Leticia, gateway to the Colombian Amazon


For many it is unknown and Colombia you also have your access to Amazon River. The call Colombian Amazon, adjacent to Peru and Brazil. An area with great biodiversity and where the city of Leticia It is your main point of entry.

Leticia, gateway to the Colombian Amazon

Leticia, welcome to the Colombian Amazon

To get to the Colombian Amazon is usually done by Laticia. Mainly by plane although we could also do it by Tabatinga (Brazil) or even fromIquitos (Peru). Tabatinga is only reached by boat or plane, and borders Leticia by land. Virtually from the air they look like a single city. SinceIquitos Leticia is only reached by boat after several stops on the Amazon River.

Leticia, gateway to the Colombian Amazon

Once in Leticia, numerous tourism agencies offer their visitors numerous tours of 1 or several days to observe wildlife or visit an indigenous community. However, the same hotels also offer these options, some on their own, so it is possible to come without hiring anything at all.

Leticia, gateway to the Colombian Amazon - Puerto Nariño

If you want to have a real experience in the Amazon River, then we will have to leave Leticia and look for a hotel on the way to Puerto Nariño or surroundings of this small town. Puerto Nariño is located about 75 kilometers upriver from Leticia, which means a 2-hour boat trip. Boats that leave between 4 or 5 a day and with very restricted schedules. The last part at 2:00 p.m. since it is not allowed to navigate at night for safety. Security not because of robberies, but because small boats sail without light and you could bump into the trees that float on the sidewalk of the Amazon River.

Leticia, gateway to the Colombian Amazon

We chose an option halfway between Leticia and Puerto Nariño, in a small settlement called El Vergel and 40 km from the nearest airport. From there, excursions are simple and we have access to places like lake tarapoto (Puerto Nariño) or the island of the Micos (near Leticia). In fact, if we look at the map above and departing from Leticia (1), we first pass through the Laguna de los Micos (camera icon) and finally we will see Puerto Nariño (2) next to another camera icon, Lake Tarapoto.

Leticia, gateway to the Colombian Amazon

At Vergel There is practically nothing. Only a couple of stores with the basics and a school with internet access from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. 200 pesos The time. There is no other place with internet several kilometers around, including the chosen hotel.

Leticia, gateway to the Colombian Amazon

Therefore it is a place to disconnect. Stand and listen to the most primitive jungle. Come prepared for the wettest heat and be as tolerant as possible to insects. The mosquito is the king and the bites are the order of the day. To this we have to add the daily coexistence with various types of spiders, including tarantulas and even scorpions. The latter is not a problem because all accommodations provide mosquito nets In all their beds. Another thing is to be a doctor and see a spider on the roof intimidates us. We are in the jungle and that is its territory. We are the intruders.

Leticia, gateway to the Colombian Amazon

The area in question is very humid, with values ​​that exceed the 90%. On the same day we can have a completely sunny sunrise and end with a strong storm. The tropical climate is as unpredictable as that of the mountain. We went 4 days in the rainy season and it only rained for 2 nights.

Leticia, gateway to the Colombian Amazon

Excursions in the Colombian Amazon

Although we feel Indiana Jones, the Amazon River, the rivers that flow to it and the surrounding jungle, are undoubtedly a world apart. A world that will always require someone who knows the place, both along the jungle routes and navigating different rivers. Only the transfer from one point to another makes sense to do it on our own.

Leticia, gateway to the Colombian Amazon

This leads to seek the services of a guide, where hotels or tourism agencies can offer us. These will give us options already "prefabricated" and with prices according to the number of people. Prices that we can usually negotiate. To this we can add options to the letter if we want to visit a particular area.

Jungle walks

The most common are the jungle walks, both day and night. This will give us the chance to see how impenetrable the Amazon area is and how easy it is to get lost.

Leticia, gateway to the Colombian Amazon

We will see all kinds of medicinal plants and even the gigantic Ceiba, the largest tree in the Amazon. Its width equals more than 20 people with arms extended around its trunk.

Leticia, gateway to the Colombian Amazon

To this add the sighting of hundreds of types of birds and of course, nice monkeys such as Micos or howler monkeys. Then if we decide to walk at night, we will see various types of frogs and toads, as well as tarantulas.

