Iquitos (Peru) to Leticia (Colombia) and continue to Bogota

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Important: Peru is currently in a state of emergency and flights from several airports are temporarily suspended. For the latest updates, we recommend checking the US Embassy website for Peru. They also provide clear information about the latest covid-19 travel restrictions.

How to get from Iquitos (Peru) to Leticia (Colombia) and continue to Bogota

Leticia is the capital of Colombia’s Amazonian region. It is a small city, but thankfully it still has an airport to keep it connected to the rest of Colombia because there are no proper roads into the Amazon.

Although Leticia doesn’t have as much appeal as other Colombian cities, it is a common stop if you are travelling from Peru or Brazil and want to connect with other towns like Puerto Nariño. The city also gives you the chance to visit some of the local indigenous communities or you can simply use the city to fly to Bogota and continue your journey through Colombia.

2 ways to get from Iquitos to Leticia

The distance from Iquitos to Leticia is 372 km (231 miles). Like in all the Amazonian regions, the main way of transportation and communication is the river, therefore, the only way to travel between them is by boat.

Transport ModeDurationCostsAvailability
Fast Ferry16-18 hours253 Soles ($66)Read article for more info
Slow Boat3 days103 Soles ($29)Read article for more info

There are two types of ferries operating from Iquitos to Leticia: a fast ferry that lasts around 16-18 hours and a slow boat that takes about 3 days. Both boats will drop you off in Santa Rosa, a Peruvian Island right in front of Leticia. Fares range from 103 to 253 Soles ($29-$66).

The difference between the two is that the fast boat is for passengers only, making only a few stops along the way. The slow boat is a relatively big cargo ship that transports supplies and connects the local communities all along the river. It’s a real experience.

Only one fast ferry company is available, departing every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with tickets from 250 Soles ($65).

The slow boat departs every evening except on Sundays. Fare is 100 Soles ($28). We’ve also created a section for the opposite route by slow boat, thanks to a reader’s contribution.

Because many travellers decide to continue their travels to Bogota after they have arrived in Leticia, we also have devoted a section of this guide to this additional step from Iquitos to Leticia.

Border crossing

Passport control in the areas of Leticia (Colombia), Santa Rosa (Peru) and Tabatinga (Brazil) are just basic checks, which means you can move between the countries pretty easily.

To continue your journey into any of these countries, you must get your passport stamped at each country’s immigration office. An exit stamp is valid for 24 hours until you get the entry stamp.

Note that the Immigration Office in Santa Rosa is open from 08:00 to 17:00. The Amazonas ferry arrives in the morning, so you can directly go to the immigration office to get your passport stamped.

If you’re unable to make it on time, you’ll have to stay one night in Santa Rosa. The next morning, you will be able to get the stamp and continue your journey from Santa Rosa to Leticia.

Santa Rosa’s immigration office is on the main street, just a 3-minute walk from the main dock. In Colombia, the main immigration office is located at Leticia’s airport. The small island across Santa Rosa also has additional Colombian and Peruvian immigration offices.

Itinerary from Iquitos to Leticia

Iquitos to Leticia by Fast Ferry

Duration: 16-18 hours
Cost: 253 Soles ($66)
Duration: 16-18 hours
Cost: 253 Soles ($66)

When travelling by fast ferry from Iquitos to Leticia, you first have to go to Santa Rosa. The fast ferries go along the Amazon River and connect Iquitos with the border town of Santa Rosa.

Once in Santa Rosa, remember to get your passport stamped to show you’ve exited Peru before crossing the river to Leticia. The immigration office is near the arrival point of ferries.

Step 1: Iquitos to Santa Rosa by Fast Ferry

Duration: 16-18 hours
Cost: 250 Soles ($65)
Duration: 16-18 hours
Cost: 250 Soles ($65)

Pre-pandemic, there were three ferry companies operating on the Iquitos to Santa Rosa Route. Transtur, Golfinho, and Flipper used to depart early in the morning from Tuesday to Sunday.

The last time we checked (December 2022), though, these ferry companies have stopped operating. Only Ferry Amazonas is available to bring passengers from Iquitos to Santa Rosa.

Travel time with this ferry company is 16-18 hours. The boat departs at 17:00, but you need to board as early as 15:00.

Tickets cost 250 Soles ($65), which includes breakfast. Note that you are allowed only two pieces of luggage (up to 30 kg), and every excess kilo costs 4 Soles.

Online booking is not available for Ferry Amazonas. You can only buy your ticket at their office in Pevas 197. The other ferry companies are located along Antonio Raimondi 384.

