Simply put, this is the most authentic indigenous experience you will likely ever have the opportunity to participate in. The Matis are masters in the jungle, still implementing the skills, beliefs, and ceremonies which have been developed over generations. Watch as they skillfully hunt with 14 ft. blowguns and curare tipped darts, climb trees and vines to retrieve their kill, and utilize plants, bones, clays, and everything else in their environment to meet all their needs. This is not a reenactment of a people’s history, this is the Matis today in a jungle environment which they have always been a part of. If observation alone isn’t enough for you, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in certain ceremonies and rituals, but be warned, several of these cause pain.
In addition to spending five days with the Matis, you will spend a night in a comfortable tree house, a night in a jungle house called Uaco, visit an indigenous traditional house of the Makuna culture called a Maloka, and you will have a chance to learn about the jungle and practice walking in it before we go to meet with the Matis. You will also have two nights in Bogota, the capital of Colombia.
Facts at a Glance
When- Guaranteed departure: Sep 15-25, 2018
Where- You will first fly into Bogota where we will spend one night. The next day fly to Leticia Colombia which is our jumping off point for all our other activities. When we visit the Matis we will cross the border into Brazil and travel up the Javari River. At the end of the trip, fly from Leticia back to Bogota for a night and from there you will fly home.
What is included- Lodging, most food and drink starting with lunch on day 1 and ending with lunch on day 11, local guides and interpreters, ground and water transportation including transfers to and from airports, tourism tax in Leticia, city tour, payment and travel expenses for 20-30+ Matis.
What isn’t included- Airfare, no more than 4 meals in cities, beverages between meals while in cities, alcoholic beverages, unscheduled activities, additional days, personal travel insurance, Brazilian Visa, gifts for the Matis, and anything not listed as included.
Price- $5,500 with a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 8 participants.
Your choice of hammock or tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad will be provided for sleeping in the jungle. We can rent out headlamps ($15), head net ($5), quality poncho ($15), and dry bags ($5-$10) if you don’t already own them and you don’t wish to purchase them.
- Appropriate clothing for being in the sun all day such as light long sleeve shirts and pants
- Hat for sun protection
- Sun screen
- Head net
- Insect repellent
- Rubber Boots (or purchase in Leticia if you are size 12 or less)
- Shoes for in camp (sandals are fine)
- Rain gear (poncho is best)
- Wash Cloth
- Tooth Brush and Tooth Paste
- Small day pack
- Shorts to swim/bath in
- Jacket for Bogota
For a list of recommended vaccinations, medications, and travel advisories visit the CDC website at www.nc.cdc.gov/travel.
Americans do not need a visa in advance before entering Colombia, however a Visa is required to enter Brazil. You must purchase your Brazilian visa well in advance. For more details visit miami.itamaraty.gov.br/en-us/.
As with any tour, it’s important to listen to your guide for the safety and wellbeing of yourself, the group, and the environment. On this tour, it is especially important to listen to your guides regarding culturally sensitivity.
Before joining this tour, all participants must speak with Garrett Cooper of Feral Human Expeditions for a brief discussion of what is expected of the group. It is our top priority that this will be a positive experience for all parties involved, and to do that we need to make sure everyone is on the same page.
On this tour you are likely to witness many indigenous practices including the hunting and consumption of wild animals including monkeys, religious/shamanic practices including whipping and poisoning, nudity, and more that might be considered strange, inappropriate, or even troubling to some. However, we are not visiting the Matis to instigate any sort of changes within their society or to pass judgment on their beliefs and practices.
The Matis are friendly and easy to get along with. They enjoy our visits and of course we look forward to the next time we can spend time with them. It’s truly a special experience. However, if we feel that the intent of any participant on our trip is not in the best interest of the Matis, that participant will not be allowed to go.
If you intend to use images or video of the Matis for commercial purposes, please discuss this with us. We may need to get special permission.
Fly to Bogota where you will be picked up at the airport and brought to our hotel. What time you arrive will determine what we do in Bogota but some possibilities include visiting the Museo del Oro or gold museum, climb Monserrate for a view of the city, or just relax in town and enjoy some good food and excellent hot chocolate.
We’ll take a short flight to Leticia at the southern tip of Colombia. From the airport we’ll go straight to the Tanimboca Reserve where we will have lunch. A short walk into the jungle will bring us to our tree house where we’re spending the night. After dinner get your headlamps ready because we’re going out for a night walk.
Today you will learn more about the jungle environment including a few tips on how to walk through it which will be useful for when we meet with the Matis. We’ll make our way to an indigenous traditional house of the Makuna culture called a Maloka. If you are lucky, and you accept, the chief might offer to blow powdered tobacco up your nose through the hollowed out bone of a harpy eagle. We may choose to swim in the nearby stream before making our way to a jungle house called Uaco where we’ll spend the night.
After breakfast we’ll walk back to Tanimboca, then head into Leticia. We will stamp passports and exchange money for Brazil. This is your chance to buy presents for the Matis like machetes, fishing hooks and line, flashlights, etc. We will have lunch at a restaurant in Leticia or in neighboring Tabatinga on the Brazilian side of the border. In the evening we’ll return to Tanimboca and go to La Arenosa where we’ll have dinner and sleep in comfortable cabins.
Wake up for an early breakfast because we have to get back to Leticia where we’ll take our private boat up the Javari River and smaller tributaries to where we will be camping for the next four nights. This is your first meeting with the Matis.
Days 6, 7 and 8
These are full days with several Matis families. We will camp separately from the Matis but we will visit them in their camp and they will visit us. There is plenty to do with the Matis and we might help make clay bowls and masks, make curare, or practice using blowguns. We’ll also go on walks with the Matis to watch them hunt with fourteen foot long blowguns, find plants for various purposes, and more. You will also have the opportunity to watch and even participate when appropriate in certain ceremonies, rituals, dances and shows. Some are mostly for fun, some are meant to cause pain in order to overcome fear of pain, one is meant to augment the vision of a hunter which is also painful, and one even involves
being burned on the arm and having poison from a frog rubbed into it. You are not required to take part in any of these.
Say goodbye to the Matis, they have a six day journey ahead of them to get back home. On our way back to Leticia we’ll stop in Atalaia Do Norte for lunch. We will then get our passports stamped to reenter Colombia. After dinner in Leticia we’ll go back to the cabins at La Arenosa for the night.
After breakfast you’ll have a chance to do the canopy tour and zip line at Tanimboca Reserve and have a city tour of Leticia. Catch the flight back to Bogota in the afternoon and enjoy your last night in Colombia.
What time you fly home will determine what you have time to do in the city. There is no shortage of places to go and things to see in Bogota. You will be provided transportation to the airport. Return home with many new experiences, memories and stories to tell.
If you have any questions or you’d like to book this trip, please contact us.
Custom itineraries available to this or any of the destinations we travel to.
Kutrubes Travel has SPECIAL AIRFARES – Contact us for details.
Kutrubes Travel also offers a variety of other tours throughout this region. Contact us for detailed itineraries and descriptions.