Tayrona National Natural Park

This Park is a protected area in the Colombian northern Caribbean region and within the jurisdiction of the city of Santa Marta, 34 kilometres (21 mi) from the city centre.

Tayrona Park

34 kilometres (21 mi) from the city centre. The park presents a biodiversity endemic to the area of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range, featuring a variety of climates (mountain climate) and geography that ranges from arid sea level to 900 meters above sea level. The park covers approximately 30 square kilometres (12 sq mi) of maritime area in the Caribbean sea and approximately 150 square kilometres (58 sq mi) of land.

The Tayrona Park is an ideal place for you if you are a lover of adventure, nature, beaches and above all if you are passionate about hiking.

History

The Tayrona National Park was created by the 191st Law of the Colombian Institute for Agrarian Reform (INCORA), in order to guarantee the protection of the region and the preservation of the ecological environment.

Geography

The park has an area of 150 square kilometers. It is located in the jurisdiction of the Santa Marta municipality, in the Department of Magdalena, alonged the north coast of Colombia which borders on the Caribbean Sea.

Taganga is its most southern part; its western boundary goes toward the northeast following the coastline, including a kilometer of sea area, until the Piedras River.

The boundary follows the left side of the river until the North Highway, and then toward the west, crossing the following places with clear demarcations in the terrain

  • Santa Rosa Hill
  • Tovar Hill
  • Guacamayo Pick
  • Aguas Muertas Hill
  • Cielito Pick
  • Hondonada Site
  • Humo Hill

It also crosses several creeks, like the Piedras River, Cañaveral, Santa Rosa, La Boquita, Cinto, and other water branches, including the Rodríguez and Gairaca creeks.

Flora and fauna

Scholars have done an extensive classification of animal species living in the park, which include about 108 species of mammals and 300 species of birds. The Mantled howler, the oncilla, deer and more than 70 species of bats are among the park’s typical residents.

The park’s 300 species of birds include the montane solitary eagle, the military macawblack-backed antshrikewhite-bellied antbird and the lance-tailed manakin. There are also approximately 31 species of reptiles, 15 species of amphibians, 202 species of sponges, 471 species of crustaceans, 96 species of annelids, 700 species of molluscs, 110 species of corals and 401 species of sea and river fish.

There are more than 350 algae and more than 770 species of plants.

It is one of three national parks in the Colombian Caribbean with coral reefs on its territories, the other two being Old Providence McBean Lagoon and Rosario and San Bernardo Corals

HOW TO GET TO TAYRONA PARK?

From Santa Marta you must reach the Transportation Terminal or the Public Market of the 9th and 11th streets, from any of these points you can take a bus to the Tayrona Park.

Keep in mind that the bus to take you to any of the entrances of the park can charge you from $8,000 to $10,000 COP, everything depends on where you board the bus and likewise the journey can last up to 45 minutes.

HOW TO TRAVEL TAYRONA PARK?

Tayrona-national-park Map

Tayrona National Park has at least 3 entrances, each one offers different beaches and adventures, but determining which is the best entrance depends on how adventurous and how willing you are to walk.

If the intention of your trip is to enjoy more of the beaches than hiking, you should enter through the Zaino sector. While if you are very eager to walk and want to know most of the park in a single day, you should definitely enter through the entrance of the Calabazo.

The third entrance to the Tayrona Park is through the Palangana sector, but keep in mind that you will not be able to spend the night there.

TAYRONA PARK BEACHES

the Cañaveral, Arrecifes, Cabo de San Juan de Guía beaches and Pueblito.

From El Calabazo you will start your tour through Pueblito, an ancient Tayrona settlement, then you will arrive at Cabo San Juan de Guía, Arrecifes, Cañaveral, and you will be able to exit through the Zaino.

While by the entrance Palangana you will visit the beaches of Neguanje, Gayraca and Playa del Muerto or Playa Cristal.

THE ENTRANCE OF THE ZAINO

If you are going to enter the Zaino, keep in mind that usually the buses that go to the Tayrona will leave you on the road and from there you will have to walk about 30 minutes to get to this entrance.

The good thing is that you do not want to walk, it is very easy to find minivans that for $ 3,000 COP leave you right at the entrance of the Zaino. A good alternative to save time and energy.

When you are inside the park you can go in search of Cañaveral, the first beach and one of the most beautiful of Tayrona Park.

