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Imagine widespread beaches backed by tropical rainforest, rocky shores and strong waves. Encounter locals living in small wooden homes, eating what nature provides. Enjoy Afro-Colombian music and don’t mind the year-round rainfall: this is what gives the area its extravagant looks.
What else makes these two destinations special is that during whale season you can see the 16-meter humpback whales from the beaches and cliffs, so not necessarily only from a boat. When diving or snorkeling the waters around Isla Gorgona, you can also hear the sounds of the whales under water, singing love songs to seduce their partners or a mother whale communicating with her baby. A truly amazing experience which takes place exclusively in tropical waters.
Bahía Malaga, forming part of the Uramba national park, is a global hotspot of biodiversity. It covers over 47,000 hectares of jungle and 137 square nautical miles of ocean, including empty beaches, waterfalls and rocky islets scattered throughout the bay. Uramba national park has numerous ecosystems such as ocean, estuaries and mangrove swamps hosting a staggering array of 1,396 species such as crabs, mollusks, birds, lizards, sloths, turtles, fish and the endangered seahorse.
Isla Gorgona, or “Colombia’s prison turned paradise” as the BBC calls it, was an inescapable jungle prison for Colombia’s most dangerous criminals between 1959 and 1982.
In 1984, UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site, and a year later the national government declared it a national park. And rightly so, with its white sandy beaches on the eastern side, high cliffs on the western side and abundance of flora and fauna such as monkeys, caimans and the world’s only pure blue lizard.
But also under water you will find an astonishing amount of marine life, making it a diving hot-spot. In case you don’t want to dive – snorkeling can bring you just as much fun. Be sure to tell us well in advance if you want to travel to this unique spot, as the national park only allows 80 visitors per day on the island. Which is basically another reason to go – the island never gets overcrowded.
Discover Isla Gorgona and Bahía Malaga by dugout canoe, kayak, motorized boat or by foot and you will find yourself falling in love with the pristineness of this destination.