Bonda & Paso del Mango5 January, 2022
Rodadero6 January, 2022
Where to Go, Parque Tayrona
The Tayrona National Natural Park (Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona) is a natural protected that covers approximately 30 square kilometers of maritime area in the Caribbean Sea and approximately 150 square kilometers of land. The park is located 34 kilometers from the city center and presents a biodiversity endemic to the area of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Mountain range, featuring a variety of climates (mountain climate) and geography that ranges from arid sea level to 900 meters above sea level. The Park is part of the ancestral territories of the Kankuamo, Kogui, Wiwa and Arhuaco indigenous communities who inhabit the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. There are some sacred sites of the four indigenous towns of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, which are off limits to tourists.
Tayrona park has been included among the world’s most beautiful destinations by Condé Nast Traveler magazine and British newspaper and its white sand, crystalline waters beaches are among the most visited destinations in Latin America.
The entrance to Tayrona National Park is open between 8 AM and 5 PM every day, except for periods when the park is entirely closed to the public. Park closure is scheduled three times a year to allow the ecosystem restoration. This strategy is known as #RespiraTayrona which has been agreed between Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia and four indigenous towns of the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta. Dates are subject to changes, but currently are.
- February 1-15
- June 1-15 de June
- October 19 – November 2
- $5.000 per day insurance fee is mandatory.
- Approximately 450,000 visitors enter Parque Tayrona annually.
- The entry capacity limit is 6.900 tourist/day but was reduced to 3.535. Entries run in a matter of hours during high peak seasons.
- Tayrona Park costs are above Santa Marta average budget standards (i.e., water bottles usually cost $5.000).
How to get there
Bus to El Zaino
- The bus from Santa Marta to El Zaino leaves frequently (every 20 to 30 minutes) from the City Market or the Terminal.
- It takes about an hour to get from Santa Marta to El Zaino, and the ticket costs $15.000 COP.
- Buy entrance ticket at the main park entrance in El Zaino. Once in the park, you can either walk 4 km on a paved road to get to Canaveral point or take a shuttle for 5 000 COP.
- Private cars or taxi cost $120.000 – $150.000.
Bus to Calabazo
- Calabazo entrance is along the path before you reach El Zaino (45-minute drive).
- Bus ticket costs 6000 COP.
- Entrance looks very unofficial, at least compared to the one in El Zaino.
Boat to Cabo San Juan
- This alternative is popular for one day trips or those avoiding long sweaty hikes.
- Boats usually leave between 9:30 AM and 11 AM, and a one-way ride that takes around 45 minutes costs 70 000 COP – 100.000 COP depending on the season.
- The boat will drop you off at Cabo San Juan Beach, and from here, it leaves back around 4 PM – ask the boat captain, in case you want to return by boat to Taganga.
- Entrance fee must be paid on arrival to Cabo San Juan.
How many days
- Two-to-three-day itinerary is more adequate to spend your time in the park.
- The Park is open from 8:00 to 17:00, so one day visits are very tight.
- As most people travel on a one-day basis, beaches are usually crowed at peak hours. An overnight stay will allow you to enjoy the sunset, sunrise, and the much emptier beaches from 7.00 to 10.00 am and from 15.00 onwards.
- Beyond Cabo San Juan there are two less frequented beaches not suitable for swimming, but with white sands and crystal-clear waters. Due to the low number of visitors, Boca de Saco has become a nudist beach.
- Playa Brava is ideal for camping and hammocks since it has a fairly open area. There are simple cabins to stay, and the costs vary according to the seasons and their negotiating capacity, they will also find a restaurant service.