Tayrona National Park – Day 1

El Cabo beach in Tayrona National Park, Colombia

After a couple of days in Bogota, a very early flight took us to Santa Marta, the start point to explore ColombiaCaribbean coast.

We planned to go to Tayrona national park, where the Sierra Nevada  mountains go down directly on unspoiled beaches, where nature is wild & human presence is almost invisible.

Nudist beach in Tayrona National Park, Colombia
Tayrona being so uncontaminated & remote is a long trip to reach the heart of the park.
I searched google for hours to find out how to go from the airport to Tayrona, but I could find no information. So we just thought we figured it out once we got there.
Indeed, there was no need to worry: once you arrive at Santa Marta airport, you’ll find all the information you need, not only to go to Tayrona, but to go to all the other destinations nearby, such as Palomino, Minca, …
Basically you can go everywhere by bus, but in this case you need to have time as the journey will take longer: you’ll need to take a first bus to Santa Marta central market & from there one or two other buses to your final destination.
Also people are really nice, so if you’re a bit lost with all the buses in Santa Marta, they’ll help you out!
Or you can go by taxi. The taxi fares are fixed and clearly displayed on several billboards inside the airport and in the taxis as well.

For European standards, those taxi fares are really, really, reasonable.

Cabo San Juan in Tayrona National Park, Colombia
Once you arrive at Tayrona entrance, you’re still faraway to the final destination. We were there in the middle of the week & it was low season, still we had to queue more than 1 hour to pay our entrance fees. Once you have your entrance tickets, you still have to watch a video on how to behave in the park, then you have to take back the bus or the taxi to go a bit further in the park & finally you can choose to walk or ride a horse to your final destination in the park (cars are not allowed in the park).
There are no many places where to stay in Tayrona: some luxurious & completely over priced cabins on the first the beach & a sort of a camping on the most remote & most beautiful beach.

We obviously chose this last option and ride our horses until Cabo San Juan.

Horse-riding in Tayrona National Park, Colombia
Horse-riding in Tayrona National Park, Colombia

There we queued again – I must say that all those tourists take away some of the beauty & wilderness of the place…  – to book a place to sleep, you can choose between hammocks or tents.

There are also two double rooms in the wooden cabin overlooking the sea. You can book them in advance through internet, but they’re obviously quite always full.

El Cabo San Juan beach in Tayrona National Park, Colombia

We finally had our tent & strategically placed in front of the sea and a bit far away from all the others 😉

El Cabo San Juan campsite in Tayrona National Park, Colombia

Tired & hungry from the long trip to reach El Cabo, we made a beeline for the only restaurant available.

I read food was expensive & not really tasty in Tayorna, but I actually found the restaurant served good food, exceptionally good seafood & prices were quite affordable.

Plus, when you can have lunch in front fo such a view, who would complain? ?

Lunch at el Cabo beach in Tayrona National Park, Colombia

We spent the afternoon chilling in the sun

Chilling at el Cabo beach in Tayrona National Park, Colombia
El Cabo beach, Tayrona National Park, Colombia, GIF

& swimming & snorkeling in the crystal blue water

El Cabo beach in Tayrona National Park, Colombia
El Cabo beach in Tayrona National Park, Colombia
El Cabo beach in Tayrona National Park, Colombia
Palm tress in El Cabo beach in Tayrona National Park, Colombia
El Cabo beach in Tayrona National Park, Colombia

Tayrona is a wonderful sequence of a beach after another & at the end of the afternoon we decided to have a walk to explore a bit more & headed to the beach next to El Cabo one.

Discovering blue crabs along the way.

Blue crabs in Tayrona National Park, Colombia
Blue crabs in Tayrona National Park, Colombia

The next beach was even more beautiful & also much more wild.

Beach in Tayrona National Park, Colombia
Nudist beach in Tayrona National Park, Colombia

But waves & currents are really strong – not only in Tayrona but generally on this side of Colombian coast – and swimming is not recommended, except in naturally protected beaches like El Cabo or La Piscina.

Tayrona National Park, Colombia
Nevertheless, the place is beautiful & just walking on the sand enjoying the view is wonderful…
Nudist beach in Tayrona National Park, Colombia
Beach in Tayrona National Park, Colombia
Beach in Tayrona National Park, Colombia
Beach in Tayrona National Park, Colombia

…until you start seeing naked people & you realize you’re on a nudist beach. ?   That’s when we decided to turn back to El Cabo beach.

Beach in Tayrona National Park, Colombia
Cabo San Juan, Tayrona National Park, Colombia
Cabo San Juan, Tayrona National Park, Colombia

The sun was starting to set & people were playing football on the beach

Football in El Cabo San Juan, Tayrona National Park, Colombia
Football at El Cabo, Tayrona National Park, Colombia

& we took possession of our tent to relax & watch the sunset…

El Cabo San Juan in Tayrona National Park, Colombia
El Cabo San Juan in Tayrona National Park, Colombia
Palm tress in Tayrona National Park, Colombia

…Before heading back to the camp restaurant for some grilled fish & exceptionally good fruit juice.

What you should also know is that, except for a couple of hours in the restaurant, there is no electricity nor lights in Tayrona.

Once the sun sets down, it’s very dark & there’s no much to do at night… But if you don’t mind being surrounded by nature in a still untouched place, El Cabo in Tayrona is a perfect, wonderful place.

Tent in Tayrona National Park, Colombia

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