Capurganá – Carribean paradise in Chocò
After 1.5 Years I finally managed to go to Capurganá. Capurganá is a small village on the Caribbean coast of Colombia on the border to Panama. Not only is this place absolutely magical but you can also just walk over a little hill and go shopping and spend time in La Miel, a beach in Panama. You will also find this beautiful place on my post for 10 places you should visit in Colombia.
How to get to Capurganá
To be honest getting their might not be as easy as you might think. Simply taking a bus or a plane wont do it. There will always be boats involved and most likely some waves.
From Medellin there are two ways to get there:
1. On a plane (Airline ADA)
From the Airport (Aeropuerto Internacional Olaya Herrera) in Medellin you can take plane (if you can really call it like that) to Acandí. The time of the flight is around 1 hour. From the airport in Acandi you have to take either a horse cab or a mototaxi (4,000 Pesos per person) to the “harbour” and from there you take a boat (20,000 Pesos per person) that takes you to La Aguacate, Capurganá oder Sapzurro.
2. With the bus from Medellin to Turbo
The bus leaves in Medellin from the Terminal Norte and the duration is approximately 8 hours and one way costs 45.000 COP. You can also take a shared cap “puerta a puerta” (60.000 COP one way). In general there are four bus companies that go to Turbo including Gomez Hernandez Tel. 230 31 84 und Sotrauraba Tel. 230 9696.
3. Mit the plane from Bogota
From Bogota to Medellin there are daily flight connections but there is no direct flight connection from Bogota to Capurgana. Reservation can be made on the webpages of Satena – Aerolínea, Avianca, Viva Colombia, LAN.
Due one has to take the plane from Bogota to Apartado ( 200.000 COP one way). From Apartado you can take a shared cap to Turbo (½ h, ca. 10.000 COP one way). From Turbo you have to continue with the boat in order to get to Capurgana. With the following companies you can book flights to Apartado: Satena – Aerolínea, Easyfly oder LAN.
4. Arrival via Panama
Via an international flight connection you get to Panama City from there you can proceed to Puerto Obaldia with AirPanama.com (1 h; ca. 110 $ US one way – – daily except Saturday). From Puerto Obaldia you have to take the boat to Capurgana or Sapzurro (½ h, ca. 15 $ US one way).
We actually didnt live directly in Capurgana but one bay away in charming La Aguacate where we rented a beautiful Cabaña in the Bahia Lodge located right at the water. The Bahia Lodge is a beautiful yeah well paradise like property where you have a great view at the sea from your little charming cabaña. The owner Lothar is a German who created a marvelous piece of paradise in La Aguacate.
During the day Leo a local and his family took care of us and made our stay simply perfect. The price per night is 95.000,- COP in a Cabana with bathroom and a very spacious shower. Breakfast and dinner are included in the price. The food is great and the vibe at the bahia lodge is very laid back. The only disadvantage is that because of plenty of rocks and stones in the water the beach is rather unsuitable for swimming, except you bring the due shoes. From La Aguacate and the Bahia Lodge it takes around one hour by foot to get to Capurgana and about 10 Minutes by boat.
Capurgana, is a very sedate and laid back village with colorful houses and a beautiful little beach. On the beach there are a few little huts, that sell local food, drinks and cocktails. My favorite cocktail is the „Coco Loco“ a Pina Colada style cocktail served in a coconut and prepared by Hanibal one of the hut owners.
In Capurgana you can also find some hostels and hotels, so that there is accommodation to find for everyone’s budget.
Surrounded is the village by the beautiful jungle of Darien and a lot of palm trees. Just one bay further you will find another beautiful little village called Sapzurro and from there just above the hill lies Panama. So just climb up the hill and cross the border to Panama.
As I said before Sapzurro is just a few minutes away by boat and right at the boarder to Panama, to be exact on the other side in Panama is the beach La Miel. Even in Sapzurro there are a few huts and restaurants that sell the typical Caribbean fried fish with arroz de Coco, the famous coconut rice and Patacones (fried banana). .
So if you want to climb up the hill to get to Panama you will be expected by two policemen on top of it, that will note your passport number and let you enter to Panama.
La Miel (Panama)
One more highlight on our trip was the shopping of original Panamanian rum for a very low price in La Miel an amazingly beautiful beach. I do not want to offend the Colombians here but I just like the Panamanian rum a little better than the Colombian and apart from that it is really cheap. Highly recommended is the Ron Abuelo which is with 6 Dollars for a 750 ml bottle quite a bargain. As already mentioned the beach is very beautiful, unfortunately big parts were covered in seaweed when we were there. The seaweed is mainly washed to the shore in March and the locals say that it is a sign for future wealth.
The region of Choco is already since my first trip to Nuqui on the pacific coast one of my favorite areas in Colombia. The nature and the beaches are simply stunning and the tourism is not as advanced as in other parts of the coast like in Cartagena, Santa Marta and Tayrona. Because the FARC has been still active in this area a few years ago it is not as developed for tourism as other parts of Colombia. Additionally what adds up to the incredibly laid back atmosphere is t, that there are no cars in Capurgana and Sapzurro. Of course there are motorbikes and I believe there is no place in Colombia where you cant find motorbikes but that doesnt really have a negative impact on the peaceful and relaxed atmosphere. The incredibly beautiful nature, the vibrant jungle that surrounds these little villages and the stunning beaches make these places extraordinary. Compared to Tayrona and especially to Cabo San juan de Guia you will find very few foreigners here. And the part of all of it is that it rains significantly less than in Nuqui or Bahia de Solano.