by Katrina Castner
Before I get started, I want to give a major shout out to my wonderful photographer, Izhar Jose Ortiz Lozano. If you ever need photos let me know and I will contact him because he is amazing!
Tubará is obviously the best pueblo in all the land, and here are about six reasons out of seven thousand or so.
Tubará has the BEST location. There are two ways to get there. One is beautiful and the other is really sketchy. Either way, as you enter the town you are presented with the beautiful view that you see here, welcoming you to paradise. You can’t see it in the photo above, but the building in the distance has a huge naked woman painted on the wall. So there’s that as well.
Tubará is located at the top of a large hill, with a breathtaking view of the ocean. In the indigenous language of the Mokaná people, Tubará (originally spelled Ztupara) means “looking toward the ocean,” which brings me to my next point on my list of Tubará’s greatest hits.
Fifteen minutes down the hill is the beautiful Playa Tubará. You can get to the beach from several different entrance points. The main entrance leads to cabanas and all the fried fish and coconut drinks you can imagine. If you want to avoid the crowds, you can get off the bus a little early and find one of several small paths, which will lead you to your own little slice of heaven far from vendors and flying footballs.
To get back from the beach you can take either the Tubará bus or you can take a bus up to Juan de Acosta and catch another bus that winds its way up to Tubará through the beautiful back roads. With hardly any traffic, this is a beautiful and tranquil place to run in the late afternoon or take a brisk early morning walk.
Tubará also has one of the most beautiful cemeteries that I have ever seen. High atop another hill overlooking the town, the bright blue walls can be seen from almost any vantage point in Tubará.
Tubareños celebrate Día de los Muertos on November 23rd, which is different from the national holiday. Everyone gathers at the tombs and gives their deceased loved ones’ homes a fresh coat of paint. They spend the night walking through the cemetery, eating oranges and placing flowers.
About two months ago, the town finally finished a four-year reconstruction on the gorgeous church in the plaza. On top of YET ANOTHER HILL the church sits, looking out over the plaza where I teach. (Also where they have all the champeta concerts)
On the other side of town, on an even higher hill facing the cemetery, is Parque Mirador. On one side you can look out towards the sea and the entire expanse of Tubará and the corregimientos. On the other side you look out over the town. At night it has an especially strong breeze, which is nice because that hill is a monster to climb and always leaves me particularly sweaty. The nighttime view is really special for me, because it looks like a valley of stars. It always makes me happy to pick out the little star I call my home and feel blessed to be able to live in Tubará.