Pink dolphins leap and play amongst the indigenous children, their hand-made canoes cutting across the crystalline lake. Birds swoop and dive, their shrill calls echoing across the shimmering water, the sounds of the jungle flowing freely through the fronds of towering palms as naked Amazonian beauties wash their clothes in the sparkling lagoon. Ducks quack, their echoes lost to time…


Pretty but uninspiring – Laguna Venecia, Tarapoto, Peru.

The Real Laguna Venecia

Okay, I confess, I made that up. The thing is, I can’t think of much to say about Laguna Venecia. It’s a small lake about four miles outside of town. There’s a restaurant. They sell beer. There are some scruffy seats. A few tables…

It’s a nice place for a picnic. There are some slightly beaten-up canoes and pedal boats (made of fibreglass rather than fashioned out of a single tree), and it is a relaxing place to sip a beer by the lakeside. There are also plenty of palm trees of varying types. But that’s about it really, unless I’m missing something.

Tarapoto Motocross at Laguna Venecia

In general, I’d say that Laguna Venecia isn’t really worth visiting. That said, if you like motocross events, this could become a favourite venue. Every few months, racers gather at the lake to hurtle round the nearby track. The track itself looks quite entertaining, full of ups and downs and twists and turns. The whole thing sits in a natural bowl, so there’s a great view across the circuit if you stand up above it.


The Tarapoto motocross circuit at Laguna Venecia

Am I Missing Something?

Not a particularly favourable review, I must admit. I’d be interested to hear what anyone else thinks about Laguna Venecia. It’s an established Tarapoto destination, featuring on most tourist maps and on some tour schedules. Personally, I don’t see the appeal. There’s nothing bad about the place – it’s just not very interesting.

The motocross, however, does sound like fun. If anyone has any info about upcoming motocross events, I’d be grateful if you let me know. I always seem to hear about them a week or so after they take place… Typical!