Travel article: Tayrona National Park

Travel blogger: Christelle & Cedric

Trip story: Discovering The Americas in 6 months!

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Tayrona National Park, Magdalena, Colombia

Colombia 2 days - April 2018








From Minca, after being dropped at a roundabout in the middle of nowhere we headed to Tayrona to discover the Indigenous culture and hike the beautiful Tayrona Park.

We stayed in a big cabana with view on the rivers. It looked nice but there was no proper door between the bathroom and bedroom (quite common in Latin America, I still don’t understand why they do that!) , some soil fell over on us from the roof and we have been attacked by mice during the night ! They ate our chips and bite our bags... scary nights!


Tayrona is a national park controlled by the Kogi tribe, descendants of the Tairona culture which offers hiking, beautiful beaches, snorkeling and the discovery of a tribe : The Kogi.

We had a big day as we wanted to do the full hike in one day (people do it in 2 in general)

We started at the Calabozo Entrance where we paid our entrance fee (expensive for Colombia) and prepared ourselves mentally to walk 21 kilometres under 35 degrees and humidity.

First stop after 1 hour and 45 minutes - all uphill- is Pueblito. On top of the mountain still lives some Kogi Indians. Back to the past here as they live with no electricity, in palms and wood cabanas, they cook only with  fire, wear traditional costumes, speak Kogi and no Spanish at all and smoke/ eat what they call Poporo: some coca herbs, Lemon and crushed shells dried in a pot. It’s a tradition followed by many to connect them to the natural world. Tayrona means “sons of the tiger” and Kogi means “Jaguar”. They live in the Sierra Nevada from La Ciudad Perdida to Palomino. They went to the mountains when the Spanish started their gold research and lived in pretty much isolation since then.

First time we’ve been exposed to such a remote tribe!


We felt a bit weird there as clearly they didn’t expect tourists to come. So we quickly head back down to Cabo beach in 1 hour and 15 minutes and a lot of rocks climbing !

Poor people doing it the other way around, they clearly suffered.


From there we enjoyed the Caribbeans beaches and the jungle for 8 kilometres. Quite nice but packed which is so different from Pueblito just a few kilometres away.


Happy to back to our Cabana at 5pm after a 21 kilometres hike!

We loved that part of the trip and the experience of meeting a remote tribe which was a highlight of Colombia !

# from Minca take a colectivo to the roundabout (ask the locals they will know what I talk about; 8,000

Pesos) and then another one in direction of Palomino. 7,500 pesos.


# start at Calabozo entrance. Hike to Pueblito and then go down to Cabo beach. Then head back to el Zaino entrance. Take a bus for 3,000 pesos to reach the main road and take a colectivo. Don’t do it the other way around as the climb up to Pueblito is way easier from the Calabozo entry.


# you can spend some nights in the Park, sleeping in hammocks, tents or private cabana


# the Park is closed in February to protect it from tourism and respect Kogi lifestyle

# Entry Cost of the Park is 44,500 pesos per person.

#The double Room at Casa Parga is expensive for what it is.





Leave a comment

Aug 1, 2018 - 02:41 AM

Hi, thank you for sharing your experience! Can you tell me how to rent a cabanas in the park?


Christelle & Cedric
Aug 1, 2018 - 08:32 PM

You need to do the first part of the trek and at Cabo San Juan you can ask to rent one. Better to arrive as early as you can !


Bruno Berthier
Feb 9, 2019 - 07:10 PM

J'ai adoré Tayrona même si je manque de point de comparaison en ce qui concerne les plages de rêve, je suis peut-être pas très exigeant :-) On peut y dormir dans un camping assez confortable, ils louent une tente déjà installée (possibilité de réserver par Whatsapp par l'agence Aviatur, mais c'est pas non plus obligé). Bon, il faut être prévenu qu'il y a du monde à Tayrona mais c'est pas non plus bondé comme la côte d'Azur en juillet


Christelle & Cedric
Feb 12, 2019 - 02:16 PM

C'est exact pas autant de monde que ST trop en Juillet. As-tu ete a Pueblito? quelle surprise pour nous!


Bruno Berthier
Feb 14, 2019 - 09:07 AM

Oui, la rando à Pueblito est chouette. Mais vu que j'avais fait la marche à la Ciudad Perda où il y avait aussi une forêt-jungle et des villages Khogis, c'est vrai que ce sont surtout les plages et les cocotiers qui m'ont impressionné. Bon du coup, vu que j'avais fait la Ciudad Perdida, j'ai dû faire l'impasse sur la Guajira... ça me fera une bonne raison de retourner en Colombie. Je suis d'accord avec vous pour dire que c'est un pays très varié et joli avec des gens hyper accueillant ! J'ai adoré mes 6 semaines là-bas :-)


Bruno Berthier
Feb 14, 2019 - 09:08 AM

Je regarde votre site pour choisir ma prochaine destination ;-)