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Leticia

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Leticia is a city in the Amazonas department of Colombia. It is part of a contiguous settlement that includes Tabatinga in Brazil. On a nearby island in the river is Santa Rosa, which is part of Peru.

Understand[edit]

Leticia is a small town of approximately 37,000 inhabitants situated on the north bank of the Amazon River. It is the capital of the state of Amazonas, Colombia’s southernmost town (4.09° south 69.57° west) as well as its only major port on the river. It has an elevation of 96 meters above the sea-level and an average temperature of 27 centigrade (80.6°F).

Leticia’s public facilities include a hospital with 3 levels, an airport, and good telephone communication nationally and internationally with internet access capabilities. Water and energy services are acceptable.

Get in[edit]

Immigration[edit]

Movement between all three countries' border towns is unrestricted; but of course, make sure you're stamped into the correct country if leaving the border area. Try to minimize the amount of times you go through immigration: i.e. if entering the region from one country and leaving from another, just get one exit and one entry stamp - even if you visit all three towns in this area. Anything more seems to annoy the immigration officers.

There is a 'catch 22' if you go across the Amazon but do not pass through Peruvian immigration, as happens if yoou visit the Marasha nature reserve. If you get a Colombian exit stamp at Leticia airport, then when you return and ask for an entrance stamp the immigratin officials may object. In this case it seems to be the accepted practice not to formally leave the country when crossing briefly into Peru.

The Colombian immigration office is at the airport, so if you're flying in and moving on to a different country you may as well get an exit stamp when you land. Don't wait several days between getting your exit stamp and the next entry stamp; however leaving it one day doesn't cause any problems.

The Brazilian immigration office is located some way down Tabatinga's main avenue, Avenida da Amizade. The Peruvian immigration office in Santa Rosa is fairly central and easy to find, just ask someone.

By plane[edit]

You can only get into this spectacular, tropical and adventurous town from Colombia by plane or boat. The only place connected to Leticia by a commercial airline is Bogota, there are daily flights with companies Aerorepublica (now Copa), Aires and Satena. The flight lasts two hours. ATSA has flights twice a week from Iquitos-(Mon. and Fri. @ 11AM). Four places in Iquitos sell tickets for ATSA, and prices vary. Usually $86US-(Jun2014)

On arrival to Leticia, non-Colombian citizens are directed to a different entry door to the airport, and the police will ask them for name, nationality and signature. In addition, non-Colombian tourist have to pay an entrance fee (Impuesto al turismo). The fee paper is colorful and it may seem that the representative is trying to sell you something if you don't understand Spanish. None of the officials may be able to speak English. Entrance fee was COP19000 in April 2012 and it's valid for one year.

Tabatinga has flights to Manaus.

By boat[edit]

From Santa Rosa, across the river in Peru, you can take a fast (10hr, US$ 75 or 200 PEN) or slow (2-3 days, ~US$20-25, bring a hammock, plate and spoon - food is provided) boat to Iquitos [1].

Boats downstream towards Manaus, leave from Tabatinga.

Get around[edit]

Mototaxis abound. It should be about 1000 COP from the center to the border with Brazil, more if you're going to the port. There are also motocarros, covered tricycle-type vehicles in which you're more protected from the elements. You can rent a moto or a bicycle in various points around town.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Puerto Nariño & Tarapoto Lakes
    Monkey Island
  • Micos Monkey Island A nature reserve that allows you to feed the monkeys
  • Walk through Leticia Parque Santander (birds) and Parque Orellana are the main atractions for locals. At certain times you might find band competitions, sports, dance, etc.
  • Bicycle trip to Tabatinga (Brazil)
  • Nighttime Safari
  • Bird Watching At sunset, thousands of small parrots fly to Parque Santader to spend the night in the park's trees. If you ask nicely at the church next to the park, they will let you see this spectacle from the church's bell tower. A small donation is required (COP 2,500). The tower also offers a nice view over the city and the Amazon river.
  • Kayaking in the Yahuarcaca lakes
  • Macuna Jungle Hut Communal large living hut of one of the indigenous tribes
    Macuna Jungle Hut
  • Flor Lagoon Swimming lagoon with Victoria Lillys, parrots and small bar
    Flor Lagoon
  • Parque Ecológico Mundo Amazónico This is an Etno-Botanic center to see more than 300 species of plans that only grow in the Amazon, to learn about culture, ecological practices and recycling. It is located at Km 7,7 on Leticia -Tarapaca's road. - Extremely educational and interactive. You will learn about tribes and how they live in this eco friendly park. If you come to the amazon looking for eco tourism and do not visit this park you missed the mark. Learn tips for recycling that you can put in to practice back home an also raise awareness.
  • Acuarios Etuena The first aquarium to display a wide range of native species from the rainforest.

