Travel Guide South America Colombia Leticia

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Introduction

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Leticia is the capital of the Amazonas department in the extreme southeast of Colombia and has around 33,000 inhabitants. The city can only be reached by plane from Colombia or by ferry up or down the River from Brazil and Ecuador. The town borders Tabatinga in Brazil.

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Sights and Activities

  • Ethnographic Museum and Library of the Republic Bank - Carrera 11 # 9 – 43, M-F 0830 - 1800, Situated near the heart of the city, it has a small exhibit in English and Spanish to help you understand the differences between cultures and learn some tips you should have in mind if you’re visiting an indigenous community. The building has WiFi, air-conditioning, and clean washrooms with toilet paper.
  • Puerto Nariño & Tarapoto Lake 3 public boats per day do the route Leticia-Puerto Narino, 08:00am, 10:00am, 2:00pm; last return boat is at 03:30pm; reserve your return ticket in advance or you get stranded in Puerto Narino. Once in Puerto Narino, it's easy to hire a boat with guide to continue to Tarapoto Lake.
  • Micos Monkey Island - A nature reserve that allows you to feed the monkeys. They give you some bananas to feed them, and you should be ready to be swarmed by the monkeys. A fun time and great opportunity for some funny photos.
  • 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.
  • Flor Lagoon - Swimming lagoon with Victoria Lillys, parrots and small bar.
  • Parque Ecológico Mundo Amazónico - This is an Etno-Botanic center to see more than 300 species of plants 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. They offer 4 different guided tours, each lasting about 45 to 60 minutes: Plants, medical plants, culture and aquatic life. These can be booked in various hotels in town and at the entrance, for COP10000 each. It is advisable to just book all tours, they will be held in one go. The cultural and medicinal tour offer plenty of opportunities to sit down, the cultural tour allows to try blowtubes and bow and arrow. Buses go there every 30 minutes or so, just tell the bus driver that you want to get off the bus there since it is not a default bus stop. It is probably the most children friendly thing one can do to spark some interest in the ecological aspects of the Amazon, and definitely, since it is a curated garden, one of the safest ways for learning about the ecosystem. There is a small kiosk nearby, but bringing drinks and food is a good idea since the nearby restaurants are only open on Sundays during off-season.
  • Acuarios Etuena - The first aquarium to display a wide range of native species from the rainforest.
  • Reserva Victoria Regia - A small nature reserve where you can see the Victoria Regia (more commonly known today as the Victoria Amazonica, the largest water lilly in the world. Located upriver from Leticia, the reserve can be reached by watertaxi and is a commons top on Amazon River tours.

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Events and Festivals

  • International Brotherhood Festival (Festival de Confraternidad Amazonica) - Held annually in late July, the festival celebrates the culture of the 3 countries that meet around Leticia. People from Tabatinga, and the nearby communities in Peru come. There is usually one night devoted to each of the 3 countries, Colombia, Brazil, and Peru, with performances of traditional dances and other cultural presentations. Each country also nominates a candidate to be crowned Miss International.

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Weather

Leticia has a tropical rainforest climate with hot and humid conditions year round. Temperatures are around 31-32 °C during the day and 21-22 °C at night. Rain is possible in every month, though is lowest in July and August (just over 100mm a month) and highest from January to May (around 200mm a month).

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max30.6 °C30.6 °C30.6 °C30.3 °C29.9 °C29.4 °C29.8 °C30.7 °C31.2 °C31.4 °C31.1 °C30.7 °C
Avg Min22.6 °C22.6 °C22.6 °C22.7 °C22.6 °C21.6 °C20.8 °C21.3 °C21.7 °C22.4 °C22.4 °C22.6 °C
Rainfall355 mm334 mm352 mm352 mm291 mm203 mm158 mm169 mm235 mm263 mm302 mm292 mm
Rain Days242122222319161617192123

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Getting There

By Plane

Alfredo Vásquez Cobo International Airport (LET) offers flights to/from Bogota and several smaller towns like Araracuara, La Chorrera, La Pedrera and Tarapacá. There are seasonal flights to both Iquitos and Pucallpa in Peru.

