Plan the Perfect Trip to Capurgana, Colombia: 100% Tips

I stayed for over one year in Capurgana and fell in love with this secluded Colombian destination. Find out my best tips and recommendations to discover this little beach town lost in the Darien Gap.

  • 5.0
  • $$
  • Pros:
    • Secluded beach
    • Excellent host
In town
  • 15 min from town
  • Beachfront
  • Secluded beach
  • Excellent host
In town

Capurgana: what you must know

Where: Capurgana is in the Chocó department, on the Western part of the Caribbean coast, in the Darien Gap jungle.

Safety: Although the Darien Gap has a bad reputation, it’s totally safe to travel to Capurgana. I stayed there for 1 year in total. There are paramilitaries around the jungle, but you won’t notice them.

How to get there: a 1h30 boat from Necocli or a 20-min boat from Acandí.

What to do: Life is quite chill in Capurgana. There are different hikes through the jungle to get to waterfalls, natural pools or to walk to Sapzurro and the beach in La Miel. The afternoons are ideal to lay back on the beach or in a comfy hammock.

Where to stay: There are numerous basic hotels, a couple of hostels, and 2 lovely hotels surrounded by lush vegetation. My favorite places are:

  • Hostel: Hostal Capurgana | “Modern” hotel with fans and internet. You can pay by credit card.
  • Hostel outside Capurgana: Kachikine | Located in El Aguacate, a beach at 1h30 walking distance from town
  • Upscale hotel: Finca El Regalo | Hidden gems at a 15-min walk from town. Welcome to paradise.
  • The best hotel in El Aguacate: Bahia Lodge is the ideal place to relax in a quiet and romantic place. Excellent food and staff.

How long: It’s not straightforward to get there, so you should consider staying at least 4 days when doing your Colombia itinerary.

Best tips:

  • There is no ATM in Capurganá, Colombia.
  • The inhabitants of Medellin love to get there when it’s a 3-day weekend.

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How to get to Capurgana, Colombia

Capurgana | Credit: Juanillo 1970

There is no road leading to Capurgana in Colombia. It means you will have to take a boat or a flight if you wish to find out about this remote town.

Boat departures are from Necoclí (faster) or Turbo.

Concerning flights, there are only a few charters that land directly in Capurgana. This will be the case for Semana Santa (Easter).

Alternatively, you can look for flights to land in Montería or Acandí.

1. How to get from Medellín to Capurgana

Option 1: Bus to Necocli, then a boat to Capurgana

If you leave from Medellín, there is a direct bus to Necocli:

I advise you to take an early night bus as you want to arrive before the boat’s departure to Capurgana! Usually, it takes 9 hours to reach the city. So try to leave around 8 pm (just in case.

Otherwise, you can play it safe and stay the night in Necocli at the lovely Punta Caribana hotel.

Then jump on a boat to reach Capurgana:

Departure Boat Necocli – Capurgana: 8 am | every day | 1h30 | Company El Caribe SAS

Note: There is also a boat leaving from Turbo, another town a bit closer to Medellin. However, the city doesn’t have a good reputation and the boats going to Capurgana aren’t comfortable. Plus, the boat ride lasts 1 hour more.

Note 2: From November to April, the Caribbean Sea is rough. The boat ride will be scary for travelers who are not used to it. Waves will splash your face.

Option 2: Book a charter flight from Medellín to Capurgana

You have to book a charter flight if you want a direct flight from Capurgana to Medellín. This can be interesting if you travel with a large group.

Ask Searca or San German.

Option 3: Fly from Medellín to Acandi, then take a boat to Capurgana

The Airline ADA ceased all activity since March 2019. But, San German Express is another company that took over, and its services are much better!

Flight schedules change all the time. Check them on San German.

Usually, flights to Acandí are on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Once in Acandi, speed boats wait for the passengers and bring them to Capurgana in Colombia.

Boat Acandi to Capurgana: 1pm | 30 min | 20 000 COP

Boat Capurgana to Acandi: 7h30 | 30 min | 20 000 COP

2. How to get from Cartagena to Capurgana

If you leave from Cartagena, you must take 2 buses to get to Necocli:

  • Cartagena – Monteria: 5 hours | Bus
  • Monteria – Necocli: 3 hours | Van

Then jump on a boat to reach Capurgana:

Departure Boat Necocli – Capurgana: 8 am | every day | 1h30 | Company El Caribe SAS

3. You can fly to Monteria first

Monteria has the most important airport in this region of Colombia.

You can decide to take a flight from:

  • Cartagena
  • Bogotá
  • Medellín

Then take a van in the direction of Necoclí. You will have to spend the night there. I recommend the hotel Punta Caribana.

