The tiny beach village of Sapzurro is the last Colombian settlement before Panama on the Caribbean coast, and feels as cut-off and isolated as it sounds. However, Sapzurro is also absolutely stunning, with gorgeous beaches, excellent seafood, world-class diving, and lovely jungle hiking. Here are the top 10 things to see and do in Sapzurro.
Walk into Panama
There aren’t too many spots where you can walk from one continent to another, but you can from Sapzurro! A steep trail from just behind the town leads up a hill to the Panama border on the ridge. There you can pose for the obligatory border photo and walk down into a small Panamanian village. Make sure you bring your passport (no stamp though, sadly).
La Diana Waterfall
A pretty little waterfall in the jungle to the south of the village, La Diana makes a nice change from the baking jungle heat as there is a nice little pool at the base of the ‘falls where you can swim and cool off after the short hike. Be aware though, the waterfall tends to dry up in the dry season, so only make the trip if it’s been raining recently.
Sunbathe on La Miel Beach
The best beach in the area is actually located on the Panama side of the border but is best reached from Sapzurro on the aforementioned border hike. La Miel is a gorgeous beach of white sand, palm trees, and excellent snorkelling, and is well worth spending a day at.
Go diving or snorkelling
With some of the most well-preserved reefs in Colombia located just in front of the village, Sapzurro is a fantastic place to either go scuba diving or snorkelling. There are local operators who can arrange a diving excursion or a course, or you can simply grab a snorkel mask and swim out into the bay in front of the village!
Visit Cabo Tiburon
Roughly a one-hour hike along the coastal jungle from the village is Cabo Tiburon, the final part of Colombian land before Panama. This isolated cape is also home to a couple of stunning beaches, which see far fewer tourists thanks to the slightly challenging trail. If you want to have a paradise beach practically to yourself, then Cabo Tiburon is the place to visit.
Eat some amazing seafood!
With such a privileged seaside location, it’s only natural that Sapzurro has some pretty delicious seafood and fish dishes on offer. There are only a few restaurants in the village, but most hotels and hostels also serve lunch and dinner, so make sure to order a few local seafood dishes!
Hike through the jungle to Capurgana
The neighbouring Colombian town of Capurgana is a one-and-a-half hour hike over a nearby hill and through the jungle from Sapzurro and is worth a visit if only for a greater variety of bars and restaurants. The hike itself is stunning, offering gorgeous panoramic views and the chance to spot monkeys and toucans.
Head to the San Blas Islands and Panama…
There’s a big market these days for trips between Colombia and Panama via the stunning San Blas Islands in between. These paradise islands are home to the Guna Yala Indigenous people, as well as some of the warmest, bluest Caribbean waters you’ll ever see! You can easily arrange the trip these days from Sapzurro.
Hike to Cerro Parado
The most challenging and tricky hike in the region, this trail leads to the top of the highest hill behind Sapzurro on a trail through some stunning virgin rainforest. It’s not an easy hike, and the trail – which runs right along the Panama border – is poorly marked, so make sure to contract a guide. You can arrange one with the Reserva Tacarcuna Ecolodge in Sapzurro.
Go wildlife watching with Reserva Tacarcuna
This lovely ecolodge is located just off the trail from Sapzurro to Panama and is the perfect place to stay if you’re a wildlife-lover. They arrange excellent wildlife watching tours and birding excursions, where it is possible to observe several species of monkeys, as well as toucans, parrots, and hummingbirds.