Tabatinga International Airport has flights with TRIP to Manaus, always via Tefé. Some TRIP flights might make additional stops at the towns of Carauari and Coari.

There are sometimes flights from the Peruvian town of Santa Rosa to Iquitos, with small 15-seaters.

By Boat

Brazil
Although not from Leticia itself, there are connections by boat from nearby Tabatinga. Slow boats to Manaus leave from the Porto Fluvial on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday afternoons, usually around 2:00pm or so, with a stop at Benjamin Constant. Sometimes there are extra boats, so it's worth asking. Arrive in the morning to stake out good hammock space, as boats can be quite crowded. The trip to Manaus takes three days and four nights and costs around US$65 if you bring your own hammock, or around US$240 for two people in a double cabin. Food is included, but you're best advised to bring snacks and bottled water. Traveling upstream from Manaus to Tabatinga, the trip usually takes six days, and costs about US$110 in your hammock or US$330 for a double cabin.

Speedboats operated by AJATO (Porto Manaus Moderna 3622 6047, 9984 9091, Tabatinga 3412 2227; 8:00am-5:00pm Monday to Friday, 8:00am-noon Saturday) leave Tabatinga for Manaus (R$360, 31 hours) once a week, generally in the morning. The boats have airplane-style seating and TVs playing movies, and good meals are included. To get to Tefé, take a Manaus-bound slow boat to Fonte Boa or Jutaí, and transfer to a regional boat that enters Tefé proper. AJATO has a once weekly speedboat service to Tefé (R$300, 20 hours).

Peru
Transtur runs high-speed boats between Tabatinga and Iquitos. Boats leave from Tabatinga's Porto da Feira at 4:00am Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and arrive in Iquitos about 10 hours later. The boats call at Santa Rosa's immigration post in Peru. The journey costs US$60 in either direction, including breakfast and lunch. Don't forget to get an exit stamp in your passport from at Leticia's airport the day before departure. Note that from Iquitos there are no onward overland connections. You have to fly or continue by river to Pucallpa (five to seven days), from where you can go overland to Lima and other places.

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Getting Around

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 (COP50000 per day, COP30000 per day if renting for a week, COP25000 for longer rentals - haggle!).

Regular speed boats ("Taxi do río") leave from the docks in Tabatinga to Benjamin Constant (30min).

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Eat

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.

Various vendors sell small meat skewers and fried balls of rice & meat for COP1,000 each along the waterfront promenade from around noon until after sunset.

