On the western tip of Colombia's Carribean
coastline, accessible by a flight from Medellin (with Searca or Ada
Airlines), lies Capurgana in Choco department. An alternative route
(not particularly safe) is 8 hours travel overland from Medellin to the ugly
town of Turbo, where one can catch a 2 hour boat ride (50,000 pesos -
early morning departure) to Capurgana.
Capurgana is pretty off the
beaten track - it's the type of place you visit on your second trip to
Colombia (because almost everyone comes back for a second visit to
Colombia). Alternatively, you might be travelling on to Panama -
Capurgana is right next to the border with Panama, so it's possible to
cross over to Puerto Olbadia from where you can catch a flight to
Around Capurgana, you'll find some of
Colombia's most beautiful, and undeveloped, beaches. Neighbouring
Sapzurro is a real highlight - Sapzurro is a village found in a lovely
bay, and is an even more tranquil and peaceful destination than
Capurgana, which is more developed. Sapzurro is just a five minutes by
boat round the coast from Capurgana. Both Capurgana and Sapzurro are great places to unwind and not do much, on a beach.
The area has good scuba diving plus there
are various tours and excursions that can be arranged by your hotel in
Capurgana. Most hotels can arrange a boat tour to Sapzurro, the
beautiful small coastal village next to the border with Panama. The
area of Sapzurro has fine beaches and some pretty walks, along with
some excellent seafood restaurants.
Also of interest near Capurgana are the
waterfalls of Cascada El Cielo. To visit it's either a lovely forest
walk or horseback ride crossing Rio Capurgana on numerous occasions.
Alternatively there are blowholes at El Aguacate, 20 minutes boat trip
from Capurgana. Such a tour will continue onwards to Isla de los
Pajaros, with it's abundant birdlife. There's also some lovely beaches
in this area - la Miel (just over the border in Panama) and Playa
Soledad being the most beautiful.
Capurgana is also a staging point for a
visit to the San Blas Islands of Panama, which
are two hours away by boat. These idyllic islands are an autonmous
region of Panama governed by the Kuna Indians - a highly recommended
travel highlight. Hotels in Capurgana can arrange a days tour for you.
There are no banks in Capurgana, so take
plenty of cash with you.
From Capurgana it is relatively easy to
travel by boat to Panama. See the section on Colombia to Panama routes
for more information.
Hotels in Capurgana
Capurgana is a small coastal town whose
roads are so small there are no vehicles. There are good restaurants
and local handicrafts for sale in the town. There are various hotels in
Capurgana - consider:
- a total of 35 cabanas with air conditioning, this is one of the more
upmarket hotel options in Capurgana.
- another upmarket, quite expensive option - probably the most upscale
hotel in Capurgana.
Paraiso Sapzurro (aka Camping Chilen)- (spanish language only
website) - a hostel in Sapzurro that's been around for many years.
Camping or sleeping in hammocks is also possible. The website has
plenty of further info about Sapzurro (in Spanish).
Other places include the mid range Marlin Hostal, as well as the
cheaper options Cabana Darius and Hostal Capurgana.
Hotels and acommodation
options in Sapzurro include Eco- Alojamiento Paraíso
Cangrejales, Eco- Hotel Punta Arrecife, and the beautifully located
Zingara Cabanas, in addition to a few others.
If you have time on your hands you might
also consider staying in the nearby peaceful town of Trigana, which has
more beaches and rainforest - consider staying at Villa
Daniela Lodge de Trigana (Spanish language website).
If you need to stay the night
in Turbo en route to Capurgana, consider staying at Simona del Mar (spanish language
website) - simply for the reason that it is just outside of the
unpleasant and not particularly safe town (ie.. you avoid staying in
the town, which isn't so safe at night).
From Capurgana to
It is possible to travel via a combination
of boat and plane from Capurgana into central Panama. See the separate
page on travelling
from Colombia to Panama for more information
about this route.
You might also want to check out the Darien Gapster who offer 3 day
boat tours from Colombia's Capurgana to Panama via the San Blas Islands.