Parque Tayrona: Colombia’s White Sand Caribbean Beaches

Yesterday I set out to see one of Colombia’s most popular places: Parque Tayrona.  Tayrona Park is Colombia’s ode to Jurassic Park style beaches.  The Sierra Nevadas rise right out of the turquoise Caribbean, with coconut palm trees swaying in the breeze.  Because of this popularity the beaches, especially Cabo San Juan, have become very popular.  This has brought some problems along with it.  The accommodations on the beach are not cheap, and are largely poorly maintained.  For this reason, I decided to make Parque Tayrona a day-trip instead of an overnight trip.



Leaving from Taganga the sea looks calm.  Very deceiving.  Today was not a calm day on the seas.  For proof, watch the below video.
A boat right that should’ve taken about an hour and fifteen took about two hours. It was not a smooth sail, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.  That’s Jim, straight in front of me, a fellow Canadian from Ottawa.


Our boat in Cabo San Juan in the tranquil bay, protected by a reef.

Cabo San Juan from about 100m away.  It’s even more beautiful in person.
Tough life.  I know.


I was walking along, and could hear rustling in the trees.  I wasn’t exactly sure what it was.  I found  out shortly.  Here’s one of the little guys that was scurrying around above me.


This part of the world also has some of the best bird and butterfly watching anywhere.  



Another one of the beaches I walked on yesterday.  The hike was about 2.5 hours of reasonably easy hiking along beaches and through jungle trails.  I stopped for snorkeling at this beach – La Piscina.  The coral and fishes here were a beautiful site.  A highlight of a highlight filled day.

There’s huge boulders all over the beaches here.  I’m not a climber or boulderer, but if I was I’d want to spend some serious time here working on different boulder problems.  I took many pictures of the boulders for my climber friends.
A panoramic video of one of the beaches.  It doesn’t fully capture the beauty of the place, but it gives you an idea.


I had an amazing day hiking along the beaches of Tayrona.  The park does see a lot of tourism, and some people don’t enjoy it because of this.  The food kiosks are expensive, and the camping and hammocks are tight, and not very well cleaned (if at all.)  I want to come back and spend some more time here, but I think the best option is taking your own hammock or tent to stay in. Truly spectacular part of the world.  Apparently on a clear day it’s the only tropical beach in the world where you can see snow in the distance.  The Sierra Nevadas rise straight from the Caribbean to 5700m.  These peaks, however, are sacred to the Kogi people, and therefore off limits for climbing.  The Kogi are the only native group in the Americas that were never defeated by the Europeans.  They hid in these rugged mountains, and maintain the lifestyle, language, and customs that they have had since pre-Colombian times.  If you have time there’s a great video on their culture here:





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