Tayrona National Park
One the most unspoiled natural parks in Colombia, Tayrona National Park lies an hours drive to the north east of Santa Marta and unfolds it’s treasures like a natural Vivaldi symphony. Dense lush jungle and palm tree lagoons lead to beach after beach of golden sands, nestled among rocky alcoves, overlooking transparent turquoise waters. Backed by the cheeky chorus of Capuchin monkeys. Another way to describe it might just be paradise.
Tayrona is part of the ancestral territory that belongs to the Kankuamo, Kogui, Wiwa and Arhuaco indigenous people, descendants of the Tairona tribe (hence the name) that inhabited the region 200 years prior to Christ. And although it falls outside of the current territory of indigenous reserves that encompasses the Sierra Nevada it maintains a great cultural heritage and significance for these communities, and is one of the most beautiful places on earth.
To get to the park most people take a “colectivo” (public bus) from el mercado (the market) in Santa Marta. It’s a great way to get a little taste of real Santa Marta life, but if your feeling extravagant you can also take a taxi for around about $100,000-120,000 COP (each way). Another option is to take a bus from Mamatoco, which is a transit hub just outside of the centre of town that links Santa Marta to Minca in the south, and Tayrona to the east. A good option if your going to the park directly from Minca.
Bus tickets cost $8,000 and entrance to the park costs between $16,000 for national residents and $42,000 for Extranjeros (foreign tourists). Remember to take your passport or national ID in order to gain entrance to the park, plus a bottle of water and some reasonable walking shoes.
To learn more about Tayrona National Park and find out everything you need to take with you check out our up to date Tayrona Park Travel Tips.