Amazon Trip 1976 – Costa Rica Herping Adventures

Costa Rica Herping Adventures

Amazon Trip 1976

Amazon River Adventure

August 1976


Leticia, Colombia: A small Amazon River town which is on a small finger of land owned by Colombia between Peru and Brazil.


Leticia, Colombia: A small Amazon River town which is on a small finger of land owned by Colombia between Peru and Brazil.


My friend Lonnie is bartending at a local bar that features a sign of the Jaguar and Anaconda.


Soon we are on our way down river from Leticia for a little jungle life.


Leticia in the background.


Here is where we spent the first night on the Amazon River. Hard to believe we had 14 people in this little 500 sq ft house. Lonnie and I had hammocks with mosquito netting rigged on the front porch. Coffee at breakfast with muddy water right out of the Amazon.


Part of our Indian guide’s family.


This little girl was as cute as could be with little parrot.


Now time for a little fishing Amazon style. I finally caught a piranha after having a 100 hits; they were hard to hook.


Being on the Amazon was ┬ájust a little exciting for me, So exciting that when I finished a roll of film I rewound it and didn’t put a new roll in the camera. I just started shooting again and ended up with double exposure. Like this one of our guide’s canoe full of fish and a 300 foot ship that somehow got stuck high and dry on the land at the river’s edge.

Fishing with a gig is much more productive than a rod and reel.

This arowana fish will feed the whole family tonight

We have now left the river and are walking inland to an Indian village; it’s a 2 hour walk and we don’t know if they will accept us in the village.


Giant lily pads of the Amazon are about five feet across.


The pads turn up as they die off from the water drying up.


The bottom of the pad has spikes on the bottom to protect the pad from being consumed by fish and mammals.


We came across a dugout canoe in this drying pond, notice the the high tide mark on the tree across the pond. We were told that the river floods at this point twenty miles on one side and thirty on the other.


I just had to try the canoe and I did flip it with only a stick to row with.


We came across a troop of monkeys.


This is my one and only National Geographic photo! As the monkey jumps from one tree to the other.


We are close to the Village and our guide is asking permission for us to enter. We were welcomed, and I’m glad we were able to see how these simple people lived. It was truly amazing!


From what we saw by the number of huts and people we saw. I would said three families live there and the fellow above seemed to be the head man.


Same of the people had a red dye on there faces.


I was fortunate enough to get in this picture without offending anyone. With these and all native people you handle with care. When we first got into Leticia there was a story of some long American body floating down the river with several arrows sticking out of him.


We were lucky enough to get a blowgun demonstration, his accuracy is scary. The pole was not light, yet look how straight he’s holding it.

31SnakeIn Tree

On our way back we spotted an unidentified snake in the 8 foot range.

32SnakeIn Tree

This was up a mamay tree; the first limb was up about 25 feet of the ground. We threw mamay at him, hoping to knock him down. He had nothing to worry about but we did get him to move for a better picture. My best guess is from what we know now is that he may have been a Spilotes pullatus.


The next day we stop at a small island in the river that housed a research station. It was early morning around 7am when a boat pulled up to the dock. I saw fishing poles and asked if they caught anything? He said they had been fishing for giant catfish but didn’t have any luck. But he said they caught a electric ell and he held him up. That lead to a long conversation. I ask him if he had seen any snakes; he said as a matter of fact we caught a Anaconda. I said where is he? He answer that he was in the ice chest. I said let get him out I love to see him. I helped him tie off to the dock and helped him lift the ice chest to the dock. Then we carried the chest to a clear area and he said I could lift the lid up. From the weight of the chest I knew it wasn’t a baby. I was having second thoughts, but when would I have another opportunity like this. I un-tied the lid from the chest as the hinges were long gone. When I moved the lid, I saw a lot of snake in there and out he came.


Once he was out of the chest, I grabbed him by the tail.


Next I use the lid to pin his head and grabbed him behind the head.


I needed a little help with this guy.


He’s not happy!!


Extra help is alway welcome!


This is getting tight!


This guys is 12 footer +/-


He’s a couple of hands full!


After the Anaconda, this is prefect!


The resident Peccary!


I’ll give you twenty minutes to stop..


A nice Red Tail Boa


Coral Snake


Our guide told us this species of Coral Snake grows to over 5 feet.


This guy is a 17 footer and quite heavy.


At the Latricia Airport we said goodbye to Charlie as he admired Lonnie’s canoe paddle with a Boa painted on it. Great-great Trip!!