Hi again, to a new episode of travelling with the Travelsquad.
Todays blog post is about our time at the Tayrona National Park. As you might know, long lines to get in are the standard and arriving as early as possible is the way to go. For us this meant sleeping close to the entrance of the national park. We stayed at the Tayrona’s Angel Lodge, which is a short walking distance away from the entry. We were able to leave our backpacks at the hostel, so we could bring only the essentials for 1 night and food and water with us to the park.
Shortly before the opening time we arrived at the entrance, where we found a long line already. It probably cost us 30 min to 1 hour until we could take the micro bus to bring us to the start of the hike. From that moment it was all a long walk together with many other tourists. For people who prefer horse riding, there’s the possibility to rent a horse and guide. The hike goes through a beautiful forest. The path is clearly marked and sometimes laid out with wood.
In Tayrona there’s a few beaches and places where one can spend the night. Usually there’s already set tents but always space for you to build your own as well. By the way, its’ important to bring your own food and water, since there is limited sales inside the park. We had done our groceries the night before in Santa Marta. Our goal was to reach the spot called Cabo San Juan de Guía and rent a tent or hammock there. On the way to our destination we met indiginous people selling fresh coconuts and oranges. As you might know, this park is a sacred place for these communities and we are guests who should respect that. Once a year the park is closed for a few weeks for the indiginous people to cleanse it with rituals.
After around 3 hours we arrived in the burning heat of the day at our destination. It was just after lunch time and we had been walking between trees, stones and sand. Before we could enjoy the paradise surrounding us, we had to make sure we had a place to sleep. I was rooting to get hammocks in the round hut on top of the water. And indeed we were able to take the last two available. Other options were a tent at the beach or hammock in an open hut next to the tents. The beach is fitted with showers, toilets, lockers and a restaurant.
The rest of the day we spent sunbathing, discovering the area nearby, swimming and taking pictures. We saw a spectacular sunset and then headed for dinner. Although we had heard of people getting sick from the food served there, it was the only option to get a proper warm meal. The restaurant open at a specific time and everyone gathers around the restaurant a few minutes before. They work with a ticket system, where everyone orders from a choice of 2 or 3 menus, pays and takes a table. The waiters call out the numbers of the orders that are ready. It’s a bit chaotic, also because a lot of people want to eat at the same time, but also kind of part of the adventure.
After dinner people spend more time at the beach, but since we are in the middle of sacred nature, it’s quickly really really dark. The only light is basically provided by the moon. We made our ways to our hammocks and got ready to sleep Unfortunately we were not aware that sleeping in an open space above the open sea would get very windy and even extremely cold at night. Both of us did not sleep very much that night and used everything we had packed to warm up. Also, sleeping in a hammock is not as comfy or romantic as you might think… However, the upside of this was that we were awake just before sunrise and were able to take in the atmosphere of this early hour.