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Nick and Laina's Adventures

Warm Caribbean Nights

COLOMBIA | Tuesday, 28 April 2009 | Views [2361] | Comments [4]

El Cabo, Parque National Tayrona

El Cabo, Parque National Tayrona

Parque National Tayrona is very close to Taganga, however, it is a climate world away. Taganga is in a scorched, hot desert-like coastland, and Tayrona NP is in a thick, humid, tropical jungle. We took the local bus from Santa Marta(right outside Taganga) and arrived to the park mid afternoon. Hitching a ride to the trailhead, we started our short hike (3.3km) to the beach. The hike takes you through thick jungle, and you can hear many birds and other weird animals as the hollar at each other through the depths of branches and leaves. On the trail also run many mule trains, even though the path is nearly as wide as a hoof in some parts. It seems they export coconuts by the 200 pound mule load from here. At the end of the trail we come to a beach called Arrecifres. Its too dangerous to swim, and the sun is starting to go down, so we head back to the camping area, and with a little chat with a british girl and a kiwi guy, we head to a cheaper spot, further back in the jungle, that has a free kitchen for cooking! Our first night in "Don Pedro" the campsite we stayed, was a tough one. Besides the fact that the site is beautiful, in the middle of the jungle, and laden with coconut trees, it is hot at night. And humid. We now have a tent (got it as a gift in Pisco) and there is just not enough ventilation to keep my body temperature below 100. So, after a hot humid, hard to breathe in this tent, night, I woke up at the first sunlight to see what I thought at the time was a monkey in the coconut tree above the tent, which turned out to be a squirrel! I didn't even know there were squirrels in the jungle! Anyways, I spent the rest of the morning building a coconut juicer ( a metal tent pole sticking out of a log) Which I was able to juice many coconuts for breakfast. During the first day in Tayrona, we headed to the beach called "La Piscina" or the Pool. The water here is pretty warm, just a touch below "very warm" but it is refreshing. We forgot lunch, so we made it a half day of swimming, studying our Scuba books, and laying out in the sun. Now, at this point i didnt realize it, but i believe this is when I somehow touched a plant I shouldn't have, and got some sap on my skin that made me super sensitive to UV. Ill get back to this a little later. We hiked back to camp, started a fire in the kitchen(to cook) and made some delicious hot dogs. We puttered around camp for the rest of the afternoon, studying and chatting with fellow campers. The second night in the jungle was much nicer then the first, and I was able to catch up on my much needed sleep. Our second day in Tayrona, we headed to the furthest beaches away from camp ~an hours hike, mostly on sand beach, nice :). and Came to the double beach of El Cabo, which was very busy with people, and then we continued to "La Playa Nudista", Ill let you do the translation, which was the best beach in the park. Because of it's reputation I felt that it got a lot less traffic then the rest, which made it even nicer. The water at this beach was really nice and warm, and the other beach goers, were not all naked either, which is a plus. It was around this time that i started to get a really bad sunburn on my side, and the worst of it was shaped in a hand print. I didnt think much of it, so we finished off our day at the beach, headed back for dinner, and then had another too hot night, and my sunburns hurt. When we woke up, we did some studying, and packed up camp (our backpacks are much lighter, no water or food!). And then headed out to catch the bus back to Taganga, and spend our last night in town, before heading to Cartagena. Anyways, on the hike out, my hand print shaped sunburn started getting really bad, and by the end, I had 6 big blisters, the biggest about 1.5 cm in diameter, and half that high. Ugh! Colombians, the very friendly people they are, helped my out a lot. There was a couple from Bogota, on our way out, and they decided to help me out by taking us to the doctor in Santa Marta, and doing all our translations! Long story short, we got some antihistimines, and Im not sure if the doctor could do much help. I think the number one thing the burn needs is time to heal. Heading back to Taganga, we find another sweet place to stay on the beach, and go out for some juice and snacks. Tommorow, we will head out to Cartagena, where Jim, Lainas dad will be waiting for us, and we can explore the walled city!



So, Nicky, how's the sunburn now? I hope it has calmed down some. You are too funny! I guess you didn't do the whole "nude beach" thing. Not like your parents, I guess :0

I sent you an email about St. Croix. The next Jump Up is the night before we get there. You'll have to go! You'll love it!
Love you both!

  mommy Apr 29, 2009 9:08 AM


Hello Nick,
Before your South America travels come to an end,we want to thank you for sharing so much of it with us.It has been a fascinating and very enjoyable adventure.
Your stories were excellent.
Enjoy the rest of it in good health and comfort.
Our best wishes for a happy summer.
Warmest Regards,
Russ & Ann DeLuca

  Russ & Ann May 3, 2009 8:50 PM


Nice blog post. I fondly remember Tayrona from a visit in 1993. It sounds like it is much more visited these days. I'm planning on heading back that way in May and I'm wondering if you have time to comment on security issues. When I visited there were many army roadblocks between Cartagena and Tayrona. How's the situation now? Do you feel there is any threat from FARC or paramilitaries? Any issues traveling along the coast? If you have time I'd love to hear from you.

  donflan May 4, 2009 3:15 AM


Did your dad arrive? Let us know how he likes it.
Aunt Pat
Gramma Marcella was wondering too.

  Aunt Pat May 4, 2009 3:16 AM



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