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How to book an Amazon jungle tour in Leticia

Before I came to Colombia, I searched long and hard on the internet for tips on how to book and Amazon jungle tour out of Leticia. I found some helpful advice on TripAdvisor and Lonely Planet and a few other websites, but there was not a lot of great intel on the subject.

Amazon jungle tour

How to book an Amazon jungle tour to here at Zacambu Rainforest Lodge in Peru near Leticia, Colombia

Related: What to bring on an Amazon jungle adventure

I messaged a few adventure tour companies through email and twitter. One company did reply and said they were completely booked. This just increased my paranoia that I might come all the way to Leticia, Colombia and get shut out of an Amazon jungle tour. I finally decided to just forget about all the research and do what I usually do. I most often book my tours when I arrive. This has rarely failed me and usually it is cheaper than using an internet middle man.

Amazon River Leticia

My first view of the Amazon River from the plane to Leticia

Getting to Leticia and staying in Leticia

The only way to get to Leticia is a flight from Bogota if you want to get there from Colombia. You can also get there by boat from Peru or Brazil. I recommend flying in on Sunday as the flight was almost $100.00 cheaper on Sunday. This is also a good time to arrive for booking a tour.

I flew into Leticia and got a taxi to my hostel. I stayed at the Eco Hotel El Refugio De La Floresta. This cost me $18.00 and included free breakfast. I was the only person staying at this hotel. It was pretty nice and had a sweet balcony over the street and was perfectly located in the city. I enjoyed drinking a couple of beers and just watching life pass by on the street.

Leticia Hotel

Where I stayed the night before my Amazon jungle tour – Eco Hotel El Refugio De La Floresta

Booking an Amazon jungle tour

I had one and only duty to perform on this day and that was to book an Amazon jungle tour. One of the suggestions in Lonely Planet’s South America on a Shoestring was Reserva Natural Zacambu, which is actually in Peru. This tour is run by Amazon Jungle Trips. I was looking into staying at a lodge in the wilderness for two days.

This tour agency was listed on the map of Leticia in the Lonely Planet book. Conveniently, it was only two blocks away from the hostel I was staying at. I walked over there and found it immediately, so I knocked on the tour and was greeted by Antonio, the owner. I told him I was interested in an Amazon jungle tour, and in perfect English, he invited me in and began to describe his tours.

Amazon jungle tour

My ticket for an Amazon jungle tour adventure

He pulled out a brochure and explained that his tours have a lot of great activities like searching for pink dolphins, jungle trekking, fishing for piranha, and caiman hunting to name a few. He explained that they take a boat out up the Amazon for about 25 miles and then cruise up a tributary called the Yavari River for another 25 miles to the Zacambu Rainforest Lodge. I was sold and I told him I would like three days and two nights. I was pleased to find the ideal tour in a matter of minutes.

Yavari River Peru

Enjoying one of the amazing Amazon jungle tour adventure activities

Yavari River dolphins

One of the best activities was dolphin spotting on our Amazon jungle tour

Tours leave almost every day

As luck would have it, they had three others interested in leaving the next day at noon, so I paid the 750,000 Colombian pesos, and he gave me a voucher and told me to come back here the next day. It was as easy as that.

I was a little worried when he said we were going into Brazil and Peru because I did not have a yellow fever certificate, but Antonio assured me that there would be no officials to check these things where we were going. There was also no visa or passport check even though we were entering another country.

Amazon River Leticia

On our boat ride up the Amazon River, Antonio is giving us the scoop

Basically, this outfit takes people out to the lodge everyday there is an interest. I believe they at least need two people. I found out from Colin on our trip that he arrived a couple of days before and had to sit around Leticia until Monday before they had someone else interested.

This is another reason why arriving on a Sunday is a good idea. Most likely there will be others interested in going on Monday. If you are coming with friends then it will not be a problem, but if you are solo, you have to hope there are other travelers going on the same day. If you find that Amazon Jungle Trips is not taking people out when it is convenient for you, then check around the city to see if other places have trips going.

Hotel Anaconda Leticia

I am not going to lie, the Hotel Anaconda rocked after two nights in the jungle

Return to civilization

After two days at the Zacambu Lodge, you will want a little bit of luxury back in Leticia. I booked a room at the Hotel Anaconda for my last night there because it had a swimming pool and air-conditioning, and I also was really looking forward to checking in to the Hotel Anaconda on Facebook. I am glad I did this as the pool felt fantastic after three days in the jungle. The next day I was flying back to Bogota after a perfect four night adventure in Leticia with two nights in the city and two nights in the jungle.

I had a wonderful adventure on this trip and highly recommend Antonio and Amazon Jungle Trips. There will be more posts soon detailing the specific adventures and activities during our Amazon jungle tour.

