Rio Matavén, Colombia - February 2024

Expedition Fishing on the Rio Matavén for Giant Peacock Bass

The Colombia department of Vichada, where launch point Puerto Inírida is located in eastern Colombia, is characterized by its sweeping plains, tropical jungles and great rivers. The region known as the Matavéni forest is considered a transition zone between the great jungles of the Amazon to the south and the extensive savannas of the Orinoco to the north and east. This area is of special biological interest, not only because of its position geographically, but because of its incredible state of conservation, with less than 5% of the total surface transformed into agricultural areas or otherwise deforested. This is a place to hear the sounds of birds and take in beautiful landscapes. It is also home to many indigenous communities living in harmony with the forest.

The Rio Matavén is a world leader in the fishing of peacock bass, or tucunaré. This incredible river held the IGFA world record for many years for the species Cichla temensis, or speckled peacock bass, and today still holds several world records for tippet. The season for this fishery is January, February, March and April, summer time in Colombia, when river levels drop and conditions become ideal for fishing. 

This river has recently emerged after long periods without the visitation of sport fishermen, and now together with the indigenous Piaroa community there are special sport fishing regulations in place to protect it. Access is limited to exclusive groups of maximum 10 fishermen per group with a strict resting period of 9 days between groups. Anglers are also only allowed to use single hooks on all lures and flies. With these regulations in place, anglers can rest assured they will be greeted with a pristine river full of lightly pressured peacock bass and other exotic species. 


What is Fishing like on the Rio Mataven, Colombia?

Fishing the Rio Mataven is hands down one of the best trophy peacock bass rivers on the planet. Managed exclusively by the Piaroa indigenous community, great care is taken to preserve this river’s amazing aquatic diversity. Target species are mainly the tucunaré or peacock bass (in this river there are several different species of peacocks, among them the larger speckled peacock scientifically known as Cichla temensis as well as the slightly smaller butterfly peacock Cichla orinocensis), the payara or cuborra (Hydrolycus sp.), cajaro or tararira (Hoplias malabaricus), agujeto (Ctenolucius Hujeta), diente perro (Acestrorhynchus sp.), yamú (Brycon sp.), sardinata real (Pellona castelnaeana), piranhas or caribes, cachama (pacu), striped catfish, and moncholo (Pimelodus albicans). 


Fishing Season on the Rio Matavén, Colombia


Lodging & Food on the Rio Matavén, Colombia

This is truly remote, but couldn’t be more comfortable. Each fisherman will have a 4-person tent for themselves complete with cot, electrical outlets to charge batteries, sheets, pillow, and towel. The camp itself will have a common dining room, kitchen, bathroom, and showers. There is also a Starlink, so connecting with friends and loved ones is not a problem.

Itinerary Breakdown for Hosted Trips

Season January-March (12 days, 11 nights)

  • Day 1 – Arrival in Bogota (BOG). Private transfer from airport to hotel included. Lodging included. Meals not included. 
  • Day 2 – Domestic flight Bogota – Puerto Inírida. One night lodging in Puerto Inírida included. Meals included. Transportation included. 
  • Day 3 – All fishermen in group board transport boat and go downstream on the Inírida River to the mouth of the Matavén River (two hours approximately). Here the group will find their guides, who are part of one of the local indigenous communities. Change to smaller boats – two fishermen per boat – and continue upriver to camp. Time to camp depending on upper camp (~6 hours) or lower camp (~4 hours). Arrive at camp on one of the river’s white sand beaches.
  • Day 4-9 – 6 full days will be spent fishing on the Matavén River with two fishermen and a guide and captain per boat.
  • Day 10 – Leave camp with all luggage heading down the Matavén until we reach the Orinoco River. We will visit the local indigenous community and have a chance to purchase artisan crafts. We will then continue back to Puerto Inírida. One night lodging in Puerto Inírida. Meals included. Transportation included.
  • Day 11 – 1/2 day free to rest or enjoy Puerto Inírida. A#ernoon transfer to the airport. Domestic flight Puerto Inírida – Bogota. Departure from Colombia or staying one night in Bogota and departing the next day. (International flight must leave after 7:00 PM) Private transfers between airport and hotel included. Lodging included. Meals not included.
  • Day 12 – Departure from Colombia (if evening $ight wasn’t possible the night before)

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