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Camarones Flamingo Sanctuary, Colombia - There Can Be 100's Of Flamingos Here

Colombia travel blog by Mark Berman - March 2013   » View Photoset (33 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for 10yrs!
The flamingo sanctuary in Camarones is located about 15mins south / west of Riohacha on Colombia's north coast. I came to Camarones on a day trip from Santa Marta
Colombia Photo - Children under the palm trees at the beach in Camarones.
Children under the palm trees at the beach in Camarones.
nearly 3hrs west, bus $6USD each way. I was with 2 friends, we got out of the bus at the military checkpoint on the main highway and each took a motorbike taxi through the township to the lagoon for $1USD. We were greeted by the locals and had lunch at one of the restaurants on the beach while organising a tour with a man.

2hr Boat Tour

We payed around $8USD each for what ended up being a 2hr tour, not a bad deal. A small wooden canoe was set up with a homemade sail and we breezed off across the lagoon. It's a beautiful place with many species of birds sharing the area. There can be at times they say up to 2000 flamingos
Colombia Photo - 2 fishermen set nets at the lagoon in Camarones.
2 fishermen set nets at the lagoon in Camarones.
here, we were not lucky enough to see that many but we did see a family of 20 or so. The lagoon is quite shallow, it looks like the flamingos almost walk on water. At one point I got out of the boat to try and get some more stable photos, the floor of the lagoon is thick mud, the kind you can paint your face with - which my friend did! The return trip back to shore took a lot longer than it had to get out there because we were against the wind and our sailor didn't know how to tack against the wind, so he was outside the boat at the back pushing us along most of the way, lol. We arrived eventually at the beautiful beach in front of the village where we had started.

The Beach

This is a long and wide white sandy beach with a few palm trees at the back, it's clean and quite something
Colombia Photo - House in the village beside the lagoon in Camarones.
House in the village beside the lagoon in Camarones.
indeed. It amazingly was completely empty. The only other people were a family who were sitting in hammocks in the shade at one of the restaurants. This whole location and surrounding area has so much potential for bird watching, enjoying the beach and taking it easy.

Rubbish in La Guajira Department

The only problem at the moment is the amount of rubbish (mainly plastic bags) scattered around the village, between there and Camarones township and around the main highway. The whole department of La Guajira needs a massive cleanup! The beach and lagoon are clean.

The Township

We took motorbike taxis back to the main township for a cold drink and a quick look around. I had noticed the plaza when we passed through earlier and
Colombia Photo - Church beside the park in Camarones.
Church beside the park in Camarones.
wanted to see the statues and church. The town is nothing special. The main statue is of Admiral Jose Prudencio Padilla (1784-1828), a navy hero. The bust is of Luis Antonio Robles Suarez (1849-1899), the first Afro-Colombian government minister. The church is a simple one and is called Iglesia del Corregimiento. It was a 5min walk from the township up to the main highway, we waited only 15mins for a bus heading west to Santa Marta.

Don't be a Red Lobster

What a great day, luckily it was cloudy for much of it. I did however still end up looking as red as a lobster or perhaps more aptly - a camarone (Spanish for shrimp). Bring sun cream!

     

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Distances & times (if available) from Camarones Flamingo Sanctuary (Colombia) to:


Map location: Camarones Flamingo Sanctuary, Colombia. There can be 100's of flamingos here sometimes, it's 3hrs east of Santa Marta near Riohacha, you can hire someone to take you out on the lagoon for bird spotting!
 A : Santa Marta to Maicao - Colombia 28 kms 28 kms straight distance | 29mins 29mins by car (31 kms) | 34mins 34mins by bus (31 kms) (31 kms)
 B : Santa Marta - Colombia 127 kms 127 kms straight distance | 2hrs 41mins 2hrs 41mins by car (153 kms) | 3hrs 13mins 3hrs 13mins by bus (153 kms) (153 kms)
 C : Taganga - Colombia 124 kms 124 kms straight distance | 2hrs 40mins 2hrs 40mins by car (155 kms) | 3hrs 12mins 3hrs 12mins by bus (155 kms) (155 kms)
 D : Tayrona National Park - Colombia 119 kms 119 kms straight distance | 2hrs 43mins 2hrs 43mins by car (156 kms) | 3hrs 15mins 3hrs 15mins by bus (156 kms) (156 kms)
 E : Minca - Colombia 118 kms 118 kms straight distance | 2hrs 46mins 2hrs 46mins by car (160 kms) | 3hrs 19mins 3hrs 19mins by bus (160 kms) (160 kms)
 F : Valledupar - Colombia 109 kms 109 kms straight distance | 3hrs 37mins 3hrs 37mins by car (172 kms) | 4hrs 20mins 4hrs 20mins by bus (172 kms) (172 kms)
 G : Barranquilla to Santa Marta - Colombia 136 kms 136 kms straight distance | 2hrs 58mins 2hrs 58mins by car (180 kms) | 3hrs 33mins 3hrs 33mins by bus (180 kms) (180 kms)
 H : Maracaibo - Venezuela 162 kms 162 kms straight distance | 3hrs 51mins 3hrs 51mins by car (229 kms) | 4hrs 37mins 4hrs 37mins by bus (229 kms) (229 kms)
 I : Barranquilla Carnival - Colombia 204 kms 204 kms straight distance | 4hrs 30mins 4hrs 30mins by car (260 kms) | 5hrs 24mins 5hrs 24mins by bus (260 kms) (260 kms)
 J : Maracaibo to Coro - Venezuela 243 kms 243 kms straight distance | 6hrs 6mins 6hrs 6mins by car (368 kms) | 7hrs 19mins 7hrs 19mins by bus (368 kms) (368 kms)
 K : Cartagena - Colombia 296 kms 296 kms straight distance | 6hrs 13mins 6hrs 13mins by car (377 kms) | 7hrs 27mins 7hrs 27mins by bus (377 kms) (377 kms)
 L : Merida to Maracaibo - Venezuela 304 kms 304 kms straight distance | 7hrs 7hrs by car (422 kms) | 8hrs 24mins 8hrs 24mins by bus (422 kms) (422 kms)
 M : Carora - Venezuela 351 kms 351 kms straight distance | 7hrs 16mins 7hrs 16mins by car (459 kms) | 8hrs 43mins 8hrs 43mins by bus (459 kms) (459 kms)
 N : Magangue to Mompos - Colombia 306 kms 306 kms straight distance | 8hrs 23mins 8hrs 23mins by car (501 kms) | 10hrs 3mins 10hrs 3mins by bus (501 kms) (501 kms)
 O : Adicora & Punto Fijo - Venezuela 337 kms 337 kms straight distance | 8hrs 25mins 8hrs 25mins by car (573 kms) | 10hrs 6mins 10hrs 6mins by bus (573 kms) (573 kms)
Driving times are accurate but approximate and are listed in the order of driving distance! Drive times are always affected by weather conditions, the terrain, time of day, altitude, dinner and bathroom stops, animals on the road, protests, a fast or slow bus driver, police checkpoints, border and river crossings, dropping off and picking up passengers etc. These drive times are obtained from Google Maps and are meant as a guide. Note however, times quoted in the main text of this page are exactly as the author experienced it.


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Camarones Flamingo Sanctuary, Colombia - There Can Be 100's Of Flamingos Here. There can be 100's of flamingos here sometimes, it's 3hrs east of Santa Marta near Riohacha, you can hire someone to take you out on the lagoon for bird spotting!

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