We decided to go to Capurgana. Worst decision ever. We saw the pictures of the hotel and it looked very nice with a spanish flavor. Our room was very close to the discoteque, that was open until 3.00 am. Of course, we couldn´t sleep. We asked a change of room but they said the hotel was full. The food was awful, we even got sick. We ended up eating some place else downtown. The hotel manager was a very rude woman.
Don´t get me wrong, our experience with the hotel was awful, but I did enjoy Capurgana. The locals were really nice and friendly. You can find a lot of interesting food, funny hippies, lobster a good price and gorgeous beaches such as Playa blanca.
July 2009 trip report - this hotel is situated north of the main pier on a small stretch of beach - very nice beach. This beach is protected by a reef - hence waves are minimal - beach shoes are not really required - you only need to wander out about 10 feet with a mask and snorkel and plenty of fish abound - best spot for snorkeling is on the north end of the beach. Note that any hotels south of the pier would not have such a pleasant sandy beach - all gravel down there (however 10 yards offshore you would encounter sand).
The staff at this hotel is awesome - by far my best all-inclusive experience in Colombia (compared to San Andres, Cartagena and Santa Marta chains). The "restaurant" moves each evening - they may setup dinner on the beach, by the pool, or in the courtyard - great food and themes. Breakfast, two snack periods, and lunch are also included. I gained 5 pounds in a 4 night stay - loved the food:)
Accommodations are nice but pretty basic - this is one of the nicer hotels in Capurgana but you need to keep that in perspective - there is no hot water nor television in the rooms. Our 1st floor room was more that adequate with 3 beds, balcony, and nice view. It appeared that most guests tried to get a 2nd floor room - I saw no need for that. The room comes equipped with a minibar that is restocked each morning - beer, cola, water. You will not be spending much time in the room however. About 25% of the guests were return visitors - you will know most everyone staying at the hotel by the time you leave - very friendly atmosphere.
This hotel offers tours each day - many of which run from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm. Although these appeared decent - I opted to roll my own tours with locals so we were not bound by that time schedule. You can rent horses for about $15 bucks a day and go most anywhere - in particular the private reserve "El Cielo". That is a good morning side-trip, I'm glad we went on horseback (I wouldn't want to walk that path - too muddy). The path there follows commences at the "airport" - there is only one such path out of town - hence no real need for a guide (well marked trail and you can get a "taxi" to take you up for most of the way if you're lazy). I also rented a small boat w/guide for about $70 (7 people - 5 hours) - we went north to El Miel in Panama, passing Sapzurro (overated). This was kind of neat to do once - however when I return to Capurgana I will probably stay put at the beach right in front of the hotel - it's fine.
Pool is good - the bar is excellent - this is where you will get all beverages as part of the all-inclusive package - they do not have waiter service outside of the main meals. There is no room service nor telephone in the room. I was never hounded for tips - but I did tip well upon departure. There are no hagglers on the beach - and the entire area is patrolled by Colombian military - you will notice their presence - very safe.
The grounds are fantastic and include a large palapa with hammocks and TV w/cable - I found no conflicts with other guests to utilize the TV - The kids also loved the game room which had a pool table and ping pong table. There was also another palapa for relaxing which contained only hammocks.
We arrived via small plane from Cali (via Medellin), some guests arrived via boat from Turbo (that looked like a whip - the Ocean is rough). This is a neat place to visit to get away from it all (there are no cars/roads here).
It's a very charming and nice family-ran business ... a nice restaurant in the front, with beautiful cabañas around the area (from $10.000 the night) and small square places to tend your tent or hammock ($5.000 the night, or $7.000 if you use their tents).
This a tacky arab looking place. We were switched 4 times in three days, but finally we found a good room.
The first was temporary because they did not have our room reday at our arrival. The second had a extremely hard matress, so we did not sleep. The third had the air conditioned on my face-- agin no sleep. The fourth was OK.
The rooms are OK, not luxurious; but the prices are too high(for Colombian standars). Rooms have no TV, no internet, an empty minibar, no hot water (but this is unfortunatelly too common in lowland hotels in Colombia).
The rooms are kind of run down, with paint peeling off. (well not all, only 3 out of the four we saw).
They sell yuo a plan with breakfast and dinner included, but they don't warn you that food is not a la carte, so you are stuck with what they give you. The food, however, was good, except one day that day served, as they called it, "gulás" (gulash for the look of it).
Thay give you tours to the Heaven and to the panama border. Nice, were it not for the boasful guide, that constantly makes noise with a whistle.
Another annoying point: they play loud vallenato music some times by the swimming pool and at the beach so it is hard to get some rest (although at times they used other music and was even enjoyable) .
At the beach (surprisingly, not all Capurganá hotels have beach front).
Run down rooms.
Noisy vallenato almost at all times.
Graet web page (better then the hotel itself)
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