Camp at Cabo San Juan in Tayrona National Park

5 Miles Round Trip - 200 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Cabo San Juan Trailhead - Search Nearby - Added by Zee Lilani

Discover what the Caribbean has to offer in this beautiful corner of Tayrona National Park

If you're in Northern Colombia, you've probably heard of Tayrona National Park because of it's lush greenery, stunning turquioise water and relative ease to get to for tourists. From Santa Marta just tell anyone working at your hostel you want to go to Tayrona and they will direct you to the mercado de Santa Marta, where plenty of buses leave for Tayrona everyday of the week. 

The bus will drop you off at the entrance to the park where you will watch a short film about the park and then pay the entrance fee(~$18). From there, you can either walk the 5km dirt road or take another bus to the trailhead. It's essential to start the hike early in the morning because hiking in the heat can get very unpleasant, very fast. For this reason, I suggest taking the bus to the trailhead to get to the trailhead sooner. 

The trail meanders through the jungle, up steep steps and across rivers until the last 30 minutes which is along the beach. Keep an eye out for monkeys; we were lucky enough to see a family in one of the trees playing and seemingly posing for photos. Although the hike only takes 2 hours and is not too strenuous, the heat and the humidity easily take away any energy you have. 

Once you reach the campground, there are 3 options for camping:

1. Bring your own tent and set it up in designated areas. Costs ~$7/person

2. Rent a 2 person tent in the park ~$14/person

3. Rent a hammock ~$7/person

The hammock option is usually the most popular and for that reason don't be surprised if you're hammock is still wet from the person using it before you and you are sleeping 2 feet away from another person. 

Renting a tent, although a little more expensive, allows a little privacy and personal space. 

You must carry all your drinking water in, unless you plan on buying it from the shop. The good news is they take credit cards and a 16oz bottle is $2. As for food, I would recommend just buying it from the restaurant as they have some reasonably priced meals and it's actually quite delicious. Technically, you aren't allowed to bring alcohol into the park but no one checks your bags at the entrance. If I had known that I would've brought some because alcohol is ridiculously expensive in the park. And if you're sleeping in a hammock, a few drinks before bed might not be a bad thing before going to sleep with 50 strangers within arms length of you.  

One last thing, the mesquitos and sand flies at the park are on a whole 'nother level. Prepare to be bitten alive if you don't lather on a thick layer of bug spray. Also make sure to apply it right after getting out of the water. Those little sh*ts will get you otherwise!

Tags

Chillin
Camping
Photography
Swimming
Backpacking
Hiking
Diving
Adult Beverages
Bathrooms
Beach
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Picnic Area

Details

5 Miles
200 ft elevation gain
Out-and-Back Trail

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