Fiona and Greg Latin America Adventure travel blog

View of Sapzurro Bay

Sapzurro Bay

Sapzurro Bay

Sapzurro town

Greg walking the 'streets' of Sapzurro

Sunset over Sapzurro Bay

With Marta at her 'supermarket'

Our home for the week

Our hammock space

With Alberto (el Chileano)

Greg at the Colombia/Panama border

Walking through the jungle

Walking through the jungle

Capuganá discoteca ... this place would go off!!

No cars in these villages

Our plane back to civilisation

It's funny how sometimes things work out. If our sailing trip had gone as planned we would never have discovered Sapzurro, in the Darien Gap on the border with Panama. A picture perfect little Colombian fishing village of 500 people located in a small sheltered bay with a coral reef only 10 metres from the beach. The thick Darien jungle in the surrounding hills came right down to the sandy beaches. Plus we got to meet some real characters, including the guy we stayed with Alberto (el Chileno).

We arrived late on the Sunday night and avoided contact with the ever present machine-gun and machete-wielding army officers who would have wanted to see our passports (we got exit stamps from Colombia when we left Cartagena). The following day we went by boat to Puerto Obaldia on the Panamanian side of the border to get visas for Panama and re-entry stamps for Colombia, however it was a national holiday so everything (including immigration) was closed. We did manage to find someone who agreed to handwrite our names on the list for the next available flight to Panama City on the following Sunday so the trip wasn't a complete waste. We said farewell to Alexis, Johnny and Luke who decided to try to catch another boat up the coast to San Blas and then we headed back to Sapzurro for the week. The fact we were there illegally added a fair amount of tension to what was otherwise a very enjoyable time. It was also a little stressful not having any money. We'd only planned for a couple of days in San Blas and now we had to make the money stretch 7 days (the closest bank was in Medellin around 12 hours and $100 in boats and buses away!).

So basically we spent the week swinging in hammocks, snorkelling around the reef, and also making a couple of hikes through the thick jungle to the nearby towns of Capugana and La Miel (stupidly forgetting that the latter beach was in Panama and we would be asked for our passport numbers). A very chilled and relaxing week. We left the village with a local fisherman early on the Sunday morning from a beach away from the eyes of the army and made it without any problems into Panama. The reception we received in Panama City wasn't so pleasant though with thorough immigration, customs and police checks and searches that took over 2 hours. Apparently any planes arriving from Colombia get the star treatment.

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