Leticia is the most southern Colombian town, located in the Amazonas. Together with the town of Tabatinga on the Brazilian side it could form one city. Both cities are not really separated, but the (official) border runs right between them. If you would not know they are border towns you would not notice you are in two different towns, not even mentioning countries. The cities exist for administrative reasons and the language as well as the currency are completely different.
In general Leticia is a very relaxed city that offers all the required necessities for travellers to have a good time such as hostels, bars, stores and lots of exciting trips. The importance of the city is due to its unique location. From there you can plan lots of day-trips to fish piranhas, see dolphins, canoeing and so on… A great destination for eco-tourism. Everything is very good organised by the tourism companies. Therefore, everything comes with its price as well.
From the airport to the city you have to take a taxi (15.000 pesos) or tuk tuk (6.000 pesos). There is no public transport permitted. The harbour of Leticia is quite small but only 5 walking minutes away from the city center. Bigger ships usually drop you off at the harbour of Tabatinga, from where you can either walk for less than an hour to the city center of Leticia or take a taxi for 30 reals (50 reals to the airport of Leticia).
It is very easy to cross the “border” between the cities/countries. You barely notice you are crossing countries because you just follow a street with no-one stopping you or asking for identification. HOWEVER, it is important to get a stamp out of a country at the immigration office and a stamp into the country (at the airport, e.g.). If you don’t do so you might face very high fees.
The city itself is a normal Colombian city. You don’t really feel like you are in the middle of the Amazonas if you don’t leave the city. Despite a lack of industry, there are stores that provide every item a traveler needs to purchase. The commercial ships from Manaus end especially from Peru supply the town with cloths, electronics, etc. There are at least four hostels, a hospital, a lot of small shops, a big plaza with a bordering football field and a few bars. The tv connection is very good. There is even internet at most hostels, the speed of the internet however is very slow, barely enough to purchase a flight ticket online with a little bit of patience.
Despite the fact that lots of eco-tourism exists in the city and the in-existence of roads connecting to other Colombian cities (that would be very far away anyways), prices in the city are more than affordable. The best prices are at the market at the harbour:
Hostel accommodation – 20.000 pesos
“Plato del dia” in a restaurant – 8000 pesos (fruit juice included); lots of street food available as well
Beer in the city 3000 – 4500 pesos
Cafe in the city – 1400 pesos
Cafe at the market – 500 pesos
Playing pool – 1000 pesos.
Due to the importance of tourism there is a lot of police in the city. It feels like a very safe city.
Canoeing around Leticia