Do[edit][add listing]

Because of its privileged position as a triple frontier and being very close to a tributary river Yavarí, Leticia can serve as the perfect base for eco-tourism activities as well as for the studies of wildlife and flora in the Amazon region. It can also be the perfect starting point for visiting indigenous tribes such as the Tikunas, Yaguas, Huitotos and Boras in the Amazonas [2] [3]. On the Yavarí river you can find the Yaguas and Mayorunas.

Close to Leticia you can also find Amacayacu National Park which is on Colombian territory. On the Yavarí River there is also a natural Reserve. The ribera peruana is also a zone with virgin tropical forest. Amongst others in the ribera peruana, the Cayaru river can be found.

Leticia also greets 2 or 3 tourist cruises in the season between March and April such as the MV World Explorer, MV Bremen, MV Le Levant. Celebrity guests also include the famous Mr. Bill Gates.

Don't forget to have your yellow fever certificate ready, showing vaccination at least 10 days earlier. It is required and usually the check will be performed.

  • Sergio Rojas Famous Amazon Travel Guide (English Speaking Guide in Leticia Amazonas), Carrera 9 # 11-56 (Downtown), 3132651778 (), [4]. Do you need any help or advice? Sergio rojas is one of the most famous travel guide in the Amazon. He could answer any question reggarding your trip and could take you to the most exotic places in the Amazon Basin. He knows really cool deep jungle spots.  edit
  • The Coke Journey (Local visit to Bora and Uitoto indigenous tribes), Km 7 (Carrera 9 # 11-56), 3132651778, [5]. 8:00. This is an exotic and authentic tour to meet local indigenous Bora and Uitoto communities learning the life style, customs, rituals and seeing the main proccess of Mambe (Toasted Coke and Yarumo leaves). On this journey you will have the opportunity to hike in the jungle, have chagras (plantation) workshops, see rituals, get to visit local indigenous malocas and brazilian natural reserve. Operated by local english speaking guide Sergio Rojas and it will include rubber boots and rain cover. Email: amazonasdeturismo@gmail.com $75 USD. (,10 hours) edit
  • The Eware Trail (Complete Jungle, River and Native Tribes tour), Carrera 9 #11-56 (Downtown), 3132651778, [6]. 8:00. This is an Amazing trip which combines River, Water and Native Tribes. It is hosted by English Speaking translator and it's full of activities such as jungle treks, visiting lakes, sharing with native communities, piranha fishing, canoeing, amazing flooded jungle to travel, handcraft workshop and many more activities. This Tour is a really killing day in the Amazon. The food is amazing and it's a native Minga. 150000.  edit
  • Gamboa River. José Rojas organizes tours around his community house, in peruvian amazonian jungle. Swims with nearby dolphins, fishing, treks to find tarantulas and sloths. From 250,000 COP for a one night stay with transportation and activities.  edit

Learn[edit]

Amazon Spanish College [7]. Learn Spanish, Amazon studies or participate in volunteer projects. Here international students from all over the world meet. Spanish courses include social and cultural activities. The Amazon Spanish College also arrange Eco-adventure excursions up the river and to the rainforest. Accommodation in bungalows at campus or in host family.