The next day, jump on a boat to reach Capurgana:

Departure Boat Necocli – Capurgana: 8 am | every day | 1h30 | Company El Caribe SAS

4. Travel to Capurgana from Panama

Option 1: Explore the islands with San Blas Adventures

If the San Blas Islands are on your bucket list, you should do it through San Blas Aventures. The idea of the company is to maximize your time on the islands. It’s a 4 Days – 3 Nights tour with 2-3 hours on a speedboat every day. The boat rides are bumpy during the windy season (November to April), but it’s 100% worth it.

And the tour ends in Capurgana in Colombia !!

  • Time: 4 days
  • Prices: low season : 425 $ / High season : 475 $

Option 2: Take a boat from Carti

It’s not the easiest or most comfortable option… Indeed, you will have to spend 6-7 hours on a speedboat from Carti to arrive in Puerto Obaldia (the Panama Border) then you need to find another boat to go to Capurgana. It can be harrowing.

Time: 1 full day minimum (maybe 2). The speedboat Carti to Puerto Obaldia is complicated to organize. You will perhaps have to wait for a few days in Panama City. Ask the hostel Mamallena if you need further information.

Prices (2017):

  • 20$ entrance of the kuna park
  • 200-250$ for the speedboat Carti – Puerto Obaldia
  • 20$ speedboat Puerto Obaldia to Capurgana

Option 3: Land in Puerto Obaldia first

You can fly from the Airport Albrook Panama city to Puerto Obaldia then take a boat to Capurgana, Colombia. It’s a tiny plane, don’t be surprised.

  • Time: 4-5 hours. The flight lasts 45 min, but then you need to cross the border.
  • Price:

Where To Stay in Capurgana, Colombia


1. What you should know before staying in Capurgana

It would be best if you avoid public holidays. It will be crowded. The boat could be overbooked. You can buy your boat ticket in advance at their office.

The boat ride from Nicocli is better and shorter than from Turbo.

You should book your flight in advance during the high season (Public holidays, holy week & between Christmas and New Year). Same for your accommodation or your San Blas Adventure trip.

Capurgana is a remote place. Power cuts are common, and the wifi is weak or non-existent. Don’t hope to get a 5-star service, be indulgent and relax.

2. The Hostels in Capurgana

I love to sleep in hostels when I’m traveling. It’s affordable, fun and you meet many interesting people. 

A. Hostal Capurgana | “Modern”

Located in the city center, hostel capurgana serves a good breakfast every morning within its patio. There is no kitchen. It’s a perfect stop after a San Blas trip as you will probably look for comfort and wifi. Besides, they accept payment by credit card – It’s not common in Capurgana.

B. Kachikine | Lovely, located in El Aguacate

Kachikine, Capurgana in Colombia

Kachikine means “In the hammock” in Kuna. The French owners (Quentin and Morgane) opened this hostel several years ago. 2 floors, a small dorm for five people, cute private rooms, a spot to set your hammock, a natural toilet, and drinkable water. You can use their kitchen. Breakfast is included and is different every morning.

2. The Hotels in Capurgana

A. Finca El Regalo | Peaceful & Quiet

Finca el Regalo, hotel in Capurgana in front of the sea

Finca El Regalo is located 15 min away from Capurgana. It would seem to be inconvenient, but it’s not. Thanks to that, this hotel benefits from a peaceful environment and the sound of the waves breaking on the shore. Besides that, the staff is friendly and welcoming.

Delicious Breakfast included.

B. Los Robles | Huge garden with pool

Los Robles, vast and flourish propriety in Capurgana, just in front the ocean

Los Robles is a secret paradise for couples who want to enjoy a peaceful stay. The vast and flowery property is located in front of the Caribbean sea, 10 min away from Capurgana. The bedrooms are big and well-decorated. Moreover, the staff knows how to make you feel at home.

Breakfast is delicious and included. And there is a vegetarian option!

3. Stay in Sapzurro’s paradise or El Aguacate


The village of Sapzurro is only 10 min by boat from Capurgana. If you are looking for a quiet stay, this is the place.

On the opposite side of Capurgana (see our next section) is a secluded beach named El Aguacate (a 1h hike or 10 min boat).

It’s even less populated than Sapzurro.

I’m sure you’ll fall in love with Bahia Lodge.

Bahia Lodge
  • Secluded beach
  • Excellent host
See on Booking See on Tripadvisor

Cool things to do in Capurgana in Colombia

Des enfants qui jouent au base-ball Terrain de Capurgana - chrisontour84
Children playing baseball in Capurgana – chrisontour84

It’s a small town, but there are enough little surprises to keep you happy for a couple of days.

