By day, Leticia’s Parque Santander is like many other plazas in small-town Colombia. But each evening, this little park is filled with the cacophonous chatter of Canary-winged parakeets coming home to roost for the night.
The parakeets, known locally as pericos, have been roosting in Parque Santander for well over a decade. Thousands of them descend upon the park at dusk, having returned from feeding in the forests that surround Leticia. Some branches even bend under the weight of the tiny birds as they jostle for a prime sleeping spot.
The best way to catch this nightly event is to arrive at the park around 5:00 or 5:30 p.m. and stay until it gets dark. Bring earplugs if you have sensitive ears—thousands of shrieking parakeets can make a lot of noise.
For a better look at the birds and sweeping views of the rest of the city, you can climb the tower of the white church adjacent to the park. If you stay a little longer after sundown, you’ll see the “shift change” as bats come out to feed on insects that hover around the streetlamps.
The park also features a fountain and some bizarre public art, ranging from whitewashed statues of Christian figures to bronzes of indigenous peoples and Amazonian wildlife.
Know Before You Go
The park is easy to find from the riverside Malecón Turistico. Walk two blocks up to Carrera 10 and go left until you see the ring of pillars and the fountain.