El paradiso

Parque Nacional Tayrona Travel Blog

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By the time we'd had breakfast, bought some provisions and waited for Liset's washing to do be done, it was 11.15am before we set off for Tayrona.  It was pretty easy to get to, we just jumped on the local bus at the market (4,000 pesos/$US1.50/£1) and an hour later we were at the entrance of Parque Nacional Tayrona.  How ever long you stay, you have to pay the park entrance fee which is 31,000 pesos ($US14/£9.50).  One person in your group needs some form of identification (e.g. photocopy passport) to register.  Formalities out the way, we jumped in a jeep to get from the entrance roadside to the starting point of treks (2,000 pesos per person).

The routes were fairly well signposted, so it wasn't difficult to work out where we were going.  We headed straight for Aracifes which was about 45 minutes of pretty straightforward walking, nothing difficult....although it was absolutely boiling, so sweating was compulsory!  There was all sorts of wildlife hanging around - lizards scurring across our path every whichway, mules carrying loads for locals and tourists alike and the sounds in the trees of a thousands of insects - a great introduction to 'parklife'!

We stopped at Aracifes for a much needed lunchbreak - we were pretty knackered and soon filled up on homemade ham and cheese sandwiches from our provisions - not too bad I thought!  Aracifes has a campsite, so not many people stay there as you can't go in the water as athe currents are dangerous, so we too headed further on after a lunch.

Beautiful sunrise over El Cabo
  We trekked on to El Cabo de San Juan, the most popular hangout.  It was a weird place really - beautiful spot with two beaches separated by a small headland outcrop, which was picture postcard perfect.  But then you have the sprawling campsite, which looked like it could have been straight out of the south of France - bizarre!  There's an option to stay in either tents or hammocks - the hammocks (15,000 pesos) were all taken (a regular occurrence, so don't turn up thinking you'll get one on your first night, but you can reserve for later nights) so we took a tent for the three of us (20,000 pesos/person) - a nice touch, they have matresses on the floor!  The main activity here is chilling out, people relaxing everywhere on the beautiful beaches, with only the occassional game of football disturbing the peace.
'La Piscina'

We went to the restaurant for dinner - as to be expected, the food was pretty basic (chicken/veg/salad for 11,000 pesos) and nothing to write home about, but there aren't facilities at this site to really cook for yourself.  A few games of cards and a few beers were the perfect way to round off the night, before we headed to the tents when the lights went out.  The Israeli popoulation (as usual) were noisy right outside our tent, which was a tad annoying.  The tent was unbelievably hot - I thought I was going to be sick at one point and I had to keep getting up and going outside to get a small modicum of fresh air.  So despite the mattresses, I got a shocking night's sleep and was knackered when I got up officially at about 5.30am.  It was worth getting up early though - perfect clear sky and an awesome sunrise which had a mystical aura about it.

An early morning swim woke me up for a bit, but I had made my mind up not to stay another night as needed to get some sleep.  I had a week or so camping in Venezuela, so I'm just really not up for it at the moment.  I left Liset and Nick to carry on and decided to head back....

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Beautiful sunrise over El Cabo
Beautiful sunrise over El Cabo
La Piscina
'La Piscina'
The beach at Arricifes
The beach at Arricifes
Nick taking a quick break!
Nick taking a quick break!
El Cabo de San Juan as we arrived
El Cabo de San Juan as we arrived
Campsite at El Cabo
Campsite at El Cabo
Parque Nacional Tayrona
photo by: Sads79