Ferry schedules from Iquitos to Santa Rosa

Ferry OperatorSchedulesDurationCosts
Ferry Amazonas*Every Monday, Wednesday, Friday,
departing at 17:00
16-18 hours250 Soles ($65)
TransturEvery Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday,
departing at 06:00
12 hours160 Soles ($42)
GolfinhoEvery Wednesday, Friday, Sunday,
departing at 05:30
12 hours160 Soles ($42)
FlipperEvery Wednesday, Friday, Sunday,
departing at 06:00
12 hours160 Soles ($42)
*COVID-19 UPDATE: The last time we checked (December 2022), only Ferry Amazonas is operational. We’ll update the page once we confirm the availability of the other ferries.

Departure and arrival port

Ferries from Iquitos to Santa Rosa depart from Port Enapu, about 10 minutes by taxi from the ticket office in the city centre. You will be dropped at Santa Rosa’s main dock where you then need to follow the only street to the immigration office.

Step 2: Santa Rosa to Leticia by Boat

Duration: 10 minutes
Cost: 3 Soles ($1)
Duration: 10 minutes
Cost: 3 Soles ($1)

After you stamp your passport at the immigration office, return to the dock and look for one of the small speedboats. Just say Leticia and they will know where to go. Leticia is right in front of Santa Rosa, so it takes about 10 minutes to cross the river.

The boat will drop you at the dock in front of Leticia’s central market. From there, you can walk for 10 minutes to the main square or take a moto-taxi, a tuk-tuk or a taxi to your hotel.

Remember that you have until the next day to get your entry stamp into Colombia on your passport at Leticia’s airport.

Iquitos to Leticia by Slow Boat

Duration: 3 days
Cost: 103 Soles ($29)
Duration: 3 days
Cost: 103 Soles ($29)

As with the fast boats, the slow boats also travel from Iquitos to Leticia via Santa Rosa, where you must then cross the river to get to Leticia.

The ferry price is all-inclusive but do not expect any luxury. Also, the travel time is approximate. It depends on the weather and the number or duration of stops on the way.

Step 1: Iquitos to Santa Rosa by Slow Boat

Duration: Approximately 3 days
Cost: 100 Soles ($28)
Duration: Approximately 3 days
Cost: 100 Soles ($28)

To travel from Iquitos to Santa Rosa, you must first buy your ticket on the same day of departure. Ferries used to depart from Port Enapu, but according to the latest update, the boats now depart from Puerto Masusa which is about 2km more north.

Boats depart from this port every day, except for Sundays and depart around 18:00-19:00. Be sure to buy your ticket well in advance and be on the port on time.

Most travellers will sleep in a hammock

From the latest reader comment (Dec 22), we learned that this slow boat also has small cabins with bunkbeds for 200 soles ($50). An advantage of these cabins is also that you can lock your valuables in the cabin so you won’t need to keep an eye on them all the time.

However, most travellers will go for the more adventurous option and bring their own hammocks. While the lower decks are used to carry all sorts of merchandise, the upper decks are for passengers. You’ll need to choose the spot you want and hang your hammock, which will be your ‘seat’ for the next few days.

The ship has power outlets, but you’ll have to share them with the rest of the passengers. Also, try not to leave your stuff unattended, especially valuables and electronics. You can’t guarantee it will be there when you get back.

TIP: If you buy a hammock, make sure to also buy 2 ropes (of about 2m each) as they won’t be provided.

Food is included, but don’t expect luxury

The menu aboard can be repetitive and not abundant, so it is recommended to pack some snacks and fruits. You must also bring a good water supply, mosquito repellent and toilet paper.

The boat makes around 20 stops along the way, with some stops lasting several hours. This means you get the chance to buy some food and water on the way too.

It used to be that you needed to bring your own plate/tupperware and your own cutlery. This can be bought in Iquitos for a low cost, but it is best to double-check if this is needed when buying the ticket. The latest comment from our reader shared that this was already provided for their trip

You will be dropped at Santa Rosa’s main dock where you can follow the only street to the immigration office.

Step 2: Santa Rosa to Leticia by Boat

Duration: 10 minutes
Cost: 3 Soles ($1)
Duration: 10 minutes
Cost: 3 Soles ($1)

After you get your passport stamped at the immigration office, return to the dock and look for one of the small speedboats. Just say Leticia and they will know where to go. Leticia is right in front of Santa Rosa, so it takes about 10 minutes to cross the river.

The boat will drop you at the dock in front of Leticia’s central market. From there, you can walk for 10 minutes to the main square or take a moto-taxi, a tuk-tuk or a taxi to your hotel.

