Surrounded on three sides by dense jungle, Capurganá is the last town of any reasonable size on the Colombian Caribbean coast before the border with Panama. A sleepy little place with a laid-back atmosphere, it is popular with Colombians, but is only just starting to put in an appearance on the Gringo trail; mainly because it is the last place on the coast with a DAS office where you can get stamped out of Colombia.
If you are passing through, Capurganá is a great place to spend a few days relaxing and savouring one of the few places left with no cars (there are no roads to Capurganá, so the only form of land-based transport there are horses or bicycles). It has a couple of small beaches (although with strong currents, so take care when swimming), and is a great place for snorkelling.
There are numerous hotels and restaurants scattered throughout the place, so there are plenty of options for the budget traveller (who are likely to arrive on the bone-shaking launches from Puerto Obaldia or Turbo), and more up-market choices for those who can afford to fly in.
- El cielo (Walk on the right side of the airfield to the end and follow the signs). A nice hike and pools for fresh water swim. A little restaurant offers a nice lunch. COP$3,000.
Capurganá has an airstrip and tiny airport, from which a couple of companies provide regular and charter flights from Medellín:
- Searca : provide passenger and cargo flights: +574 444 4232
The price from Turbo is COP$75,000. If you have more than 10 kg of luggage it is COP$1,000 per kg overload. (July 2019)
There are no roads leading to Capurganá, hence the feeling of being in an island.
- Dive and Green. A place providing diving services. For more information see the website . 2 dives: COP$180,000.
- La Miel (Hire boat for COP$20,000 per person round-trip). Located on the border of Colombia and Panama, La Miel is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Though it is in Panama, there is no need to bring your passport, and the bars accept COP and USD. You can also take a walk for about 45 minutes with many stairs but a beautiful scenery.
There are no ATMs in Capurgana. If you have trouble because you are running low on cash, you can sleep, eat and book boats and flights at the Hostal Capurgana on the main road and pay them with credit card (6% service fee). Or, you can book the boat at the harbor, but they take a 19% service fee for credit card payments.
Eat and drink
- Restaurante Bar Posada Del Gecko, Posada del Gecko, ☏ . Cafe bar, serving pizza, Italian cuisine and cocktails. Lodging also available for COP$15,000. COP$13,000.
- Hotel el Uvito (At the start of the main street, right next to the docks). From COP$25,000 (COP$30,000 with breakfast).
- Hotel Don Blas (on the right of the main street as you leave the docks).
- Los Delphines (walk up the main street from the docks, take the first right and carry on walking about 100 m). Owner Hannibal will most likely be at the dock waiting for new arrivants. A cheap, clean and friendly place that also serves good food. Rooms with bath from COP$15,000.
- Hostal Capurganá (on the left on main street leading from the docks).
- Hospedaje/Camping Nelly (off dock 50 m to the right, just before crossing small bridge to beach). Nice place owned by Nelly, a local resident for years. Camping available for COP$7,000, rooms starting at COP$15,000. It is steps from the beach. Kitchen available, but limited use of burners.
- Tacarcuna Lodge (downtown, next to the soccer field, 2 blocks away from the beach), ☏ . COP$150,000 per night.
- Cabaña Darius (about 10 minutes away from town, Hawaiian owner Joey will pick you up from the dock with his horse and cart), ☏ . Beautiful retreat outside of town, with dorms and private rooms. Clean, comfortable beds in wooden cabins. Dorms from COP$15,000, private from COP$30,000. Swimming pool and kitchen.
Several places provide internet services.
- A public internet service for COP$3,000 is also provided at an office in the high school, although the connection is painfully slow.
You can buy SIM cards at a little shop on the corner of the football field that has a sign “Colombanco” hanging outside. They can help you setting up the SIM and putting balance on the card as well booking a predpaid data plan.
- Angel National Park
There are launches to Turbo leaving every morning (COP$55,000). There is an office selling tickets on the sea front where you can reserve your ticket the day before. Launches to Puerto Obaldia depart at 7AM and 1PM daily (COP$25,000) and private boats can be hired (COP$100,000). If the office is closed, ask around to find Marcelino, almost everyone will be able to point you to the right person. Days when the plane is coming to Puerto Obaldia, the boat leaves early enough so that you can make the connection with the plane on the same day, you don't need to travel a day before and spend a night there as it's not very tourist orientated.
Furthermore, there is a ferry to Necoclí leaving at 9PM (COP$70,000). 10 kg of luggage is included and every additional kilo costs COP$1,000. There is a direct bus to Cartagena. This way beats the previous way through Turbo in many aspects. The boat ride is less bumpy, it is better boat, has a shorter ride and less travel time to Cartagena plus the town of Necocli appears less dodgy. You can buy the tickets for the ferry in an office at the harbor.
There are boats to Sapzurro every day (COP$7,000).
It is also possible to arrange launches to La Miel, further along the Colombian coast.
It is possible to walk over the mountain to the town of Sapzurro on the border with Panamá, with an almost perfect circular bay. From there you can continue your hike over the border to the La Miel, Panama. A small coastal town with white sandy beaches.