After living 2,5 years in Colombia people who know me, know that I am the countries biggest fan. Hence this travel blog will develop a strong focus on destinations in Colombia. Even though I have travelled almost entire South and Central America Colombia will always be my favourite country, not only in America but probably in the world.
One great destination in Colombia for whale watching is Nuquí in the department of Chocó
Whale watching Nuquí (Chocó)
There are a few destinations in Colombia to go whale watching, the most common one is probably Bahia de Solano in the northwest of the country in the department of Choco on the pacific ocean. Not far from Bahia de Solano a little bit further south is the small village of Nuqui located, another amazing place to see humpback whales.
Nuqui is one of the rainiest areas in the worlds so most certainly it will rain when you are there too. Hence don’t forget to bring the due clothes in case you care about getting wet.
Last year in September finally the time had come to go whaling..ehm sorry I meant to say to go and watch humpback whales in Nuqui in the department of Chocó on the Colombian pacific coast. At first I was really looking forward to have some great Sushi before I reminded myself that I am actually an animal lover and that instead of eating whale I only wanted to watch them.
How to get there?
If you want to go to Nuqui from Medellin you can start your trip from the airport “Aeropuerto Olaya Herrera”. The flight can be booked via the airline company ADA. A round way trip will cost you around 250,000 and 400,000 Pesos.
Once you arrive at the airport and checked in a nice surprise is waiting for you. Most of us will most likely not get too excited when seeing the airplane as the airplane is just a small propeller driven plane not much bigger than a Chesner and that’s probably why the safety instruction were skipped completely. So if you are already a little afraid of flying theis plane will most likely enhance your anxiety. You should be aware that the plane will move a lot and when I say a lot I mean a lot, a lot. If you haven’t been on a plane like this before this will be the first time where flying actually feels like flying. But to be sincere me personally I felt pretty safe on board after I got used to the constant movements.
The first highlight of our trip was the approach to the Nuqui “Airport”. Flying above a green jungle carpet that eventually borders with the pacific is fairly amazing.
The airport in Nuqui has approximately the size of a one bedroom apartment. Collecting you luggage is less complicated than at the most airports as everything happens without any unnecessary time delaying things like conveyor belts. The airport crew just hands the luggage out to you almost right on the airfield. At this time already I knew that this the was going to be something special
At the airport you have to pay a tourist fee of 7.000COP.
After we left the airport we had already noticed that we in a very urban place with only little tourism.
Now, off to the hotel just to the promenade of the beach and then to the right almost to the end of the village.
Unfortunately I cannot recall the name of the hotel but it was very cheap and couldn’t be booked in advance online at least not when we were there. It was very comfortable and the owner was a guy from Switzerland. Anyway there are just a few hotels and hostels available directly in Nuqui which I find pretty expensive. So if you follow my direction you will find pretty cheap accommodation. As you might have noticed this is not one of my most accurate posts but unfortunately this only comes from my head as I lost my notes.
In the village of Nuqui you feel like in a different world, everything moves slowly and you feel like many years in the past. Plenty of chicken run through the streets and if you are white you will probably just be one of very few tourists among the dark-skinnned local Colombians. Often it can happen that kids will follow you through the streets in hope of some Pesos.
Book a tour
Most people in Nuqui live of fishing there are only few that live of tourism one of them is Ignacio who lives on the street on the road a long the beach promenade. With him you can book different Tours. Just ask in the village and people will tell you were to find him as everyone knows him.
The first day we booked a tour for 35.000COP per person including lunch. After taking the boat and a short hike a long the beach our tour guide led us through the Jungle to the “Cascada del Amor” what basically mean the love waterfall. After taking a short bath in the crystal clear water we kept on walking a long the beach in the pouring rain. After crossing a small river leading into the ocean we arrived at “Los Termales”. “Los Termales” are natural hot water springs in the middle of the jungle which I can just highly recommend you. The entrance for the hot springs is 12.000 Pesos per person.
After the hot springs we had a typical Colombian lunch consisting of a soup, fried fish, Patacones (fried Platano) and Arroz de Coco (coconut rice). And coincidentally we also saw from the beach, whilst eating our first humpback whale jumping out of the water.
On the next day we went on another trip with Ignacio in order to see the whales unfortunately without success. Hence we tried our luck again on the last day of our trip and we were lucky enough to see and observe an entire family of whales. We were able to follow the humpback family for over an hour and it was an unbelievable and amazing experience. We were so close to the whales that I was almost able to touch one of them. The price for the whale watching was 250,000 Pesos for 4 person but be aware that you will have to pay the same when you are just 2 as this is a fixed prize.
After this amazing trip we went back to Medellin with the feeling that we experienced something amazing and magical. These few days felt like we were deeply connected with nature. Even though it is raining a lot in Nuqui and I actually prefer sunny weather this place made an incredible impression on me. The untouched nature and the great laid back atmosphere convinced me completely and will definitely be back one day
There are not many places to eat in Nuqui so don’t expect any fancy restaurants but there is a small garage where a lovely elder woman cooks with her daughter amazing fish dishes. Unfortunately I forgot the name of the lady but just ask in the village she is famous for her fish and the village is very small.