Amazonas · Colombia · Gamboa · Leticia · South America · Tabatinga · Teaching English · Travel

The Amazon – Part 2

We woke really early in the morning after a difficult night of sleep.  The light came through the curtains really early.  I had been used to sleeping in the city with the cars driving past all night and drunk people walking by laughing and singing.  Here in Leticia, there were roosters crowing at all hours, and the birds woke early in the morning singing and flying around, it would be a beautiful thing to wake to if one was not so tired!

We had a tin roof and there were iguanas scratching on the roof as they clambered about.  We were up by 4:30, it was like there was no way to get back to sleep!  There was one bird that kept knocking at our window in a seemingly desperate way to get us to wake up!

We decided to explore Leticia and Tabatinga as we had the day pretty much free waiting for our friend.  We left the house to search for breakfast in the area.   We had assumed wrongly that the area would be a cheap place to eat as we were in the middle of no-where, though as soon as people saw that we were foreigners, they upped the charges adding the usual ‘gringo tax’.  We were charged way too much for ‘huevos pericos’ and juice.  It left us feeling cross and edgy.  We were tired, the city is dirty AND we were paying double what we would be paying back home!

Then it began raining around noon, so we hired a Tuk Tuk to take us around the area while we sat in the buggy and were tourists. We wanted to see things, and the only thing we really had to do was get information on trips into the rain forest so that we would be ready to tell our friend what the options were and could sign up as soon as possible.  There is really nothing to do in Leticia but sign up for trips.  So we played tourist!  The area was pretty much as dirty as we thought, but we got to see the Amazon river as the Tuk Tuk took us into Tabatinga!

map entre

There are a lot of agencies in Leticia for tourists to explore the Amazon. We really liked the tours from Gamboa Hostel and Hippilandia Hostel the best.  We were all three on a major budget, so were leaning toward the Gamboa tour as it was cheaper,  though the Hippilandia tours sound the best. Listening to the guides tell us about the adventures we were going to be having was so exciting.  I can’t wait to go explore!!!

Amazonas · Colombia · El Cielo · Leticia · South America · Tabatinga · Teaching English · Travel

The Amazon Part 1

When deciding where to go when I left the country because my work visa expired and I had to be out of Colombia by the 31st of November and come back in on a tourist visa I was torn between going to the Amazon or Bolivia.  I had grown up in Bolivia and in the Amazonas of Venezuela, so wanted to experience at least one of the places again.  Venezuela is too uncertain right now and Bolivia can be hard to travel in.

A lot of my friends are from the US and there is a visa that they need to get to travel to Bolivia as well, so I decided to fly to Leticia and then wander into Peru and Brasil.  It was all the rain forest so I figured that my experience would be very similar to that which I had growing up in Venezuela. A couple of my friends were also interested in going to the Amazonas region, so off we went.

The area we were going to was called ‘Tres Fronteras’.  It is made up of the bottom tip of Colombia and a small section of Peru and Brasil.  The cities of Leticia, Tabatinga, and Santa Rosa meet on the Amazon river and people can wander freely between the three countries.  It is the person’s responsibility to go to the immigration office of the country they need to for the proper exit and entry stamps before traveling further in the country of choice.

map area 3 fronteras

I flew into Leticia on the 28th of November and met up with my friend who had flown in that morning.  We had decided to stay at an airbnb for the first two nights, then meet up with another friend who was also coming down and then we would head off into the jungle on a three day adventure.


It was hot – oh so very hot!  The air was sticky and thick – as soon as I got off the plane I was enveloped in the oppressive heat! I was exited to see all the signs in the airport about it being so clean, but as I left the airport, I realized that the signs were merely hopeful – the place was covered with litter.  There was trash thrown everywhere.  It was depressing to see that the Amazon, the lung of the earth was buried in trash.

I got a cab to the airbnb, dropped my things off and my friend and I set about exploring.  We walked into Tabatinga, Brasil to look around and just revel about being in another country.


We walked and walked – it was amazing how quickly the language changed just being on the other side of the border.  The money was immediately different as well.  The places accepted pesos, but we got reales back in change.

We walked back into Leticia, had an amazing dinner at a little restaurant called ‘El Cielo’. The food was amazing.  We had this pirarucu fish pizza that was absolutely delicious.  I have not been a fan of Colombian food, but I can see now that I could be!  The service was great and the ambience was refreshing.

El Cielo 1

El Cielo

Back to the Airbnb and to bed!