Further on the Colombian journey after Into the Sierra Madre Mountains, coffee, cacao and beautiful Minca
TAYRONA National Park
The Dreamer’s hostel provided a shuttle to Tayrona. 18,000 pesos vs 8,000 for the public bus but it got there quicker, gave us instructions and went direct.
Entering Tayrona is a shmoz. First we lined up to make camping reservations. Thankfully a German girl helped interpret. We caught most of what the girl was saying but it was nice to know for sure.
Next we had to line up to buy insurance. 24,000 pesos for 3 days. Oky doky. Doesn’t matter if you have your own insurance. You still have to buy their’s. You don’t get to know what it covers or IF it covers anything.
Then you line up to get in the park. I had purchased our tickets online so there was a separate line. I’m not sure it saved any time but at least I could pay with a card that way.
By the time we boarded the shuttle it was 9.30 am. We’d arrived shortly after 8.
The 2 hour hike to Cabo San Juan wasn’t exactly easy, but not difficult either. It was just really hot and the terrain varied. There were stairs up and down, roots and rocks to climb over, beaches to cross trudging through sand, mangrove forests and lots of other vegetation.
At Cabo San Juan we lucked out with a tent in a premium site. Tent #1 has a beautiful view of the beach and is on the outside so not surrounded by possible snorers. We dropped our stuff and immediately went for a swim. The beach a little further had some really nice snorkelling so we were glad we brought a mask and snorkel.
We’d brought our own food but found it wasn’t really necessary. Yes, the food’s a little pricier but it’s not that bad and there are random vendors selling pastries and fruit all over the place.
There’s even a place you can charge devices. While eating our nuts, crackers, cheese and fruit bars we watched people coming and going to use power. The funniest thing was watching a girl use it for her hair straightener! We were sweaty messes and couldn’t imagine caring that much about what your hair looks like.
By 9 pm we were sound asleep and nothing woke us till dawn.
The next day we made our way to Arecefice. First we stopped at the Piscina, a natural pool with really great snorkelling. If you swim out to the edge there’s a reef with lots of interesting fish and even some pretty coral. We stopped at a few more beaches and enjoyed a pasta meal at the Rincon beach.
Arecefice was a disappointment. Others had said it was nicer than Cabo but we didn’t like it. It was crowded. The tents are grouped together under a roof with no room to even walk between. The beach is further away and, yes it’s beautiful, but you can’t swim there. We walked quite a ways to the next one where you can swim. It was also incredibly noisy. They turned on the generator and watched a big screen tv in the “restaurant” area which is right in front of the tents. At midnight I went out and pointed at my watch and said “it’s VERY loud!”
“Oh” he said “sorry, just 20 minutes more” HUH? We’re CAMPING?! They finally shut the really loud movie off and a bunch of people kept yapping and singing until at least 2 am. GRRR. Add to that the lumpy, plastic covered matt on a hill and we were NOT happy campers.
Oh well. Sleep is over rated 😉 We were up at the crack of dawn and made little attempt to be quiet.
Before 7 am we were walking out. The park is beautiful and the hiking really nice with varied terrain and lots to see. At one point an eagle flew right in front of us with a snake dangling from it’s claws! At the last campground in the park we stopped for a coffee and one of their infamous natural juices, then caught the shuttle out of the park and took the bus back to Santa Marta.
The Dreamer’s welcomed us back and said they could print our boarding passes plus call us a taxi at 5 am the next day. NICE!! Love this hostel 😀