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Wanna go to the End of the World?

AUTHOR: Viviana Oquendo

With this phrase started this new adventure to one of the unexplored places of our country.

My friend Paola texted me on Wednesday saying: wanna go to the end of the world? She proposed land traveling the next Friday, that same week.

the house in the mocoa putumayo tree

The plan? to travel by bus on Friday night from Bogota to Mocoa, Putumayo, Colombia. Then, to trek to the “end of the world” waterfalls on Saturday. After, to sleep at a house in a tree. Finally, to come back to Bogota on Sunday by bus… Ready to work at our job!

casa en el arbol reserva paway
Paway Nature Reserve – Tree House

And that was it! Friday night we took the bus to Mocoa. Despite of the incident that occurred to its population in April 2017, this place only shows the best face to the travelers that visit it.

Una población que muy a pesar del incidente ocurrido en el mes de abril del año 2017, puede mostrar la mejor cara para aquellos que lo visitan.

la casa en el arbol mocoa putumayo

You can arrive to this place by land or air traveling. It depends on the budget you have for the trip.

As I had said, we chose the bus and it took us 12 hours to arrive, from Bogota.

The good: the bus enterprisegave us blanket and a snack; so, I only needed a sleeping eye mask and a travel pillow to be almost as comfortable as at home.

vista desde la casa en el arbol reserva natural paway

When we arrived to Mocoa, we took a taxi that took us to the entrance of the end of the world waterfalls trekking.

This trekking starts with a beautiful river view and it lasts about 2 hours through the foot of the mountain range that borders the Amazon jungle. You can go with a tourism guide or by yourself.

Putumayo river

This environment is fresh because you can enjoy the shade of the trees to protect yourself from the sun.

We did not find dangerous animals, but some guides willing to help in anything that the pedestrian needs.

To support that help, organized by the community since some months ago, it is requested the payment of $15.000 COP at the beginning of the trekking.

Road to the end of the world waterfall putumayo

In addition, reaching the highest part of the route (a little before discovering the waterfalls), there are some people who sell watermelon and other snacks.

To eat a watermelon, right at that point of the tour, turns out to be one of the most wonderful gastronomic and sports experiences.

the house in the mocoa putumayo tree

Finally, we discovered the first waterfall, in total there are four, but you can jump and swim in three of them that form wells of water in the crystal clear river next to which you walk.

End of the world waterfall Putumayo

In one of the waterfalls there is a cave and you can have lunch, chicken, fish, pork, among others. This was our favorite.

View from the end of the Putumayo world waterfall

Finally, we reached the waterfall at the end of the world and we were able to enjoy that natural balcony where it seems that the world is ending and, at the same time, beginning.

In this waterfall it is impossible to jump because it is the “end of the world” cascade and there is no path forward.

In this waterfall the water that flows from the mountains falls with great force to the void, at an approximate height of 75 meters and goes to the rocks.

Waterfall End of the World Moca Putumayo

In addition, my personal feeling was that I was in front of the immensity of life, beauty and harmony of our planet, from a place also immense, in which I was part of, sharing with people who also had the courage to travel to understand their own life.

Road to the End of the World Mocoa Putumayo
Putumayo river

But the adventure did not end there.

PAWAY NATURAL RESERVE NEAR THE END OF THE WORLD

Upon returning from the tour, our next goal was to sleep in the tree house of the Paway Reserve, “Paway” which in indigenous means “to fly”.

And why the name?, It is because it is a Reserve dedicated to the production of butterflies and the butterflies fly!

Paway Putumayo Nature Reserve

The founder of the Reserve is called Mildred, a beautiful and inspiring woman from Putumayo who wanted to do something good for the world, like me, like you, like many people.

She was able to identify and discern the signs that each person recieves from life and found that her way of doing it was to protect biodiversity.

Birds in the Paway Nature Reserve

Mildred works in the production of butterflies (which together with bees are responsible for pollination, especially in cases where bees do not), in a self-sustaining reserve that cares for many of the region’s native species.

It promotes and supports the recovery of flora and fauna and has also built a tree house so that lovers of life can spend one or several nights in a 100 year old ceiba tree.

Paway Natural Reserve lodging at home in the tree
Paway Nature Reserve

Not for nothing she won the CITI Microentrepreneur 2016 Award. Ah! And, in addition, she is part of the Tejedoras de Vida Foundation.

the house in the Mocoa Putumayo tree

Of everything I could tell about that place and the people and animals that inhabit it, I choose two, basically because I do not want to damage their own experience:

On the one hand, the ceiba! In a 100 year old ceiba there is a tree house where you can sleep. The ceiba is the sacred tree of both the “Mayas” and 8 of the 15 indigenous communities of this region.

the house in the Mocoa Putumayo tree

The house is called “Wasi Muskui” which in Inga language means “house to dream”. You will have to go up to know how you can look, listen and feel from above!

the house in the Reserve Paway

On the other hand, a turtle that I fell in love with! “Blue” is a turtle that was mistaken as a water turttle when it was born, so it was placed in an aquarium.

However, Azul is a Morrocoya (land turtle) that did not know how to walk when it arrived at the reserve.

Thus, the nephew of Mildred is teaching it to walk by raising a little bit its shell in the back part so it does not hurt its own legs.

Tour of the Paway Nature Reserve

But in addition to blue there are howler monkeys, birds, dogs like Martel and Suma. The name Martel comes from the book «The River», written by Wade Davis. According to the founder of Paway Nature Reserve, it’s worth reading!

Paway also has water well to swim, delicious food, the Cucumber River next to the reserve and lots of positive energy to recharge the soul.

bathroom in natural pool

As Mildred would say… being there is a way to live peace.

OTHER TOURIST SITES NEAR THE PUTUMAYO

In Amazonas: Puerto Nariño y Moncagua

In Cauca: Puracé Natural National Park y Gorgona Island.

In Huila: Tatacoa desert

In Nariño: Telpis Lagoon

In Valle del Cauca: La Barra, San Cipriano and Bahia Malaga

Viviana Oquendo

Viviana Oquendo

Colombiana, nacida en Bogotá. Padre paisa-valluno (apellido español), madre santandereana (apellido indígena). Una sangre que va llamando a navegar y descubrir.

Creyente en la fuerza y vida que da la poesía, la belleza, el romanticismo, el amor, los sueños y los viajes ... Y en la necesidad de elegir una carrera que permita dar a otros y dignificar el existir.

Así pues: una viajera que va enfrentando miedos, confiando en la intuición y encontrando así los tesoros que su propio camino aguarda

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