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Gorgona Island Experience

Created with Sketch. Gorgona Island, Cauca, Colombia
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Duration

4 days / 3 nights

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Tour Type

Daily Tour

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Group Size

4 people

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Languages

English, Spanish

Overview

Discover the hidden wonders of Gorgona Island on this unique four day ecotourism experience. Spot giant humpback whales, curious capuchin monkeys, and a bright blue lizard in the forgotten jungles of this mysterious former island prison in the Pacific Ocean. Come with us to Isla Gorgona…

Gorgona Island is not only one of Colombia’s most staggeringly biodiverse National Parks; it also has a fascinating and dark history encompassing shipwrecks, pirates, and an inescapable jungle prison! On this unique Gorgona Island tour you will encounter giant humpback whales, curious capuchin monkeys, lizards, snakes, and hundreds of species of colourful tropical fish, and experience the world-famous nature that makes the Colombian Pacific one of the world’s most biodiverse regions.

Round trip from Cali

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Itinerary

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Day One - Cali, Guapi and Gorgona
Day One - Cali, Guapi and Gorgona

The day begins bright and early at Cali airport where you will fly to the small Pacific coast city of Guapi in Cauca department. After a short flight over the Andes and down to the Pacific, you will be met at the airport by staff from Gorgona Island and transported to Guapi docks for the boat trip to the island.

After a short trip along the final stretches of the Guapi River, the boat will enter the Pacific Ocean and you’re on your way to Gorgona. The boat journey takes between one-and-a-half to two hours, but there can often be lots to see along the way: keep your eyes peeled for seabirds, dolphins, and your first sightings of humpback whales. 

Upon arriving on Gorgona Island you will be served the first of many delicious fish lunches before enjoying an introductory talk from the Colombian National Parks service, who will explain all about the unique geography, history, and biodiversity of this remarkable island. 

Following the talk, there will be a guided tour of the ruins of the old prison, which opened in the 1950s and closed in 1984, and was home to some of Colombia’s most notorious criminals. The ruins have been reclaimed by the jungle, and it’s a unique and eerie experience wandering around the crumbling walls and exploring the former cells surrounded by some of Gorgona’s 14 species of bats, and the ever-present capuchin monkeys. There will then be some time to chill-out in your personal hammock before dinner is served.

Day Two - Exploring Gorgona
Day Two - Exploring Gorgona

After a nice early breakfast it’s time to start exploring the island. The morning tour will be to Yundigua Beach, which is one of the top spots for snorkelling on Gorgona Island.* The boat will transport your group to the beach and you will have a couple of hours to explore the gorgeous offshore reef, or simply relax in the sunshine. It’s well-worth donning your snorkel mask though, as the reef is home to hundreds of species of fish, including moray eels and puffer fish, and there’s always the chance of spotting a sea turtle. The most magical part of the experience is surely hearing the songs of humpback whales when you put your head under the water: if they happen to be close by, it can almost be deafening! 

Getting back to the hotel for lunch is another incredible experience, as we take a 2km hike through the jungles of Gorgona. During this hike you will really be able to understand the remarkable biodiversity of the island, as you find yourself surrounded by hundreds of species of tropical plants, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. Make sure to keep an eye out for one of the many species of snakes that call the island home – and gave it it’s iconic name – as well as the critically endangered blue anole, a beautiful pure blue lizard endemic to Gorgona. 

Following lunch and some early afternoon relaxation, it’s time to spot humpback whales! The boat will set out on a full-loop of the island and along the way you are extremely likely to encounter these majestic giants of the Pacific. At this time of year the whales are extremely active, so keep your eyes peeled to see them jumping from the water and slapping the surface with their fins and tails. Seeing these incredible creatures in such a wild and exotic place is one of Colombia’s top ecotourism experiences and one you will surely never forget.*

After enjoying a dramatic Pacific sunset on the beach in front of the hotel (keep an eye out for whales there too; they are seen passing the beach daily) it’s time for dinner and a well-earned rest. 

Day Three - Beach Day
Day Three - Beach Day

This morning’s tour visits Palmeras Beach, the largest sandy beach on the whole island. The boat drops you off on the south-eastern side of the island and you will walk through the jungle with your guide to the beach on the opposite side. Palmeras is a long, wide beach fringed by palm trees and overlooking a beautiful turquoise bay and the small adjacent island of Gorgonilla. You will have all morning free to sunbathe, swim in the ocean, or take a lazy stroll along the beach spotting bright red crabs, soaring seabirds, and, as always, humpback whales in the open ocean. Ask your guide to find you a fresh coconut so you can enjoy the refreshing milk. Palmeras is easily one of Colombia’s most wild and beautiful beaches and you won’t want to leave when the time comes! 

In the afternoon, the choice is yours – you can either arrange a tour that includes a second whale-watching experience, or keep the rest of the day free in order to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the hotel: swim in the natural, freshwater pool, take a dip in the ocean, or simply swing in your hammock in the gentle Pacific breeze. 

Day Four - Return to Cali
Day Four - Return to Cali

After a bright and early breakfast, it’s off back to Guapi on the 7am boat in time to catch your return flight to Cali. 

Your Gorgona experience may be over, but that doesn’t mean that your time in Colombia has to come to an end: check out our Cali ecotourism experiences if you’re looking to extend your time in Colombia’s marvellous Pacific region.

Included/Exclude

  • Flights (from Cali)
  • All tours and transport
  • All meals except breakfast on Day One
  • Local guides
  • Insurance
  • Alcoholic beverages and any additional drinks or snacks
  • Souvenirs
  • Transport to Cali airport
  • Snorkelling equipment 

Tour's Location

Created with Sketch. Gorgona Island, Cauca, Colombia

FAQs

Important Disclosures
*Please note that all tours and activities are subject to itinerary changes due to weather conditions and the tides. You will experience all the activities mentioned here, but the order may be altered to accommodate these changing conditions. 

**As Gorgona is a National Park, the guides here observe international whale-watching guidelines, and always try to maintain a safe and recommended distance from the whales in order not to disturb them, which is especially important as they come to the Colombian Pacific in order to give birth and raise their calves. At Colombia Eco Travel we are committed to only working with providers who offer a high-standard of ecotourism and adhere to all international standards for wildlife protection and conservation. 

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