Alix Robert reports about his latest trip to Colombia (February 2018th):
This year I chose to have holidays in February. Cabo Verde and South Africa are good spots during this time of the year but I wanted to discover something new. I wanted a spot with good waves, strong wind and hot temperatures… so here we go, off to Colombia.
To get to Puerto Velero in Colombia, the airports are either Cartagena (CTG, Aeropuerto Rafael Nunez) or even better, Baranquilla (BAQ, Aeropuerto Ernesto Cortissoz), I flew with Air France : one stop for a total time of travel of 14 hours.
At my arrival in Colombia, I was really lost but Carlos from the Puerto Velero windsurf club picked me up and I stayed at his place in a nice room for rent.
Close to the Equator, this country knows only two seasons : summer or dry season, and winter, the rainy season. The Caribbean coast, in the north, has a beautiful sunny period from December to April. The weather is rather hot. The air is around 30°C and water, 25°C. The conditions are ideal from January to April – very windy in February and March when the North-East wind blows with 20-35 knots. Everybody can find his favorite spot – no matter if beginner, to freestyler, or freerider. And wave riders will surf 1 to 3 meter waves.
Sails from 4.0 m2 to 5.2 m2 were used. Lycras and shorts are enough to get in the water (a shorty for the most sensible riders). Bring a pair of gloves if you have sensitive hands, and sunscreen! No need of watershoes, nevertheless, be careful on the beaches as they are not always clean.
The main spots in Puerto Velero are :
The beach is exposed to swell – or rather wind-swell. The waves can quickly reach two meters or more and are powerful enough for aerials. It is divided into two spots :
La Capilla is always good with side to side onshore winds – you’ll never be disappointed. The waves are ideal for jumping !
La Pointa -on the left- is a very good spot when the wind has blown hard for 3 to 4 days (day and night). Then, the wave turns perfectly to provide slight side-offshore conditions. It doesn’t work always and a car is needed to get to the spot.
The ideal day: Start with some jumps in La Capilla and then sail the approximately 2 kilometers down-wind to La Pointa (and come back by car).
The Lagoon: the first of its 10 kilometers is perfect for beginners, ideal for freestyle and freeride. There is water about knee-deep and flat and starts to get deeper only after 200 meters.
Another ideal scenario would be to begin the day with a slalom or freestyle session in the lagoon, then to switch to La Capilla for waveriding. It’s less than a 10 minute walk from the lagoon to La Capilla.
The other spots:
– Kilimanjaro in Puerto Colombia. The spot is in front of the hotel Pradomar, little wind at the edge, is interesting for jumping and for surfing. It’s perfect in the morning for SUP and surf when there is no wind.
Way South, Santa Verónica is top for kiting. The spot is at the end of the village, to the West, a light bay, with some waves.
When you go further South towards Cartagène, the wind is less strong.
There are many more spots (waves and freestyle) along the Caribbean coast of Colombia but it was impossible to visit all of them in 3 weeks !
Puerto Velero is really calm and even desert. To find some animation you need to go to Puerto Colombia which is good fun year round, not only at Carnival time. We dance on the rhythm of the drums, maracas or flutes of millet.
There are many restaurants in Puerto Colombia. They are very good and varied. We eat there around 7-8:00 pm. The seafood and the fish are in general fresh and of good quality. Normally, a popular Colombian meal is composed of a soup, with a dish called “seco” (chicken, fish or eggs) and of a drink. Try the “empanadas” (breads lined with meat or cheese), and the aloe vera juice. If you like fish, I recommend the Mahalo restaurant which cooks excellent dishes.
The breakfast is very rich. You can find eggs, fruits, coffee with milk, brioche bread and even of the meat.
As a conclusion, Colombia -and more particularly my trip- was surprising. Indigenous, African and Spanish influences, it is far more than the image that I had of this country. There are so many more new places to discover, windsurf spots of great quality – the trip was truly amazing. My 83 liter board perfectly suited these spots, partnered with my 5.0 m2 and 4.2 m2 sails. I could windsurf every day and windsurfed 11 days in a row on 4.2 m2 – my personal record !
One month wasn’t enough to do everything. I will come back to discover other spots, other restaurants, other activities…
Finally, I would like to thank all those who helped me to make this trip successful – impossible to mention everyone. A special thanks, however, to Claudine and Carlos for their welcome, to JP-Australia and NeilPryde, Select-Hydrofoils, Cool-Shoe, Dragon Alliance, FeelFree Gear, Onlytime.fr, and CaseProof.
If you wish more information about this destination, do not hesitate to contacting me (firstname.lastname@example.org or http://alixrobert.free.fr).
See you soon, on the next trip. Moulay in Morocco followed by Tarifa in Spain this spring…