11 Jan Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park (PNN Tayrona)
Tayrona National Park is one of the favourite destinations of tourists visiting Colombia. So this time we’re not dealing with a hidden beauty, but it is still a paradise itself. It lies in the Northern part of the country, a one-hour bus ride from the city of Santa Marta. Santa Marta can be reached easily from Bogotá by plane; Avianca, LATAM, Wingo all have daily flights between the cities. It costs about 120 000 COP to take a taxi to the park’s entrance. You can of course go and look around the city of Santa Marta itself. It’s a classic Caribbean city, but the truth is that nothing exceeds Tayrona. 🙂
Useful info about the PNN Tayrona
Entrance fees to the park vary depending on the season; around 65-80 000 COP for foreign tourists. Peak season in Colombia means the long weekends (they have a ton of those), the Easter period, from the middle of June to the middle of July and from the beginning of December to February.
But back to the matter at hand: Tayrona really is paradise on Earth – jungle, Caribbean beach, colourful fauna and sleeping in a hammock for the night. Accommodations (hammocks, tents, simple chalets) are an hour and a half trek trough the jungle from the entrance of the park, on paths walkable for tourists as well. You can also go by horseback and if you have a lot of luggage you can get it sent ahead on a horse to your accommodation. There is a bar serving local foods in the “camp” area. It’s not the typical Colombian countryside prices but I think the price/value ratio is all right.
There’s also a great opportunity for breakfast near the beach paths: the locals make you a fresh and very delicious, plentiful breakfast (fresh orange juice, eggs, arepa, cheese bread, coffee/cocoa). The beach sections are very clean, often with giant waves and fantastic views. Be prepared for scorching heat and high humidity.
You can continue your Colombian adventure from Tayrona on to Cartagena – a four-hour bus ride through Barranquilla (the hometown of Shakira) 🙂