Región Caribe, Colombia
Cabo de la Vela lies in the dry, remote, sparsely populated north of Colombia near the Venezuelan border. There is a hotel nearby but it’s still hard to find the spot. In this land of the Waiuu Indians, wild camping’s no problem. With a population of 130,000, Riohacha is much more urban. Behind the wide, white sandy beach is a promenade lined with coconut palms from where locals like to spectate. Alternatively lonely Camarones offers an endless beach for bump-and-jump sessions. Santa Marta was once the first city of Colombia and remains an important seaport. So far north it can get winds outside the usual winter season. You can launch and sail downwind of the port, or in Rodadero for a better vibe, but the best wind’s at El Aeropuerto outside the city – sometimes it’s choppy enough for bump-and-jump. Heading towards Barranquilla the road separates open sea on one side from vast lagoons on the other. In Salamanca the onshore winds are thermally accelerated onto a very isolated and potentially risky spot. Salgar is nearer the city, with cross-shore winds that are perfect for jumping. Although the locals have kit storage here, the main event’s about 10 minutes away in Puerto Velero. It’s mostly freeride on the flat water of a bay sheltered by a spit of land, but there are waves on the north side in onshore wind. It’s a similar setup in Galerasamba with particularly flat water in a former salt-pan only 50cm deep or onshore waves on the ocean side. Just 15 minutes from Cartagena, Playa Caleta is a solitary beach with cross-onshore wind and a nearby hotel. For waveriding, Playa Render offers slightly cross-offshore winds and waves of around 1.5m. The city has five spots to offer: Las Americas is a popular kite-spot, particularly for beginners, with its big long beach, lighter wind, and plentiful hotels and facilities. Café del Mar scores more waves though, in front of the bar of the same name and the old town’s thick fortress walls. Las Velas is even better, so good it attracts surfers between the two breakwaters in the mornings and fills up with swimmers at weekends. Definitely one for experienced riders, as is La V where the waves push onto angular breakwaters. Just around the corner, Mokana Club Laguito is the city’s most popular venue. Beginners have flat, shallow water by the windsurfing club, where you can meet the friendly locals who know the region best. Ask about the boat to Rosario Islands – a Caribbean paradise with turquoise waters an hour offshore. 'Señor el Capitán’ might need persuading to take windsurf kit aboard though.
Kite and Windsurfing Guide