The most common way to get to Capurgana or Sapzurro is to catch a boat from Turbo. This is definitely not the best way to get there however, as we will explain shortly. The boat is first come first serve and leaves at 7am. It is 60,000COP per person. There will be people selling garbage bags for 1,000COP to put your bags in to keep them dry. The boat ride will hopefully take 2.5 hours and it’s a rough ride. The waves get quite big in the Gulfo de Uraba and will smash you around pretty good. We heard the ride can take up to 4 hours and involve bailing water out of the boat.
A better option would be to take the Catamaran from Turbo. We didn’t know about this option until we arrived in Capurgana, but the Catamaran is larger and newer (safer) than the other boats that make the trip. It costs 70,000COP and takes longer, but you have a much better chance for survival.
The best option to get to Capurgana in our opinion is to skip Turbo all together and leave from the small town of Necocli about an hour away. Necocli is a nicer town than Turbo, with a white sand beach and good swimming. The boat from here is a bit bigger than the ones from Turbo and only takes 1 hour 15 minutes. It costs the same (60,000COP) but the ride is much shorter and the waves are more manageable coming from this direction.
There are at least 20 places to stay in Capurgana and offer all levels of comfort from hang your own hammock to luxury resort. The boat will get you to Capurgana mid-morning and the town is small, so it’s easy to walk around and check out a few places. There’s no need to book in advance, with the exception possibly being for New Years or Easter.
Eating and Drinking:
There are more than a dozen restaurants around town, although we didn’t find any to be exceptional. The prices are reasonable with good seafood options. Don’t expect to find any fancy bars in Capurgana. Here, the nightlife ranges from beers on the bleachers of the central square, to Aguardiente at a table at one of the many shops around town. There is one bar with an ideal location out over the water at the end of the main beach. Of course a cold beer on the beach is never a bad option.
Things To Do:
Capurgana is a popular place for diving and has 2 or 3 dive schools around town. The Gulfo de Uraba is supposed to have excellent fishing as well and it should be no problem to find a boat captain to take you out if the weather cooperates. Don’t miss walking the trail to Sapzurro, and also consider staying there as an option. Past Sapzurro there is a beach called La Miel, which is technically in Panama. You can walk there, just bring your passport. It is suppose to be the nicest beach in the area. The walk to El Cielo is also a nice way to spend a morning or afternoon; while the natural pool is refreshing the waterfall is best described as “cute” (they do have a restaurant here if you go in the morning and want to stay in the jungle for lunch).