Existing Member?

Sube Sube Stephen Hey all, hoping that you'll follow my journey along the way and that we'll be able to stay in touch as much as possible. Hopefully some of you will join me along the way!

Parque Nacional Tayrona and Minca

COLOMBIA | Sunday, 31 December 2017 | Views [408]

After finishing the Ciudad Perdida trek, taking down eight beers on Christmas Eve with my new-found Aussie pals and resting for a couple of days, it was time to move on Parque Nacional Tayrona on the northern Caribbean coast. I had bookmarked this place as one of the top destinations during my trip on account of the turquoise sea, beaches and hikes replete with sections of massive boulders, palm-fringed paths, hot sun and sea breezes. It did not disappoint! And to extend my time there and to really get into relaxation mode, I tried my hand at two more nights in hammocks...with mixed results.

The park itself is pretty big, spanning 150 square kilometers; however, most people enter on the eastern side where the best hiking and beaches are located. I am most people. After walking for about an hour to the first site where you can camp, Arrecifes, I decided to take another path, which appeared to be a shortcut on the map to get to my destination: Cabo San Juan del Guia beach, where I’d stay two nights. BAD choice. Turns out this path is primarily used for horses. I am not horse. The path had been beaten up pretty bad and had recently gotten some rain as a couple of times the mud went up to my knees, but I still managed to keep my footwear somehow. After going barefoot and washing off in a river, I made it, and oh my goodness, the views were absolutely spectacular. Words and pictures can do no justice to how truly beautiful it all was. Two beaches flanked by massive boulders on the cliffs and in the water, a campsite bordered by palm trees and a lookout point to see everything bathed in sunlight.

After walking around for an hour or so to check it all out from different angles and vantage points, it was time to do what I do best at the beach: layout, listen to some podcasts and cool off in the sea as necessary! I slept the first night in the hammocks on the lookout point. Again, BAD choice. I was warned that it would be cold so I made sure to bring pants, long sleeves and to have a dry towel to act as a blanket. I also tried to wrap myself in the hammock like a little cocoon, but the wind was so strong that none of it helped much. Pretty sure I would have needed one of those parkas that all of you in Chicago are using right now. Ha, just kidding!. Somehow I managed to get five or six hours of sleep for which I was rewarded with a beautiful sunrise over some of the boulders.

The next day I did a little hike to some old indigenous site in the park, El Pueblito, with some new Brazilian pals. Much like there’s no chance of me learning Dutch or French, Portuguese is off the table too. So many J sounds and I’m pretty sure my mouth can’t make some of the other sounds I heard over those threes days...El Pueblito is similar to Ciudad Perdida with terraces and palm houses, but a lot smaller and less impressive. Thus ends my transcendent description of El Pueblito. Back to the beach! The second night in the hammocks away from the beach was much better needless to say. I actually slept for eight hours comfortably and still got to enjoy the sunrise. After breakfast, it was three hour hike back and onto Minca.

Minca is a tiny, tranquil mountain town in the Sierra Nevadas. After being in the heat for three days, it was a great place to cool off and continue to relax for two more nights. I spent the first night in a forgettable hostel; however, the wifi signal was surprisingly strong and the family running the place was super sweet. Just like all grandmas, that grandma could cook! I spent the second night at Casa Elemento, a hostel way up at the top of a ridge with impeccable views and three, eight to ten person oversized hammocks from which to soak up the valley views. To get there I hopped on the back of a moto taxi and rode the 30 minutes up. A little bumpy but so fun and hell of a lot better than a two hour plus walk uphill.

Casa Elemento is basically a twenty something’s mountain retreat dream. Yeah, yeah, I know I’m 30 now. There’s the aforementioned hammocks, a pool, fire pit and a good bar with bartenders partying along with the guests; all surrounded by green mountain views. The fresh passion fruit puree rum cocktail I had was sooooo good. After the late lunch I had that day, I drank my dinner that night. And I certainly got after it that night, but not as much as the group of ten Dutch guys that were there. Their bills the next morning were more than double mine. I’d say $40 for lodging, breakfast and a night of healthy drinking ain’t too shabby. This place is a popular destination and felt like a getaway for the young party version of the UN. There are some good hikes too in the morning to work of that hangover, which I certainly needed to prepare for my first uber long overnight bus ride to Colombia’s adventure capital, San Gil: 14 hours. Ouch!

Tags: beaches, draannks, hiking

Add your comments

(If you have a travel question, get your Answers here)

In order to avoid spam on these blogs, please enter the code you see in the image. Comments identified as spam will be deleted.

About stephen_koehler1316

Follow Me

Where I've been

Photo Galleries

My trip journals

See all my tags 



Travel Answers about Colombia

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.