By Peter Hebert

Mid-July found us in Tres Fronteras on the Amazon River in the remote southern region of the Colombian rainforest where the borders of Colombia meet with Peru and Brazil. As points of reference, Colombia is one of just 15 countries on the planet where the equator passes through. Tres Fronteras is 290 miles south of the equator. 

The flight from the Washington, D.C. area is about five hours to the two mile high, mega sized, city Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, with 7.2 million people. And the flight from there into the one gate airport in Leticia with a population of just 42,280 people is an hour and a half. 

We stayed at the Decameron Resort in Leticia, which is the capital city of Amazonas — the largest department in southern Colombia. We rated our “base camp” with two thumbs up. It is a luxurious resort with all of the amenities. It is complete with pool, two bars with out door flat screen televisions, restaurant, and entertainment area where nightly performances take place. The spacious rooms have high ceilings with fans, and the separate screen porches are equipped with hammocks. There is a tour planning desk. And Amazon Expeditions has an office inside the resort. Resort guests are primarily from South America, and also from Europe and the United States.

Like many cities on the Amazon River, Leticia is only accessible by either boat or plane. Once there, no passports or visas are required to travel among the countries of the Tres Fronteras. Local travel is either by foot, undersized taxis, or motorized tricycle taxis. Otherwise travel is by covered boat taxis with a small outboard motor on the river and its countless tributaries.

The lower third of Colombia is mostly protected forrest reserves and parks for ten percent of the Amazonian jungle. It is home to 70 different indigenous Indian tribes. In just the Colombian Amazon alone, which is made up of three departments (regional states) within the country, there are believed to be 18 isolated indigenous Indian tribes.

Leticia’s sister city Tabatinga, Brazil is walking distance from the Decameron Resort. In the middle of the Amazon River is an island that belongs to Peru called Isla Chineria, which is also easily accessible by water taxi from either Leticia or Tabatinga. These are the river port towns that make up Tres Fronteras

In Leticia, thousands of colorful parrots descend from the heights of the clouds around dusk, every day like clockwork, into Parque Santander just blocks from the resort. They often collide into each other in their chaotic descent to perch in the trees for the night. 


Mabel Ramirez and her husband Peter Hebert with Nestor of Amazon Expeditons (waving) and our pilot.

Mabel Ramirez and her husband Peter Hebert with Nestor of Amazon Expeditons (waving) and our pilot.

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We launched North Bethesda Magazine to exclusively serve the concerns and interests of the pocket of just 2,262 single family homes, and the numerous townhouses and condominiums, in the 20852 zip code with localized news, events, and key contact information. With the loss of a community paper, we recognized that there was a gaping hole in local and relevant news for our immediate concerns. Important developments in our own community are oftentimes difficult to find.  A quarterly magazine focused on our concerns and interests. Not the LCA Green Sheet. And, not Bethesda Magazine. Our local businesses from grocery stores and restaurants to an array of service providers all create the fabric of our community. North Bethesda Magazine is made possible because of the support of our patrons, advertisers, and our contributors.  From leaders in the local PTA , county council candidates, to those who attend the public hearings, we will deliver feature articles describing the happenings in the different spheres of our community that impact the quality of life in North Bethesda.


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From the White Flint Pike District, Cabin John Mall, Montgomery Mall, Rock Spring, Grosvenor Metro, and along Rockville Pike up towards Rockville Town Center - radical transformation and major growth are in the plans. The proposed smart growth designed close to metro stops will include office towers, apartment buildings, condominium towers, and a new mix of offices and retail stores. With that will come economic growth, a broader tax base, more traffic congestion, and greater challenges for our schools. North Bethesda Magazine will focus on how these changes will impact us.