One of the wonders of Colombia, this park is home to varied ecosystems of mountains, forests, cliffs and beaches.
Tayrona National Natural Park is famous for its paradise-like beaches, exotic wildlife and excellent scuba conditions. The 37,000-acre (15,000-hectare) area is often considered one of the most scenic parts of the world due to its exceptional landscape, formed by a blend of ecosystems and microclimates, with environments such as thorny scrubland and dry, rain and cloud forests. The dry forest of this protected area is one of the best preserved in the country. The park is popular for hiking and tent camping deep in the forest or on the beaches. Look for many types of exotic wildlife and plants as you explore the park.
Take a 2-hour hike through dense forest to reach Cabo San Juan, a small outdoor resort. Play beach volleyball or soccer. Enjoy a seafood meal at one of the two restaurants. In the evening, watch shooting stars in an exceptionally clear sky. Mingle with other families and backpackers. There are on-site showers for your comfort.
Walk around the varied woodland in the middle of the park. Spot exotic wildlife, such as monkeys, iguanas, opossums and jaguars. Signs guide you to beaches, resorts and viewpoints. Stop to take photos of unforgettable views of beaches, rocky terrain and the ocean at one of the panoramic vistas in the gaps between trees.
Enjoy the tranquil surroundings in your own personal oasis. Arrange a scuba diving trip to a private beach through a dive center in the neighboring villages of Taganga or Santa Marta. Discover colorful fish and intriguing terrain under the water.
The park charges an entrance fee, which may be included in the tour price. Students pay a discount rate. Tent and hammock fees vary, depending on where you stay in the large park. Make sure to bring enough water for long hikes, particularly in the afternoon.
Tayrona National Natural Park is a half-hour bus journey northwest of the charming fishing village of Taganga. Organize your journey with one of the dive centers or tour operators. You may also go directly from Santa Marta, which is 2.6 miles (4.2 kilometers) west of Taganga. Many travelers choose to stay at one of the neighboring towns in the evening in the comfort of a hotel. Others prefer to sleep in tents or hammocks under the stars in the park.