The Colombian Amazon is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Colombia, with stunning biodiversity and unique Indigenous cultures. It is also home to its own distinct gastronomic offerings, from delicious fish dishes to more surreal items like worms and jungle animals. Here are 15 unique and delicious foods worth a trip to Colombia’s Amazon for.
This is the largest freshwater fish in the world and, on account of its delicious taste and plentiful meat, it is a popular dish throughout the Colombian Amazon. It is often served fried, and its texture has been compared to chicken. Although the pirarucúis a very typical Amazon dish, in the wild the fish is endangered, so try to eat it only if it comes from a fish farm.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Casabe is like a type of crispy flatbread made from cassava – or yuca – roots. Versions of casabe have been eaten by Indigenous peoples throughout Latin America for centuries, but in the Colombian Amazon it is a daily staple among Indigenous communities, and is made with the flour from wild yuca roots (which, as they are poisonous in their natural form, must be washed and processed in a traditional style). It has a plain taste but is generally served as an accompaniment to other dishes.
Ajicero is a type of fish broth typical to the Colombian Amazon department of Guainia. A very simple dish, the ingredients are basically just water, salt, some type of river fish and the seeds of spicy peppers. The fish is added to the boiling water and the seeds follow, making for a fresh, delicious and lightly spicy broth, which is often served with casabe to dip in the fragrant broth.
Crema de copoazú
Copoazú is one of the many delicious Amazonian fruits you can find through Colombia’s southern jungle regions. It is highly nutritious and delicious, and is tasty in juices or eaten fresh, but crema de copoazúis a great way to enjoy it. The pulp of the fruit is mixed with condensed milk and cream, making for a sweet and delicious Amazon dessert.
Patarasca de pescado
Another typical Amazon fish dish (with so many rivers crisscrossing the region, it’s only natural that most dishes have a fish element to them), patarasca de pescado is prepared by wrapping chunks of fish in the leaves of the Calathea lutea plant – also known as cachibou – and slow-cooking them over a grill. The flavors of the leaf mix with the trapped juices of the fish, making for an especially tasty dish.
The Colombian Amazon is the best place in the country to find spicy powders and sauces, and tucupi – or aji negro – is arguably the best of the bunch. It’s a thick, black sauce made from wild yuca root mixed with spicy black peppers. It has a distinctly earthy, natural flavor, and a delicious spice (hot, without overpowering the flavors of the sauce). Tucupi is probably the best sauce you can eat in the Colombian Amazon.
Piranhas have a pretty bad reputation, but they are also one of the tastiest fish to sample on a trip to the Amazon in Colombia. Many jungle tours include time for piranha fishing and, if you catch some decent sized ones, you can then take them back and cook them up (they are especially tasty when fried). Just watch out for the teeth…
This smoked fish is traditional in many Indigenous Amazon communities and is one of the most important dishes throughout the region. Fish, often whole, is wrapped in plantain or guaco leaves and smoked for hours, or even days. The result is a rich and delicious flavor, one of the tastiest typical dishes in the Colombian Amazon.
The Boruga – also known as the Lowland Paca – is a small rodent-like mammal native to Amazonian regions. Its taste is especially prized by Indigenous hunters and is considered a delicacy in many communities. Usually served fried or grilled, the meat has a beef-like texture and taste, and is well worth trying if you can find it on a menu.
Mojojoy (try saying that three times fast!) is one of the most recognisable, yet least tried, typical dishes in the Amazon. It’s a fat, white worm, often eaten whole and alive, but sometimes served fried or grilled as well. It’s an acquired taste, but is extremely typical of Indigenous Amazon communities and well worth sampling when you visit.
Cachama is one of the tastiest Amazon fish there is, and smoked cachama is the typical dish of the Colombian Amazon department of Caqueta (where it is best sampled in the lovely La Calera Amazonica restaurant just outside the departmental capital of Florencia). With a rich, full flavor, cachama is great however it’s cooked, but with a deep, smoky flavor, it really comes into its own!
Araçá – also known as strawberry guava – is a tasty little fruit native to Amazon regions. With a creamy flesh, high in Vitamin C, and a delightfully aromatic skin, Araçá is popular as a juice, or as a chocolate-covered sweet. An Araçá smoothie is about as healthy and tasty a drink as you’re likely to try in the Amazon!
The Amazonian species of pineapple is smaller than it’s Andean equivalent but, despite its diminutive size, it packs even more sweetness and flavor than any pineapple you will have ever tasted before! If you find yourself in Guaviare or Caqueta departments then make sure to buy a fresh pineapple from one of the many street vendors you will see.
Quiñapira is a typical fish soup from Vaupes department (one of Colombia’s least-visited Amazonian regions), which is very similar to the aforementioned Ajicero. The fish and peppers used are often different, however, and Quiñapira is certainly a distinct and delicious dish in its own right.
Fariña is like a milled flour made from the yucca plant. The grated yuca is fermented in water for a few hours, then drained and toasted to form a simple flour-like dish, typically served mixed in with soups and broths, or simply eaten alone as a snack.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.