When you are at Cañaveral beach you will be very tempted to take a bath in its waters, but do not do it! Swimming on this beach is forbidden because of how dangerous your waves can be, better walk and take some good pictures.

playa_canaveral
beach-arrecifes

After about 40 minutes walking through the tropical forest, you can reach Arrecifes beach. A beach that you will recognize by its giant stones that rest in the sea, there you will not be able to bathe, but do not be discouraged.

Keep walking that 500 meters you will reach Arenilla, a small beach with turquoise waters, where you can finally take the bath that you will want so much. Take advantage and let the waters of the Caribbean erase any pain.

 

Arenilla beach

At about 15 minutes from Playa Arenilla there is La Piscina, a quiet beach where you can also swim, explore the marine wealth and practice snorkeling.

Then you can walk another 15 minutes until you reach Cabo San Juan de Guía, the most famous beach of Tayrona Park.

You will recognize Cabo San Juan de Guía because it is the only beach that has a hut in the middle of the sea .

About 20 minutes from Cabo San Juan del Guía is Boca de Saco, the only nudist beach in Tayrona Park.

A nudist beach that is really a paradise of enormous rocks, green palm trees and thick jungle, where the sea breeze frightens the heat and the modesty of its visitors.

If you plan to visit Pueblito Chairama, it is best to spend the night in the park, because the time and energies will surely reach you.

Playa Arenilla
Cabo San Juan de Guía
Boca de Saco

THE ENTRANCE OF THE CALABAZO AND PUEBLITO CHAIRAMA

From the entrance of the Calabazo you can visit the beaches that you will see by the entrance of the Zaino.

However, keep in mind that from the entrance of the Calabazo you will first have to walk about 3 hours to Pueblito Chairama and then another 3 hours to the beach of Cabo San Juan or Playa Brava.

Pueblito Chairama is an ancestral place of stone terraces and ceremonial buildings built by the ancient Tayronans and that today is one of the most important archaeological remains of Colombia.

Visiting Pueblito Chairama is the best option if you want to get closer to the indigenous communities that live in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and do not have the budget or the 5 days to get to Ciudad Perdida.

If you are thinking about spending the night inside the Tayrona park, a good idea is to visit Playa Brava and camp in Cabo San Juan.

If you want to visit the Tayrona Park in one day, it is best to go directly to Cabo San Juan, because if you go for a long walk it is very likely that you take the night or you get so tired that you do not want to go to the other beaches.

The road to Cabo San Juan is hard, it is a path of gigantic rocks that seem supported by the nothingness and between its cracks you will see the emptiness, so be very careful and avoid entering by the Calabazo if the day is rainy.

When you finally reach Cabo San Juan, there you will find restaurants, you can have lunch and rest before continuing to the beaches of Arrecifes, Arenilla, La Piscina and Boca de Saco.

A good idea is that you leave the park by the Zaino entrance, in this way you will get to know most of the Tayrona Park in one day.

Note: if you do not want to walk, inside Tayrona Park it is easy to find horse riding tours from $35,000 COP.

UPDATE 04/2019

Natural National Parks ordered the definitive closure for the activities of recreation and tourism of Pueblito, Chengue, Los Naranjos and the eastern side of Bahía Concha in Tayrona Park because they are sacred sites for the four indigenous peoples of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

This decision was taken, through resolution 0391 of October 9, 2018, in compliance with a ruling of the Magdalena Administrative Court, which in January 2013 protected the fundamental right to prior consultation of the indigenous communities of the Sierra Nevada.

To read the entire article you can go to HERE

Tayrona Praya Brava

THE ENTRANCE OF PALANGA

The entrance to Palanga is on kilometer 5 of the road that leads to Riohacha.

From this entrance you can reach Neguanje, Gayraca and Playa del Muerto or Cristal beach.

Remember that although the beaches of this entrance are very nice, in this part of Tayrona Park you will not be able to spend the night.

Tayrona park Praja cristal

HOW TO GET TO TAYRONA PARK FROM TAGANGA

From Santa Marta, specifically from Taganga you can board a boat that for about $50,000 COP takes you to Cabo San Juan del Guía. Each boat trip can last about 45 minutes.

Once in Cabo San Juan you can visit the nearby beaches. Without a doubt it is a good alternative for those who do not have much time or can not walk a lot.

Taganga Boat

WHERE TO SLEEP IN THE TAYRONA PARK?

In Arrecifes beach there are camping areas and small cabins. In the camping areas you can find hammocks from $15,000 and camping tents from $ 20,000 COP, you can make your reservation by calling (+57) 315 320 8001 or writing to campingdonpedro@hotmail.com.

