Utría National Natural Park is a huge protected area along the Chocó coast. A biodiversity “hot spot”, the park is home whales, monkeys, frogs, and more than 400 species of birds. Explore one of Colombia’s most stunning parks with a guided hike through protected rain forest, a swim at a hidden beach and lunch at a family-run restaurant on a small, sandy island.
The Utría Park day tour begins in the morning at your hotel in Guachalito. In the morning, you will board your private boat at your hotel for the 1.5 hour ride up the coast to Utría. On the way, you can admire the striking landscape of Colombia’s Pacific coast, with its lush rain forest, endless beaches and steep mountains. During the whale season between July and November, these waters are teeming with humpback whales. During the off season, you may see dolphins leaping through the waves around your boat.
When you arrive at the Utría Park, you will meet your guide, an expert on the local flora and fauna. Your guide will lead you on a nature walk along an 800m elevated boardwalk through three types of mangroves where you will spot dozens of bird species and other animals. This boardwalk is one of the best ways to experience the otherworldly landscape of the mangrove forest, which is generally too deep in water or too muddy to walk through.
After your mangrove walk, you will board your boat for a short ride across the bay to the Sendero Cocalito, a footpath that leads into the pristine rain forest. The path follows a small stream through Utría National Park's dense forest, which can be slick and a bit steep in some places. Along the way, your guide will point out brightly colored frogs and other jungle animals. After about an hour, you will arrive at a long, empty beach. This is a great opportunity for a quick swim after the hot hike!
When you have rested for a bit, your boat will pick you up at the beach and bring you to a little island about 15 minutes away called Playa Blanca. Here, a local family runs a small restaurant. The eatery is located on a small hill on the island with stunning panoramic views of Utría park. After a delicious lunch of fresh fish, you can lay out on the island’s white sand beach or snorkel over the coral reefs off the island.
At the end of the day, your boat will bring you back to your hotel, which takes about 1.5 hours from Utría National Park.