Squeezing the most out of life | An Aussie and a Colombian living life with a wandering spirit. Eight years together & over 60 countries up our sleeves, we're sharing the love |

Taking a walk in Tayrona National Park

After a week in Taganga we were getting used to the pace of life that surrounds a Colombian fishing village; until one busy Sunday when I went to the beach and ended swimming in to a large human turd. So when a fellow Hostel goer said “Tayrona’s got to have the best coastline of beaches I’ve seen in South America” my ears pricked up, a beach with less human impact sounded idyllic.

Tayrona National Park is the second most visited National Park in Colombia and it has a reputation for being well looked after and rubbish free by third world standards. Covering some 30 square kilometres in the Caribbean sea and about 150 square kilometres of land, the park boasts an impressive number of mammals and birds. We set off hoping to see more monkeys than people and enjoy the much improved odds that we wouldn’t be swimming in shit.

Although we can´t backup the comment that Tayrona has the best beaches in South America, we can say it´s a gorgeous rugged wilderness. We didn´t manage to see a single monkey, but we did see loads of butterflies, tree iguanas  and an underwater world of colourful fish right off Cabo San Juan de Guia Beach, without any rubbish or human effluent in sight!

We also experienced some extreme weather that isn’t usually compatible with a lovely camping experience. A huge lightening storm swept over the park and washed most campers out of their tents in to the cold night. Soaked through and forced to abandon tents meant most people fell prey to furious night insects and spent the next day scratching and grumpy on the beach.

But then the sun came out and Tayrona turned on the charm with clear waters, frolicking fish and a subtle breeze . Everything was again right with the isolated world. After no sleep the night before the idea of  a 2 hour sweaty hike back to the entrance became a not so engaging idea.

The other option of returning to Taganga is via boat. Double the price but with a pickup straight from the beach and the the opportunity to see the rugged coastline of the almost unpopulated nature reserve. The boat was heaving with too many passengers, the water flying and the view obscured by huge waves from the bow. It would have been better for everyone to stay in their swimming gear as the rocky and very scary ride for some meant we we´re all drenched on delivery.

Overall, it´s a beautiful landscape, although apparently it´s much changed from the low cost hippy paradise that Andres remembers from years ago. Still, Tayrona is a must see in Colombia if you have the chance, we´ll let the pictures do the talking.

Kris

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