In Cabo San Juan you can also get hammocks and camping areas from $25,000 COP per person and hammocks at the lookout from $50,000 COP per night.

Tayrona Park Hammocks
ECOHABS BOSQUES DEL TAYRONA

Ecohabs Bosques del Tayrona is a 100% natural eco-hotel located within the Tayrona, in the Calabazo area.

The Ecohabs are a group of bungalows built with native wood, and high ceilings covered with palm leaves, creating a design inspired by the ancient tribes that inhabited the region.

Bungalows from $200,000 COP

COSTEÑO BEACH

Another very good alternative is to stay the night before at Costeño Beach, a hostel with a full adventure atmosphere, accurate to meet people from all over the world, has shared and individual rooms and is facing the sea.

From Costeño Beach you can easily take a motorbike or bus to the Tayrona entrance of your choice. The trip to the park is about 15 minutes.

Rooms from $ 40,000 | Private from $ 100,000 COP

TAYRONA TENTED LODGE

If in your plans you are spending a quiet night or going as a couple, the Tayrona Tented Lodge is the right place to stay, its bungalows facing the sea are beautiful and ideal for peace and meditation.

The great thing about Tayrona Tented Lodge is that reservations include breakfast and lunch and how Costeño Beach is located about 15 minutes from Tayrona Park.

WHAT TO BRING TO THE TAYRONA PARK?

Tayrona Park only takes what is necessary, the walks are very long and are on jungle trails, so always try to go light luggage. However, do not forget to bring

Sunblock
Lightweight waterproof
Shoes with good grip
Flip-flops for the beach
Cash

 

If you are camping, it would be a good idea to bring a torch for the night, toilet paper and a small kit with the basics.

WHERE TO EAT IN THE TAYRONA PARK?

On the busiest beaches it is normal to see food stalls selling egg arepa, cold beer and other delicacies from the region.

In Cabo San Juan there is a good restaurant specializing in sea cuisine, which offers lunch from $15,000 COP. Recommended: bread stuffed with chocolate.

If you prefer to bring your own food, remember to return all the trash you can cause and avoid carrying plastic bags and Styrofoam items with you since your income is prohibited.

PRICES OF ENTRY TO TAYRONA 2019

– Colombian, foreigner resident in Colombia or member of the CAN, between 5 and 25 years: low season $18,000 and high season $20,000 COP

– Colombian, foreign residents in Colombia or CAN members over 25 years: low season $24,000 and high season $28,500 COP

– Foreigners NOT residents in Colombia NON members of the CANA: low season $53,500 and high season $63,500 COP

 

Remembering the history class: the member countries of the CAN – Andean Community of Nations are Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia.

Note: to enter the Tayrona Park it is necessary that before you buy the Accident and Rescue Insurance, you can buy it by calling Colasistencia at (+57) (1) 742 8117 and it has a cost of $ 2,500 COP for each day you spend inside the park.

FINAL RECOMMENDATIONS

1) Before going to the Tayrona Park, apply the yellow fever vaccine at least 10 days before the trip, although it is not obligatory to bring your vaccination certificate, it is recommended that you have been vaccinated.

2) Tayrona Park schedule is 8 a.m. at 5 p.m. Keep in mind that the park is normally closed once a year between January 28 and February 28 and that the best time to visit the Tayrona is usually in the low season.

3) Always walk on authorized trails, remember that this is a sacred place for the Tairona and other indigenous peoples who have inhabited the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta for thousands of years, so wherever you go be aware of your environment.

4) The entrance of pets is restricted to Tayrona Park.

5) When leaving the park, be sure to return all the garbage that your visit produced, including organic waste such as peels or food remains, as these can generate pests and diseases in the wild fauna and flora.

BUDGET TO GO TO TAYRONA

Bus Santa Marta – Tayrona Zaino entrance: $7.000 COP
Bus to the Zaino entrance: $3.000 COP
Admission to the foreign park over 25 years: $53.500 COP
Two-day meals: $50,000 COP
Camping area: $20,000 COP

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NEW UPDATE

There has been a huge improvement in national parks after the closing time in February. The director of the national parks Julia Miranda, emphasized the excellent state of conservation of forests and ecosystems. INFO 
From 2020, Tayrona park will have 3 closing periods. The closing times are provided in February, June and November. The exact dates of closure will be determined by the Aboriginal community who will evaluate the condition of the area.
Please take this into account when visiting the region. INFO

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