Adventure on!

The goal of Traveling Ted is to inspire people to outdoor adventure travel. The site then provides tips on where and how to go. If you liked this post then sign up for the email newsletter. Notifications are sent out once or twice a month with what is new with Traveling Ted’s adventures. There is no spam and email information will not be shared. Other e-follow options include Facebook (click on the like box to the right) or twitter (click on the pretty bird on the rainbow above).

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29 Responses to How to book an Amazon jungle tour in Leticia

  1. meir klapper December 14, 2016 at 1:12 am #

    Thank you. Very helpful,

    • Traveling Ted December 14, 2016 at 4:13 am #

      Hello Meir,

      Glad you found it useful. Let me know if you have any questions.

  2. Zeegreb December 26, 2016 at 3:49 am #

    Hi Ted, thanks for this quick guide! I was wondering about the details of the Amazon jungle tour you did – im after a tour that’s rough and as much of a ‘real’ amazon experience as possible. What did the tour consist of? what was the accomodation like? Thanks!

    • Traveling Ted December 26, 2016 at 7:32 pm #

      Hello Zeegrap,

      The accommodations were rustic. The lodge consisted of single rooms with a fan. There was a community shower. There was also a room with hammocks for relaxin. They fed us well with fresh fish and fruit. I was happy with the tour as they kept us busy. We did several jungle hikes, took boats out each evening for sunset and dolphin viewing, fished for piranha, swam on the beaches, searched for birds and caiman, and even did a night jungle hike.

  3. Eefje March 17, 2017 at 5:12 pm #

    What did they do with your luggage…or do you bring everything to the tour?

    • Traveling Ted March 17, 2017 at 5:30 pm #


      When I travel, I carry two backpacks – one large and one smaller one. I put all of my stuff in the smaller backpack and brought it on the tour and left all of my other stuff in my larger backpack and left it in the office of the tour provider.

  4. Moxey May 1, 2017 at 4:50 pm #

    Hi there,

    Wondering what the level of English available was through this company if you are aware of any? I speak sorta enough Spanish but my travel companion is zero so we’d like at least some broken English so she can be getting explanations as well instead of me constantly translating. From my research we will pay a pretty price for this but are prepared for that as well.

    • Traveling Ted May 3, 2017 at 1:18 pm #

      Hello Moxey,

      The owner, Antonio, speaks perfect English. He was not on every tour though. Some of the guides are local and do not speak English. I did not find this to be a problem though. We had two Spanish speakers in my group that translated when needed, and I could always ask Antonio any questions later if I did not understand something.

  5. Anastasiia July 28, 2017 at 1:40 pm #

    Hello, Ted, can you tell – how many agency in Leticia? I’m trying to find a tour in Internet, but the agency don’t answer or have rather big price (1,2 mln – 1,4 mln COP). How are my chances to find some agency with normal price after arrival?..

    • Traveling Ted August 5, 2017 at 8:11 pm #

      The whole town is built upon Amazon tours. You will have no problem. There are multiple agencies and due to competition, they all charge about the same price. Let me know if you have any questions.

      • Anastasiia August 31, 2017 at 9:24 am #

        Thank you a lot!

        • Traveling Ted August 31, 2017 at 10:19 am #

          Glad my reply helped. Feel free to reach out with any other questions.

  6. Joel August 25, 2017 at 3:22 pm #

    Thank you, very helpful.

    • Traveling Ted August 25, 2017 at 4:34 pm #

      Thanks for the comment Joel. Glad you found it useful.

  7. Florence November 29, 2017 at 10:39 am #

    Dear Ted,

    Thank you for your really interesting article and fantastic website. My partner and I are going to Leticia in December, just before Christmas. Some things I have read on line suggests you can make your base in leticia and do day trips into the jungle. But I wonder if you see more and get a better experience if you take a multiday trip?

    I am a bit worried about accommodation – are there places that offer better accommodation or do you think they will all be the same? I happy to pay more and book in advance. Do you know if that is possible?

    Also trying to work out what to bring. Did your company provide waterproofs and boots?

    Many thanks for any advice you can offer.

    All the best,

    • Traveling Ted November 29, 2017 at 2:09 pm #

      Hello Florence,

      Thank you for reading and for the compliment. I appreciate it. I am excited for you in regards to your upcoming trip. You will love Leticia. It is a really cool place.

      As you know, Leticia is on the Amazon; however, the river is quite commercial in this section. In order to experience the real scenic beauty of the jungle, you really need to go up or down river and up a tributary. It takes about two hours on a boat to get to these places.

