Most of the Afro-Colombian population has been living for centuries in the Pacific coast; its ancestors were slaves brought by Spanish, Dutch, British and Portuguese navigators. Those who managed to run away from coffee or sugar plantations found refuge in the thick jungles of western Colombia, where they were finally able to live in peace and practice their own religion, culture and language.
South of Buenaventura and just around 2 hours from Cali, el pueblito de San Cipriano is a wonderful living example of Afro-Colombian culture. Together with two French tourists, we were dropped off near a yellow pending bridge. From there, we were guided to a railway system operated not by trains but by motorbikes, or brujitas as Colombians call them. These ingenious vehicles are made out of wood, are sustained by 3 rail wheels and have a fixed motorbike powering them. Whenever another brujita approached us in the oposite direction, one of them had to be pulled out of the rails, so that the other could continue. We drove around 20 minutes through the jungle and were pulled two times out of the rails until we finally reached San Cipriano - it was great fun!
Upon arrival we were received by a child who guided us to its family, where we decided what to eat for lunch. We spent the rest of the day hiking in the jungle and swimming in the crystal clear waters of the nearby river.