Colombia has a bad reputation for drug running and guerrilla warfare and the government was currently conducting a vast military operation in the neighbouring Caqueta province but all was quiet on the Leticia front when I dropped in to have a look.
Leticia's central park is named after Francisco de Orellana who was the first to go down the Amazon river in 1542.
Coming from Peru I first landed in Tabatinga just across the border with Brazil and came over here in one of these white vans, a 15 minute ride. There were no border formalities whatsoever.
A lot of trade goes on between the two border towns of Leticia and Tabatinga. Brazilians come to buy some things that are cheaper here in busy calle 6 and Colombians shop for other things in Tabatinga,
Fresh fruit is plentiful and cheap in calle 7 leading down to the river.
Leticia and Tabatinga are very much alike, both being river towns of about 35 000 people who lead similar lives but who speak different languages.
Their port facilities serve a multitude of small local boats such as this one and the occasional larger boat like the one with the blue trim in the background. The Ecuadorianand colombian flags are so much alike that for a moment I thought this boat was flying an ecuadorian flag. I amazed that it could have come down the Napo river from Ecuador through territory contested between Peru and Ecuador.
Amazed and frustrated for I would have liked to come here by that much more direct route instead of going all the way south to Lima and north again to go through Iquitos. Maybe it will be possible one day if the ongoing negotiations between Peru and Ecuador produce results.