59km (36 2/3 miles) N of Nuquí; 199km (125 miles) W of Medellín
Many visitors hardly step foot off the tarmac at Bahía Solano’s tiny airport before hopping on a fishing boat or going to El Valle, about 22km (14 miles) away. It’s the sport-fishing capital of Colombia, and a high percentage of the visitors here come for that purpose and that purpose only. But Bahía Solano makes for a good base for surfing and lounging on nearby beaches, joining whale-watching tours, and exploring Parque Nacional Utría. The town itself, sitting at the mouth of the Río Jella, is one of the largest in the Chocó Pacific, though without roads leading to it, there’s still that frontier vibe running through.
El Valle, a mototaxi (COP$15,000) ride down the area’s one paved road, is a laidback beach and surf community on the southern side of the peninsula. The wide black-sand beach of Playa Almejal on the western edge of town is home to several small eco-lodges and makes a good base for exploring the area. Sea turtles nest here from September to December, when the town fills up with volunteers. The surfing here is superb, some of the best in Colombia. Ask around for the trail to El Tigre, a waterfall that’s a 30-minute hike from town (COP$5,000 admission).