Situated 128 kilometers (79.5 mi) from Cali, Buenaventura is a sweltering port on the Colombian Pacific coast. Make no mistake: Buenaventura is a dangerous place with the guerrilla, paramilitaries and government all jostling for control of this pivotally important communication and transportation hub.
The place is architecturally unappealing with its city center built mainly on the island of Cascajal. If you find yourself here, it is likely that you are lost and way off course or you have come to make a connection to the nearby tourist areas and whale-watching retreats of Juanchaco and Ladrilleros.
Despite the unspeakably high murder rate, visitors will be pleasantly surprised with shopping opportunities and the hotels and restaurants on Calle 1.
Should you have to spend a night or more than a few hours here before making the connection to one of the surrounding sights, then be sure to visit the San Andresito area of town for bargain shopping. Then head to the Muelle TurÃstico to slurp on a freshly squeezed fruit juice and watch the massive tankers power their way out into the open ocean.