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March 2011

Colombia Flag Colombia: Tayrona National Park Flag Colombia

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Waking up after a good night at Tayrona National Park, Colombia

After Cañaveral, the jungle hike became a pleasant walk by the beach, which was an unforgettable moment under such a beautiful sky.

The waves are huge and it's forbidden to swin in the area. There are even signs, in different langages, which prevent us from become part of the sad statistic of the more than 100 people that have been drowned there.

A donkey walking through the hammocks for rent at Yuluka Hostel Tayrona National Park, Colombia

We reached Arrecifes before the sunset, and we knew that the hike was over for that day.
We only had to decide where to sleep. We only knew that we wanted to camp, or maybe sleep in a hammock, as we had no tent!
We had the choice between Finca Paraíso and Yuluka, which are side by side.

Yuluka offered the best toilets and showers one can imagine in such a remote place, an almost luxourious restaurant, a large camping ground, good hammocks, and fine cabins.

Murals at Finca El Paraíso Restaurant - Tayrona National Park, Colombia

Finca El Paraíso boasted a great seaview restaurant, with a very nice decoration.
But the camping was smaller, which means that tents were closer. Also, facilities like showers and bathrooms were much better at Yuluka.

Strangely enough, renting a tent at Yuluka was cheaper than at Finca Paraíso.

Finca El Paraíso campsite - Parque Nacional Tayrona

As we couldn't decide ourselves, we choosed both!
We rented a tent at Yuluka, so we had access to their great facilities.
But we used El Paraíso's restuarant as much as we could: for dinner, for a drink in the evening, and for breakfast.

The tent at Yuluka included matresses but no sheets or sleeping bags. I was OK and I didn't really get cold, and a sleeping bag wasn't really necessary. But if I come back, next time, I'll bring a sheet and a pillow!

Stones and pristine sea, a Colombian Paradise

After a good night sleep, we woke up with one thing in mind: to continue the hike!
We reached a place called La Piscina, where it is allowed to swim! And with such a beautiful beach, it was hard to resist.
The reefs protect the bay and it's a fine place to swim, snorkel, or just lay down on the beach.

Birds resting on the rocks by the sea

The hike continued under a sunny day, along with birds, giant sones and magnificent views of the sea and the mountain.

On our way we met a German lady who was travelling alone, and who had just broke her photo camera!
She was so mad because she couln't take pictures of the place!
But well, it was not her first time in the Park, so I hope she's got pics from a previous trip.

La Piscina beauutiful beach in Tayrona National Park, Colombia

We finally reached Cabo de San Juan de la Guía, which is a truly beautiful spot.
The sea is on each side, the mountains on the back, and a kiosk with accomodation on hammocks in the front. Just like a dream!
But the word spreads fast, and for good reason, so it's the place where lots of backpackers go.

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A beautiful beach in Tayrona National Park, Colombia

There's not much to do with the calm of Yuluka, camping can be more crowded but it felt well organized.
There was a small convenience store, a first aid stand and a handcgrafts shop, with a real indigenous Kogui working on hand-made goods.
It might be a bit more touristy than other places, but no doubt that Cabo de San Juan de la Guía is a great place to unwind for a few days.
Cabo San Juan was the last place we visited in Parque Tayrona, but we will definitely hike to the archaeological site of Pueblito next time!

Cabo San Juan de la Guía - Tayrona National Park

To get back to Santa Marta, we thought it would be a good idea to ride a horse from Cabo San Juan to the entrance at El Zaino, and then catch a bus to the city.
But we found a cheaper and faster way! There is a boat leaving Cabo San Juan de la Guía for the village of Taganga at 3pm.

You can spend the night up there at Cabo San Juan de la Guía - Tayrona National Park in Colombia

After a roller-coaster boat ride, we arrived in Taganga, where we had a late lunch, and then took a bus to Santa Marta.

Click here for the next part of our trip, Taganga.

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Colombia Links:

Colombia official Tourist board
Lonely Planet Colombia guides
Tayrona National Park on Trip Advisor
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Colombia travel guide

Colombia travel guide

Put that Gabriel García Márquez novel down and start planning your Colombian adventure! Before you know it, you'll be strolling the cobbled streets of colonial Cartagena...

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