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How to Get to Nuquí from Bahía Solano: A Comprehensive Guide

Drone shot of Bahía Solano

Updated on 03/08/2024

Dear reader,
I would also like to recommend our Colombia travel guide, which provides a perfect overview of the tourist attractions in Colombia. Enjoy reading it!

Introduction to Bahía Solano and Nuquí

Nestled on the picturesque Pacific coast of Colombia, Bahía Solano serves as your gateway to the breathtaking Utría National Park. Bahía Solano, with a population of approximately 10,000 residents, is a vibrant coastal municipality located on the western coast of Colombia. It’s a place where the lush rainforest meets the Pacific Ocean, creating an ecosystem teeming with biodiversity.

Distance and Travel Time

To embark on this extraordinary journey, you’ll traverse these coastal marvels by small boat, encountering pristine landscapes and unforgettable experiences along the way. Allow me to guide you through this remarkable adventure.

  • The distance from Bahía Solano to Utría National Park is approximately 25 miles (40 kilometers) or about 24 nautical miles. The boat journey between these two points typically takes around 1 to 2 hours, offering picturesque views of the Pacific coastline.
  • Continuing further south from Utría National Park to Nuquí, you’ll cover an additional distance of approximately 15 miles (24 kilometers) or about 13 nautical miles by boat. This leg of the journey lasts roughly 1-2 hours, allowing you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the region.
  • For our European travelers, that’s approximately 40 kilometers from Bahía Solano to Utría National Park and an extra 24 kilometers from Utría National Park to Nuquí. The boat ride from Bahía Solano to Utría National Park takes around 1 to 2 hours, while the journey from Utría National Park to Nuquí is about 1-2 hours. Both segments offer breathtaking coastal scenery you won’t want to miss.

Getting to Utría National Park

To access Nuquí, I first needed to get to the Utría National Park. This protected natural reserve is a haven for biodiversity, featuring dense mangrove forests, diverse bird species, and the opportunity to witness humpback whales during their migratory season.

In the morning, I found a captain willing to take me on a journey to the national park. This boat ride also offered the opportunity for whale watching, as we sped through the ocean waters. The Chocó region, where Nuquí is located, is known for its tropical rainforest climate. Average temperatures typically range from 24°C to 31°C (75°F to 88°F) throughout the year, making it a perfect destination for nature enthusiasts.

Nuquí: An Introduction

Nuquí, with a population of around 6,000 residents, is a hidden gem along Colombia’s Pacific Coast. Nestled within the Chocó region, this coastal town is known for its untouched natural beauty. With an area of approximately 1,504 square miles (3,890 square kilometers), Nuquí offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. The region’s demographic makeup is diverse, with indigenous communities and Afro-Colombian populations contributing to its rich cultural tapestry.

While the experience was thrilling, I couldn’t help but notice the lack of information about the marine mammals. Drawing on my recent research, I shared my knowledge about the whales with my fellow travelers, many of whom were on vacation in Colombia.

Upon reaching a sandy beach with breathtaking views, the plan was to stay there for lunch. However, I had a different goal in mind—to find a boat that would take me farther south to Nuquí. Hours passed, and no boats heading south appeared on the horizon. I grew increasingly anxious, fearing that I might have to charter a private boat to Nuquí at a steep cost.

Thankfully, a last-minute option emerged, securing me a spot at the front of a boat. The captain wasted no time and sped off. Despite the heavy rain and rising waves, he seemed undeterred. However, sitting at the front, I felt the full force of the ocean’s fury, an experience unlike any other. Knowing that the journey would take around two hours, I braced myself for the rough ride. Fortunately, my rain jacket shielded me from the rain, but I was tossed around in the boat—a true adventure.

Arrival in Nuquí, Colombia

Upon arriving in Nuquí, I headed to my hotel, located about 15 minutes from the town center. The persistent rain didn’t bother me; I was already soaked to the bone. Luckily, the Pacific coast’s warm and humid climate made the situation bearable.

The Chocó region experiences a tropical rainforest climate, with significant rainfall throughout the year. This climate creates lush, vibrant landscapes and abundant biodiversity.

Upon reaching the hotel, I eagerly anticipated a shower, a cold beer, and dry clothes. After a satisfying meal, I called it an early night. The hotel room was one of the coziest I’ve ever stayed in, reminiscent of a hobbit hole.

The following morning, after a hearty breakfast, we embarked on a boat trip to Guachalito Beach. While the rest of the group went whale watching, I set out to explore various hotels in the area. Thankfully, the weather was sunny and inviting. Guachalito Beach, stretching approximately 1.8 miles (3 km), boasts about six hotels, most of which I had the pleasure of visiting. This paradise-like beach features warm, inviting waters and a serene atmosphere—truly a hidden gem.

Hotels in Nuquí

The hotels I explored offered a good standard of accommodation, but it’s essential to note that some do not have internet access or consistent power supply. Electricity is often limited to a few hours in the evening. However, these establishments prioritize their cuisine, serving incredibly delicious food. In fact, I found the food in Chocó to be the highlight of my Colombian travels.

During one hotel visit, I was guided by a young and strikingly beautiful lady who shared that she worked at the hotel for a month, assisting and translating for foreign guests on their Colombian vacations. Her usual occupation was teaching English and French in Medellín.

Regrettably, I had an appointment for lunch with the rest of the group, so I bid farewell to the hotel and the charming young lady. On the way back, I relished a barefoot walk along the deserted beach. Once again, I encountered hardly a soul, except for a few soldiers who were camping in the nearby woods. If I ever get married, I could envision spending part of my honeymoon in this captivating paradise.

Transportation Options to Nuquí

Apart from the route I took, it’s essential to know that there are alternative transportation options to Nuquí. Cargo ships occasionally travel from Buenaventura and back and make a stopover in Nuquí, although this service operates on specific days. Keep this option in mind if you prefer a more unconventional journey.

For those who are more adventurous, it’s worth noting that hiking to Nuquí is not feasible due to the dense rainforest and the lack of roads. The natural beauty of the Chocó region is a pristine wilderness that remains untouched by human development. Also, the presence of armed groups in the region is a no-go.

If you’re looking for a faster way to reach Nuquí, flying is an option. However, this typically involves flying back to Medellín or Quibdó first before making the onward journey to Nuquí. Alternatively, you can charter a private plane for a more direct route.

Nuquí is not only an excellent destination for whale watching but also offers an unforgettable experience on the Pacific Coast.

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About Author



Hello! I'm Frank Spitzer, the founder and the heart behind Pelecanus, a specialized tour operator for Colombia travel. My journey in travel is vast and rich – I've explored over 60 countries, absorbing cultures, experiences, and stories along the way. Since 2017, I've been channeling this wealth of global experience into creating unforgettable travel experiences in Colombia. I'm recognized as a leading authority in Colombian tourism, with a deep-seated passion for sharing this beautiful country with the world. You can catch glimpses of my travel adventures and insights around Colombia on my YouTube channel. I'm also active on social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, where I share the vibrant culture and stunning landscapes of Colombia. For professional networking, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. Join me on this incredible journey, and let's explore the wonders of Colombia together!

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