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Capurgana Colombian Caribbean Coast | Colombia Backpacking



Sleepy Capurgana is right on the border between Colombia and Panama. It's a city of about 2,000 inhabitants that swells with visitors, both Colombians and foreigners alike, during the high season. It also gets pounded by very heavy seas between the last week of December and April, which complicates maritime transportation, and makes diving more difficult. All in all, though, anytime of year you'll find a town full of friendly residents, nice hotels and hostals, and plenty of good seafood to eat.


There are two ways to reach Capurgana. The easier, but more expensive, way is to take a plane from Medellin on a tiny airline called ADA that costs around $250.000 to $300.000 each way. Yes, it's quite expensive to fly to Capurgana. The other way to arrive is to take a bus to Turbo from either Cartagena or Medellin, and then take a three hour ride in a small boat. If the seas are rough, this boat ride can be extremely unpleasant.

Popular activities in Capurgana include scuba diving, fishing, horseback riding, and a wide variety of ecological walks and nature observation. Particularly popular are the walks to Sapzurro (right on the Panamanian border) and La Miel, a beach which lies within Panama. You can get to La Miel by showing a photo ID and you do not have to go through immigration. Another very popular route heads out to El Cielo, where you'll find a lovely waterfall, a swiming hole, and interesting plant and animal life. Talk to local guide Emerson if you're interested.

Capurgana is crammed with hotels and hostals, catering to every price range. If you're looking for budget accommodations, head to Hostal los Delfines. If you want to splurge on a resort, check out Tacurcana lodge, which runs $160.000 per day, but includes a pool, and three gourmet meals a day.


Capurgana is rapidly becoming a new tourism hotspot in Colombia's Caribbean Coast. In many ways it's like a smaller, more isolated version of Taganga. Long gone are the days when this area was a bastion of drug gangs and paramilitarism. Safety and security are not a concern anymore, and you will be fine walking around anywhere and exploring to your heart's content.

The best beach in Capurgana is located on the northern side of the island, where you'll also find the delicious cocktails of Coco Loco, and the wonderful seafood of Patacon Pisao.

Where to Stay:

Hostal los Delfines

Hostal Marlin

Tacarcuna Lodge

Where to Eat:

Patacon Pisao


CBP Housing Ad