One of the popular tours to take in Ladrilleros is to the nearby mangroves and natural swimming pools, part of the Parque Nacional Natural Uramba Bahía Málaga. The tours run in the afternoons and are priced at COP$24,000 (as of October 2016), but can be found cheaper.
Our guide was Armando. He walked us about 15 minutes from the hotel in Ladrilleros down to an area where boats are launched into the mangroves. Some boats have a motor while other guides use oars. Armando told us that with a motor, we would be able to travel further into the mangroves and to the better pools.
Cruising through the Mangroves
We traveled quite a way into the mangroves through dense jungle on both sides. We passed a few small waterfalls along the way. Armando pointed out some interesting features as well.
Natural Swimming Pool
We stopped at a natural swimming pool, Piscina Sardineras, where there were several people enjoying a dip in the crystal clear waters. We had about an hour to enjoy the area, and swam upstream to a few more secluded pools, where we sat in the water with small tropical fish that you would normally see in an aquarium along with a few shrimp. It was refreshing and absolutely enjoyable.
Armando called us back to the boat and we started heading back to Ladrilleros. A few minutes into the ride, he turned off the motor to let everyone listen to the sounds of nature. We were able to spot a few birds and even a coral snake swimming in the water.