Dolphin watching on the Amazon River

One of the most popular activities is the observation of dolphins, both gray and rosé. Grays are easy to observe because they are more playful because they jump out of the water. On the other hand, the pink ones, being bigger, barely take part of their body out of the water to breathe.

Leticia, gateway to the Colombian Amazon

Both sightings are usually made on the Peruvian shore, since the Amazon River runs through that area in a quiet way. However, in the Colombian zone it is also easy to observe them, especially if we go to the lakes located north of Puerto Nariño. The best time to see them is in the morning.

Piranha fishing

Piranha fishing is announced by hype and saucer. A fish that everyone draws attention for his murderous fame. Then they are not so bad, you can even bathe with them, but as long as you do not have a recent wound.

Leticia, gateway to the Colombian Amazon

To fish piranhas you usually go to areas where the waters are calm, with some vegetation and shallow. This leads to navigating narrower and especially prettier rivers than the Amazon River.

Leticia, gateway to the Colombian Amazon

Then of course the luck factor plays. We can fish several or none. It is also common to fish other species as voracious as Piranhas and which are generally tastier. Just to give you an idea, we caught about 4 fish, while two professional fishermen from the United States who came with us…. They didn't catch one. Matter be lucky.

Practical data on the Colombian Amazon

Before leaving for Colombia

  • Guide of the Lonely Planet of Colombia
  • Airport Transfers
  • Car rental in Colombia with a 15% discount

When to go to Leticia and the Colombian Amazon

Avoid high season (December to April), especially during Easter, since there are a lot of visitors. The rainy season is not as bad as it seems.

How to get to Leticia

You cannot reach Leticia by road. The only option from Colombia is mainly by air through Bogotá. It can be reached from Brazil or Peru by boat.

How to get Leticia from Peru

There are two daily boats that communicate Leticia with Caballo Cocha in Peru. Caballo Cocha is the first town that one meets once the Colombian limits of the Amazon river in the north direction end.

Two boats leave from Caballo Cocha, one at 6:00 and one at 12:30. From Leticia they leave at 09:00 and at 14:00. A Cocha Horse can be reached from Iquitos.

How to get to Puerto Nariño

From Leticia there are 4 boats daily. At 07:00, 09:00, 12:00 and 14:00. They leave with strict punctuality and should be booked. If we book a hotel outside Leticia, it can reserve a seat on the boat. The cost is between 20,000 and 30,000 pesos.

From Puerto Nariño 4 other boats leave at 07:00, 10:00, 13:30 and 15:30.

What to take to the Colombian Amazon

We must carry a lot of mosquito repellent. Fine long-sleeved clothes, sunglasses, cap, swimsuit and sunscreen. It is advisable to buy water in Leticia before moving to the hotel.

It is advisable to carry a spare battery or powerbanks. Many hotels cut the light at night when they are supplied with solar panels or electricity generators by fuel. We are in the jungle ...

A flashlight is also necessary as well as some food. The food can become very drab.

Books or any leisure option is recommended to avoid dead hours.

Where to sleep in the Amazon River

Natura Park Reserve: it was the option chosen. Located halfway to Leticia and Puerto Nariño. The hotel is located in a beautiful place, with a small lake with Victoria Regia, the gigantic floating plants. It has spacious rooms, where more than 4 people fit. All with bathroom. The only thing missing is the fans. The rest is more than correct.

The food is good, with choices of fruit, chicken and different types of fish.

It has all kinds of excursions and many can be a la carte, according to our needs.

Costs to take into account

  • Between 20,000 and 30,000 pesos the cost of the boat to Puerto Nariño.
  • Taxi to the vicinity of the pier to Puerto Nariño costs 10,000 pesos (from the airport).
  • Beers at 3500 pesos
  • 20,000 pesos grilled steak
  • 4000 pesos juices
  • 12000/17000 pesos the hamburger
  • Soups at 3500 pesos
  • 500 pesos bag of 300ml of water
  • 2000 pesos water bottle

Cost of excursions

The excursions start from about 35,000 pesos for walks up to 75,000 pesos or more for long trips by boat.

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