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Sleep

  • Anaira Hostel (Carrera 10 # 6 - 17), ☎ +57 3016912823, +57 3212174857, e-mail: reservas@anairahostel.com. 24hrs. Check-out: midday. Small hostel with a great atmosphere, hammocks and a pool in the common area. The manager speaks excellent English and is incredibly friendly and helpful. Very clean and has a kitchen. 20,000 pesos for dorms.
  • Hotel Amazon Bed & Breakfast (one block from the central Plaza Parque Santander). Comfortable choice, friendly staff, modern bungalows with regional design. Bungalows feature 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 arranges eco-adventure excursions to explore the Amazon river and rainforest.
  • Hotel Anaconda. A traditional tourist choice. 50 Rooms with AC, swimming pool, restaurant, cable TV. 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.
  • Natural Reserve Tanimboca, e-mail: / tanimboca@yahoo.com tanimboca@gmail.com / tanimboca@yahoo.com. Cabins up in the trees with bath and shower or camping in the canopy of giant trees. They offer good custom jungle trips.
  • Albergue Tacana, Com de Tacana (Km 11 Via Tarapaca), ☎ +57 313 8723207, e-mail: steve@amazon-holidays.com. Check-in: 0200hrs, check-out: 1200hrs. 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 doorstep, try the mambe, jahe/ ayahuasca and experience living Bora (Indigenous) culture. COP 20-30,000 pp.
  • Mahatu Jungle Hostal, Cra 7 No. 9-69. Popular with backpackers, this eco-hostel 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. They also organize excursions to the nearby lakes Leticia, Zacambu and Marasha Reserve and the Indian Yagua community La Libertad. Luggage can be stored for free when you are on a jungle trip, even if you have not booked with the hostel. Dorm bed : 25,000 COP, COP30000 for a private room.
  • Hotel Pirarucu, Calle 13 Nro. 10 - 45. Offers rooms of various sizes. Owner will organize excursions to the nearby attractions. The owner is very friendly and keen to help but better at speaking Spanish than English.
  • Hostel Camino del Rio, Carrera 9 # 11-56 (Downtown), ☎ +57 3132651778, e-mail: amazonasdeturismo@gmail.com. Really comfortable hostel. The host is one of the most famous travel assistants and guides in the Amazon, really friendly. Speaks English and Spanish and is available as a guide to the Amazon Basin. COP 40-50,000 pp.
  • La Casa del Kurupira (Casa Kurupira), Carrera 9 # 6-100 (In front of Selvamotor and Kaguana Bar), ☎ +57 85926160, e-mail: info@casadelkurupira.com. Cheap Hostel, offers bed in shared rooms or private rooms. The service includes Wi-Fi and the possibility to join in a Group for a trip for several days or simple a full day experience. Is possible book a room/bed in the web-page. The staff people speak english, spanish and portuguese. $ 10 USD.
  • El Hostel (flashpack the amazon), Carrera 9 # 13 - 84 (Behind the hospital), ☎ +57 3224209468, e-mail: elhostelamazon@gmail.com. Check-in: 24 hours, check-out: 11:00 am. Located in a big house, offers private rooms and dorms, with shared bathrooms, from 25,000COP to 70,000COP breakfast included. Located 4 blocks from the city centre, calm and clean, communal kitchen. They also offer tours into the jungle, and rent bikes. English spoken. Nice place for backpackers. 8$-12

View our map of accommodation in Leticia or use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

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Learn

  • Amazon Spanish College - 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.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafes are easy to find in any city or town. Expect rates to run about $1,250-2,500 (around $US 0.50-1.00) per hour, depending on how much competition there is (i.e., cheap in Bogotá, expensive in the middle of nowhere). Quality of connections varies enormous and tends to better in populated places and tourist areas. Wifi is getting more and more popular in some hotels, restaurants and bars, but don't count on it and be careful regarding your privacy.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to Colombia is: 57. To make an international call from Colombia, the code is: 005.

Using your own phone and SIM card is expensive so if you are planning to do quite a few calls, buy a phone or just a SIM card. It's simple enough to get a SIM card and even an unlocked phone at the international airport in Bogotá, although there is, of course, a price hike. They're not hard to find in any city either, just ask your hotel or hostel staff where to go. Topping up is also easy, and can be done pretty much on any street corner. The carriers you'll most likely see are Claro, Tigo, and Movistar. Claro is the most expensive (by a little bit), but has the widest coverage in the country, if you expect to get off the beaten path.

Post

4-72 is the unusual name of Colombia's postal service. They have post offices throughout the country, which are open usually from 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday and sometimes on Saturday mornings as well. That doesn't apply to all offices though, only the larger ones in the big cities. But for example along the Caribbean coast, offices tend to close between noon and 2:00pm. But even at the ones that are officially open all day long, it might be difficult to get anything done during those hours. For domestic services, sending letters and postcards is mostly reliable but takes days, for international services don't hold your breath. Eventually, a postcard or letter might arrive in the country of destination but it's almost not worth it. For parcels, you are better off using companies like FedEx, TNT, DHL or UPS.

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Accommodation in Leticia

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Leticia searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Leticia and areas nearby.

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This is version 13. Last edited at 10:42 on Oct 29, 18 by Utrecht. 4 articles link to this page.

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