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Buenaventura, Colombia - Beaches & Port City On The Pacific Coast

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Map location: Buenaventura, Colombia
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Colombia travel blog by Mark Berman - May 2018   » View Photoset (46 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for over 12yrs!
Should you go to Buenaventura? Really, it depends if you want to or not, depends if your father asks you if you have been to the Pacific coast of Colombia and your answer is no, so I came here. I knew Buenaventura was a place 'your not supposed to go, not really a tourist destination, dangerous etc', but this makes it a little more intriguing in some ways. Buenaventura is actually starting to become a tourist destination with its boat excursions northward to nearby beaches. From Cali traveling by bus firstly on Route 19, then onto Route 40 which is probably the best road I've traveled in Colombia with 2 lanes on each side and an amazing series of tunnels cutting through the rocky mountains, the journey from Cali to Buenaventura takes 2hrs 30mins.

Seaside Park & Lighthouse

The center of Buenaventura has many hotels that cater to all price ranges. The central city streets are not so attractive, best thing to do is head down to the park (Parque Nestor Urbano Tenorio) with the lighthouse beside the sea. This is a new development that is helping Buenaventura become safer, more attractive and more tourist orientated. Take the circular stairway up to the top of the lighthouse 'El Faro' for awesome views of the city, coast and sea. The park has playgrounds for kids and sports facilities for young people to enjoy, it's mainly concrete but has some grassy areas. There's a few historical buildings of interest in town but not much, they are around the cathedral 2 blocks up from the park.

Boat To Juanchaco Beach

In reality what you want to do in Buenaventura is go to the tourist wharf at the side of the big seaside park and take a boat excursion to one of the beaches nearby. You can go for a daytrip or you can stay the night. I chose to go to Juanchaco beach, 1hr by sea northward of Buenaventura. From Juanchaco you can walk to other beaches, the most popular being Ladrilleros and La Barra. Juanchaco has the main wharf for boats arriving and leaving. Ladrilleros is around 2kms walk northward from here and La Barra is around 3kms walk northward from Ladrilleros. All 3 beaches have accommodation options but La Barra has less because of its more remote location. I wandered around Juanchaco for a couple of hours, it wasn't a fantastic day, it didn't look like a fantastic beach, the village is quite ramshackle and there was really nobody around at all. I suspect Ladrilleros is a better beach but, really why come here to go to these beaches? Maybe you want absolute peace, quiet and solitude? Frankly I'd rather go to the beaches on the hot and sweaty north coast of Colombia where there are plenty of babes and lots of fun to be had. Or even better, the beaches on the north-east coast of Brazil, that will rock your boat!

Coastal Resort Hotels

Between Buenaventura and Juanchaco along the coast are a few resort hotels including Hotel La Bocana with a pool, cabins, rooms and restaurant and Hotel Maguipi for sea recreation and ecotourism. Between July and November, whale watching tours are also available from Buenaventura! While traveling up and down this coastline you'll see local fishermen pulling in their nets and boats transporting goods. You may also see paramilitary soldiers dressed in camouflage guarding tourist areas with machine guns.

Bus To Buga

From Buenaventura bus terminal I travelled inland on Route 40 to Buga, 2hrs 30mins.


View all photos in the Buenaventura Photoset

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My Hostel & Hotel Reviews for Buenaventura, Colombia:

Hotel Cordillera, Buenaventura, Colombia - Large Photo
Hotel Cordillera, Buenaventura, Colombia (May 2018 - 1 night) - A spectacular room on the top 9th floor at the spectacular price of $40000 pesos (cheaper than normal). Fantastic views of the city from the patio outside the room. Private bathroom, great bed, tv, wifi and breakfast included. Probably the best hotel in Buenaventura. Recommended.

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Buenaventura, Colombia - Beaches & Port City On The Pacific Coast. Buenaventura located on the Pacific coast of Colombia has a few beaches north of the city. You can take a boat excursion there. The city itself is not really a tourist destination.