Chocó

Undoubtedly one of the rainiest and most bio-diverse locations on the planet the Pacific coast of Colombia's Chocó region is overlooked and under-visited. Fearing the very real yet ubiquitous tales of kidnapping and guerrilla activity in this region, tourists understandably are quick to avoid coming this far west into Colombia - but with a little research and some good faith there are parts of the Pacific Chocó that are not completely out of bounds. For the most part it is recommended that you check in with the local authorities to find out what might be going on here before taking the plunge.

Stretching like a ribbon for 400 km between the Cordillera Occidental and the Pacific coast, from Panama to Valle del Cauca, Chocó is one of Colombia's least-developed and most beautiful departments. In the northern three-quarters of the department, the mountain ranges of the Serranía de Los Saltos and Serranía del Baudó rise directly from the ocean to reach a height of about 500 m. The scenery of pristine rainforest descending the mountain slopes to the sea is spectacular.

Ins and outs

The easiest and most convenient way to get out to the coast is to fly from Medellín or Bogotá via Quibdó to either Nuquí or Bahía Solano.
Satena
, www.satena.com, and
Aires
, www.aires.com.co both cover the routes. You can travel overland from Medellín with
Rápido Ochoa
but the road is currently unpaved, perilous and runs through the heart of the conflict.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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