Simply a beautiful destination that shouldn’t be missed! A 30-45 minute bus ride from Santa Marta, Colombia (7,000 pesos), Tayrona is a perfect spot if you’re into pristine beaches surrounded by mountains and coconut palms – which I’d imagine is about 99.9% of the world…
Formerly home to the Tayrona people, this area contained settlements of around 4000 at its peak. *Around the 11th century the population was believed to have been the largest*
The National Park was created in 1964 and stretches about 35km. It’s home to a variety of wildlife and over 400 species of birds, although most of them generally stay out of sight, deep within the forest.
The park costs $42,000 pesos ($21 cdn) to enter although if you have a student ID and proof that you’re under 27 years old, the entrance fee is only 9,500!
I chose to see the park in one day, arriving around 9:30am and finishing a little after 5:00pm. However, it is also possible to spend the night as there are hammocks and tents to rent for roughly 20,000-25,000 pesos.
I entered at ‘El Zaino’, walking to ‘El Cabo’ and the hike was 1.5-2 hours. Throughout the park you will pass gorgeous beaches and most of them are virtually deserted, leaving you to enjoy the scenery in peace.
However, be aware that the current is quite strong. Many of the beaches have red flag warnings saying not to swim. Apparently the tide claims a few lives every year!
There really isn’t a whole lot to say about Tayrona. The park is absolutely beautiful and also seems quite remote. Until you reach La Piscina or El Cabo, you won’t have to interact with any meddlesome humans – making the hike through the forest and time spent walking along the beach that much more enjoyable!
El Cabo, the spot where most people spend the night, is quite a bit busier than the rest of Tayrona. Here, you can find a restaurant with reasonable pricing along with tents and hammocks.
As I said, Tayrona can be done as a day trip or you can choose to spend the night. I would recommend taking the $3,000 peso collectivo bus upon entering the park, as this brings you to the starting point (cutting down the walking time by about an hour each way).
Other than that; bring sunscreen, bug repellent and some decent hiking shoes. I have no doubt you’ll find Tayrona to be every bit as magical as I did!