There are two hidden gems in the westernmost tip of the Caribbean coast of Colombia. The villages are called Capurganá and Sapzurro. Lush jungle and emerald green sea around these remote Caribbean villages stand out so much on the Panama border because of its beauty.
Hike through unspoiled nature, dance in the evening at the village square of Capurganá with the locals, discover a different beach every day and swim in the azure blue sea. Enjoy a happy, pure and simple life in Capurganá and Sapzurro.
Nobody is in a hurry in Capurganá and Sapzurro. People move on foot, by bicycle or by horse and carriage. There are no roads in or to these Caribbean villages and the only ways to get there is by plane from Medellin or by boat from Turbo. Whether you are flying or sailing, you will arrive in Capurganá and most travelers stay there to join day trips to Sapzurro. Capurganá is just a little livelier than Sapzurro. You can easily walk through the jungle to Sapzurro in half an hour.
The waterfalls of El Cielo
You arrive in Capurganá at a small port, where children play and swim all day. The houses in the village are brightly painted and children run around at the village square playing with homemade toys.
Discover natural freshwater streams when your hike through El Cielo National Park, which is literally a heaven. Take a shower in the waterfalls. Beautiful orange butterflies with purple dots flutter around you. When you return to Carpurganá, you can relax on the beach.
In the evening, you can eat fresh lobsters on the beach, drink some beer and dance rumba with locals at Capurganá’s only square. Before you know it, they are your best friends. But at two o’clock, suddenly the music, lights and fans get turned off. Every night between 2 AM to 8 AM, the power of the whole village is switched off.
The next day, you can take a lancha boat to the green bay of Sapzurro and hike there through the jungle. The water of Sapzurro is even clearer and greener than that in the bay of Capurganá. You see Colombian boys taking turns to jump into the calm water from the concrete pier.
Besides enjoying the beautiful views of the bay, relaxing on the beach and a walk through the flower filled village, actually there is not much to do in Sapzurro. Drink an ice cold beer and just chill. You can totally relax in Sapzurro.
Walk across the border from Sapzurro
From Sapzurro, you can easily cross the border to Panama. Climbing on the steep hill for about thirty minutes and you can already look over Sapzurro on one side and Panama on the other. You will be greeted by a large sign board saying “Bienvenido a Panama(Welcome to Panama).” Even without a passport, they will let you pass the small checkpoint. On Panama side, there is also a small cute village, where time passes slowly. A small path with trees full of bananas and red flowers leads you to the paradisiacal beach of La Miel, Panama.
Toss your toes on the white sand while you laze in the shade of huge palm trees. Look over the sea in the sun and realize that what you are experiencing is not a dream…
In Capurganá, you can also take a trip for a day or a few to the magnificent San Blas islands of Panama. Not only this is the island of many palm trees, intense clear water and wooden huts, but also the hospitality you receive from the indigenous people who work hard to ensure guests have the time of their life, makes the whole experience even more beautiful.
Capurganá would be a place where you initially meant to stay for only a couple of days but end up staying for a week or two. As you board the boat back to Turbo, your friends from Capurganá will stand on the pier to wave to you and say goodbye.
If you are interested in exploring Colombia and Panama by train check out our Trains & Coffee in Colombia & Panama small group tour!