Discover exuberance in nature

If you enjoy the untouched purity and beauty of the natural world, Chocó is, without a doubt, the right destination for you.

Chocó is a unique department for multiple reasons; no other department shares a border with Panama, has as much African heritage, or touches two oceans—both the Pacific and the Caribbean.

These unique factors make Chocó a blend of rich forests, beautiful rivers, and magnificent beaches, which are currently a resounding success with both Colombian and foreign tourists.
Another aspect of Chocó that will leave you charmed is the department's musical folklore, which has African roots and employs drums to create frenetic rhythms that, even today, are enjoyed and danced to in the area, such as chirimía.

House in Chocó Colombia
Photo: Courtesy ProColombia

What is there to do in Chocó?

The Darién forest that merges with the beach and reaches out to the sea is the backdrop for many of the experiences you can have in Chocó, a department that offers you innumerable natural and cultural tourist attractions.

Among the primary places of interest, Cascada Sal de Frutas in Tutunendo and the Utría, Katíos, and Tatama national parks are particularly noteworthy.

There are also unspoiled forests and beaches in Chocó where you can admire the endless tropical biodiversity.

The department also has municipalities of great interest for tourists. Quibdo, the department's capital, embodies the magic of the Colombian Pacific. The city, located on the banks of the Atrato River, has a boardwalk where you can enjoy magnificent sunsets. From Quibdo, you can also board small boats that will take you to nearby communities where you can enjoy local food and dance to the tones of a marimba.

Sapzurro, another interesting municipality, is a true paradise on earth with beautiful beaches, trails, waterfalls, and hot springs.

Nuquí is another traditional Chocoano town surrounded by scenic beaches framed by the rainforest. In the area, there are comfortable cabins facing the water that offer incomparable views.

Capurganá, a destination perfect for relaxation and getting in touch with nature, is also worth visiting. The main appeal of Capurganá is that it lets you forget about the everyday hustle and bustle of urban life, as there are no cars or motorcycles. The only methods of transportation are bicycles and boats.

Keep in mind that the department of Chocó is hemmed in on many sides by sea and ocean and traversed by multiple rivers, so much of the cuisine is centered around different types of fish, which are a real delicacy when accompanied by other local dishes such as sopa de queso (cheese soup), arroz clavado (a type of seasoned rice with sausage), borojó jam, postre de birimbí (a dessert made using corn), sancocho de mulata paseadora (a soup made of meats, tubers, vegetables, and different seasonings), and others.

Raft on the Pacific shore in Chocó Colombia
Photo: Courtesy ProColombia


Unique experiences

Watching humpback whales swim through the Pacific Ocean is yet another of the undoubtedly unforgettable experiences you can have while visiting Chocó.

Humpback whales can be seen between the months of July and October in Bahía Solano, one of the most frequently visited tourist destinations in Colombia, where forests, coral, mangroves, and diverse animal life come together to offer you an unforgettable experience in nature.
 
Humpback whales travel here over 5,000 miles from the Antarctic to give birth in the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean.

September 20th marks the start of Quibdó’s celebration of its patron saint, San Francisco de Asís, or “San Pacho,” as he is affectionately called by the locals.

The San Pacho Festival, named a World Heritage Event by UNESCO in 2012, will awe you with its colorful, rhythmic, joyful celebrations.

 
Activities you won't want to miss out on

In Chocó’s different municipalities, you can enjoy countless activities such as recreational fishing, ecological hikes, bike tours, scuba diving, and bird and turtle watching, which are particularly enjoyable in such a unique place as this.

The area is also perfect for adventure tourism. Water sports like water skiing, surfing, and kayaking are all available.

You can also enjoy scenic natural hot springs thanks to the heat generated by the department’s volcanic activity.

And, if you want to end your trip with a party, Chocó has a wild night life, with bars and clubs that have the best beats this side of the Pacific.

Houses and trees in Chocó Colombia
Photo: Courtesy ProColombia


Recommendations

 

  • The average temperature in Chocó is 80.6 °F, so pack for warm weather.
  • We also recommend that you travel with small bags, since the flight connections out of Quibdó usually only allow 10 kg (roughly 22 lbs) of luggage maximum.
  • We would also advise that you bring enough money (in cash) because ATMs aren’t always easy to find.
  • Finally, keep in mind that the Department of Health recommends that you get vaccinated for yellow fever before travelling through the Chocoano municipalities of Carmen del Darién, Juradó, Acandí, Riosucio, and Unguía.

With this advice, you’ll be able to enjoy the beautiful nature and rhythm of the Colombian Pacific in Chocó, a real gem of a department. What are you waiting for? Come discover this unique destination!

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