Trekking through one of Colombia's most beautiful national parks set upon astounding coastlines; where many a music video was filmed.
15.02.2016 - 17.03.2016
....is a stunning, well preserved national park with awesome terrain; stunning beaches, and a chance to camp under the stars amongst other intrepid travellers and local families alike.
Ask any Colombian for advice on where to visit, and they will undoubtedly mention Parque Tayrona amongst their very long list of places to go.
The gorgeous landscape and coastline features in many, many Colombian music and tourism videos:
...and this amazing video from my favourite new band, Bomba Estéreo from Bogotá!!
Before you can enter the park, visitors have to have to attend a briefing on rules, the tracks, accommodation, safe places to swim, etc.
There is a nice video (in Spanish) that goes with this.
You can book a tent / hammock at the entry point, though if you want alternatives (and there are a few), you can probably wing it (with one exception... mentioned later)
Police take everyone's details upon entering the site and inspect ID's / passports.
They also thoroughly inspect all bags.
Drugs and alcohol are very sternly prohibited.
My friend with a few tattoos was given very special attention by the police; though we both agreed it was more out of genuine intrigue.
The walks are stunning in Tayrona, but be warned it is extremely hot and can be a bit of a challenge, so drink water!
The hills aren't too steep though...
You can also get around by horse!
Thankfully there are many breathtaking beaches to cool off in....
You basically have three choices... hammocks or tents... or outrageously expensive cabins.
Cabo San Juan is the most popular site camp site because it is set at the one of the best beach coves I've ever had the pleasure of chilling at.
Tents and hammocks go very fast here, and most trekkers end up missing out.
The office starts registration at 1:30 or 2pm - you'll probably need to arrive an hour ahead to secure a spot.
If you have a silk sleeping bag liner and wondered when you're ever going to use it... this one of those rare occasions.
It was pretty apparent that the linen in the tents were not changed each day; and if you opt for a hammock, it'll fend off mosquitoes.
Tayrona is really socially conducive without being too busy.
We spoke with an Argentinian couple; the lady is a nuclear physicist who designs the complex systems that operate nuclear power plants.
She helped build a prototype for a proposed station in Australia, and was training Australians how to operate it (hope I haven't blown her cover)... interesting!
Food and Supplies
The first night we stayed at the main camp site, where there are posh bungalows, etc - which is really nicely laid out and has a very nice restaurant.
I had this little beauty for lunch (fish and veggies cooked in banana leaf with salad thrown in)... seriously good!
There is an awesome bakery on the beach about half way to Cabo.
They make their goodies in a wood fired oven, and have fresh orange juice and Colombian coffee on offer.
Their arequipe infused buns are muy rico!!
I'll be back
With 19000 hectares, Tayrona is immense.
I hardly skimmed the surface, and will be going back to explore the more remote areas by boat next time...
The great state of Satander next...