The Caribbean Coast Sights

Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona

  • Beach–Sight
  • Fodor's Choice

Published 03/16/2017

Fodor's Review

Here the forest-clad foothills of the Sierra Nevada tumble into the wild Caribbean, sheltering ancient ruins and bucolic coves fringed with coco palms, mangroves, and vibrant coral reefs. Only a small portion of the park's 37,000 acres is accessible to tourists, but it's here that some 59 mammal and 396 bird species thrive in three zones–-bosque seco (dry spiny forest), bosque húmedo tropical (tropical rain forest), and bosque nublado (cloud forest). There are a number of entry points to the park, but the principal point of entry is El Zaino, where you'll be given a basic introduction to the park before heading off in a van that will bring you to the first beach, Castilletes. Although it's a pleasant beach, it's best to head a few minutes down the trail to Cañaveral; get your bearings from the spectacular mirador (lookout), and then descend to inspect the giant sculptured monoliths on the beach, which lend something of a Planet of

the Apes look to the scenery. If you're coming from the western side, many visitors enter at Palangana, to continue on to Nehuange, where a short boat trip deposits you on the popular Playa Cristal. You'll need your own transport, and there's an extra charge for the vehicle and parking. The central entry point is Calabazo, which offers a challenging but extremely rewarding hike winding through a balmy cloud forest dotted with giant boulders. From the entrance it takes approximately three hours to reach the park's most famous beach, Cabo San Juan del Guía, passing on the way the quietly mysterious ruins of an ancient Tairona village at Pueblito.

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Sight Information


East of Santa Marta, Santa Marta, Magdalena, Colombia

Sight Details:

  • Foreigners 42,000 pesos

Published 03/16/2017


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