  • Do some snorkeling on the other side of the dock. You can rent a snorkel at the dive shop.
  • Take a nap on Capurgana beaches.
  • Drink a Coco Africa. It’s a fantastic cocktail with whiskey cream in a real coconut. And, you take it directly in front of the Caribbean coast of Colombia | 10 000 COP
  • Diving in Capurgana. It´s one of the cheapest places on earth! You can choose Dive and Green. They are PADI and the best in town!
  • Walking on the aircraft at 5 pm.

5 day-trips or half day-trips from Capurgana, Colombia

The best way to enjoy Capurgana is by doing an activity during the morning and relaxing in the afternoon.

1. Hike from Capurgna to Sapzurro

Playa Tiburón (Sapzurro)

Sapzurro is a peaceful village nestled on the border with Panama, at 2km from Capurgna. It’s a perfect place to spend the day or a romantic night. Don’t forget to check out La Miel Beach!

Time: 1h20 min- one way

Halfway, you have to pay a tax of 5 000 – 10 000 COP. If you’re lucky, there will be no one.

2. The waterfall El Cielo in Capurgana

Capurgana, Colombie

The path that leads to El Cielo passes through lush vegetation and allows you to observe the wildlife. It’s an easy trail that you can with flip-flops or runners. There are small rivers to cross.

The waterfall isn’t impressive, but it’s still a nice reward after the 1h30 walk #Ilovewaterfall.  You will have to pass an airfield first, then follow the sign. If you have a shadow of a doubt, ask your way!

Discupa, A donde esta el camino para ir a el Cielo ?

Time: 1h30 walk – One way

Price: 8 000 COP

3. Finca El Trebol, a peaceful stop near Capurgana

On your way to the waterfall El Cielo, you can decide to stop at El Trebol. The owner built everything by himself and added a dam to have a natural swimming pool. It’s a peaceful place to enjoy a cold beer and patacones while swinging in a hammock.

Time: 25 min walk- One way

Price: 2000 COP

4. La Coquerita, Capurgana’s natural pools

La Coquerita | 30 min walk from Capurgana | Credit: Las Palmeras Capurgana

La Coquerita is a cool spot with 2 natural pools just in front of the ocean. Visitors can opt for seawater (small fishes come to eat your dead skin!) and freshwater (really cold!!) before relaxing in a hammock. They also serve delicious lemonade and patacones.

Time: 30 min walk – One way

Price: 2 000 COP

 E. The Beach El Aguacate

On our way to Aguacate

Aguacate is THE perfect place if you’re looking for a quiet place. There is no shop to buy food and only one restaurant where you have to order in advance. Don’t forget to bring your snorkel. There is an excellent diving spot on the right side.

Take the road leading to the hostel La Bohemia then follow the coastline. Or take the boat from the dock.

Time: 1h15 min (one way) or 10 min by speedboat. If you have some spare time, you should definitely spend one night there. Check out the hotel Bahia Lodge.

Where to eat in Capurgana

Food tour Bogota

There are many basic restaurants in Capurgana. They serve a menu of the day with rice, beans, plantains, and chicken for 10 000 COP.

However, we discovered other tasty options!

Burger something…

It´s a burger place where you can also find Veggie burgers !!! Located on the corner of the football field, just in front of the bakery


It’s not easy to find this restaurant if you are not local. Most travelers pass without noticing it. It’s my favorite restaurant in Capurgana for breakfast. You can eat delicious arepas-filled veggies, eggs, and cheese for 7000 COP. And if you’re a meat eater, they serve a chicken option for 10 000 COP.

The restaurant is on another corner of the football field. For lunch, the arepas are bigger and cost a bit more

The Dock

The Dock is only open when a San Blas tour arrives. However, it’s one of the best places to have an omelet for breakfast or a panini!!! It’s around 10 – 12 000 COP. It’s just in front of the Capurgana’s dock.

La Posada El Gecko

Good restaurant with a patio covered in flowers to enjoy a real Italian pizza (around 30 000 COP) or pasta (about 18 000 COP).


Located on the beach, Josephine is known as the best seafood restaurant in town – I prefer Hernand Patacones. Their menu is more expensive than other restaurants in Capurgana, and you should book your dinner in advance because they can be very slow to prepare your meals. All kinds of seafood like Lobster, shrimp, mussels, fish... Enjoy!

Where to go out in Capurgana

Plage de Capurgana
Capurgana Beach

You won’t experience wild nightlife in Capurgana. However, there are still some fun events on weekends and when a San Blas Group arrives.

Located directly on the beach, La Brujita is THE nightclub in Capurgana. It‘s open on weekends only. And even though it can still be empty. It’s a hit or miss. Free cover, and a bottle of rum cost 50 000 COP.

How to cross the Colombia – Panama Border

If you plan an itinerary in Colombia in which you are leaving or entering via Panama, this section is for you.