Sena[8]. Free education for colombians and visitors alike. Learn sewing, portuguese, tourism, carpentering, metalworking, etc. Check the "Formaciones Complementarias" schedule at the website for more information.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Colombian, Brazilian and Peruvian money are all freely traded in all three towns. If getting the best rate matters, check out the rates at the money changers.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Leticia is a melting pot for food even thought they commonly eat the same things each week each region of Colombia's delicacy are made here. For example, many people make Sancocho, a hearty soup, in different regions of Colombia. Each family will have its own variation. Common staples are meats baked together with potatoes, and sometimes vegetables, usually cooked over a stovetop in a pan. A usual Sunday meal might consist of grilled meats, cooked in makeshift charcoal grillers, served with rice and plantains.

  • Tierras Amazónicas, Carrera 8, 7-50. Nice setting, good food. Lots of fish and seafood options, including cazuela (a kind of soup/stew). moderate.  edit
  • Tierras Antioqueñas, (Dowtown). This is a cheap place to eat with a very good food. Prices are around 7000 to 10000 COP (2013).  edit


Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Mossh. In parque Santander, plays merengues, bachatas, brasilian pop, electronica, etc. Beer 3,000 COP. Whisky 15,000.
  • Colors. Near the library and close to Mossh. The setup is good for groups.
  • La Tribu. Great friendly place owned by an uruguayan. Beers are 2,700 COP and there's pizzas too. Close to Parque Orellana (Anaconda Hotel)
  • Blu. Another great club for merengue, bachata, mexican pop, rock. Beer 3,000 COP. Perfect to bounce from La Tribu once you meet someone. May charge cover on certain nights.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Hotel Amazon Bed & Breakfast, [9]. The most comfortable choice. Friendly staff. The Amazon Bed & Breakfast is located in the heart of Leticia, only one block away from the central Plaza Parque Santander, close to coffee shops and restaurants. Modern bungalows with regional design. The Bungalows features a master bedroom with a double bed and a smaller room with a hammock. En-suite bathroom, closet, LCD-TV,ceiling fan and safety box. Breakfast included. All major credit cards accepted.The first hotel in Leticia that accepted reservations on-line. The hotel arrange eco-adventure excursions to explore the Amazon river and rainforest.  edit
  • Hotel Anaconda, [10]. A traditional tourist choice. 50 Rooms with AC, swimming pool, Restaurant, Cable TV and different services. All major credit cards. The hotel also owns Anaconda Tours, an operative agency who provides the main tours around the Amazonas River, near villages in Peru and Brazil.  edit
  • Yoi EcoLodge, (57) 310 268 8026 (), [11]. The most remote lodging option near Leticia which offers basic amenities. The lodge is located well within the Amazon forest along the Amacayacu River two hours by boat from Letica. Guests will stay in a traditionally styled cabin and be able to participate in a number of activities that are included in their stay. Whether you speak Spanish or English if you want to lose yourself in the forest but still have a comfortable bed to sleep in there is no other option like it in the region.  edit
  • Albergue Tacana, Com de Tacana (Km 11 Via Tarapaca), 313 8723207 (), [12]. checkin: 0200hrs; checkout: 1200hrs. For a real jungle experience the Albergue Tacana is located out in the forest in the community of Tacana . (Take combi from in front of the Anaconda hotel to KM 11 then 50 yards past the school take the road on the right into the jungle. The Albergua and village are 2.5-3 km). Built in the 2004, a traditional forest style building with 3 comfortable cabin style double rooms as well as dormitory accommodation for 8 persons. Fishing, Canoeing, jungle walks with Bora Mirana guides from the the doorstep, try the mambe,jahe/ ayahuasca and experience living Bora(Indigenous) culture. COP 20-30000 pp.  edit
