Tourists Barred from Remote Colombian Amazon Village

Posted Mar 24th 2011 02:00 PMUpdated Mar 24th 2011 03:48 PM


amazon river village tourists


While most vacation hot spots are doing backflips to attract tourists, Nazareth, Colombia, a lush village near the Amazon River, has yanked the welcome mat from under would-be visitors.

Not only are tourists not encouraged to traipse through the jungle Amazon village, known for its astonishing species of flora and fauna, but tribal guards are on hand to bar the entrance to all but invited guests, reports the Daily Mail newspaper.

Why the about face?

For one thing, the village's tiny population – about 800 at last count, and comprised mostly of Ticuna Indians – is clinging precariously to its cultures and traditions amid the onslaught of gawkers eager to encounter the dolphin, monkeys, rare birds and plant life so abundant in the region.

Last year a deluge of some 35,000 tourists swamped the village and its surroundings, and tribal elders fear their influence will erode their ancient and endangered traditions.

Past tourists also didn't make any friends by taking photos, asking intrusive questions and leaving a lot more than their footprints behind, according to locals who complained of littering.

To add insult to injury, locals don't benefit economically from the influx of tourists, they said. Villagers complained that travel companies garnered the lion's share of the tourism dollars spent in the region.

"What we earn here is very little. Tourists come here, they buy a few things, a few artisan goods, and they go. It is the travel agencies that make the good money," said one of the village's elders.
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Good for the Ticanu. This probably would not have happened if the past visitors had conducted themselves as people who cared and not selfish turds. Littering in someones yard, come on give me a break. Selfish travel companies, not ensuring the tribe benefits from tourism. Stupid is as stupid does.

March 24 2011 at 7:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Toby Muse

Hey Felicity,
I wrote the original story and feel the Daily Mail were a little forgetful removing all references to the agency that published the story and my name from their piece. Could you change the source of this story to either me or the agency AFP? here's one version of my story dated March 14th

And here's a similar same story written by the Daily Mail on March 22

Toby Muse

March 24 2011 at 6:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Toby Muse's comment

HI Toby, I just wondered if you provided the photograph and if not. where it was sourced from?

The reason I ask is because I have several issues with it for a number of reasons given below:
I feel I should let people know that this is a picture of a dear friend of mine who does not live in the Tikuna village which the story talks about, so is rather misleading. The village that the man in the photograph lives in welcomes tourists and is working closely with the tourist board to encourage people to visit in order to bring economic benefits to local people. I also find it disrespectful to him as a person. He may be Tikuna but that does not mean he represents the face of the people from a village in a completely different region to him. Unless of course he gave permission for the photo to be used in this way? He does not speak English or Spanish so presumably there was some kind of recorded verbal agreement in Tikuna made with him? If you have any info Toby I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks, Hannah

March 22 2012 at 6:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

To Hell with these people. Leave them to wallow in their fetid, diseased-infested swamp. How about visiting the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, or Yosemite?

March 24 2011 at 6:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David S.

What a shame....this place was on my bucket list (sarcasm). Seriously, who would want to go to this godforsaken place anyway?

March 24 2011 at 6:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Good for them ,maybe they can get rid of all the weirdos we cant!!

March 24 2011 at 5:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think they are admirable for taking a stand to preserve their culture. Who made us the supreme being who decides what is right. We all have free will and they are exercising theirs. Kudos.

March 24 2011 at 5:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


March 24 2011 at 4:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to todd's comment

OMG Todd, I laughed my ass off!

March 24 2011 at 7:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


March 24 2011 at 4:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You know, this saving traditions and preserving cultures thing is highly overrated. Of course there are some tradtions and cultures worth preserving, but many that are not. Just because something exists does not make it automatically worth preserving.

March 24 2011 at 4:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to exoticdoc2's comment
Paula Bowman

It's that it still exists that makes it worth preserving!

March 24 2011 at 6:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Bowman. The Taliban still exists. At some point in history the regimes of Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, and Mao still existed. The people of the Americas practiced human sacrifice and cannibalism. According to you this automatically makes them worth preserving. I repeat, just because something exists does NOT make it worth saving.

March 24 2011 at 9:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Americans should spend all the vacation money in the USA. Why should all these other countries get all the benefits. Don't we send them enough help already. I am Amaerican and I spend my money at home. Next year we go to Yellow Stone. Can't wait....

March 24 2011 at 3:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply