San Francisco, a secret holiday place for Medellin: How and why you should go there

The Paisas (people living in Medellin) love Capurgana and around. But you never see them in the hostels for backpacker. They have some secret places, and with Dom, we found one of them: San Francisco. A small village on the coast with big green streets, iguanas walking in the trees, kids riding horses on their way to school, your daily routine here will be different from your life at home.

We saw 3 San Blas adventure teams, went three times to Salsa Reggae, drink 23 Juices and eat 15 chocolate doughnuts. We almost have been changed in Bart and Homer (I’m wondering who is the smarter). It’s time to run away to an even more quiet destination, San Francisco.


The 10 reasons why you should visit San Francisco

  • It’s lost in the jungle
  • The streets are green
  • You can find iguanas in the trees
  • Kids are going to school with a horse
  • They have giant trees
  • You can observe the leatherback turtles
  • There is no tourist
  • you can go to San Francisco only by boat (Except if you are a paramilitary)
  • No worry, it’s safe
  • No cars

The Backpacking guide of San Francisco: Table of Content

  1. How to get to San Francisco
  2. Where to sleep in San Francisco
  3. Where to do around San Francisco
  4. What to eat in San Francisco
  5. Conclusion

How to arrive at Trigana and San Francisco

You’re waiting in the sun, hears big open. They need to call your name to let you go on the boat. Of course, you are the last one because you booked your ticket at the last minute.

Big plastic bags with you, you’re ready again for a hell boat drive. 45 min later, you’re waking up by a giant Colombian. Here we are.

I’m mean, almost. Now, the crew is looking everywhere on the boat to find your big bags. Yep, they forgot that you would stop in Trigana.

Tip: With Capurgana, it’s better to buy your boat ticket a day in advance to avoid surprise

From Capurgana

You can go to the turbo boat shop. The one on the right from the restaurant The Dock. Sometimes, the boat is not going. You can go directly to San Francisco. The boat leaves at 8h00 am.

Price: 40 000 COP

Time: 45 min

Backpacker profile: Runners Backpacker

If the ship above is not going, it’s still possible to leave Capurgana and go to Trigana. In front of the dock, you have the Necocli boat shop. Pass the gate and go inside. Buy a ticket to Trigana, and they are more expensive… The boat leaves at 10h30

Price: 50 000 COP

Time: 45 Min

Backpacker profile: Runners Backpacker

Then from Trigana, you can walk 40 min to the beach to go to San Francisco. Or ask a local to bring you there by boat.

Price: 10 000 COP in total

From Turbo

You can have a direct boat to San Francisco

Price: 45 000 or 55 000 COP, depends on the schedule

Time: 1 hour

Backpacker profile: Runners Backpacker

From Necocli

I’m not sure if the boat is going directly to San Francisco or if it only stops to Trigana. Departure time: Around 9 am.

Price: 50 000 COP

Time: 1 hour

Backpacker profile: Runners Backpacker

You’re living on the coast since a few days now. You became a costeño. It’s hot during the day, the smoke of magic plants are flying in the air. You are very slow, and for every action, you have the feeling to give all your energy. Yes, you become lazy.

Ok, so now you have to option to go to San Francisco. It’s 11h00 am. You can walk, burn and arrive for free to San Francisco.

If you already become lazy, you can ask to a local to bring you by boat.

I personally refuse to tell which option we have chosen. Haha

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Where to sleep in San Francisco

Watch the video below if you want a quick glimpse of the accommodations San Francisco!



