Peacock Bass Fishing - Colombia
Peacock Bass and Payara Combo
Two Rivers - Afloat Adventures
A fly, lure or bait fishing adventure in the Colombian jungle. You’ll fish for peacock bass on the Vichada River for four full days and payara fish the famous Maipures Rapids for two full days. You’ll stay six nights at the Akuani River Lodge, your base for peacock bass, and one night at a comfortable camp tent near the Orinoco River for your payara fishing days. The Combo is offered from December to mid-March and is limited to eight anglers per week. The package includes two hotel nights and roundtrip domestic flights from Bogota to Inirida.
Afloat Adventure, the outfitter, has been operating out of Medellin since 2016. Their goal is to provide anglers with unique fishing experiences in beautiful and remote areas of Colombia. Afloat's first peacock bass fishing package on the Tomo River with floating tent cabins has been a huge success.
Click here for the Tomo River Package.
The Vichada River has many lagoons and is a blackwater river (a slow-moving channel flowing through forested swamps or wetlands). You'll find plenty of topwater action and monster temensis (three-bar) peacock bass reaching over 22-pounds. The Vichada is a tributary of the Orinoco.
The Orinoco River in the Tuparro National Reserve is one of the longest rivers in South America, flowing in a giant arc for close to 1,400 miles. The river is considered the fourth largest in the world in terms of discharge volume. You'll fish the Maipures Rapids for 20+ pound payara (vampire fish) with deep divers and other deep lures in strong currents. On the Orinoco, giant sardinata, resembling an American shad (but much larger), go after small poppers, jigs, spinners, and flies. Use bait to target redtail and shovelnose catfish (the ones with distinctive stripes). The German explorer Alexander von Humboldt called the Maipures Rapids the Eight Wonder of the World.
Combo Fishing Facts
Season: The Peacock-Payara Combo is available during the dry season when the rivers drop, and the fish travel the main channels and lagoons. The trip is available from mid-November to mid-March.
Boats: For peacock and payara fishing, you'll fish from Bongos (a type of canoe), which are big and comfortable. They have chairs and platforms for better casting, also coolers with beers, soft drinks, and water. Two anglers per boat and guide.
Guides: Experienced guides do not speak English well but can communicate what's important. You will have the same fishing guide throughout the week.
Fishing Gear is not provided. When targeting peacock bass and payara, single hooks are required on all lures and flies. Lures and flies are available for purchase at the Lodge. A comprehensive tackle and gear list is included in our confirmation packet.
Requirements: All lines and leaders need to be at least 40 to 60-pounds. Bring stripping gloves to avoid burns from these fast species. All fishing is catch-and-release.
A Fishing License is currently not required in Colombia.
Typical Fishing Day:
You'll fish up to ten hours per day. The schedule is flexible, but they recommend getting up at 6:00 a.m. You can enjoy breakfast at camp or take it on the boat. Snacks and drinks are supplied on the boat. At noon, lunch is either at camp or on one of the beaches. The fishing day typically ends before 5:00 p.m., and dinner is at camp at 7:00 p.m.
Maipures Rapids Payara
"Payara, one of the meanest dudes on the planet!" - Mike Sadar
Sardinata are feisty and love poppers.
Relaxing with Beverages
At Akuani River Lodge, you'll be in the Mataven Jungle amongst the Guahibo people, also known as Sikuani, the local community. It's a special place to get to know their culture. Items they make, such as bows and arrows, are available for purchase. El Tuparro National Natural Park is home to 74 species of mammals, 320 bird species, and many other critters. Pumas, jaguars, and javelinas inhabit the woodlands.
Cabins with River Views
Meals and Alcohol
Meals: Typical Colombian dishes, international food, paella, pasta, BBQs, fish, and hamburgers. If you have dietary restrictions, please let us know in advance so they can accommodate you. Their chef travels with you from the Lodge to the payara camp.
Alcohol: Beer is included in the package.
At Akuani River Lodge, each cabin has two full-size beds and a shower and toilet. Two anglers per room.
The Orinoco Camp is close to the section of the river with the most rapids. You can fish four rapid systems from camp. You'll mostly fish from the rocks and, at times, from canoes called bongos. Two anglers per nylon tent with single cots. There are also bathroom tents. The comfortable camp is fully equipped.
Power: At Akuani River Lodge, there is 110 electricity in the cabins and dining area, the same as in the US.
Communications: No cell service is available on the river, but a satellite phone is available in an emergency. Each guest is allotted three minutes of satellite phone service with the package. After three minutes, there is a $3.00 per minute fee.
Maipures Rapids - A Payara Hangout
Fishing Maipures Rapids
Day 1: You'll arrive at El Dorado International Airport of Bogota, the largest airport in Colombia. An Afloat representative will pick you up at the airport and drive you to The Aloft Hotel. The package includes double-occupancy accommodations at this nice hotel. If you want a single-occupancy room, you'll pay $70.00 at the front counter.
Day 2: An Afloat representative will pick you up at the hotel and take you to the local airport for the 90-minute flight to Inírida, formerly Puerto Inirida, the capital city of Guainia, a department of Eastern Colombia. For the flight, there is a baggage weight limit of 39 pounds (18 kilograms) for your luggage, including your carry-on and fishing equipment. An Afloat representative will be waiting for you at the airport. He will drive you in a tuk-tuk (a three-wheeled open-air vehicle) for a 10-minute drive to the river, where you will take a four-hour speed boat ride to Akuani River Lodge. After you arrive at the Lodge, you'll enjoy drinks and snacks.
Day 3: A full day of guided peacock bass fishing.
Day 4: After day two of peacock bass fishing, you'll boat down the Vichada River to the Orinoco Rapids, a 90-minute ride. You will need to walk about 150 meters while the guide crew drags the boats through 40 meters of beautiful and treacherous rapids.
Days 5-6: Guided payara fishing on the Orinoco Rapids.
Day 7-8: You'll fish for peacock bass on your return upstream to Akuani River Lodge.
Day 9: A four-hour boat ride and a tuk-tuk ride to Puerto Inirida airport for your domestic flight to Bogota. An Afloat representative will drive you from the airport to a very nice hotel. The package includes double-occupancy accommodations. If you want a single-occupancy room, you'll pay $70.00 at the counter.
Day 10: Depending on your international flight schedule, an Afloat representative will pick you up at the hotel and take you to the airport.