Big Picture: Reflection of the Amazon backwaters

Photo: Simona Klein

During a recent expedition to the Colombian Amazon, photographer and sommelier Simona Klein captured this stunning image of the exuberant greenery of the rainforest.

For anyone who wants a break from the stress of Bogotá, the Amazon is the place and its gateway is Leticia. You know it is special even before you arrive, as your plane straddles the mighty river, looking for a hole in the clouds and the endless forest.

But, if you want comfort as well as adventure, don’t be alarmed. Though small, Leticia offers a wide range of decent hotels, plus the usual infrastructure of restaurants and internet cafes; an excellent museum
of its indigenous culture at the Banco de la República; pleasant tree-lined streets with pink flowers in certain seasons; and not least, jungle services to visit native communities and walks through the forest. Nor is Leticia exactly provincial, as it proudly boasts the junction of three frontiers: merely cross a road and you are in Brazil and a twenty-minute launch voyage lands you in Peru, at the island of Santa Rosa, whose fish dinners alone are worth the trip. In neither case, you do not need a passport.

Its cosmopolitanism is likewise noted in the fact that many long-time residents speak both Spanish and Portuguese. While urban Leticia may be busy and city like, the river is alongside, the jungle within walking distance and with a little patience, you can reach outlying attractions that will take your breath away: Monkey Island; and the charming, unspoiled little river port of Puerto Nariño.


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