Remember that you have until the next day to get your entry stamp into Colombia on your passport.

Opposite route: Leticia to Iquitos by Slow Boat

Duration: 3 days
Cost: 103 Soles ($29)
Duration: 3 days
Cost: 103 Soles ($29)

Thanks to a reader’s comment, we got some recent updates (November 22) about travelling the other way around. The 3-day slow boat departs from Leticia at 19:00 and you will arrive at Iquitos on the morning of the third day.

Instead of going to Leticia Airport, there is a much faster way to get your passport stamped. You can go to the floating immigration office across the river from Santa Rosa for your entrance and exit stamps. The Colombian and Peruvian immigration offices are next to each other on this small island.

To get here, you can take a small boat or walk from the little bridge in Leticia and follow the muddy trail through the pueblito.

Travelling from Leticia to Bogota by Flight

Duration: 2 hours
Cost: 230,000 COP ($49)
Duration: 2 hours
Cost: 230,000 COP ($49)

After you arrive in Leticia, you may want to continue your journey further into Colombia. Leticia is only connected with the rest of the country by its airport and the only route offered by commercial flights is to Bogota.

Leticia’s airport, Alfredo Vasquez Cobo (LET), is located in the city’s northern area, not far from the city centre. To get there, you can take a taxi or tuk-tuk for around 10,000 COP ($2.10).

There are two airlines travelling from Leticia to Bogota: Avianca and Latam. Their service is fairly good and pretty similar in terms of quality. Airfares range from 230,000 COP ($49) to 750,000 COP ($160).

Wifi and 3G/4G are terrible in Leticia, so make sure to prebook your flights. Also, this flight is high in demand, because this is the only way the region is connected with all other cities. It is highly recommended to book some weeks in advance to get the best rates. Prices can double closer to the departure date.

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Our favourite places to stay in Bogota

In Colombia’s capital, you’ll find plenty of stylish and clean hotels that offer great value for money. Location is important in Bogota because some areas aren’t recommended to stay in.

Top tip: Don’t spend too much time looking into accommodation in Bogota. The capital is somewhere you’ll probably only want to spend 1-2 nights anyways.

Here are our favourite places to stay in Bogota:

93 Luxury Suites Residences — Treating Yourself

Are you dreaming about sleeping on an extremely comfy bed after your long flight? 93 Luxury Suites will make you feel rejuvenated within a night.

The next morning you can go for a little workout in their in-house gym or watch a movie in their 17-seat cinema room. After staying here, you’ll be ready to start your Colombian adventure.

  • Onsite restaurant and bar
  • Gym facilities
  • Clean and spacious rooms
  • Great location

Double rooms $80+ per night

Check Latest Price

Apartamentos Plaza Suites — Mid Range

Apartamentos Plaza Suites is a great value for money pick, with extra amenities such as a gym, restaurant, bar, lounge and sun terrace.

With nearly perfect reviews, the immaculate and comfortable rooms offer an excellent sleep thanks to the high quality mattresses.

  • Super comfortable bed
  • Onsite resturant and bar
  • Fitness centre
  • Great location, close to a park

Double rooms between $40-$80 per night

Check Latest Price

Hilton Garden Inn Bogota Airport — Mid Range

If you have always wanted to stay at a Hilton hotel, but haven’t yet, this is your chance. In Bogota, you can stay at a Hilton Hotel for much less than normal.

The hotel has everything you could possibly need: sauna, hot tub, gym, an international restaurant and a terrace with amazing views of the city. All of the rooms are bright, modern and luxurious.

  • Sauna and hot tub
  • Great views of the city
  • Close to the airport
  • Buffet breakfast included

Double rooms between $40-$80 per night

Check Latest Price

Bog Urban — Budget Friendly

If you’re looking for somewhere stylish and modern, but without that luxury price tag, don’t look any further than Bog Urban.

Near Downtown Bogota, you’ll be in an excellent location. Close to everything, but without the noise. The staff are extremely friendly and helpful, plus you can add a delicious breakfast for only $2.

  • Comfortable and spacious rooms
  • Excellent location
  • Delicious and filling breakfast available
  • Attentive and friendly staff

Double rooms between $20-$40 per night

Check Latest Price

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About the author(s)

Travel Planning Expert

Ela is a storyteller, content producer, solo traveller and a mermaid-in-training. When she’s not in front of her laptop, you will find her barefoot and living her best tan on some island in the Philippines… Or exploring the depths of its seas as a budding freediver. An island girl at heart, she’ll be happy anywhere there is sea, sand, sun and coffee.

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