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Is Tayrona really worth it?

Colorado
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68 posts
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Is Tayrona really worth it?

Hi TA friends.

My friend & I are going to Colombia at the end of May.

We love the pictures of Tayrona and the beaches but we just aren't sold on hiking for 3+ hours or what not in the heat, to camp out, and still have to walk to a decent beach, and eat over priced food.

We are planning to spend a night in Santa Marta, Tangana really isn't appealing but we may stop by for a few hours. It looks like a majority of our time will be spent in Palomino. A little bit of time in Minca.

We are both very big into outdoors so it isn't the hiking or the camping that is unappealing just the time vs exertion in the heat for a bad beach value. If that makes any sense.

Also if not, do you recommend anywhere to go in the park that wouldn't involve such a time commitment? Where we could literally do a 'day trip' from SM or Palomino? In and out in the same day? I was told that possibly walking along the beach from the East to West may be better than taking the tourist route.

Thanks so much!

Bogota, Colombia
Destination Expert
for Colombia
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1. Re: Is Tayrona really worth it?

Hi!

Sorry, but I think you're missing the point of Tayrona.

Tayrona Park is a natural reserve. It is not only about hiking for a couple of hours, it is discovering local flora and possibly some of the fauna of this park. The beach is the extra bit, the cherry on the cake.

As for camping, it is not just about having an uncomfortable night, it is about enjoying an incredible sunset, hearing the noises of the forest at night, and even more beautiful, birds singings, monkeys screamings at sunrise. It is also sharing some moments with the other people there, often around a group that brought a guitar. It is walkingto the beautiful beaches, and stopping by to eat a delicious ceviche prepared in front of you.

Yes you will sweat a lot while walking in the forest. It is hot and humid. But at least it is shady. Bring lots of water.

What to bring; Water (at least 2 liter per person), torch, toilet paper, some minimal shower kit (preferably soap better than shower gel to protect the environment, and yes you can wash your hair with a soap), some plastic bags to bring back your wastes with you. A pair of sneakers is enough to walk, but get some flip flops too as there are parts that may require walking in the water.

Colorado
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68 posts
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2. Re: Is Tayrona really worth it?

Thanks.

As I said it isn't the camping bit that is worrisome. Nor the hiking. It's the hiking in a very different climate than we are used to or comfortable with.

I am trying to establish if hiking for 3 hours in such conditions is really worth it. We'd probably enjoy a walk in better temps but from what I see you are on a narrow trail dodging horse poo for hours might make it hard to enjoy local flora and fauna.

However, upon further investigation I've seen that there are chances to take a boat in so that is what we'll probably look at.

As for a beach, the beaches at Palomino appear to be far superior so that will satisfy that.

Does anyone else have a little more relevant information pertaining to the original post?

Miami, Florida
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3. Re: Is Tayrona really worth it?

Jcktvls,

I Love the outdoors and visited Tayrona in Feb 2012. I absolutely loved it. The views and landscapes are breathtaking. Tayrona was one of the most special parts of my trip to Colombia. I don't agree with the "bad beach value" comment. The beaches in Cabo San Juan de la Guia are beautiful and this is coming from a person that grew up in an Island. I am pretty particular about beaches. Like Stephane said it is a combination of different things, being outdoors, beautiful trail and views, great sunrises and sunset, beautiful beaches. I also met some of the most amazing people who are now great friends at Tayrona. The food isn't great there, so that will be the only negative. If you are into the outdoors, like hiking, camping and beautiful beaches and don't mind simple restroom facilities I highly recommend it!!

Regarding the trail, there are two trails you can take, one that goes by the water, beaches, etc, with beautiful views and there is one that the horses take that you are right, you don't see as much. I did both. I entered through the beautiful trail and exited through the route the horses take. At the end of the day, be honest to yourself and what you would like to get out of the trip. If you really love the outdoors I do not think you will be disappointed.

In Santa Marta you can go to el rodadero, playa blanca, walk around town etc. You could still visit the park and just do some minor hikes and not go all the way in to Cabo San Juan de la Guia. There are beaches all around. Cabo Canaveral is the first section of the park and there are some small beaches around there. However, I am not sure if you get to fully enjoy what the park has to offer this way.

Now with the boats, find out the details as I heard once that I it is not the legal way to enter the park as you need to pay a fee to enter and have a wrist band. Not sure if they cover all of that when they take you by boat. Double check.

Good luck with your planning.

Colorado
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68 posts
131 reviews
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4. Re: Is Tayrona really worth it?

There apparently is a legal way for the boats to go, cruises do this. But other than that not much info and Hostels in the area seem to be allergic to people who don't have months to travel and have a need to plan ahead and maximize their time. Haha.

I've also read a little more and it seems there is a place to camp about 45 minutes in? Granted I've been told it's not as much but that we could do.

Do you have any experience with this?

I've trekked for 10 days in the Corderilla Blanca in Perú no problem... But get me around heat and I melt. Hahah ;) we are pretty low key other than being solid mountain ladies. We're also a bit too proud to use the horses probably :)

Miami, Florida
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5. Re: Is Tayrona really worth it?

Hi! If you like private message an email address where I can send you more info on Tayrona. I have some info in the document around transportation, the different camp sites in the park, sleeping arrangements, what to bring etc. Maybe it can help.

One thing to keep in mind that the only beaches you can get in at Tayrona are La piscina and The ones in Cabo San Juan de la Guia. There isn't swimming allowed in the others due strong riptides. I cannot remember if the ones by cabo canaveral allow swimming. I remember them having chairs and umbrellas out so possibly they do.

6. Re: Is Tayrona really worth it?

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