Last updated on July 21st, 2023 at 11:36 am
My name is Frank and I run a travel agency in Bogota, Colombia. Have fun while reading!
At the end of this guide you will find a list of many other helpful Colombia travel guides.
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Why visit Buenaventura?
Buenaventura is a port city on Colombia’s Pacific coast that offers its visitors a wide variety of tourist attractions. These include the beaches, the mangroves and wetlands that are home to a rich biodiversity, the seafood-based gastronomy and the Afro-Colombian culture expressed through music, dance and handicrafts.
Buenaventura is an ideal destination for travelers looking for direct contact with nature, adventure and cultural diversity. It is also a place with a history of resistance and social struggle that has managed to overcome difficulties and show its beauty and potential. I personally like visiting Buenaventura because I always feel welcomed by the friendly and happy people there.
Facts about Buenaventura
Buenaventura is a city on the Pacific coast of Colombia, in the Valle del Cauca department. With around 400,000 inhabitants, it is the country’s most important port city and its main economic sectors are trade and transport. Shipping, logistics and warehousing are some of the main industries in the region.
Buenaventura has a tropical rainforest climate with an average temperature of 27° C (81° F). Founded on July 14, 1540, the city has a rich cultural heritage that reflects its history as an important port city. Although Buenaventura is a relatively large city, it is not the capital of the department of Valle del Cauca, but Cali.
Besides being an important commercial center, Buenaventura is also known for its beautiful beaches and rich natural environment. The city is also home to a variety of seafood restaurants serving fresh fish and other seafood delights caught by local fishermen.
In addition to fishing and tourism, agriculture is also an important industry in the region. The Buenaventura region is known for growing a variety of crops, including bananas, rice and sugar cane. However, the city’s economy depends heavily on the port, which handles a large portion of Colombia’s exports and imports.
Tourist sights and activities in Buenaventura
Here are tourist attractions and activities not to be missed:
Uramba Bahía Málaga National Natural Park
This park protects one of the most biodiverse bays in the world where you can see humpback whales, dolphins, turtles and seabirds. It also offers spectacular landscapes of mangroves, beaches and jungle. You can take a boat tour from Buenaventura or stay at one of the eco-hotels in the area.
The island of Cascajal
This island is a historical and cultural treasure. Located in Buenaventura Bay, it is the seat of the main port and commercial activities of the municipality. The island is 3 km (1.8 miles) long and 1 km (0.6 miles) wide, with an average height of 5 m above sea level. It is connected to the mainland by the El Piñal Bridge, which crosses the estuary that separates the island.
Park Nestor Urbano Tenorio
This park is the green lung of Buenaventura and is an ideal place to relax and enjoy nature. It has ecological trails, picnic areas and children’s playgrounds.
La Bocana Beach
This beach is about 40 minutes by boat from Buenaventura. It is an ideal place to relax in the sun and enjoy the scenery. You can also visit the La Sierpe waterfall, which is located near the beach and can be reached by small boat.
Best time to visit Buenaventura
The best time to visit Buenaventura is between December and March when the weather is drier and sunnier. These months also host the region’s traditional festivals, such as the Carnaval de Negros y Blancos and the Petronio Álvarez Pacific Music Festival.
Events in Buenaventura
Buenaventura is a city that offers a multitude of cultural, gastronomic and ecological events throughout the year. Some of the most important are:
Pacific Jazz Festival, Music of the World.
A space for the encounter of old music cultures around jazz, which takes place in November in the Bulevar de Buenaventura. Various local and national bands take part in this festival.
Viche Festival in Triana
A tribute to the typical artisanal drink of the Colombian Pacific, made with sugar cane, also celebrated in November in the village of Triana. In addition to the Viche, you can also taste other variations such as the Arrechón, the Tumbacatre, the Tomaseca and the Vinete, as well as the exquisite typical dishes of the region.
Marimba and Beach Folk Festival
An event that combines folk music, dance and gastronomy on the beaches of Juanchaco and Ladrilleros. It takes place in October and is organized by Fundancestral and Caliventura.
Festival in honor of the patron saint of San Buenaventura
A festival in honor of the patron saint of the municipality, held in July. Activities include horseback riding, horse racing, dances, games and food. The Eucharist, the novena and the procession with the patron saint.
A unique and unforgettable experience to enjoy between July and October in Bahía Málaga, one of the most privileged places to observe these majestic animals. There are various options for this tour, from one-day excursions to multi-day packages with accommodation.
Nightlife in Buenaventura
Love to party and have fun? Then you shouldn’t miss the best nightspots in Buenaventura, a city that offers you a multitude of opportunities to dance, drink and have fun.
Kristal CLub nightclub
If you want to enjoy the best crossover music, you’ve come to the right place. Here you can dance until dawn with the best DJs and guest artists. There is also a VIP area, a well stocked bar and a safe and friendly atmosphere.
This is a bar and lounge where you can enjoy a variety of drinks, music and atmosphere. It is an ideal place to unwind after a day of work or to celebrate a special occasion with friends. Zone K Buenaventura offers quality service and a menu with options to suit all tastes.