Don’t worry; it’s quite simple. There is only one thing to do…

You need to stamp out before you leave! There is no Colombian border. No one will check your bag on the Colombian side.

So before taking your boat in the direction of Puerto Obaldia (Panama border), go to Colombian immigration to get your passport stamped. Then, you have a 24h maximum to reach Panama. Before that, you are in no man’s land. It also means that you can stamp out the day before if your boat is early.

Once in Puerto Obaldia, don’t forget to Stamp in.

If you are coming from Panama, you must follow the same instructions, but in reverse order. Stamp out in Puerto Obaldia, and don’t forget to Stamp in once you arrive in Capurgana.

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Tomplanmytrip’s sections



I have been traveling around Colombia and Mexico since 2015 to discover new experiences and help travelers make the right choices.


  1. Carlos Castano says:

    I am quite impress how accurate your info is about capurgana……I have been there a few times and I am planning to take my kids to enjoy this ride… yes… is a great book to read.
    Happy reading to you all.

  2. Silvio says:

    Hi Tom

    Maybe you can remember me. I am Silvio (Swiss) from the Hostal Capurgana in Capurgana.
    Thanks a lot for mentioning us in your Blog.
    Your Blog is full of details. Super. I will certainly will mention your Blog to our clients from over the world.
    Please let update a bit the information about our Hostal. OK?
    I am Swiss and I do speak Englisch and Swiss-German. My wife is from Cali and speaks as well very good Englisch.

    This helps a lot to travelers who are not so familiar with spanisch.

    We do have the travel agency Capurganatours. Here you can by all bus-boats-air tickets for your onwards travel.

    As well are we the official agency for Panama Air und ADA. With Panama air you can fly from Porto Obaldia to Panama City in about 1 hour.
    From Acandi you can fly in 45 Minutes to Medellin.
    This helps a lot if you are under time pressure.

    All services you can pay with Pesos, Dollars or with Creditcards.

    We are here to help you. Even when you don’t stay in our Hostal.

    Capurgana still does not have 24 hour energy. In the morning the power gets switch of at 02:00 Mo to Fr. Weekend around 03:00.

    So check out if your Hostal has a generator. Maybe you pay less if they don’t provide.

    We still have no ATM in town. We change or accept USD and all major credit cards.
    We also have a restaurant integrated in our Hostal. So you can have accommodation, drinks , food, and Air-Bus-Boatstikets all payed with credit cards.

    I think this is a super service. And of corse. WIFI is included in accommodation.
    Muchas gracias.
    Thanks a lot
    Vielen Dank

    • says:

      Hey Silvio!

      Of course, I remember you 🙂 – Thank you for the updates, I’m sure it will help many people!

      • Silvio says:

        I am a bit surprised. You have one of the best blogs with so many details…and since over 1 year no new comments.
        Ok. Here the first for 2019.
        In Capurgana:

        – still not 24 hours power
        – still no ATM,s

        But a bit more traffic the before. The nice horces who have been caring everything are going to desapear. Mototaxis are now all over……

        Any help needed ?
        Ask by Capurgana Tours & Hostal Capurgana

          • Silvio says:

            Yea. It is. We have now more then 15……..
            In high season it is only brum, brum.
            And they ask prices….. like taxis in Medellin..
            Hostal Capurgana

  3. Silvio says:

    Hi Tom
    Keep in mind that you do still not find an ATM in Capurgana. There is also NO bank either.
    In our Hostal Capurgana you can pay with your credit card for accommodation and food.
    Many shops, Hostals, Bars are changing USD. But…. Ask around before you change. For sure you never will get the best. Changing USD is an extra business in Capurgana.
    Forget Euros. There is no market for.
    And… we do still not have 24 hours electricity. So if you book a place with Aircondition then ask if this gets supported with an electric generator. Otherwise you do pay to much.
    Avoid high season like nd of the year or Easter time. To many visitors, to noisy and to expensive.
    Also keep n mind that the see is very rough in dry season. Specially from mid December to April. In ready season you will find Caribbean pur.
    Silvio, Hostal Capurgana

  4. Angus says:

    Hi Tom! I’m thinking of going to Capurganá/Sapzurro in May but I’ve read that it’s typically the rainiest month. As you spent 1 year there, I was just wondering if you remember what it’s like during this period – is it common for there to be days where it rains all day non-stop (as it does in parts of el Pacifico!) or is the weather still generally good but with heavy showers? I’m just wondering whether to risk it in May or push the visit back to a more suitable month. Thanks so much in advance – your blog is invaluable!

      • Phillip says:

        Hi Tom. Thanks for putting this together, very helpful indeed. I’m looking to travel to Capurgana area in late October for a week. From your experience, does the rain materially impact the experience? I like to hike, possibly go fishing, explore some inland areas. Thanks

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