Buenaventura

Travel Guide South America Colombia Buenaventura

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Introduction

Buenaventura is a city in the Valle del Cauca department of Colombia. With a population of 324,207 (most of city development lies on Cascajal Island), it is the size of Los Angeles metropolitan area. Most of the city's land is rural with small villages scattered throughout. It is located a few miles from the western cordillera of the Andes mountain range and the major city of Cali, the department's capital. Buenaventura is one of the rainiest cities in the world with 6,000-7,000 mm precipitation annually.

As a seaport, Buenaventura has attracted criminal gangs seeking to export Colombian cocaine to Mexico.

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Sights and Activities

You can catch a boat to nearby towns like Juanchaco and Ladrilleros in Bahia Málaga (Málaga Bay). It is humpback whale season between July and October, there you can get a boat for whale seeing.

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Getting There

By Bus

The bus station is close to the city centre. There are frequent buses to and from Cali which is a 4 hours ride away for around 20,000 COP. Direct buses to Bogota leave at 7:00am and 7:00pm. If you're heading north, avoid going through Cali and catch a bus to Buga instead (16,000 COP).

By Boat

The docks for cargo boats are on the way in to town. There are boats to most places along the Pacific coast. Fast boats (lanchas) to Ladrilleros and close destinations leave from the Muelle Turistico in the centre of town (4,000 COP taxi ride from the terminal).

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Eat

Fruit called Chontaduro.

Lenos y Mariscos and La Casa are recommended restaurants.

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Sleep

For the most part, if you have to stay any length of time in Buenaventura then you should head to Calle 1 where there are a number of decent and safe hotels and restaurants in front of the park at reasonable prices

There are also some cheap hotels near the bus station.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafes are easy to find in any city or town. Expect rates to run about $1,250-2,500 (around $US 0.50-1.00) per hour, depending on how much competition there is (i.e., cheap in Bogotá, expensive in the middle of nowhere). Quality of connections varies enormous and tends to better in populated places and tourist areas. Wifi is getting more and more popular in some hotels, restaurants and bars, but don't count on it and be careful regarding your privacy.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to Colombia is: 57. To make an international call from Colombia, the code is: 005.

Using your own phone and SIM card is expensive so if you are planning to do quite a few calls, buy a phone or just a SIM card. It's simple enough to get a SIM card and even an unlocked phone at the international airport in Bogotá, although there is, of course, a price hike. They're not hard to find in any city either, just ask your hotel or hostel staff where to go. Topping up is also easy, and can be done pretty much on any street corner. The carriers you'll most likely see are Claro, Tigo, and Movistar. Claro is the most expensive (by a little bit), but has the widest coverage in the country, if you expect to get off the beaten path.

Post

4-72 is the unusual name of Colombia's postal service. They have post offices throughout the country, which are open usually from 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday and sometimes on Saturday mornings as well. That doesn't apply to all offices though, only the larger ones in the big cities. But for example along the Caribbean coast, offices tend to close between noon and 2:00pm. But even at the ones that are officially open all day long, it might be difficult to get anything done during those hours. For domestic services, sending letters and postcards is mostly reliable but takes days, for international services don't hold your breath. Eventually, a postcard or letter might arrive in the country of destination but it's almost not worth it. For parcels, you are better off using companies like FedEx, TNT, DHL or UPS.

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This is version 2. Last edited at 9:31 on Feb 28, 18 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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