Falling in Love with the Remote Colombian Pacific Coast

It’s rare these days to find a place that’s gorgeous and relatively untouched by tourism and development. With so much info on the internet, most places are discovered and unfortunately change quickly. The Pacific coast of Colombia, Chocó region, is one of those magical places that has kept its incredible natural beauty without being ruined by man nor kept hostage by large 5 star hotels. What keeps this place so special is the fact that it is pretty hard to get to. There are no roads that lead out here, and it is separated from the central part of Colombia by a thick and treacherous (narco-controlled) jungle and only tiny chartered planes fly here.

We are so thankful we were able to spend the week in this special place. What we found was truly stunning, and even more so because of some new friends we met here and the commitment to the love of this place from those who are lucky enough to call it home. It was the highlight of our two month stay in Colombia, in a country full of highlights.

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Jenine walks along the untouched shores of the Colombian Pacific coast - Choco region

Our friend Johnny had just flown back to New York the day before, and after spending a lot of nights out on the town in Medellin, we were looking forward to getting back to nature and tranquility away from the city. Luckily the only flights (chartered only from a eco-lodge called Nautilus- http://www.nuquinautilos.com/) leave from the small airport right in Medellin that was a 5 minute drive from our hostel. The airport had secure parking, so getting from Medellin to the coast via the 45 minute flight very straight forward. We booked the only hotel we could find online that also specialized in surf tours (El Cantil).

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Our small flight to Nuqui Colombia. The only way to get to the pacific coast (besides boat) is to take a charter flight

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The town of Nuqui where you fly to isn't nice, but you take a 45 minute boat from there to paradise

We landed in sort-of run down town called Nuqui, but we were soon met by our hotel staff and escorted on a boat to El Cantil with our other guests: a mom and her two awesome daughters from the Netherlands, and a German-Bolivian family from Germany, and a wonderful couple from Bogota.

We immediately felt like we were somewhere special. There are no big hotels in this area, just small eco lodges. Our bungalow was one of 7, none of which have electricity, and yet this is probably the most well known lodge in this region. You also pack out your garbage back to Medellin.

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El Cantil Lodge

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The grounds of El Cantil Lodge

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Our cozy accomodations

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Beach at El Cantil

I quickly grabbed a surfboard from the gear room and Jenine and I went for a walk down the beach. This was when we found the little surf lodge Paraisurf and Yeyo, an amazing surf guide, and his wonderful family (https://www.facebook.com/ParaisurfColombia?fref=ts).

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Post-surf sunset, in front of Paraisurf

Traveling is about the special people you meet along the way and Yeyo has an enormous zeal for life. He’s living out here to be in nature, to surf and to share his world with others. He’s gotta a tattoo of him riding a tube at Cabo Corriente (his local world class wave) while the sharks and the whales swim around him. I immediately connected with him and we made plans to surf all week together and I would pay for the boat trips out to Cabo Corriente (also known as Pico de loro). He has a guest house, and had we known earlier, we probably would have stayed with him. I recommend all surfers to seek him out. The scene on his tattoo would play out too. While I didn’t see any sharks (although there are many there), whales would accompany us on all of our surf outings.

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Cabo Corriente!

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Yeyo getting a fun ride at Cabo Corriente

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Surfing with whales! Suave la vida

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Helping Yeyo of Paraisurf haul in our surf finder https://www.facebook.com/ParaisurfColombia

In addition to the surfing, our wonderful hotel (El Cantil) organized awesome daily hikes for us to explore the area. Jenine loves to hike and is always pushing us to explore more. The jungles surrounding the area were full of rivers and waterfalls and even hot springs. It was amazing to feel so connected to nature again, and really feel almost alone out here – totally away from it all.

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Hiking in the jungles behind the beaches

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Walking the deserted beaches on the pacific coast

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You just find a river and follow it!

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Hikes to waterfalls are always worth it

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Our visit to the hot springs in the town of Termales

Toward the end of our week on the coast, we discovered the Piedra Piedra hotel (http://www.piedrapiedra.com/es/hotel-nuqui-colombia) and their wonderful salt water pool built into the cliffs. Even though our hotel had really really wonderful food, we came here for their amazing fresh ceviche & stunning sunset view. They were so nice to us. I highly recommend them if considering a visit here. (as well as El Cantil – both are great).

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How's this for a pool with a view?

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Sunset in one of the most beautiful places on earth

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You can jump from here at high tide, but I didnt...

The very last day, we took a 2 hour walk along the beach to this little village called Jovi where we did a serene canoe river tour. It was very peaceful to be gliding through the jungle inside a tree trunk canoe. Additionally, our guide brought us to a very special waterfall. It was the perfect excursion to cap off our week.

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The deserted beaches of the coast

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There is high military presence in a lot of places in Colombia, but it was pretty odd to see them hiking around the deserted beaches of the Pacific.

