This post will outline the simple steps necessary to get from Santa Marta to La Guajira (Cabo de la Vela and Punta Gallinas) using public transportation.
- Santa Marta to Palomino – 1.5 hours (9,000 pesos – local bus)
- Palomino to Riohacha – 1.5 hours (12,000 pesos – local coach bus) * can also go directly from Santa Marta to Riohacha, but Palomino is a nice place to spend a day.
- Riohacha to Uribia – 1 hour (15,000 pesos – taxi) * The Riochacha bus station is a bit of a mess and you can potentially find buses to Uribia or Cuatro Vias but a shared taxi (60,000 pesos total) is your best bet if you can find a few others to join.
- Uribia to Cabo de la Vela – 1-1.5 hours (20,000 pesos – shared truck) * Trucks will be waiting to leave for Cabo de la Vela until they are full, so it is best to arrive earlier in the day so you don’t get stuck in Uribia.
- Cabo de la Vela – Punta Gallinas – 3.5 hours + 10 minute boat (130,000 pesos return trip)
Hopefully this information is of use to some people. I was skeptical of going to La Guajira without a tour (usually 550,000 to 600,000) but it is actually quite easy!
The total cost of transportation returning to Santa Marta, Colombia adds up to 221,000 pesos (about $110 cad).
*Bring candy or small gifts to give to the indigenous children along the route from Cabo to Punta Gallinas. Makeshift roadblocks are set up (rope tied to trees) and the kids are super happy to get some crackers or small candies!
Jamaya is hello in the Wayuu language – Wayuu are the indigenous tribes inhabiting the La Guajira region.