Colombia In 18 Days! Part V : Tayrona National Park

We now continue Colombia In 18 Days!, reviewing a 18 day backpacking trip through fascinating Colombia in the fall of 2010. If you want to see the previous installments of this review please click on the links below. At the bottom of each article is a video with more photos and videos for a more detailed look into each destination.

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Last week I reviewed our time in and around Cartagena. From Cartagena we headed out to see Tayrona National Natural Park. After a night in a dodgy hostel in Santa Marta we took a taxi to the national park. It was pouring down rain when we arrived without reservations for the night! Fortunately for us we came across Castilletes Campground which was completely vacant when we arrived. Unfortunately there was no electricity as well, but for one night it wasn’t much of a problem.

the entrance sign to Castillete

the road leading into the campground

the main house at Castillete, rumored to be a former hideout of a drug kingpin

hammocks and camping space

The morning that followed we woke up early to attempt to escape the mid-day heat for our hike through the jungle and along the beaches.

after a short walk along the road we entered into the jungle on the trail

The hike was not difficult but the tropical climate made it into a sweaty and muddy experience for sure! Luckily, it was an incredibly picturesque place that rewarded our toils hiking through the sticky tropical weather.

during the middle of the hike we stopped for breakfast

A short time later we stopped at La Piscina for a break and a dip in the water. After a half hour of beach time we continued the hike until we reached our campsight for the night, El Cabo.

arriving at the El Cabo Campground

Once we arrived at El Cabo we reserved our hammocks for the night. Then we swam and relaxed at the beach. During the night we had dinner at the communal restaurant, chatted and then settled in for the night.

the beach and hammock enclosure at El Cabo

our beds for the night

The following morning we gathered our things and headed back to Castillete to shower, grab our big backpacks and headed to the Santa Marta airport to catch a plane to Medellin.

heading back the way we came

The hike took several hours to complete. However, we did take a break for breakfast after about an hour and a half. We also stopped again to swim and relax at La Piscina as well. It would be wise to wear footwear that you won’t mind getting wet and muddy as the trail can virtually swallow your feet at points. Also be sure to bring at least 1 Liter or 2 of water. High energy snacks are also a good idea as some portions of the trail can be uphill. It is only advisable to swim at SOME of the beaches so be sure to read any signs concerning the strong tides that can prevail along the coast here.

Be sure to watch the video below to see even more photos of this beautiful coastline and comeback next week when we conclude the trip in Medellin!

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