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Tips for Visiting Tayrona Park, Colombia

Tayrona Park in Colombia is a large protected area between the foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and the Caribbean coast. It is absolutely beautiful and a must-see when visiting Colombia. Crystal clear waters, animals all around and hammock huts are all part of this stunning park’s charm!

TIP: BEFORE GOING BE SURE TO CHECK THE SCHEDULE FOR TAYRONA AS SOMETIMES THEY CLOSE THE PARK FOR PERIODS OF TIME.

There are two entrances for Tayrona Park, Zaino & Calabazo or you can enter by boat of Taganga (5km away from Santa Marta). We entered the Zaino entrance and planned to hike through the jungle to get to the beach. I had no idea about the boat entry at the time but it may be something to consider if hiking isn’t your thing.

TIP: GET TO THE PARK EARLY AS IT GETS BUSY REALLY QUICKLY. BRING YOUR PASSPORT AND PROOF OF YELLOW FEVER VACCINATION JUST IN CASE. SOMETIMES THEY ASK FOR IT AND SOMETIMES THEY DON’T.

Tayrona park gets busy pretty quickly plus you generally have to wait in line to get your entry ticket so you will want to get there early. You can go for the day or stay overnight, however, I recommend staying overnight as it takes a while to get to the actual beaches and there is a lot to see. Once you’ve got your ticket you can continue to the parking area by foot (Approximately 2km) or you can take a collectivo/taxi van for about $3.

TIP: DON’T BRING A BIG BACKPACK IF YOU ARE PLANNING ON HIKING A LOT THROUGH THE PARK. YOU WILL NEED TO TAKE IT WILL YOU JUST ABOUT EVERYWHERE SO PACK MINIMALLY.

From this parking lot, it is about 3.5km to Arrecifes then an additional 30ish minutes or so to Piscina beach and then an additional 30ish minutes to Cabo San Juan beach. There are some amazing views along the way and of course, the beaches are gorgeous and alluring but be sure to read the signs as some beaches are completely off-limits due to the high level of danger or risk they pose.

TIP: BE SURE TO BRING BOTH SUNSCREEN AND BUG REPELLANT AS YOU WILL BE SWITCHING OFF APPLYING ONE RIGHT AFTER THE OTHER.

When we were researching online where to stay in the park, it seemed like there were only a few places however there are actually a ton of places to stay. There are eco-lodges and hammock huts alike. Depending on when you go it can get busy and booked up quickly so if you are staying the night you will want to find a place the stay immediately and reserve your spot before going out to explore.

Tip: Reserve your accommodation ahead of time online or once you enter the park go straight to the place you want to stay

We stayed at Don Pedro campsite but there is also one right across the main road called Andres Bermudez that looked really nice as well and both offer hammocks & tent options. I opted for the hammock as we were only staying one night and thought it would be a different experience and I was right!

In the middle of the night, I hear my friend talking and saying something weird and of course, my glasses are off so I have no idea what’s going on. I tried to sit up in my wobbly hammock and scramble for my glasses and as soon as I put them on I see a donkey in the hut and my friend is pointing and laughing. The donkey was just wandering around all the sleeping campers I suppose, lol. Anyway, he quickly exited the hut slamming the door behind him and giving us all a good laugh long into the next day when the owners chased him around the campsite for quite a while trying to get him home.

Tip: Buy a reusable filtered water bottle.

When it comes to food and water in the park the options are limited. There aren’t any places to refill your water bottle in the park so you will need to buy bottled water OR you can get a LifeStraw Water bottle to refill as it will purify the water while you drink. You can bring in your own food and cook it at the campsites, canned food is best for this, or you can eat at the restaurants or food stops they have there. The food is a bit pricey for Colombia’s standards but if you don’t bring your own, its all there is. I do recommend stopping for an Arequipa (dulce de leche) bread and coffee at Panaderia Beer while in the park!

TIP: BRING CASH AS THAT WILL BE THE ONLY WAY TO PAY FOR ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING IN THE PARK.

Some other things to note when visiting the park: There is an optional nude beach from my understanding although I didn’t get the chance to visit, it is just past Cabo San Juan beach.

Unfortunately, the Pueblito Ruins are closed to the public as of March 2019.

Coco Betty Travels About Me

Hi Friends!

My full name is Courtney Elizabeth and growing up some of my nicknames were Coco & Betty, thus the name Coco Betty. Feel free to call me Coco, I still answer to it. I empower women to love themselves through travel, one trip at a time.

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Coco Betty Travels About Me

Hi Friends!

My full name is Courtney Elizabeth and growing up some of my nicknames were Coco & Betty, thus the name Coco Betty. Feel free to call me Coco, I still answer to it. I empower women to love themselves through travel, one trip at a time.

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