Capurganá

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Capurganá is the most tourist township of the municipality of Acandí to board the Gulf of Urabá in the Colombian department of Choco and adjacent to the border between Colombia and Panama. This northwestern region of Colombia was inhabited by the Cuna Indians and for them was the "land of chili" or Capurganá in their language. The Cuna inhabited until the early twentieth century when they were displaced by settlers from black-mulatto coming from the city of Cartagena. The natives migrated to the archipelago of San Blas (Region Kuna Yala) in the neighboring country of Panama. There, the Panamanian government had reached an agreement with the native population by creating a semiautonomous region where the Cunas exercise their own authority.

Capurganá remained unnoticed on the map until the 1970s when finally thanks to the leadership of Mrs. Narcisa Navas managed to build a small airstrip. Mrs. Narcisa and the pilot Jorge Mario Uribe took Capurganá the first tourists in a small plane Cessna. We must recognize the work of Ms. Narcisa, Don Justiniano Murillo, Brothers Jorge and Blas Pertuz, Mr. Lino Buendia, Mr. Abel Pacheco and many others who provided the land for its construction. Today the airport in Capurganá (IATA Code:[1] CPB) is named in tribute to this admirable woman.

Initially families from neighbouring Antioquia state arrived to build small summer houses. The Mora, Uribe, Arango and Isaza families and especially the charismatic Samuel Isaacs, a relative of the famous Colombian writer Don Jorge Isaacs.

It was Mr. José María Palacio with his son Hector who in 1975 organized the first hotel was a small log cabins and iraca palm roof (Carludovica palmata). After The Cabins (now the renewed Tacarcuna Lodge) was followed by other hotels like Almar and Calypso and now its hotel infrastructure by 1990 had grown to more than 20 hotels, inns and hostels. The small town became gradually a favorite destination for the emerging Colombian eco-tourists.

Activities[edit]

Port of Capurganá.

The main attraction of Capurganá for nature lovers is to enjoy a holiday free of motor vehicles. In Capurganá there are no vehicles since it is completely disconnected from the rest the country. Capurganaá also offers tourists its small crystal clear beach with a nearby coral reef for snorckling enthusiasts and a real rainforest with mountains and waterfalls. By sea it is easy to travel to the nearby bays of Sapzurro, La Miel (Honey), El Aguacate (Avocado) and Soledad Beach. It is a "must see" tour to walk for one hour to the EL Cielo notch (Heaven) and the "Pool of the Gods" where you can admire nature in all its splendor.

Diving[edit]

Although Colombia has a very extensive coastline in the Caribbean Sea waters that wash its shores are turbid due to sediment from large rivers that flow into the sea. One exception is the short length of 30 km that starts from the border with Panama (Cape Tiburon) to the Acandi municipality. This stretch of coastline is bathed by crystal clear waters suitable for practice of Scuba diving and snorkeling. Beyond the Acandí Township and bordering half of the Caribbean Colombian coast to the archipelago of San Bernardo in the Gulf of Morrosquillo the sea is dark by the action of the mighty river Atrato and river Sinu.

The best time for diving is in the middle of the winter season from April to November when the waves practically disappear. By the summer[2] January to March by becoming the wave is intense navigation difficult and not appropriate for tourists unaccustomed to sea life. Capurganá dive operator has certified PADI international agency that highlights the international standards of safety and fun.

Biodiversity[edit]

The departament the Choco is rich in thousands of different animal species, many endangered. A one-hour motor boat trip you can visit "The Playona" beach of several kilometers where turtles nest Cana (Dermochelys coriacea) and Carey (Eretmochelys imbricata) during the months of March and April. It is also possible to observe the famous Choco poison frogs. In the jungle paths of the region can easily find uniquely beautiful dark green frog (Dendrobates auratus).

The Golden Age[edit]

In the last two decades of the twentieth century golden age Capurganá. Thousands of tourists traveling to know its natural beauty in small planes transported Twin Otter from several Colombian cities. Unfortunately with the increased activities of illegal armed groups scared tourists away. On December 12 of 1999 Capurgana was the victim of a guerrilla attack that ended the tourist flow for a couple of years. The Colombian government finally reacted and maintains permanent military presence in the border area with the help of the U.S. Plan Colombia. Increased security also ended the "cajeteros" or arms smugglers who used the airport as its hub Capurganá operations.

