Colorful Colombia Part VI: Tayrona National Park aka PARADISE!

So after the 4-day trek in the jungle and a night of mojitos and roof-top partying in Santa Marta, we decided to set up camp in Tayrona National Park. We heard that taking the bus to the entrance was a rather long affair since this also involved hiking through the park with our bags to finally reach the beaches, so we decided to take the boat from Taganga that drops you off directly at Cabo San Juan. It is more expensive but the speed-boaty ride was totally worth it. However, if you are not a fan of riding speed-boat like on a not really speed-appropriate boat, the bus might be a better choice. The park itself, as a national park, is a whooping 42500 COP entrance fee (while only 8500 COP for students….). However, everything is perfectly clean and well-organized so I won’t complain.

Upon arrival at Cabo San Juan we jumped into the turquoise sea, bought some beers and sandwiches and then got in line (!) for the hammocks at the beach. While there are a lot of hammocks at the campsite there are only 20 hammocks at the mirador on top of the rocks pictured below. I was a bit sceptic about sleeping in a hammock but the prospect of sleeping in one directly at the sea with the breeze rocking you to sleep was just too good an opportunity to miss. And it didn’t disappoint!

The views from the mirador. Cabo San Juan has two beaches that are, admittedly, quite crowded in the afternoons since the boats also drop off quite a few day tourists. In the mornings and late afternoons though, you can call them your own.  There were only a few vendors selling beers and snacks but they weren’t any pushy so it still felt all very relaxed.

The second hammock from the left was mine for the night – surprisingly comfy and watching the sun rise from a hammock listening to the waves crashing into the rocks – simply perfect!

One could easily escape “the crowds” and follow a little trail at the end of the Cabo San Juan beaches and have a whole beach to oneself. We spent a good bit of time just sitting there staring at the sea, all of us lost in some thought or other.

Shades of blue.

So, when the sun finally settled we decided to just get a few beers and crackers and sit on the deck on the mirador for an improvised “dinner” with our trekking friends Riet and Sarah. With the stars above us, we just sat there in the dark, recounting traveling tales and discussing politics. It was perfect.

Seriously, these are the moments I pack up my bags for and go traveling. New friends, shared adventures, inspiration and motivation – this is what traveling is about for me.

The next morning, after  my first night in a hammock with the sea breeze in my face and the rolling of the sea in my ears, my brother organized the BEST breakfast with fresh maraca and papaya juice and warm chocolate bread. I guess I don’t have to say more….

And now, well, just a few more pictures of this perfect place, I just couldn’t help it 😉

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