COLOMBIATHE AMERICAS

My Tayrona National Park Experience In Colombia: A Must Visit Place

A Unique Mix Of Mountains, Forest and Beaches At Caribbean Coast

On the way to Camarones
The Indian currency note, Venezuelan guy showed me
Nothing
Finally, saw few pink flamingos

Continuing from my previous post. After a day’s rest in Riohacha, I traveled to Tayrona National Park. I spent 2 nights in the Park. Before going to Tayrona National Park, I had a short stop at Camarones town to visit the Flamingos sanctuary. I was really excited to see Pink flamingos which I missed seeing during my visit to Kenya. I hire a moto-taxi for 20000 cop (Colombian Pesos) to visit the sanctuary but it was not the best season to see Pink Flamingos. I was able to see just a few, which you can see in the picture above. The strangest thing happened with me on the way to Camarones, I met a Venezuelan guy in the public transport who showed me the INR 100 currency note and when I asked him how he got the same. He told me he met an Indian guy back in Venezuela a long time ago who gave him this note. It was the last thing I was expecting. He was really happy to see me. I gave him INR 50 currency note as a souvenir and bid him goodbye.

Tayrona Park Entrance
Beautiful thought
On the way to my campsite

Much needed refreshment break

Finally, reached the campsite.
The Map of Tayrona Park
I went out to explore

People were playing football near Cabo beach

Phew! made it back to my camp

DAY 1

I reached Tayrona Park a bit late. It is highly recommended to reach the Park as early as possible. There are two entrances to Tayrona National Park: El Zaino and Calabozo. I used the El Zaino entrance, the most popular one. There’s a shared vehicle I boarded to reach at the end of the paved road. From here one has to walk inside the park. I planned on staying at Don Pedro Camp. It took me around 90 mins to reach the Don Pedro camp from this point by walk. The way to reach the camp was plain, hilly, scenic, full of nature, sandy and with the views of beautiful beaches. It was mesmerising, to say the least. It was like unravelling the mystery as you never know what are you going to see around the corner. I was really tired after reaching the camp but thanks to my unrelenting exploring spirit, I set out to explore the park after leaving my stuff in the tent. The park is huge. It covers around 30 square km of a maritime area and approx. 150 square km of land. I went out to explore. My plan was to go to Piscina beach but I reached Cabo beach and it was really magical. Beautiful beach with stunning mountains in the background. It was almost the time for sunset but I couldn’t stop myself from taking a dip in the water. It felt so refreshing after the really tiring day. After the sunset, I head back to my hostel and it was a crazy adventure. Don’t do the same mistake I did. It gets really dark in the park after the sunset. I used my mobile phone’s light to navigate through the park but I was going nowhere after walking for more than half an hour. The different noises I was hearing are not helping either. I was holding on to my nerves and I finally met some local people who showed me the way to my camp and I took a sigh of relief after reaching my camp. It was a crazy end to the very long day. Cabo beach is 40-45 mins walk from Don Pedro Camp.

 

Arrecifes beach
Small restaurant at the beach
Piscina beach
Camping site at Cabo beach

The populated Cabo beach
Cabo beach

Boats for Taganga. Near Cabo beach,
On the way to Nudista beach

Nudista beach
2 weeks in Colombia at that time. Never thought that I will stay in Colombia for almost 9 months!

Cabo beach

There are separate ways for pedestrians and horses.

Sunset of DAY 2
DAY 3: Next day in Tayrona park inside my Tent
Hike back to the entrance
OFF LIMITS: Some beaches are not suitable for swimming like this one
Made it!

DAY 2

Next day, I went straight to Piscina beach on the way from Playa Arrecifes beach. Playa Arrecifes beach is 10-15 mins walk from Don Pedro Camp. There are also horses available inside the park for commuting. I chilled at Piscina beach for a while before going to Cabo beach. At Piscina beach, I found a great spot under the shadow of a tree. Dipping in the sea, sipping coconut water and resting under the shadow. I had a great time. Try to come early in the day at Piscina beach as it gets really crowded by noon. Cabo beach has a camping area and it is the best place to stay in the Tayrona park as per the common norm but it’s pretty crowded here. You can get a boat to Taganga from near Cabo beach. It is a popular fishing town. After taking another dip in Cabo beach. I went to the Playa Nudista beach which is next to Cabo beach. Very few people were here. It was a welcome change away from the crowd. My plan was to hike till Playa brava beach but I learnt my lesson from the other day and decided not to go there. I walked back to my camp and just reached in time before sunset. Playa brava is near to the second entrance of the Park i.e. Calabozo. Being in the park gives you a unique feeling of being in a forest, near to a beach and closer to the mountains which makes Tayrona Park really special and a must-visit place when in Colombia. Next day, I bid goodbye to Tayrona Park and took a bus to my next destination.

