Day Trips in Tarapoto

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The busy Plaza de Armas in Lamas, Peru, just a short drive from Tarapoto, 2006.05.12

The busy Plaza de Armas in Lamas, Peru, just a short drive from Tarapoto, 2006.05.12

Jeffrey Maxwell

Many short trips are available from Tarapoto.  In ten minutes one can be at Laguna Venecia, or in just two hours, visitors can be at Sauce Lake, also known as Laguna Azul.  Caterata de Ahuashiyacu (Laughing Waters Waterfall) and many other waterfalls are within driving distance.  The university also maintains a trail across the side of a mountain called Bio Diversidad, where many species of fauna and flora can be seen in the high jungle plateau.  Visitors who want to experience the flavor of ancient civilizations still alive in daily practice must visit the village of Lamas, only a few minutes away from Tarapoto.

When taking a day trip, it is a good idea for travelers to check the newspaper to see if there is a standard car or van service to the locale they want to visit.  For example, there are cars and vans that go to El Sauce and Laguna Azul, but it is best to call one of the numbers in the paper to see if there is room.  On occasion it is possible to fly to Sauce, but usually not, as the runway is dirt and washes out frequently in the rain.  To go to areas closer to Tarapoto, such as Laguna Venecia, Bio Diversidad, or Catarata del Ahuashiyacu, get a taxi.  A good place to find one that will take individuals and groups to a specific location at a specific time for a specific price is at the corner of San Martin and Ramirez Hurtado Streets.  Drivers often take off work on Sundays, so travelers must make arrangements prior for Sunday travel. 

Those limited on time can usually get a taxi driver for the whole day and catch a couple of locations at once.  A typical day that includes Bio Diversidad, lunch at a jungle cafe, and the afternoon at Las Cataratas del Ahuashiyacu might typically cost 70 soles (about $22) for the day for a group of four.

Contributors
December 08, 2006 change by approaching genius (3 points)

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Catarata de Ahuashiyacu

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Along the trail to Laughing Waters. 2006.05.13
Along the trail to Laughing Waters. 2006.05.13
photo by: Jeffrey Maxwell

Catarata de Ahuashiyacu (Laughing Waters Waterfall) is a lovely trip up the side of a mountain.  A local woman in Tarapoto said that when she was teenager 30 years ago, they had to hold onto a cable that ran up the side of the mountain as they climbed over giant rocks and forged steep downhill streams in order to get to the waterfall.  Nowadays, there is a nice trail that is maintained by the District of San Martin, and for a small fee, visitors help to finance the maintenence of the park.  No more climbing over giant rocks here, now stairs have been cut into more..

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Laguna Venecia

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The busy Plaza de Armas in Lamas, Peru, just a short drive from Tarapoto, 2006.05.12
The busy Plaza de Armas in Lamas, Peru, just a short drive from Tarapoto, 2006.05.12
photo by: Jeffrey Maxwell

Only about 5 km outside of Tarapoto, Laguna Venecia is one of the easiest places to visit.  It is a tranquil lake with many palms and other trees and higher plants that will help one to slip back into the tropical paradise visitors came to Tarapoto for to start with.  Paddle boats and swimming are a couple of activities available at Laguna Venecia, as well as a mini zoo, with friendly monkeys that can be petted and played with. 

At the restaurant one can buy bananas (both to eat and more..

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