  • Mahatu Jungle Hostal, Cra 7 No. 9-69, +57 311 539 1265 (), [13]. No Lockers. Popular with backpackers this hostal seems more like a country club, with a huge garden/park including three small lakes, a canoe, and plenty of hammock space. Offers dorms, singles and doubles and has a communal kitchen, a small pool and free WiFi. The owner's behaviour ranges from friendly to lunatic. Dorm bed : 25,000 COP.  edit
  • Hotel Divino Niño, Av Internacional 7-23 (near Tabatinga). Popular if you arrive from Peru as the owner is from there. Free WiFi. Both single (50,000 COP) and dorm options. Good tours organized by Miguel. Web=http://www.divinoninohotel.com Dorm bed : 25,000 COP.  edit
  • Los Delfines Hospedaje, Carrera 11 No.12 -85 (Two blocks from Parque Santander), 592 74 88 (), [14]. Offers private rooms. Quiet place close to police and firefighter stations. Managed by chill ladies that speak mostly spanish. WiFi is slow as in most of Leticia. Get deals if you stay for several nights or down to 400,000 - 450,000 COP per month. 25,000 COP.  edit
  • Hotel Pirarucu, Calle 13 Nro. 10 - 45, [15]. Offers various size rooms. Owner will organize excursions to the nearby attractions. The owner is very friendly and keen to help but better at speaking Spanish than English.  edit
  • Posada Camino del Rio (Hostel Leticia), Carrera 9 # 11-56, 57 3132651778 (), [16]. checkin: 3:00 pm; checkout: 1:00 pm. Its one of a kind hostel in which its really confortable, the host is really friendly and will help you thru your amazon trip. Speaks english and spanish. Price per person COP 35,000 20 USD.  edit
  • Amazon Hostel (hostelamazon@gmail.com), Carrera 8 # 13-53 (Close to the stadium), 3143352751, [17]. checkin: 24 hours; checkout: 11 a.m.. This is a family enviroment hostel owned by Thomas Castillo (Very friendly and helpful host) He speaks English, portuguese and Spanish. It is close to Leticia's downtown. The rooms have with private bathroom, fan , air conditioner and shelves. No internet, but 15 min walk to airport. 10 min walk to center. 15000 COP.  edit
  • Heliconias Hostal, Calle 10, No 8-23, 3166067718,3124640233. Brand new, small hostel in a very quiet neighbourhood. Very friendly and helpful host. Price per person COP 40,000. all rooms private bath and all very clean. 2-3 comfortable beds in rooms.For longer stay, negotiate price E-mail: heliconiashostal@hotmail.com, heliconiashostal@gmail.com  edit
  • Casa del Kurupira (Kurupira House), Carrera 9 # 6-100 (Close to Selvamotor and Kaguana Bar), +5785926160, [18]. checkin: 12:30 PM; checkout: 2:00 PM. Basic cheap hostel close to the Amazon River and the center of the city. Wi-Fi free and posibilty to get private rooms. The staff people speak english and offers too daily trips and expeditions to the jungle. $ 12 USD.  edit
  • A casa do Xingu (Xingu Camping Project), Cra 2AE No 14A-52, Barrio Humarizal (next to an invisible Brazilian border), +5731021521522, [19]. checkin: 24hrs; checkout: 3pm. This is a backpacker's house in which you will stay in a real Leticia's neighbourhood next to a Brazilian piece of jungle, this place runs together with a camping zone in the Brazilian border, there you can go trekking, fishing and of course sleeping in the jungle for just 2USD as a contribution for the project. 12,000 COP.  edit

Get out[edit]

Slow and fast boats leave from Santa Rosa to Iquitos. The fast boat (el rapido) leaves around 3 in the morning and the slow boat (la lancha) at 6 or 8 in the evening. Go to the port in Tabatinga for travel towards Manaus and Belém.

Slow boats from Tabatinga to Manaus leaves only Wednesday and Saturday in Tabatingas port. It takes nearly 4 days. You have to bring your hammock and extra water, the price is $200 Reais and it will include the meals.

Make sure to get your exit stamp at the DAS office in the airport, and your Peruvian enterance stamp at the office in Santa Rosa. It costs 3 Reais or 3,000 COP to make the trip in "bote" from Leticia's port to Santa Rosa (May 2012).

There is a fast boat to Benjamin Constant that leaves around every half hour, or whenever it's full, from the port in Tabatinga, and it costs 20,000 COP.




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