Which region of Colombia is home to the rare Chocoan night monkey? And the most densely populated island in the world? And even a stopping point for Bluebeard? Why Sucre of course!
Sucre: a little-known area of the Caribbean coast. Whether you’ve just arrived in Colombia or been here for some time, there’s a good chance you’ve never visited (and perhaps never heard of) this dramatic and, in parts untouched, part of northern Colombia.
If you are willing to get off the beaten track, it is well worth visiting regions like Sucre, Córdoba and Atlántico; you will reap the rewards and get a very different experience from the classic (and some might say somewhat packaged) route of Medellin – Cartagena – Santa Marta – Tayrona – Bogota.
Cards on the table: my family and I run a bilingual travel agency in the Caribbean. The family business has been going for more than 10 years, and in the two years that I have been here working with them, I have fallen in love with this region.
Monitos: Village, jungle, beach
Islands of San Bernardo
Caving near Coveñas
|Meet the locals in this small village near Coveñas. Taste fresh local-made bread and learn about local farming techniques. The local beach is a meeting point for seven rivers, creating a dramatic beach covered in huge tree trunks, which you’ll need to avoid if you go in the sea.
Go on a trip through the jungle with the local hermit, who will find you fresh coconuts and take you to discover monkeys in the forest.
|This group of 10 islands offers turquoise seas and white sands to rival any of the more fashionable tourist destinations. Relax in a beach-side hammock, snorkel in the shallow waters or kayak in the crystal clear water. Visit Santa Cruz del Islote, the most populated island in the world, a cluster of floating houses where 1,200 people live in an area the size of one and a half football pitches.
Get there by private boat or cheaper tour boats from Tolu.
|The prehistoric caves in Tolu Viejo – about half an hour inland – are filled with stalactites and stalagmites and give an interesting look at the subterranean water system of the region.
If you’re looking for something more relaxing, try a hot mud volcano: whether for a DIY spa treatment, to heal your sunburn or the sheer joy of floating in hot mud. You don’t need to go all the way to El Totumo near Cartagena, there is one waiting for you in San Antero (near Tolu).
Our apartments are located on a stretch of beach between Coveñas and Tolú. Coveñas is a popular Paisa holiday destination, replete with the bars, restaurants and tourist delights you can expect from any beach town in the world. Tolú is a smaller fishing town, offering eco-tourism and boat trips to the nearby islands.
Obviously I want to promote our apartments. But I also want to share the magic of this place which has so captured my heart. I believe the apartments are ideally based to offer a gateway to this whole region.
Home to mangrove swamps, coral islands and endless coconut palms, this is not a destination that has been manufactured for tourists. It has evolved at its own pace – hardly changing over the past 70 years. It is a place where the local people still sing the same ballads and where you can still imagine the lives of the indigenous Zenú and Turbaco tribes.
And while Aratacaca, the inspiration for Gabo’s fictional village of Macondo, is in the nearby department of Magdalena, his words could just have easily been written about the villages in Sucre, an area where magical realism truly becomes real.
That’s why I would like to invite you to experience this place. Come and enjoy the beaches, the fish cooked straight from the water, fresh oysters and crabs; cook your own food if you want – each apartment has its own kitchen – or if you prefer, we can cook local produce for you.
Come and meet local people, and let them meet you. Experience the timelessness – and the stillness and slowness of the heat. Go out into the jungle, get a boat to the islands, bathe in volcanic mud. Relax and let yourself be swept along by a different pace of life.
As if you needed more reason to visit, a trip to the coast could even work out cheaper than a week in a finca. Viva Colombia have just started offering flights to Monteria for as low as $59,990 COP each way – book in advance to get the best deals – and in the off season, our apartments cost between $18,000 COP and $20,000 COP per person per night.
We can provide transportation from the airport if you need it. Once you get here, we will show you how everything works and can talk through the various activities that the area has to offer. Essentially, if you tell us what you want – whether that is seeing the region or being left in peace – we’ll make it happen.