Tayrona National Park Colombia ( Parque Tayrona )
Hello My Friends,
I would like to tell you about an incredible experience, I had in a real Gorges Place, Called:
Tayrona National Park. or Parque Tayrona in Spanish.
|Imagine a Place with transparent water, lots of trees, monkeys, blue sky, abundant sand on the beach ......
And miles of miles of tranquil turquoise waters coasts.....
This is not your imagination this Paradise exists in a country nowadays called Colombia.
Unfortunately Tayrona is not known by much people ...
And my goal is to make sure you know about this wonderful place....
So next time you have a vacation and you feel like going to the beach... You know where to take your girl.... Since this place is perfect for couples, and also perfect for people that want to relax.
Tayrona National Park in Colombia has long been known to connoisseurs as one of the wildest and most beautiful corners of South America.
I have traveled in a whole lot of beaches, I have also been to Costa Rica, which had a really true nature and true beauty of seashores. But sorry to break your illusion, Till now I thought the Limon a beach in costa Rica was the most beautiful.
But when I found out about Tayrona.... I found out that I was mistaken... and Costa Rica is not anymore on my top list of great beaches... no no no.
Tayrona Park lies at the Caribbean coast near Santa Marta in Colombia. You won't believe how HUGE Tayrona is (150 square kilometres) & how hot the water are, just perfect temperature for your body !
It has some of South Americas loveliest coastline. This little delightful spot is located about 30 minutes from the city of Rodadero, with beautiful beaches, hammocks to rent for the night, food, water and surf .
After paying the park entrance (Yes unfortuantely there is an entrance that costs 30,000 colombianos which is around 16U$S, it is one time fee, and after you pay it you can stay as much days as you want in the park).
You will have to walk around an hour to get to the first beach called Arrecifes.
If you are too lazy to walk, you can always rent a horse....
Don't worry, I know it is a quite long walk, but the walk is just BEAUTIFUL.
You will walk around fascinating wildlife including black howler, oncilla, deer, bats and ti ti monkeys, red woodpeckers, iguanas, jaguars (which are rarely seen as they hunt at night), variety of lizards, tropical marine life as well as the parrots. So carry enough water and enjoy the walk....
My only suggestion is do not sit for long time beneath a tree there, since all the trees have coconuts on them, and it is common to see them falling off the trees, just next to you.......
I haven't seen anybody walking there with helmets but it will not be a bad idea....
But I believe in destiny, and if a coconut just fell on your head, you have a really bad luck.....
There are 3 main Beaches in Tayrona (actually there are tons of beaches, but those are the main ones)
Arrecifes - This is the first beach that you reach after walking for around an hour from Tayrona park entrance. Unfortunately this beach is off limits to swimming. Arrecifes has claimed the lives of some 400 people so do not add your name to a frighteningly extensive list. Take a photo, strike a pose and stroll a further 15 minutes to the next beach called La Piscina.
Arrecifes has 3 places which offer accommodations: At the pricey end Aviatur has Ecocabanas for C$300,000 but also allows camping.
El Paraiso offers cabanas for C$100,000 and hammocks for C$12,000. Camping is also possible. A short walk further brings you to a place with reggae music that offers hammocks and camping. All three places offer food and sanitary services.
La Piscina - This is a really nice beach to swim and hang out. Unfortunately It has no accommodations.
We did there some snorkeling and the fish and corals you see beneath the water is just incredible.
Tons of colors and lots of fish I haven't seen anywhere else before.
El Cabo - Calm beach where all the young people stay. You can either stay in hammocks (between C$15,000 and C$20,000)in 2 person tents (which can be rented there for a total of C$50,000), or in a hut up the mountain which I have no idea how much does it cost.
Food is available at the restaurant and is not too expensive.
I personally would recommend to stay in el Cabo. I stayed in the hammocks and really enjoyed !
However there are two types of hammocks areas one s that are just very close to the beach,
and another hammocks area which is just up the mountain, with AMAZING View !
I would suggest you to stay up the mountains since you see the incredible scenery from above.
However there are not many hammocks in this area only around 10, and it was all busy when I got there so I couldn't stay there. Unfortunately you cannot reserve there a place ahead. What people do is they get to Tayrona early and try to get there place. If not just stay for few days and talk to the guys that rent the hammocks to reserve you a place there for next day.
If you do not like the hammocks and still want a good view, you can rent a room in the hut which is build up the same mountain, and have this spectacular view.
You can also do some Treks in Tayrona. Walk your way up to a native indian village in the nearby mountains called "El Pueblito".
It is around 5 hours trek in total. And there are only 2 Indian families there, but they live just like people lived before. And it was amazing to see and talk to those 2 families.
- Take lots of food and water with you, it's incredibly expensive inside the park compared to Colombian standards. For example a can of coke costs 2,500 colombianos, a beer 3,000 & a 5 liter bottle is 6,000.
- Take lots of Mosquito repellent... Since the hammocks they rent does not have mosquito nets !
- If you have your own hammocks, I would carry it with me to the park you save some money in accommodation. You will still have to pay a fee each night for sleeping, but much less....
- Flash light since at night there are no lights at all, only the stars and a full moon if you are lucky.
- Don't forget to bring Plenty of sun block.
- Stay Safe - Not all the beaches in Tayrona are suitable for swimming... and some of them have really strong and dangoures current, that will swallow you alive.
Pay attention to the signs and get inside only to beaches in which there is no sign showing danger.
Food, Food & Food ....
Food in Tayrona is NOT cheap compared to other places in Colombia. However if you are from Europe or the States, it will still be quite cheap for you.
An average meal in the park can run between $10-15.
Travelers can get food from the different native or local restaurants present in Arrecife, El Cabo and La Piscina.
I personally suggest you to eat the DELICIOUS !! bread filled with chocolate in a local bakery next to La Piscina Beach. (There are some breads filled with Dulce de Leche too). I don't know why but this bread was so great... and so hot and tasty...
You can also get a variety of sea food, such as the tropical fish plate with rice and salad. Seafood dishes are also usually served with patacon?s (fried plantain). Similar to bananas, plantains are usually firmer and not as sweet, with a neutral flavor like a potato. They are usually cut, fried and smashed into small pancake shapes, when they are fried again and served with food or as a snack on their own.
The local restaurants have a varied menu which includes breakfasts (with scrambled egg as the basis) seafood, meat (particularly steak and chicken), chips (papas fritas) and pastas. It is advisable to get in early, to avoid the disappoinment of being told the restaurant is out of the meal you requested. Meals are ordered and paid for before receipt.
How do you Get to this Paradise?
- From santa Marta, you can take a bus that drops you off in the park entrance.
- From Taganga, there are some private truck that will take you directly there, which you can
hire from almost each hostel.
- And last option there is a boat that leaves Taganga and drops you just on the beach inside the park (Saves you the walking of an hour, but I wouldn't skip this walking since it is beautiful).
However this is a more expensive option than the bus.