FAQ – Visiting Leticia
Below you can find the most frequently asked questions about visiting Leticia. Click on the question to see the answer.
On the news I heard that there are a lot of problems in Colombia and that it is a very dangerous country. Is this true?
Our experience is that international news about Colombia tends to be exaggerated. Leticia especially is a relatively peaceful place, probably the most peaceful in Colombia. There is no guerilla or paramilitaries in Leticia or in the surrounding areas. If you keep in mind some basic rules (do not carry a lot of cash money with you, do not look lost when you walk around alone at night), you will usually be safe. Items that are on the news often happen in places, where tourists never visit.
There is laundry service at the college. The price is about US 1$ per kilo. Not all the families have a washing machine. In this case there is laundry service in central Leticia. You can leave your clothes in the afternoon and get it the next day.
That is difficult to say as it depends on your way of living while staying in Leticia. Just to give you an idea: An average meal (set menu) in a restaurant will cost you between US$ 3.50 and US$ 5.00. A beer or a coffee in a bar will cost between US$ 1 and US$ 3, depending on where you go. Trips to the rainforest require organization and are much more expensive. Prices in Tabatinga, are quite similar to those in Leticia.
We do recommend you to take a medical and travel insurance in your home country.
It is essential that you have the yellow fever vaccine and that you bring a document proving that you have it. You can be asked about this at the airport.
There are several ATM machines in Leticia, but it is always good to bring some cash money with you in case the machines are out of order. Please check with you local bank about the rates they charge for withdrawing money in a foreign country. Normally, there is no problem withdrawing money with cards such as Mastercard or Visa.
You can change money (cash US dollar, Euro, Brazilian Reais och Peruvian Sols) at the banks or at the different Casas de Cambio. The exchange rate, at the time of writing, is US$ 1.00 equals 1800 Colombian pesos (COP). It is also possible to exchange other currencies (e.g. euros) but the exchange rate isn’t that good as for the US dollar. Even though we recommend that you change to Colombian pesos, Brazilian Reais and Peruvian Sols are also accepted as payment in Leticia.
No visa is necessary for most countries (check with the Colombian Embassy in your home country). The tourist visa you will get when entering Colombia will allow you 90 days in Colombia. You are allowed to extend it 90 more days. If you need more time in Leticia you might consider walking ten blocs from the college to Tabatinga, to the Brazilan side and get a stamp, and then enter Colombia again and you'll be guaranteed another 90 days.
All the study materials are included and there is no need to bring materials with you. However we recommend you to bring a good dictionary. There is no bookstore in Leticia where you can buy Spanish Grammar books or (good) dictionaries.
When something unexpected happens, you can go to the school administration and talk to them. The Amazon Spanish College also has a 24 hour emergency phone number.
Yes, if you want to go on excursions along the Amazon River we strongly recommend you to include our ecoadventures package. Trips along the river require some preparations so we are happy if you can choose to include the Eco adventure package when you do your booking. These excursions are done with a Spanish speaking guide that will speak and explain adjusted to you level in Spanish.
Leticia has a population of about 40,000 inhabitants. Leticia is the capital of the Department of Amazonas, in the southern part of Colombia. The city center of Leticia is pretty small but busy. There is not much tourists here, which help you to start speak Spanish fast. Most visitors that come to Leticia do it on a small scale and generally because they want to experience the rainforest and the Amazon river. There are also environmental projects that attract researchers, botanist and biologists. Leticia has a good library that students can use for studying and there is also a university specialized in Amazon studies. In the city center there are many shops, restaurants and some bars.
The rainy season in Leticia generally occurs from September to March.
There are many travel agencies in Colombia, a experienced and trustworthy agency in Colombia is Mantaraya Travel