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Canoeing up the Rio Jovi. So beautiful and peaceful

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Canoeing

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more wonderful waterfall swimming time together

Our week out on the Pacific coast exceeded our expectations immensely. There are very few tourists, even though the surfing, hiking and beaches are the best we’ve encountered so far. It was so gorgeous that I imagined buying an apartment in Medellin, just so that we could jet out to this place as often as possible 🙂 Hasta la proxima!

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Good bye Nuqui

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words can't describe this place

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Hello again Medellin

More pics:

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Our small flight to Nuqui Colombia. The only way to get to the pacific coast (besides boat) is to take a charter flight

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The town of Nuqui where you fly to is a bit of a dump, but you take a 45 minute boat from there to paradise

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Our bungalow for the week at El Cantil Lodge

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Our cozy accomodations

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The grounds of El Cantil Lodge

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Helping Yeyo of Paraisurf haul in our surf finder https://www.facebook.com/ParaisurfColombia

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The beach at El Cantil at low tide

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Walking the deserted beaches on the pacific coast

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That my friends is a VERY poisonous sea snake. Watch out

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Sunset Chocó, pacific coast Colombia

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Walks along the beach pacific coast (Chocó Colombia)

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The most refreshing beverage

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Our visit to the hot springs in the town of Termales

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Bats sleeping

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Hiking in the jungles behind the beaches

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Fresh water pools

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Jenine hiking and posing as we trek through the jungles

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El Cantil Lodge

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Beach at El Cantil

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Our friends and fellow guests on the beach

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Beaches - Colombian pacific coast

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There were small waves in front of the hotel, but the better breaks were found by boat

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Post-surf sunset

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After sunset pacific coast Colombia

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View from our cabana at El Cantil

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Trekking in the jungles

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The best showers

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Hikes to waterfalls are always worth it

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You just find a river and follow it!

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Grounds of El Cantil

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Jenine's yoga studio at El Cantil. She taught her first class here to a mom and her two awesome daughters from the Netherlands!

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The boys, playing in the mud

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Jenine has her mud boots on for this trek

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Dinner on the coast

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Pacific coast Colombia

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Our surf finder!

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The whales were all around us as we surfed

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My amazing surf guide Yeyo

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Cabo Corriente!

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Yeyo getting a fun ride at Cabo Corriente

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Surfing with whales! Suave la vida

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How's this for a pool with a view?

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Jenine walks along the untouched shores of the colombian pacific coast

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Sunset Chocó

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Our favorite hangout spot @ Piedra Piedra http://www.piedrapiedra.com/es/hotel-nuqui-colombia

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Pierda Pierda Hotel

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Headin back for dinner at El Cantil

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these guy are everywhere

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Crabbies!

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One of the other popular hotels Nautilus. Nautilus arranges the charter flights to the coast

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The deserted beaches of the coast

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There is high military presence in a lot of places in Colombia, but it was pretty odd to see them hiking around the deserted beaches of the Pacific.

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We did a wooden canoe tour up the river

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just canoeing up the rio

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Canoeing up the Rio Jovi. So beautiful and peaceful

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Our canoe guide working hard

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We parked the canoe to head to a waterfall

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more wonderful waterfall swimming time together

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We found a blue shrimp

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Canoeing

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Jenine in her favorite resting spot

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Sunset at Piedra Piedra Lodge

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Sunset in one of the most beautiful places on earth

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words can't describe this place

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You can jump from here at high tide, but I didnt...

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Good bye Nuqui

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Hello again Medellin

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Cruising down the rio

Posted in Colombia Tagged with: , , , ,
14 comments on “Falling in Love with the Remote Colombian Pacific Coast
  1. Günter says:

    You guys find the best places. ….beach bums extraordinaire!

  2. Jim Wasielewski says:

    Is that a Sea Snake on the beach that you two found?

    • Jenine says:

      Yes it is a Sea Snake! Pretty scary… found this while walking along the beach and when I showed one of the guides at the hotel he confirmed that it is quite deadly.

  3. Dan says:

    Wonderful post, I have loved your insight into Columbia seems like a place to spend some time in. Thanks again you guys Rock!

    Dan in Sacramento

  4. Amazing. When I was in Columbia I had planned to make to make it to this region. I never did. Thank you for making the effort. Kind of scary that this place is kind of the last of its kind. There were a lot of those places in the 80’s. The world is shrinking. Enjoy

  5. Karie says:

    oh shucks…we met a couple who used to live in manizales who told us to visit here. Now I so wish we had made the effort. Wonderful that you found such a special place.

  6. TimmR says:

    Amazing! You two have sold me on Colombia…don’t lose that itinerary!

  7. Meghan says:

    Fantastic post and pictures! Wish I was a student at Jenine’s first yoga class–I’m sure it was fantastic!

  8. Marek says:

    Thanks for this, very informative blog and nice pictures. Greetings from Slovakia 🙂

  9. Isaac says:

    I am planning to go to the Jovi coast this February. I heard that the guy who takes you to see the waterfall can take you to an indigenous village up that same river. Do you know anything about that? Do you have any contact information for that guide?
    Thanks
    Isaac

  10. Tory says:

    I feel saisfited after reading that one.

  11. Ella says:

    Thanks for being on point and on tatreg!