couple of hours from Cali, just off the Cali-Buernaventura road, lies
the small town of San Cipriano, which has become one of Colombia's
favourite backpacker hangout spots. The town is small and the locals
especially friendly, and swimming in the river and going on nature
walks through the rainforest are popular leisure activites. One can
also go river tubing through the rapids (drifting in large inflatible
tyres). The area is also good for birdwatching.
Cipriano is well known for it's unique transportation system - to get
to San Cipriano, one must travel by by small train carts (from nearby
Cordoba) that move under the influence of both gravity and motorcycle
power. It's a startling and memorable journey!
with almost every tourist destination in Colombia, the town fills up
with Colombian tourists (in this case those from Cali) at the weekend -
during mid week it's far more peaceful here. All accommodation in the
village (there's various options) is very basic, the best is probably
Hotel Rio Bello.
To travel to San Cipriano,
take a bus from Cali that heads towards Buenaventura, get off at
Cordoba, from where it's a 1km walk downhill to the railway line, where
your railway adventure will begin. Bargain hard with the trolley
operators (pay maximum 10,000 pesos per person, if not less) otherwise
they'll try to rip you off.