Due to decades of civil conflict Colombia escaped most travel maps. Today, however Colombia travel is beginning to shine; backpackers and vacationers are heading to this diverse country and loving every bit of it. Colombia offers its visitors colonial and modern cities, outdoor adventures, coffee plantation tours, and pristine colombia beaches. Among Colombia’s must see natural landscapes is Tayrona National Park located on the Caribbean coast, an hour from Santa Marta and 5 hours from Cartagena.
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The park entrance fee is $15.50USD, which allows you to explore the park up to 5 days. As a national park it is a protected area that covers 150 kilometers of land and 30 kilometers of maritime. There are 4 popular Colombia beaches to visit within the park and these include Cañaveral, Arrecifes, La Piscina and El Cabo.
Keep your eyes open for howler and titi monkeys. While walking through the park’s forest at 6am we spotted a family of titi monkeys moving across the land high in the tree tops.
Cañaveral Colombia Beach
Cañaveral is the only place which can be reached by car. There is a small convenient store, bathrooms, and a parking lot where most people begin their hike towards the more interesting areas of the park.
Arrecifes Colombia Beach
After an hour walk through a wide jungle path visitors will arrive to Arrecifes, the first beach. Arrecifes’ waters have strong riptides and the water temperature is much cooler than in Playa Blanca, near Cartagena, but the scenery is beautiful. There are Eco-Cabanas for high scale accommodation, hammocks for rent and camping available for budget travelers.
La Piscina Colombia Beach
A short walk north from Arrecifes is the beach of La Piscina, an area for swimming only. The water is crystal clear with a natural, isolated setting.
El Cabo Colombia Beach
Following the well marked path for another 40 minutes is El Cabo beach. This is a large picnic and camping site located next to the ocean. A restaurant serves all 3 meals at set times, but we considered them a bit pricey. There is also a small convenient store that sells basic goods and snack items. There are two lodging options in El Cabo; hammocks and tents.
If you don’t have a mosquito net, you can rent one for your hammock.
High on a rock that jettisons out into the ocean, you can rent more expensive hammocks in a more picturesque setting, called the Hammock Hut. From El Cabo visitors can walk 60 minutes to El Pueblito, a smaller archeological site similar to Ciudad Perdida.
Budget Colombia Travel
If you are traveling on a budget, avoid taxis when traveling to the park and bring your own tent and camping gear. We suggest cooking your own food. You will be surprised how much money you can save avoiding the expensive restaurants available in the park.