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Florencia

Another city where a taste of the jungle may be savored is Florencia, capital of Caquetá Department. Florencia is located on the eastern side of the Cordillera Oriental, just where the mountains tumble down to lush tropical forests. Many Colombians call this city one of the most beautiful in the country. Florencia is a young city, founded only in 1902.

Facing its palm-studded plaza is Catedral Nuestra Señora de Lourdes. Another noteable building is the Roman-villa-styled Palacio de Artes, also called Edificio Curiplaya, where the tourism office is (Tel: 434-7785, E-mail: seculturismo@florencia-caqueta.gov.co, URL: www.florencia-caqueta.gov.co). Also in the center of town is Museo Caquetá (Ca. 14, 12-24. Tel: 435-1547, E-mail: wilches_gob@hotmail.com, URL: www.museocaqueta.com), highlighting the region’s history and art. Just a kilometer (0.6 mi) from town are the ancient Petroglifos El Encanto rock paintings. Other Florencia attractions include the Jardín Botánico de la Amazonía (at the antiguas instalaciones del IDEMA. Tel: 313-376-9441).

Three tourism routes start from Florencia. Within the first 20 kilometers (12 mi) of Florencia, the Ruta a Morelia houses several crystalline-clear swimming holes, like Quebradas El Dedo, La Yuca, La Mochilera and Río Zarabando. Ruta El Caraño, heading north toward Neiva, is also studded with swimming holes and country-style restaurants. There is a jungle hiking path at El Manatial. Misión Nueva Jerusalén, a Gregorian mission, has a museum and a historical trail. Ruta Venecia heads to Puerto Arango, where boat rides may be taken on the Río Orteguaza. Rappelling and birdwatching are other outdoor activities that can be enjoyed.

Florencia has a complete slate of services. There are inexpensive hotels in the center of the city, and several ranches offering lodging are located in the surrounding countryside. Big celebrations in Florencia include the Festival Folklórico de la Amazonía (June) and the Festival Nacional de Música Andina y Campesina (November).

(Altitude: 266 m / 872 ft, Population: 151,400, Phone Code: 8)

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Other places nearby Florencia: Sibundoy , Villavicencio , Puerto López, Puerto Nariño, Leticia and Mocoa.







By Lorraine Caputo

Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...

30 Aug 2011

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