonely.
Which airlines fly to Florence?
Gustavo Artunduaga Paredes Airport connects Florencia with Bogotá through direct flights operated by Avianca, EasyFly and Satena airlines.
You can also get to Florencia from other cities such as: Bogotá, Barranquilla, Cali, Pereira and Armenia.