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

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Canon del Sumidero

My 90 day tourist visa for Central America, or more specifically for Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador was about to expire. So, I had a choice to make. Get all the proper paperwork put together and go to Guatemala City to apply for an extension or hop on a shuttle to Mexico. 12 hours later I was back in San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico. I wasn’t excited to go back but once I got there I felt energized by the beauty of the city and the cool weather.

Last time I was here I had strongly considered an organized tour to Canon Del Sumidero. I don’t recall why I didn’t go last time. So I plopped down 250 Pesos (about $21 USD) and headed out to see the breathtaking scenery. It took about an hour by shuttle from the city out to the canyon. I had been warned that it was very hot at the canyon by a friend and I was glad I had heeded the advice. While it wasn’t exactly sweltering I happily found a seat in the speedboat for my gringo-shorted self. I then swigged some bottled water and applied a plentiful amount of sunscreen for the ride. I grabbed my camera out of my backpack and started snapping photos…

We're off to see the wizard...

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