  • Private room: 85 000 COP (P/P) with breakfast, lunch, and dinner


Backpacker profile: Double Bed Backpacker

Al vaiven de las amacas


  • Private room: 130 000 COP (P/P) with breakfast, lunch, and dinner


  • Tel: 313 7000 640

Backpacker profile: Double Bed Backpacker

Cabanas del Viento – I slept here – Owner: Cesar


  • Private room: 75 000 COP (P/P) with breakfast, lunch, and dinner


Backpacker profile: Hammock Backpacker

Anayansi- The hostel is in Trigana



  • Bungalow (Max 4 Pers): 60 000 or 90 000 COP– Price with or without electricity during the night (Aircon)
  • Habitation grande (Max 7 Pers): 130 000 COP


  • Tel: 320 697 90 26 // 321 639 99 67 // 314 739 16 76
  • Facebook: Anayansi Trigana. Don’t forget to check and like Tomplanmytrip at the same time!

Backpacker profile: Double bed Backpacker

You have a bed, and you already did two naps. It’s maybe time to explore the place, don’t you think?

San Francisco is a tiny village with only 300 inhabitants. Each house has a giant mango tree in their garden, and the kids are going to school by horses. Even the streets are green! And you know what? Every time you will hear a big noise in a tree, it will be an Iguana! So, check the trees carefully and play where is Wally with them!

You need around 20 minutes to walk around the village. Fortunately, you have some others activities to do around.

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What to do in San Francisco

Watch the video below if you want a quick glimpse of San Francisco!

Bosque de los Gigantes and la posada Amalia

Ok, so I’ve never been and I heard later that is the biggest attraction around (Except turtle season), so shame on me…. 

Bosque de los Gigantes
Ceibas Gigantes


Credit: Picture from the website

First, you need to take a guide. We went with Dom around, and it’s true there are thousands of different paths. You can speak with Cesar, he will found you the guide for 10 000 COP (P/P). Also, I’m pretty sure you can find one directly in the street.

The path in the  Serrania Tripogadi is also a great spot to observe the Ara (Genus) and monkeys!

After this giant trees, it’s possible to go to la posada Amalia to have a swim in the waterfall.

Do you want more information? Faunadarien made an article about it: Bosque de los Gigantes (Espanol and English)

Price: 10 000 COP (P/P) for the guide. There is maybe a small entrance fee for the posada Amalia

Time: 1h30 (One way) till the waterfall.

Contact: Cesar

Do you have some information about the bosque de los gigantes? Or an excellent picture/video? Please tell us about it!

Reserva Agua Panela

It’s a small walk in the jungle behind the village. Take a guide if you don’t speak Spanish as is very hard to find. 

The place is not amazing, but it’s a small activity if you don’t know what to do.

Price: Free!

Time: 30 min (One way)

Reserve Sasardi

You have a beautiful natural reserve behind Trigana, but you need to take a guide to visit it. We didn’t go there, but I found a cool video on youtube

More information on the reserve Sasardi:

Do you have some information about Reserve Sasardi? Or a nice picture/video? Please tell us about it!

Leatherback turtles

The biggest turtle in the world is coming every year from April to June to the beach La Playona. You can book a tour with Cesar from San Francisco. We already wrote an article about it: Leatherback turtles.

Price: 60 000 COP (P/P)

Time: 5pm to 9am

Contact: Cesar

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Where to eat in San Francisco

You don’t have a lot of restaurant in San Francisco and they are not open all the times. This is why most of the hostels offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner in their prices.

Leatherback turtles San Francisco

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Conclusion about San Francisco

San Francisco (San Pacho) is a place to relax. 4 streets and horses all around. You will never bother by a car or another tourist because there is none. Few hostels and almost no restaurant, the best is to buy a package in one of the hostels.

You will find some activities around like giant trees, small rivers leatherback turtles (In season). Don’t forget to take a nap on the beach after all this exercise.

Number of days: 3 days

Budget per day: 110 000 COP

Backpacker Profile: Lost in the Nature

You just finish to discover San Francisco, and you still want more adventure. Do you know there is a beautiful island not so far? Come with us to an ex-drug trafficker island, Isla Fuerte in Colombia!

Also, if you have some others cool places in San Francisco or if you have noticed a different price, please let me know (Comments, email, Facebook) !!!

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