      You can see dolphins and some wildlife close to Leticia, but to get the true jungle experience you need to travel. I am sure you can do day tours, but half the day will be spent going back and forth to some other place cool, so I would recommend staying at least one day in the jungle.

      Most of the accommodation in the jungle is rustic, but comfortable. I can only answer for where I stayed, but I imagine other jungle lodges are similar. They don’t have air-conditioning.

      If this does not appeal to you, I recommend getting to Leticia early the day before you want to start your tour and walking around the city and talking to tour operators to find what you are looking for. It is really difficult to get information on tours in advance. Many of the tour operators will not respond to email and precise information is hard to come by.

      I am sure there is a lodge in the area with better accommodation, and I am sure that day trips are offered, but it will be difficult to get that information until you arrive to Leticia. Do not worry though, I am sure you will find something that fits your needs.

      The company did provide waterproof boots if I recall correctly. I wrote a post about what I packed, which might be helpful.

      Have a great trip and let me know if you have any other questions.

  8. Cole December 27, 2017 at 4:01 am #

    Do you think I would be able to haggle into the 150 USD range for a 3D 2N tour if I booked with two other friends during late July?

    • Traveling Ted December 27, 2017 at 6:37 pm #

      Hello Cole,

      I think you would have a hard time haggling down to that price as they seem pretty insistent on a set price. You are going in the off season, so you may have some luck, but I have no idea how willing they would be to barter on price. Good luck!

  9. Deedee February 6, 2018 at 4:09 pm #

    Hi Ted,

    Thanks for this reassuring article. I am just checking that flying to Leticia, taking a few internet recommendations and prowling the streets, is still a viable option? The pre-booking paranoia has set in and just needing reassurance. I have always done this and it has worked thus far. I plan to arrive in Leticia around 19-20th Feb.

    Did you book the flight to Leticia in advance or when you arrived in Bogota?


    • Traveling Ted February 6, 2018 at 4:19 pm #

      Hello Deedee,

      I booked my flight a couple of weeks in advance once I figured out my itinerary. I am sure you could probably do this when you get to Bogota, but it would not hurt to do it in advance. You will have no problem getting booked on a tour once you arrive. There are many options in Leticia. Half the city is built around Amazon jungle tours. If you have any other specific questions, let me know.

      • Deedee February 16, 2018 at 2:53 am #

        Many thanks Ted, your reassurance is brilliant 😉

  10. Greg February 15, 2018 at 1:34 am #

    Great info Ted, we’re travelling in late October from Quito, your advice to get to Leticia before booking a tour makes sense,

    • Traveling Ted February 15, 2018 at 2:15 pm #

      Hello Greg,

      Have a great trip. Trying to book a trip prior to your arrival is an exercise in frustration, and if you are successful, I bet it would be more expensive than if you booked when you arrive.

  11. Sue February 15, 2018 at 4:43 am #

    Hello Ted,

    Thank you for your amazing article, It is the best about Leticia amazon trip I have read ever.

    I am thinking of going there during the holy week,
    Please wish me luck, Thanks

    • Traveling Ted February 15, 2018 at 2:17 pm #

      Hi Sue,

      Thank you for reading. Have a great trip. I am sure you will have an incredible experience.

  12. Carolyn Peterson May 27, 2018 at 3:38 pm #

    Are there boat trips of 2-5 days on the Amazon. What will we miss if we book such a short trip?

    • Traveling Ted May 29, 2018 at 1:12 pm #

      Hello Carolyn,

      Some people only come out for one night. If you were only going out for a short trip you would need to request from the tour guide the options that are most important to you. They offer things like searching for pink dolphins, night jungle hike, searching for caimans, fishing for piranha, and various other hikes and boat trips. Each tour takes about 2-3 hours and they usually have a morning one, an afternoon one, and a night one. Depending on their schedule, they may not be able to accommodate special requests, but I am sure they will do their best. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  13. Natalie Smoot June 22, 2018 at 7:44 pm #

    Hello Ted,
    Thank you for this. We are going to Letica in July we will arrive on Saturday and leave Tuesday. Is it likely that we will be able to find an English speaking tour into the jungle?

  14. Traveling Ted June 23, 2018 at 4:05 pm #

    Hello Natalie,

    Thank you for reading and the comment. On my trip, the owner, Antonio, accompanied us to the lodge. He spoke perfect English; however, he did not join us on every activity. The other guides did not speak English. I was paired with four to six other people. Two of the people that were also staying at the lodge could understand the guide and translated for me when needed. Most of the time we were hiking, fishing, going in a boat looking for wildlife, so constant oral communication was not really necessary. Also, if I had any questions they could not answer, I could always ask Antonio once we got back to the lodge. If it is important to always have an English speaker showing you around, I am sure that could be arranged. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask. Have a great trip.

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