It is likely that Capurganá relive again its heyday but the high costs of airline tickets from Medellín (US$330) and poor electrical infrastructure of the region make it a destination not so attractive for the discerning tourists today. It is unbeliebable that the government has not build an interconnecting electric line to the energy-rich Antioquia state.

Climate change[edit]

Capurganá has not been immune to the consequences of climate change. Until mid-1980 had two contiguous coral sand beaches prized by tourists. Unfortunately the beach of the Virgin of Uvita was invaded by the sea by removing all the sand exposing the coral cliff. Today only remains the beautiful beach of "La Caleta".

Accessibility[edit]

Today many tourists and businessmen traveling between Colombia and Panama for Turbo-Capurganá route. Every day you can take a boat at 8:00 am with a capacity of 25 passengers between Turbo (Antioquia) and Capurganá. The ticket price is about U.S. $ 30.00. The trip takes about 2 to 3 hours depending on sea conditions. It was announced that by the end of 2012 a new Catamaran ferry service will run between the Antonio Roldán Airport (Apartadó Town) and Capurganá.

The first city of Panama is Puerto Obaldia, accessible by boat Capurganá about 45 minutes. The ticket is achieved at the pier between about $ 10 and $ 30, less than one hour duration.

From inside the country there are flight connections from Medellín in the Olaya Herrera airport companies with ADA (http://www.ada-aero.com) and Searca (http://www.searca.com.co ).

Transport[edit]

Currently all transport of goods is by sea from Turbo (Colombia) and Cartagena (Colombia). In the future the needed Pan American Highway will connect Colombia to Panama but this would be the end of tourism. If motor vehicles invade Capurganá all its charm will be gone and will become again an unknown point on Earth's geography. Its leaders must decide whether to retain its tourist vocation.

Immigration - Emigration[edit]

For foreigners who enter by Panama should be directed to the immigration office of the Department of National Security of Colombia (DAS). Also in this Capurganá the Panamanian Consulate to process permits to visit the San Blas.

Geography[edit]

Climate[edit]

Tropical savanna climates have monthly mean temperature above 18°C (64°F) in every month of the year and typically a pronounced dry season, with the driest month having precipitation less than 60mm (2.36 in) of precipitation. Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Aw". (Tropical Savanna Climate). The average temperature for the year in Turbo is 81.0°F (27.2°C). The warmest month, on average, is May with an average temperature of 82.0°F (27.8°C). The coolest month on average is January, with an average temperature of 80.0°F (26.7°C).[3]

Climate data for Capurganá, Colombia
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 29
(84)
29
(84)
29
(84)
29
(85)
29
(85)
29
(85)
29
(85)
29
(84)
29
(84)
29
(84)
29
(85)
29
(84)
29
(84.4)
Average low °C (°F) 24
(76)
24
(76)
25
(77)
25
(77)
25
(77)
25
(77)
25
(77)
25
(77)
24
(76)
24
(76)
24
(76)
25
(77)
24.6
(76.6)
Precipitation cm (inches) 8
(3)
8
(3)
8
(3)
13
(5)
20
(8)
15
(6)
10
(4)
18
(7)
15
(6)
15
(6)
13
(5)
10
(4)
153
(60)
Source: Weatherbase [4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.flightstats.com/go/Airport/airportDetails.do?airportCode=CPB
  2. ^ The climate near the ecuator does not depends on the sun's position on the sky, it depends on different factors such as winds. Capurganá which is located in the northern hemisphere during the northern hemisphere winter season experiences a dry season which is called "summer" by the locals. This is a common misunderstanding among people at high latitudes and the inhabitants of the torrid zone
  3. ^ http://www.weatherbase.com/weather/weather.php3?s=26008&cityname=Turbo--United-States-of-America Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Turbo, Colombia (closest city on record to Sapzurro)
  4. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Turbo, Colombia (closest city on record to Capurganá, Colombia)". Weatherbase. 2013.  Retrieved on April 23, 2013.

External links[edit]