The El Chocó region on Colombia’s Pacific Coast is a remote area full of thick jungles, gorgeous waterfalls, and isolated villages full of Afro-Caribbean culture. To access El Chocó, most visitors fly from Bogotá to Gerardo Tobar Lopez Airport (BUN), which lies about half an hour away from Buenaventura. There are also flights from Medellín to this region that arrive in under an hour.
There is one road that runs from Cali to Buenaventura—the only way to venture further north from here is by traveling up the coast in small boats that visit local villages.
You need at least a week or more to explore this area due to its remoteness. Consider this 7-day itinerary—highlights include visits to stunning waterfalls, relaxing in the thermal pools, and an unforgettable canoe trip to local villages for a truly authentic cooking experience.
Duration: 1.5-hour flight
There is one direct flight route from El Dorado International Airport (BOG) to Gerardo Tobar Lopez (BUN), a small airport about 30 minutes away from Buenaventura. The flight is serviced by SATENA Airlines, a domestic Colombian budget airline. It takes about an hour and a half to reach BUN on this route.
There are also buses that go directly from Bogotá that leave in the early morning and early evening for Buenaventura. This journey can take up to 17 hours and is not recommended.
Duration: 1-hour flight
El Chocó is usually reached by flights from Medellín to two airports: José Celestino Mutis Airport (BSC) in Bahía Solano and El Caraño Airport (UIB) in Quibdó. From Medellín’s Olaya Herrera (EOH), Satena Airlines has direct flights from Medellín to both Bahía Solano and Quibdó that arrive in under an hour. José María Córdova (MDE) has no direct routes to the Pacific Coast.
Both Pacific Coast airports are small and rather remote, but finding taxis outside is not a problem to continue on to your accommodation.
Duration: 2 to 3 hours by road
From Cali, the easiest way to get to the Pacific Coast is by private transfer or bus to the city of Buenaventura. There are frequent buses to and from Cali. It usually takes 2 to 3 hours by bus to reach the Buenaventura.
You can also take a taxi or do self-driving for most major cities, but both options are not recommended. The journey takes a surprisingly long time, thanks to the difficult, bumpy roads. Due to the isolated area, some roads are essentially undrivable, making it super difficult for vehicles to negotiate. There are no flights from Cali to Buenaventura.
The bus station in Buenaventura is close to the city center and taxis/moto-taxis are readily available to your accommodation or to the Muelle Turístico so you can take a boat to up the coast to your next destination.