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.
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