Want to travel from Iquitos to Leticia end of February. Safe?
I am currently in Peru, and at the end of this month i would like to cross the border to Colombia.
One of the ways to do this is by boat from Iquitos on the Amazon to Leticia in Colombia.
I just wanted to ask if anyone has experience with this route?
Is it safe for a gringo looking type?
Is it a good idea in the rainy season?
Are there different kinds of boats you can take?
What about travelling on from Leticia to one of the cities in Colombia?
And is the only way to get to Iquitos flying from Lima?
Or are there other safe options to cross the Peru-Colombian border?
I have done the ferry from Yurimaguas to Iquitos and it was a great adventure.I have many friends who have continued on to Leticia and Bolivia and Brazil.I have never heard a bad story of these trips. I have never been to Leticia but I have a Colombian wife and I LOVE COLOMBIA. The problem ,I believe, will be travelling from Leticia to the rest of Colombia. Leticia is a modern tourist town but the Colombian Amazonas are extremly dangerous. My wife is saying to me "please tell this person not to do this". This whole area ,including the Caqueta and Putumayo Rivers, is FARC controlled and has many dangerous tribes. On the Peruvian side is one of the last Shining Path strongholds.
I would suggest travelling by bus from Lima to Moyabamba ,then taking a collectivo ,shared taxi, to Yurimaguas then an "Eduardo Ferry" to Iquitos then fly to Quito ,Ecuador, and travel by bus into Colombia. This route is much safer and is well travelled by western tourists.
Please don't think I am a nervous,typical traveller.I have had some great adventures but there is a difference between calculated risk and stupidity. I had a local try to kill me ,with a tree branch, on the coast of the Choco (the Colombia side of the Darien Wilderness) .I have returned there several times since then but I will not travel overland to Leticia.
If you would like some more info ,including routes, hotels ect, of the Lima-Iquitos trip then feel free to message me
Having read the post from Paul I think we may have been a little naive a few years ago - Oct 2006
We travelled from Iquitos to Leticia by speed boat - Mud Wrestling in Colombia
From memory it was about 10 hours - and pretty interesting - just to see the scale of the amazon!
We were the per chance on the same boat as another English couple but other than that the remainder of the passengers appeared to be local.
We were very apprehensive about going into Colombia but whether or not we were correctly advised when enquiring locally i do not know!
On arrival at Leticia we were met by a friendly tout who took us to a good hotel - with a pool and arranged our onward travel via plane to Bogota.
We spent a day in leticia doing very little other than relaxing at the pool. I did notice soldiers on the streets patrolling but there wasn't any air of danger within the town and everyone was very friendly to us.
we ate at a great restuarant and the next morning flew out trouble free to the capital! I think you have to fly out of leticia so the journey might not be worth it - and if you want to experience the amazon you can do this from iquitos and then travel overland through a more conventional route - or take the flight from leticia
This and the rest of Colombia was a great experience and one of my favourite visited countries.
Despite the above from me please seek local advice and pay heed to the post above as this would appear more up to date and informed!
The trip up the Amazon and staying in Leticia is safe ,I believe. As i said, in the beggining of my post, I travelled as far as Iquitos by ferry and I know many people who have travelled further. Leticia is a very popular tourist town and is controlled by the army. If Kalie was to do as Sally and Nick did and fly Leticia to Bogota then he will have a great ,and safe enough, adventure.
On the highway between Leticia to Bogota you pass through the "zona" ( shire ) of Caguan , near San Vicente del Caguan. This is the area the Colombian government gave to FARC in 1999 to try and stop the terrorism, FARC always wanted an independant country. This backfired as in these times FARC was a reasonably small organisation but having a base meant they could grow and spread through Colombia. In 2002 Presdent Pastrana took back this area,after failed peace talks, but by this time FARC was well established and had become very adept at "narcotrafico, secuestros y terrorismo"-"drug trafficing, kidnapping and terrorism".