 

THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE VISITING TAYRONA NATIONAL PARK

 

  • Riohacha to Camarones in a public transport (Camioneta): 5000 cop (cop= Colombian pesos)
  • Camarones to Tayrona National Park’s El Zaino entrance: 18000 cop
  • Entrance fee to Tayrona National Park for Foreigners: 53000 cop
  • 15000 cop insurance(mandatory) for 3 days
  • Hammock and Tent at Don Pedro Camp: 25000-30000 cop per night
  • Hammock and Tent at Cabo beach: 40000-45000 cop per night
    Note: If you bring your own Tent, the price will be cheaper by 10000-15000 cop

 

  • Carry water and food/snacks. Needless to say, these items are expensive inside the park.
  • WiFi is chargeable at the campsites.
  • Do not forget to carry mobile Powerbank. You can only able to charge the mobile phone at a certain time of day.
  • Bring sunscreen, mosquito repellent, comfortable clothes, Torchlight, swimsuits, Toilet paper and a good hat.
  • Yellow Fever vaccination is recommended for the park.
  • There’s NO ATM inside the Park.

 

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An Indian Traveler

Hello! My name is Saurabh. I'm a cinephile, an avid traveler with a song stuck in my head which I keep humming till ad nauseam :)

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26 Comments

  1. Great place and you also have great experienced. You stayed there for 9 months. Wow. This is really amazing to read the travelers blogs and sharing their experiences visit another country from their perspective.

  2. those beaches look incredible! I would love to visit there someday to experience a different way of living (what a refreshment break… don’t see that often!)

  3. Hi Saurabh,
    Colombia is a beautiful country from what I saw, first time I hear of Tyrona national park, had to Google it just to see where in Colombia it is.
    Anyways, once COVID-19 is resolved I might go and visit. Thank for implanting that idea into my head:)

  4. Your Colombia series is very interesting and unique. Awesome pictures and a detailed description can assist anyone in visiting the place. You are helping to create an itinerary.

  5. What a lovely adventure you had! And your photos are so gorgeous and they tell the whole story, I feel like I was there

  6. The Tayrona National Park looks so beautiful. The landscapes which blend mountains and beaches so harmoniously together look really stunning. Cabo beach looks so pristine and out of the world.

  7. I keep seeing little things here and there about it. It’s nice to read some of the inside scoop. Makes me even more curious to go and see it.

  8. Ah, I can’t wait until we get to travel to amazing places like this again! Patiently waiting for the COVID vaccine to be available in Canada for me to take. 🙂

  9. What a seriously stunning place to camp! It must also have been really nice to have everything set up for you, so you didn’t have to carry in a tent and set it up on that first night when you were tired. Cabo beach (well, actually, all the beaches) look incredible!

    How cold was that water to swim in?

  10. Oh my! Those beaches look like heaven! I’m so glad you got to see some pink Flamingos- they are gorgeous creatures.

  11. Oh my! Those beaches look like heaven! I’m so glad you were able to see the pink Flamingos- they are beautiful and fascinating creatures.

  12. Tayrona National Park looks like such a lovely place to spend a few days. I would love to spend an afternoon relaxing on any one of those beaches, especially Cabo Beach,. I have made the mistake of trying to head back to my campsite after dark, and it was not a great experience! I’m glad you mentioned the importance of getting back before dark, it can be a little scary!

  13. We really regret not checking out Tayrona National Park when we went to Santa Marta. We were there for several days and got really caught up in the city itself. But with that said, when we return Tayrona is definitely on the list. I really wanted to explore the ruins and find the native tribes but those beaches like Cabo beach looks so beautiful!

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