After two weeks in Peru, we arrived at the Caribbean Sea in the North of Colombia. We were supposed to have a trilling get away in the jungle of Tayron National Park.
A real paradise. The perfect combination of wild jungle and green palms that make the perfect background for the turquoise Caribbean water.
Tayrona is surrounded by the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the world’s highest mountains on the coast, with altitudes of up to 5,700 meters and it is one of those places where you can enjoy peace and nature.
There are four things that make this place unique:
- It is huge. We are talking about 15,000 hectares of wildlife and Caribbean beaches.
- It had a unique environment of fauna and vegetation. Tayrona is home of hundreds of species of birds, mammals, plants, but at the same time hundreds of fish and coral species.
- It still has indigenous tribes. Traces of civilization have existed in Tayrona since 6,000 years ago. Today, the descendants of the Tayrona civilization, which means “sons of the tiger”, are divided into four large tribes: Kogi, Cancuamo, Wiwa and Arhuacos. It was very interesting to meet these people along the trail.
- it is amazing.
We spent only 2 days and one night in Tayrona Park and it was not enough. It is better to book about 4-5 days in order to be able to enjoy the nature, the virgin beaches and to visit the Lost City, an archaeological site dating back to 800 AD.
From Santa Marta airport, all 15 friends, took a minivan that drove us for about an hour up to the entrance of the park, where we rented a room in a hotel, to let our big luggage. Perfect hotel, perfect tropical setting, but unfortunately, we couldn’t spend more time here because we had to leave for the hike. The trail and the sea were waiting for us.
So, we walked up to the entrance of the park, then took a minivan for 15 minutes from the entrance to Canaveral, from where the 4-hour trail started through the tropical forest to El Cabo de San Juan.
Many people walk instead of taking the bus to Canaveral, but I believe it saves you almost an hour of walking time. Well worth the 1 dollar in my opinion.
The hike isn’t particularly steep or difficult. In fact, during the first 30 minutes, you’ll mostly be walking on wooden platforms.
The first half of the trail winds through woods along the coast, while the second half takes you across two beaches: Arrecifes and La Piscina. The landscape changes dramatically from the dense forest to the sand and dry clime and huge rocks.
However, you will become extremely sweaty. So bring a lot of water! So, a stop to the La Piscina beach is like a blessing.
In the park, there are not so many places to stop at, except La Piscina and El Cabo, where you can swim. There are strong currents and the sea is rough.
Around the sunset, we finally reached El Cabo.
El Cabo San Juan is actually a camping and here you have the opportunity to sleep in a tent, a hammock in the “main” hammock area or a hammock on the rock over the sea.
We rented all 15 hammocks on the rock.
There are few hikes you can do once in El Cabo, like the most popular hike to “El Pueblito,” the ruins of a small ancient village or the more difficult hike to the Lost City.
Well, we reached El Cabo at sunset and there were only two things that we could do: a swim in the perfect water of the Caribbean sea and to enjoy the perfect sunset, soaking in the tropical vibes
Here it gets dark very early, around 6.30 pm, so after the sun went down we went for dinner at the only restaurant that exists here.
Soon after we retreated to our hammocks. We were expecting a romantic atmosphere: the cool sea breeze, the sound of the waves crashing on the rocks below, the sky and the sea. Well, it was not the case.
A very strong wind and a cool weather spoiled our fun and sleep.
At some point, due to the strong wind, flip-flops and chairs were fighting around us.
We were not lucky since, generally, the place is very romantic and calm.
We hoped that in the morning we would be luckier to see a gorgeous pink and orange colored sunrise… but no. It was all covered in clouds.
Later on, we had the chance to enjoy the beach and the place till noon when we had to leave for the next destination.
But despite all the bad luck, Tayrona Park still felt like a true Caribbean paradise to me.
Sleeping in a hammock in a hut overlooking the sea on a gorgeous stretch of beach in Colombia, even if it was little difficult, it was a freaking awesome experience.