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Tayrona National Park, Colombia - Sleep In Hammocks Or Go Camping

Colombia travel blog by Mark Berman - August 2008 October 2012   » View Photoset (78 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for 10yrs!
Some friends and I took a boat from Taganga to Tayrona National Park, it takes only 40 minutes and is a real fun ride! We had stocked up on non-perishable
Colombia Photo - Trees and cactus in the forest behind Bonito Gordo.
Trees and cactus in the forest behind Bonito Gordo.
groceries the day before at the big Exito supermarket on the main street of Santa Marta - cans, liquids and packets of things.

Hammocks

We got to Tayrona and paid for a couple of nights accommodation in the outside hammock hut behind the restaurant. There are about 20 hammocks lined up side by side. Camping is also possible behind this area, it's called Rancho Lindo. There is another hammock hut on top of the hill but you need to be quick to get a place up here.

Rancho Lindo

Rancho Lindo is a beautiful bay with a nice beach, coconut palms and massive round boulders. These boulders are great for jumping off, sunbathing on,
Colombia Photo - Cactus watch the beach from the cliffside above CC Waka.
Cactus watch the beach from the cliffside above CC Waka.
drying clothes and for just looking at. The water is just amazing to swim in - I couldn't get enough of it, it's the best thing about being here! The restaurant serves some tasty meals which are not too expensive, but make sure you bring lots of food with you. There is a small shop here that sells wine and a few things, but it's much cheaper to get it all in Santa Marta.

Enjoy Yourself

It's now up to everyone to enjoy themselves in the sun, sea and surf. The locals put on a singalong and some dancing in the evening in the restaurant area and everyone can join in. There are bush walks and tracks to other amazing beaches and coastline in the area, make sure to climb the boulders and jump into the sea.

Bus to Canaveral (Tayrona)

Another access point into Tayrona is by car or bus from Taganga or Santa
Colombia Photo - At the back of Taganga on the way to Bonito Gordo.
At the back of Taganga on the way to Bonito Gordo.
Marta, it takes less than an hour, costs more than a boat and takes you to Canaveral. There is a luxury hotel and camping can be done here.

Camping in Arrecifes

The campsites are towards the west at Arrecifes, 45 minutes walk from Canaveral, donkeys can carry your bags. At Arrecifes there are hammocks available for a reasonable price. West again from Arrecifes is Cabo San Juan which has a great setting.

Beautiful Beaches

Some of South America's most beautiful beaches are in the area of Tayrona National Park. Follow the paths to secret and secluded bays and empty open beaches - white sand, sun, surf and sea. After a few days and nights out here
Colombia Photo - Beautiful clear turquoise waters in the bay of Bonito Gordo.
Beautiful clear turquoise waters in the bay of Bonito Gordo.
sleeping in a hammock or tent, you may be looking forward to getting back to Taganga for a proper shower and a bed. Boats leave daily.

Bonito Gordo & Other Bays

On a completely different occasion while living in Taganga in late 2012, a group of us trekked over the hills at the back of the bay to Bonito Gordo. It's a very secluded beach usually visited by boat and I would recommend if you do visit, do it by boat because this trek took 3 and a half hours each way plus the 4hrs we spent at the beach. It was extremely hard, hot and I couldn't walk for 3 days afterward. Other bays I have visited are to the east of Taganga - Playa de Pescador, Playa Grande and CC Waka. Again you can walk or take a boat from Taganga.

     

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Distances & times (if available) from Tayrona National Park (Colombia) to:


Map location: Tayrona National Park, Colombia. Tayrona is a coastline full of beaches and rough mountains, you can go camping, hiking, swimming and all kinds of other beachy stuff!
 A : Taganga - Colombia 5 kms 5 kms straight distance | 39mins 39mins by car (15 kms) | 46mins 46mins by bus (15 kms) (15 kms)
 B : Santa Marta - Colombia 9 kms 9 kms straight distance | 45mins 45mins by car (16 kms) | 54mins 54mins by bus (16 kms) (16 kms)
 C : Minca - Colombia 16 kms 16 kms straight distance | 56mins 56mins by car (25 kms) | 1hr 7mins 1hr 7mins by bus (25 kms) (25 kms)
 D : Barranquilla to Santa Marta - Colombia 34 kms 34 kms straight distance | 1hr 7mins 1hr 7mins by car (45 kms) | 1hr 20mins 1hr 20mins by bus (45 kms) (45 kms)
 E : Barranquilla Carnival - Colombia 86 kms 86 kms straight distance | 2hrs 40mins 2hrs 40mins by car (125 kms) | 3hrs 12mins 3hrs 12mins by bus (125 kms) (125 kms)
 F : Santa Marta to Maicao - Colombia 105 kms 105 kms straight distance | 2hrs 20mins 2hrs 20mins by car (129 kms) | 2hrs 48mins 2hrs 48mins by bus (129 kms) (129 kms)
 G : Camarones Flamingo Sanctuary - Colombia 119 kms 119 kms straight distance | 2hrs 45mins 2hrs 45mins by car (156 kms) | 3hrs 18mins 3hrs 18mins by bus (156 kms) (156 kms)
 H : Cartagena - Colombia 184 kms 184 kms straight distance | 4hrs 23mins 4hrs 23mins by car (242 kms) | 5hrs 15mins 5hrs 15mins by bus (242 kms) (242 kms)
 I : Valledupar - Colombia 131 kms 131 kms straight distance | 4hrs 18mins 4hrs 18mins by car (267 kms) | 5hrs 9mins 5hrs 9mins by bus (267 kms) (267 kms)
 J : Magangue to Mompos - Colombia 237 kms 237 kms straight distance | 6hrs 33mins 6hrs 33mins by car (366 kms) | 7hrs 51mins 7hrs 51mins by bus (366 kms) (366 kms)
 K : Maracaibo - Venezuela 265 kms 265 kms straight distance | 6hrs 28mins 6hrs 28mins by car (383 kms) | 7hrs 45mins 7hrs 45mins by bus (383 kms) (383 kms)
 L : Maracaibo to Coro - Venezuela 359 kms 359 kms straight distance | 8hrs 42mins 8hrs 42mins by car (522 kms) | 10hrs 26mins 10hrs 26mins by bus (522 kms) (522 kms)
 M : Merida to Maracaibo - Venezuela 391 kms 391 kms straight distance | 9hrs 37mins 9hrs 37mins by car (576 kms) | 11hrs 32mins 11hrs 32mins by bus (576 kms) (576 kms)
 N : Cucuta to Venezuela - Colombia 415 kms 415 kms straight distance | 11hrs 23mins 11hrs 23mins by car (634 kms) | 13hrs 39mins 13hrs 39mins by bus (634 kms) (634 kms)
 O : Merida - Venezuela 440 kms 440 kms straight distance | 13hrs 40mins 13hrs 40mins by car (803 kms) | 16hrs 24mins 16hrs 24mins by bus (803 kms) (803 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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