Tabatinga, Leticia and Santa Rosa are three border cities of Brazil, Colombia, and Peru that you can visit even in one day! Let us show you how and what to see in each location!
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Stamps and border crossing
We did our homework and knew that we don’t necessarily need stamps because we don’t wanna travel further into Colombia than Leticia. At least this time! Once we would like to see Iquitos among other places. “Try to minimize the number of times you go through immigration: i.e. if entering the region from one country and leaving from another, just get one exit and one entry stamp – even if you visit all three towns in this area. Anything more seems to annoy the immigration officers. “ (based on Wikitravel) so we decided better not to go to collect stamps from all the 3 countries as we will be going back to Brazil after a few days.
We arrived at the port in Tabatinga in the morning, said goodbye to the crew and company from the last 7 days, while they reminded us to go to the immigration office to stamp our passport.
Towns of Tabatinga and Leticia are built together and there is no border control between them. Or actually almost no border at all. Only a board reminds us of it, and show that it is the border with Peru as well, even though the real 3-border point is located in the Amazon. Despite no border control, Brazil and Colombia keep there quite a big army.
After we left the boat many taxis offered a ride, but we had time and wanted to see a bit more of the city. Another advantage of travel only with small backpacks, it was much easier to walk around even around midday with all our staffs.
Tabatinga looked much smaller and poorer than Leticia. The accommodation prices were higher and the places didn’t look so good from the outside either. Not to mention the roads. Most of them were very muddy, except the main street which had asphalt.
We walked to Colombia to find the hostel we were planning to stay in. We have booked it in advance and the place seemed like a good decision. And positive surprise: the receptionist was fluent in English!!!! We didn’t have to use our limited dictionary-mixed-with-French vocabulary. The room was clean and we even had a fan! What a luxury!
Most of the tourists visit tribes or go to excursions, cruises, and trips to the rainforest, but we didn’t want to spend a lot of money on those. Besides we did the same activities close to Manaus. I got contacts to one of the tribes to visit without paying to expensive tourist agencies, but two weeks were not enough to learn enough Portuguese/Spanish, so we kept that option for a later visit.
Related read: Why not to swim with pink dolphins?
Santa Rosa, Peru
We had a lot of time look around the town, check the market stalls in Leticia, the port with the boats to Santa Rosa (Peru). You can just pay a boat to cross to Peru from the boats near the market place. This time of the year there is not so much to do in Peru, as the water level was still extremely high.
Leticia and the parakeets – a must-watch activity
So let’s get back to Leticia, Colombia.
The main attraction of the city are the parakeets. Actually, we just heard about it there. The main reason we visited the towns besides the Brazilian Amazon boat ride ends here was the three-point border. But there is always something more!
Every evening at sunset thousands of parakeets fly to the town to the parks to find a safe sleeping place. We thought it is worth to take a look, so we gathered in the park with other tourist and were waiting. We could see a few hundred birds flying when the sun was going down. I thought that’s it, kind of good marketing to say thousands.. but about ten minutes later a LOT more flew! It was amazing to see as they were circling around and sit on the trees above us. It was very cool (and LOUD)! They circled around us and then landed on the still empty branches. We went out next evening too despite the fact that everything in the park was covered with bird poop… Luckily we avoided to have it on our clothes, but not everyone was so lucky.
The town became lively during the nights, we have even seen a school orchestra performance on the streets. We stayed 3 days in Leticia and then walked back to Brazil…only to Tabatinga, so wasn’t an as big achievement as it sounds first. The bigger one was to find the airport in Tabatinga, after the military base and in the middle of a huge construction. When the construction will be finished, Tabatinga will have a really big airport for a settlement of this size. But for now, we used tiny place arranged in the middle of the construction site. Time to fly to Belém!
Between Leticia and Tabatinga (from Columbia to Brazil) you can easily walk or get a ‘taxi’.
From Tabatinga or Leticia to Santa Rosa (from Brazil to Peru or from Colombia to Peru), you need to take a boat or ferry to cross the Amazon River. Just head to the local harbor in Tabatinga or Leticia and negotiate the price. (See Tabatinga harbor photo above).
17 thoughts on “Tabatinga – Leticia – Santa Rosa: How to visit Brazil, Peru and Colombia in 1 day?”
I’m following your adventures in Brazil very curiously because I dream of spending a month traveling around the country some day. (But of course I want to see Peru and Colombia too.) Love the pink dolphin statue and parakeets!
If you can, make it even two months! As Brazil is a vast country, it was extremely difficult for us to decide which part to explore in such a limited time.
I didn’t know there were three countries all in one place – how clever!
I was curious when I read the title how it was possible to visit three countries in one day. I thought it was a bit ambitious but my geography of South America isn’t the best and didn’t realise how close they were. How cool the receptionist in Leticia spoke English!
It’s true that in this place it’s quite easy to visit the three countries, but it still requires a bit more effort than doing this in some other places, for example, at three border point between Germany, Netherlands and Belgium you need to make three steps to visit them all!
Very adventurous! I didn’t even know there was a group of towns across a border clustered together there! That sounds amazing!
We didn’t know about this group of settlements until we came up with the crazy idea to travel by boat to Tabatinga.
Wow pretty awesome to hit them all in one day! Would love to go to Peru soon!
3 countries in one day, good effort!
I love the great photos you took of the parakeets! What an amazing and fun experience to watch with a beer! 😉
Sounds like a whirlwind tour. I really want to get to Columbia
When you will be in the country, be sure to visit Leticia!
I love when you can easily straddle the border between two locations. I’ve done it a couple times here in the states and always make someone take my picture! 🙂
Wow! Sounds like this was quite the adventure. Hiring a boat to cross the water was interesting. Did you take any video of your trip?
We prefer taking pictures. 🙂
Sounds like an action-packed trip! I visited South America for the first time last year, and I really want to get back! Colombia is definitely top on my list so I enjoyed reading about your time there the most 🙂
We wanna visit Colombia again too. This was just a short glimpse at the country.