Eat in Buenaventura
Buenaventura is a city of great gastronomic diversity, offering options for all tastes and budgets. If you want to know the best places to eat in Buenaventura, here are some recommendations:
If you want to taste the traditional dishes of the region, you should not miss the Buenaventura market, where you will find a variety of dishes such as fish stew, crab encocado, rice atollado, cebiche and patacon.
If you’re looking for something quick and cheap, you can opt for the hamburgers, salchipapas, empanadas and stuffed arepas sold at street stalls or at fast food joints like El Corral.
If you prefer a more formal atmosphere and more choice, you can choose from the chain restaurants that exist in Buenaventura. Some of them are Kokoriko and Wok.
Where to stay in Buenaventura?
Here are some recommendations for your stay in Buenaventura:
Hotel Tequendama Inn Estacion
Calle 2 # 1A-08
Rooms at Hotel Tequendama Inn Estación have flat-screen cable TVs and free Wi-Fi. All rooms have a desk and a private bathroom with a hairdryer.
Surf house freestyle
Ladrilleros Beach Natural Park Uramba Bay Malaga Bay
Surf House Estilo Libre has a garden and offers accommodation with a shared lounge and a bar. The property has a Latin American restaurant.
How to get to Buenaventura
There are several transportation options for travelers who wish to arrive from Bogotá or other major cities near Buenaventura.
One of the most convenient ways to travel to Buenaventura is by plane. The nearest airport is Buenaventura Airport (BUN), located on the outskirts of town.
However, only one airline currently offers direct flights to Buenaventura from Bogotá. Satena offers flights to Buenaventura. The flight time is usually one to two hours, with flights not departing every day.
The airlines that offer connections are as follows:
You can also take the bus from Bogotá to Buenaventura, takes about 8-9 hours.
The easiest way to buy tickets is via Pinbus.
The journey by car takes about 8-10 hours.
The following companies rent cars in Colombia:
How to get around Buenaventura?
Once in Buenaventura, you can explore the city by taxi, motorbike or city bus. Taxis are a convenient and safe option, but you should agree on the price before getting in. Motorbikes are cheaper and faster, but also riskier. City buses are the cheapest but have a limited schedule and don’t go everywhere.
If you want to visit the beaches and islands near Buenaventura, such as Juanchaco, Ladrilleros, La Bocana or Isla Palma, you should use a boat from the tourist pier. The price and duration of the trip depend on the destination and the time of year. The drive to Juanchaco, for example, takes about 40 minutes and costs about 30,000 pesos (US$6) per person (round trip). We recommend reserving your spot in advance and bringing sunscreen, a hat and life jacket.
Colombia Travel Guides
Here you will find travel guides for the most popular regions in Colombia, which we have put together during our extensive travels around the country.
- Colombia Travel Guide
- Bogota Travel Guide
- Medellin Travel Guide
- Santa Marta Travel Guide
- Cartagena Travel Guide
- La Guajira Travel Guide
- Llanos Travel Guide
- Providencia Travel Guide
- Coffee Triangle Travel Guide
- Amazonas Travel Guide
- Choco Travel Guide
- Santander Travel Guide
- Boyaca Travel Guide
- Villa de Leyva Travel Guide
- San Andres Island Travel Guide
- Tayrona Park Travel Guide
- Palomino Travel Guide
- Cali Travel Guide
- Heritage Towns Colombia Travel Guide
- 7 Wonders of Colombia
- Chicamocha Canyon Travel Guide
- Colombia Golf Travel Guide
- Colombia Museums Guide
Travel Guides to Colombia’s Small Towns
Here you will find travel guides for less popular destinations in Colombia. Some of these destinations are even real insider tips and not even known to the Colombians as travel destinations.
- Monteria Colombia Travel Guide
- Magangue Colombia Travel Guide
- Turbo Colombia Travel Guide
- Arauca Colombia Travel Guide
- San José del Guaviare Colombia Travel Guide
- Pasto Colombia Travel Guide
- Tunja Colombia Travel Guide
- Armenia Colombia Travel Guide
- Villavicencio Colombia Travel Guide
- Ibague Colombia Travel Guide
- Quibdo Colombia Travel Guide
- Manizales Colombia Travel Guide
- Yopal Colombia Travel Guide
- Popayan Colombia Travel Guide
- Barranquilla Colombia Travel Guide
- Barrancabermeja Colombia Travel Guide
- Valledupar Colombia Travel Guide
- Sincelejo Colombia Travel Guide
- Tulua Colombia Travel Guide
- Tumaco Colombia Travel Guide
- Palmira Colombia Travel Guide
- Neiva Colombia Travel Guide
- Buenaventura Colombia Travel Guide
- Ipiales Colombia Travel Guide
- Mitu Colombia Travel Guide
- Mocoa Colombia Travel Guide
- Puerto Carreno Colombia Travel Guide
- Puerto Asis Colombia Travel Guide
- Cucuta Colombia Travel Guide
- Pereira Colombia Travel Guide
- Bucaramanga Colombia Travel Guide
- Riohacha Colombia Travel Guide
- Florencia Colombia Travel Guide
- El Carmen de Bolivar Colombia Travel Guide
- Aguachica Colombia Travel Guide
- Sogamoso Colombia Travel Guide
- Inirida Colombia Travel Guide
- Caucasia Colombia Travel Guide