Off the Beaten Path: Bahai Solano, Colombia

I love experiencing places that are off the typical tourist trail so when a friend of mine asked “hey, want to spend a weekend in the middle of no-where in Colombia?” My answer was a resounding “YES!!”

Off the beaten path Colombia

All I knew going in, was that we were taking a small plane to somewhere on the Pacific coast in Colombia. Flights were cheap and quick. Under $100 and about 40 minutes each way.

Day 1 – Getting There

8 of us boarded this 21-seater plane full of excitement. This is the second smallest commercial plane I’ve ever flown.

The flight was exhilarating with some mild turbulance. With the dense jungle below, and clear skies surrounding us I couldn’t keep my face away from the tiny windows.

Our first impression of Bahai Solano was the tiny airport where we arrived. Little more than a pop-up structure, the airport was bursting with activity since there are only two flights into/out of Bahai Solano to Medellin daily and both are scheduled within an hour of one another.

Off the beaten path colombia
Photo Credit: https://steemit.com/travel/@kadavy/a-whale-watching-trip-to-colombia-s-choco-region-photos-and-videos?sort=new

After we gathered our bags, we hopped on the van that was waiting to take us to the boat launch. It was a bumpy ride to the boat launch once we veered off of the one main road – slightly paved – onto the road to the piers which was full of big holes and mud. I can’t explain how I felt at this moment…all I can say is that I was certainly in my ‘happy place’ as we hung out at the pier awaiting our boat to load our bags and prepare for launch. There is a small little restaurant (?)/bar here and there were locals hanging out and children playing in the murky/muddy waters by the boats.

Two children jumped on our boat and our guide Juan explained that the little boy was a family member to one of the staff that lives at the resort. “The little girl?”, I asked. Juan smiled and stated “I don’t know” with a wry smile on his face. Afterward, he asked the boy and it was determined that the girl was also a family member…a cousin?

Life. Simple. Uncomplicated.

It was a short 15-20 min boat ride across the bay to Mapara Lodge where we waded to shore and were shown our bungalows.

After settling in, we ate (some of the best fish I’ve ever eaten!), swam, and just spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing, getting to know one another, and lounging oceanside for a beautiful sunset. (I didn’t mention before, but I only knew one of the group – the rest – strangers soon to be friends).

We were extremely lucky with the weather. Being the ‘rainy’ season we knew that it was quite likely that it would rain everyday…and it did. The lucky part is that it only rained for short bursts and the rain gods must have been with us because not once did the rain interfere with our experiences.

Day 2 – Waterfalls and Concussions

Today it’s waterfalls! We geared up with the provided rubber boots, took the obligatory group photo and headed out. A 20 min boat, then an easy 20 min sloshy walk through the muddy trail. Beer and waterfalls abounded!!

IMG_20181124_112427

It was a paradise and reminded me a bit of Bridal Veil Falls in the PNW. the difference being that we were able to get in the water and enjoy swimming under the falls. Midway through our swim, it began raining. No worries though…we were already wet!

At one point some of the group were climbing and jumping into the shallow waters and I was a nervous wreck! That wasn’t the danger though….the danger was from me.

I went up to the shore to grab another beer and tossed out a few to the others. I’ve never been good at sports but my throws were on point! I guess I got a little too confident because the third beer slipped from my hand early and ended up veering straight toward two of the group that weren’t prepared for flying beers coming their way. One was able to duck and miss the impact but unfortunately, it landed right atop the head of the other. I won’t recount the next few minutes…I felt horrible and it was a bit stressful as it impacted pretty hard…

Mild concussions aside, the waterfall was a great hike and highly recommended…just no throwing beers!!

Day 3 – Relaxation

Our final day was spent putting together a puzzle (which we never finished), drinking aguardiente – (I personally can’t stand this stuff – it tastes like anise – so I stuck to beer), and swimming / lounging on the beach.

The day ended with a beach bonfire!!

Day 4 – Saying Goodbye

After a leisurely morning and great breakfast, we were off to the airport for our flight. Once we arrived back to the airport it soon came to our attention that our flight was delayed. Being without internet and in a super small airport…it was a challenge to get information on how long we were delayed. It ended up about 3 hours…

In the meantime, I enjoyed lunch at the little cocina next to the airport while the group hung out in the waiting room. We then moved to a local hotel in town where we could get an internet connection. The town is super small and had it not been raining, I would have likely spent my time wandering around town. As it was, we just hung out at the hotel until time to go back to the airport for our flight.


Booking Information

Total Cost (3 nights) aprox $500 usd

Flights:

  • Estimated cost is around $500,000 COP round trip, prices vary.
  • https://www.ada-aero.com/ – or – https://gruposangerman.com/reserva2/

Hotel:

  • Estimated cost $874,500 – 3 nights
  • Additional Costs $38,000 COP in tourism tax and airport fees
  • https://www.maparacrab.com/copia-de-home
  • Included: 3 meals per day, juices, coffee, water, beach, some water activities, etc.