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Iquitos to Santa Rosa, Peru - Fast Boat To The Border At Leticia / Tabatinga

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Map location: Iquitos to Santa Rosa, Peru
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Peru travel blog by Mark Berman - October 2016   » View Photoset (34 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for over 12yrs!
Iquitos proved to be a fantastic place to explore the Amazon jungle on foot, to enjoy nature, wildlife and all the little creatures I found hiding among the leaves! Time now to get back to Colombia where I live. This would be my 5th river journey in the Amazon, but my 1st in a fast boat, the others were in the slower more laidback ferries!

Ticket for the Fast Boat

I bought a ticket for the fast boat to Santa Rosa in central Iquitos just down from the main plaza for $150 Soles ($45USD) for an early exit at 6:30am, it's a 9hr ride at an average speed of 55-65kmsph.

Journey by Boat to Santa Rosa

Like all river journeys by boat you need to keep your eyes wide open to see the sights, especially at this speed and because you are much lower in the water than in a ferry. The 2nd half of the trip is more interesting than the 1st half in terms of sights, communities and people etc. The thing about traveling in the Amazon by river is that the whole experience actually is the sight, there is no particular thing you are sitting there waiting to see. The experience is right there in front of you at all times - the trees, the water, the communities and birdlife if you are lucky. The main sight is really just to see the people and communities and the way they live beside the river. They wash their clothes, bathe, wave to you, fish from canoes, harvest crops beside the river and travel up and down in motorized boats sometimes shaded by umbrellas. It seems like a pretty good life to me from a distance, nice and simple, no cars, no traffic, no stress... The houses are simple, are made from wood and have thatched roofs. Larger buildings have roofs of corrugated iron.

San Pablo de Loreto and Communities

By around 12:30pm we had arrived in San Pablo de Loreto, about 200kms west of Santa Rosa and the Colombian border! From here we passed through, sometimes stopping briefly at communities Alfaro, San Martin, Nuevo Paraiso and the police checkpoint in Chimbote. Less than an hour after Chimbote we arrived in Caballococha 'Tierra de Mitos y Leyendas' (a place of myths and legends), we were now directly below Colombia about 100kms west of Santa Rosa! The wooden houses are all on stilts here because the river rises a lot during rainy season, you climb a ladder to reach your front door! The people enjoy laying in hammocks and watching life on the river pass by.

Santa Rosa Arrival - the 3 Borders

By 3:30pm we arrived in Santa Rosa, this is where the 3 borders of Peru, Colombia and Brazil meet!

Cross the Border to Leticia

Santa Rosa is on the southern side of the Amazon River and the place to get your exit (or entry) stamp out of or into Peru! It's quick and easy, get a mototaxi from the river to the office and back, then take a short 10min boat ride to the northern side of the river to Leticia - Colombia!

Entry / Exit Stamps for Colombia

In Leticia you get your entry and exit stamps for Colombia at the airport but if your flight is the next day up to Bogota for example you don't need to get your entry stamp until the next day when you go for your flight. If you are going straight to Tabatinga Brazil, you don't need a stamp for Colombia, just take a motorbike taxi straight from Leticia to the passport office in Tabatinga!


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Iquitos to Santa Rosa, Peru - Fast Boat To The Border At Leticia / Tabatinga. Iquitos is a fantastic place to explore the Amazon jungle on foot. To enjoy nature, wildlife and all the little creatures hiding among the leaves. Time now to get to Colombia in the fast boat!