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"SANTA MARTA: PARQUE NACIONAL TAYRONA" Colombia Things to Do Tip by swesn

Colombia Things to Do: 240 reviews and 516 photos

Parque Nacional Tayrona is situated in north-eastern Colombia, very accessible from Santa Marta. It is a patch of area by the Caribbean coast, covering some forests and mountains.

What is stunning of this exceptionally gorgeous coastal area is the large number of AWESOME GIGANTIC boulders strewn all over the coast. Some of these large rocks are split half open. It was very surreal. You keep wondering where they all came from.

Certain beach areas are too dangerous for swimming but there are some sheltered spots like La Piscina, a natural swimming pool, where by pure luck, there is a series of rocks in the distance that have broken the waves up so the water here is nice and calm. In fact, I felt like I was swimming in gelatin! The water was very warm and very very clear, for an ocean. I could see the sand and rocks right at the bottom although the water was right up to my neck!

To get here, catch a bus from Cartagena and ask to be dropped at Tayrona. At the park entrance, pay up and the guy will arrange for a minivan to drive you to a campsite 4km away. From there, one could rent horses or walk for 45 to 50 minutes through the forest to the first proper beach campsite, Arrecifes.

I recommend not to camp here, but to press on another 50 minutes to El Cabo. This is because the beach in front of El Cabo is more tranquil and safer for bathing. Also, there is a lovely look-out point. Beyond the coast are wild forests and mountains. There is a trek behind the campsite where one can hike up to El Pueblito (about 1.5 hours), where some Tayrona ruins can be found. The hike is mainly clambering up boulders after boulders up the mountain. Some Tayrona Indians live there, maintaining the site, but no photos should be taken of them.

You can rent hammocks in El Cabo for 5,000 Colombian pesos. The hammocks are all strewn around a common area. Food and drinks are available at the restaurant... rather expensive but you have no choice.

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  • Written Oct 21, 2007
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