Getty Images/iStockphoto

Capurganá & Sapzurro

Colombia ends its desert-to-jungle Caribbean coastline with a flourish: the idyllic, laid-back villages of Capurganá and Sapzurro, and their surrounding beaches, are hidden in a corner of Colombia's northwest, just a stroll from the Panamanian border. Hemmed in by jungle-covered mountains and washed by fabulously azure waters, the villages are full of colorful quirks. Cars are banned, electricity gets turned off almost daily and ATMs remain a distant urban rumor.

Part of the adventure is just getting here: both villages are only accessible by a choppy 1½- to 2½-hour boat ride from Turbo or Necoclí, or by a tiny plane from Medellín. Consequently, the beaches remain pleasantly unkempt and the jungle deliciously impenetrable. While in-the-know Colombians and a trickle of foreign backpackers might visit the area, the vibe is still decidedly casual, unhurried and locally led.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Capurganá & Sapzurro.