Please forgive me if my dates are incorrect and it is possible President Uribe was the one to dismantle the FARC safe haven. I just want Kalie to understand that even though Colombia is one of the friendliest happiest countries on earth it is still a country in civil war.
If you still have doubts then please Google "Ingrid Betancourt". Her kidnapping was one of the most famous. She spent many years as a captive of FARC. She is now attempting to sue the Colombian Government but she was told not to go to this area and chose to ignore the warnings.
I may sound anti-colombia but nothing could be further from the truth. I LOVE COLOMBIA. My Colombian wife and I own a flat in Bogota and we plan for our children to be as much Colombian as Australian
Thanks for the reply's,
I will certainly not travel over land from Leticia to Bogota. If I do this Iquitos - Leticia boattrip, I will fly from Leticia.
But I don't know if I am going to do it yet, just read something about a dengue outbreak in Iquitos, maybe not the best time to go then. Maybe fly from Lima then. I want to leave Equador for later, because I have to be there end of March.
Planning on doing the Leticia to Iquitos trip myself, Not really worried about "hearsay" then doing the 5 day trip from Iquitos to Palluca....
This is YOUR lifes memories, once in a lifetime opportunity..dont look back 10 years from now and regret you didn't do it because of what others say..Check the blogs there's plenty of good experiences
Best Of Luck!
We also did the trip from Yurimaguas through Iquitos to Brazil (we di not get into Leticia, but it is the same - the boat trip from Iquitos stops in the border town on the Peruvian side and then you take small speed boat for 15 minutes either to Brazil or Colombia ...).
It was safe and we had no problems though we are Gringos and we were a family with 3 small kids!
From Yurimaguas we took a smaller boat to Lagunas and not with the Eduardo, but from Lagunas we did go with Eduardo to Iquitos.
Note that you have to have your own Hammock and plate and tools for eating. It is possible to buy a Hammock in Yurimaguas but make sure you buy it in the market in town rather than in the port or on board the boat.
The speed boat from Yurimaguas to the border / leticia which indeed traveles for only 10 hours is mucu more expensive than the "regular" boat taking 3 days. If you have the time and not the budget, I believe the slow option is better as you also get much more of the feeling of the amazon and being rural. The boats have on their first level a lot of goods, cars and also stock travelling with you...
Note that the boats from Iquitos do not leave on Sunday.
My next trip to South America, PERU, COLOMBIA, CHILE, ARGENTINA, URUGUAY, PARAGUAY and PERU will be in February-March 2013. I'm planing to go over the water from Iquitos to Leticia and from there I have a flight to Bogota & Cartagena. I'm looking to go by a kind of speed boat from Iquitos to Leticia. Do someone from you guys know what amazon company offers transfers to Leticia beside Rapido. Thanks for the tips...
Hellos I know this guys in Iquitos : <snip> and this other in Leticia : <snip>
nice trip 😊
[Edited: 2013 Apr 25 03:01 - Roosta:95057 - No commercial links in the forums please. See TOS]
Hey guys I traveled from Iquitos, Peru to Santa Clara, Peru on the Colombian border by boat RAPIDO. In Santa Clara you have to claim you exit from Peru. Then by taxi bat you have to cross Colombian border to Leticia 10 minutes from St Clara. In Leticia you have to claim your entry to Colombia. You have to make your custom clearance at the airport in Leticia, on the day you entry Colombia. If you forgot, you will have trouble. The travel by RAPIDO alone is safe it is OK 10 hours drive trough amazon river 470km ca 300miles uff hell of the trip. The tickets you can buy by Travel Agent at Rimaldi St. in Iquitos I can recommend...
Beside RAPIDO you can use a Peruvian military plane from Iquitos to Caballococha $80 then from there to Leticia by taxi boat one hour...
Can you tell me Some details about the military's plane? How do i find them, how to book? Sound Nice because you see the river from above!
In response to: Msg #169761