Cali is a good springboard from which to launch yourself to the unusual riverside village of San Cipriano, en route to the Pacific coast. Set in the sweltering tropical jungle 128km northwest of Cali, the straggly jungle community of SAN CIPRIANO offers an entertaining change of pace for those who need time out from city life. The crystalline river here provides plentiful secluded cooling-off opportunities, but it is the unique journey to the 300-strong community of African slave descendants that has put San Cipriano on the traveller’s map. There’s no road and only a forest-flanked railway line linking San Cipriano with the town of Córdoba, 6km away, and since it sees very little train action, to bring visitors from Córdoba, inventive locals have attached motorcycle-powered wooden carts to the tracks. The journey down is nothing short of hair-raising and exhilarating; since it’s a single-track railway, and there might be traffic coming the other way, be prepared to leap off in case of emergency.
San Cipriano lies at the confluence of the Escalarete and San Cipriano rivers and there are nine sites for safe river swimming, as well as opportunities for tubing. Follow the only road out of the settlement (the river will be on your right); well-signed tracks positioned every few hundred metres lead down to the river.