Discover three Amazon countries in one day

The Amazon basin disdains political frontiers. Human and animal life here has had to submit to the dominance and resilience of the dense jungle rainforest, clinging to the banks of the river, or on or below the surface. Throughout history ignored by the powers-that-be in the capital cities, nevertheless the borders have often been disputed, no more so than in the southern corner of Colombia, where the frontiers have finally been established with Peru and Brazil.

From Leticia in Colombia you can experience these three countries on a guided excursion in just one day. The border with Brazil, where Leticia meets Tabatinga, runs down an avenue within town. You’d only know you crossed it because suddenly signs are in Portuguese. Tabatinga is a bit less vibrant than Leticia, with wide straight avenues lined by shops and workshops. There’s a population of 60,000 so it’s bigger than the Colombian town, and has a more frontier feel, with relaxed-looking soldiers strolling about. Here you can visit a beauty spot by the river where there is a bar serving excellent caipirinhas – Brazil’s nation-defining cocktail.

Isla Santa Rosa in Peru – rather poor and a bit scruffy - is just a short boat ride away where no doubt you can have a taste of ceviche or down a pisco sour or two. It’s not so easy to get there in the months when the river is low, but you may have the chance to visit the tiny mestizo Peruvian settlement San Antonio on the Amazon river banks, where a long abandoned drug smugglers’ airstrip has been converted into the village’s grassy main thoroughfare.