Tayrona National Park boasts some of the best beaches in the world. Mile after mile of paradise sands lined with palm tree forests licked by the cool waters of Caribbean ocean. What more could you want or need? Find out in our Top Tayrona Park Travel Tips.
Top Tayrona Park Travel Tips
- Take your passport or National I.D. You will need this to gain entry to the park.
- Take a bottle of Water.
- Take some cash money (There are no cash machines and they do not except credit cards).
- Get there early (especially if your only going for the day). It’s roughly a two hour walk to Cabo San Juan from the main entrance. Add that to the one and half hours it will take you to get from your hotel to the park entrance and if you leave much after 8am you will only have a few hours beach time before you have to walk back.
- Take mosquito repellent (especially if you are staying overnight).
- Leave your big bags at the hotel. Your gonna be walking quite a bit, so the last thing you want is to be carrying big rucksacks.
- Don’t ride the horses unless you have at least a little bit of experience. Horse rides are offered to and from Cabo San Juan and the entrance, and they are fun, but it’s not the easiest terrain to navigate (particularly for novice horse riders) and it doesn’t save you that much time, especially if it’s been raining. It’s not uncommon for the horses to pass through knee-deep mud and you often hear stories of them slipping and falling over, so take care!
- Take the boat back to Taganga (the small town next to Santa Marta). Instead of walking back to the main entrance, every afternoon there is a big fisherman’s boat that leaves Cabo San Juan around 4:30pm. The ride can be a little bit choppy at times depending on the weather but it will get you back to town in about an hour. Plus it’s a great way to see the whole of the Tayrona Park coastline at the end of the day. To reserve your spot buy your ticket from the small shop next to the restaurant as soon as you arrive at Cabo San Juan. Cost is approximately $45,000 COP per person.
- Visit El Pueblito. For the more active of you a good little jungle trek (which leads out to the second exit/entrance of the park) is up to el Pueblito, the small abandoned Tayrona village, which provides a nice example of ancient Tairona architecture. For those that can’t make it to The Lost City it’s a lovely place to visit and provides a bit of cool tranquility away from the hot beaches below.
Note: From Cabo San Juan up to el Pueblito and back down to the exit of the park it is roughly a 4 hour walk, so possibly not one to do if you are only going for a day trip to the park.
- Take some comfortable shoes and flip flops. This is not super essential but if you plan to do a bit of hiking whilst in the park (like visiting el Pueblito) it helps to have some good shoes.
- Take a pair of light cotton trousers and a long-sleeve t-shirt for the nights. If you are staying overnight you will want something light and comfortable to wear, to help keep you warm (if you are sleeping in the hammocks) and prevent the mosquitoes making you their mid-night snack.
- Eat at La Piscina instead of Cabo San Juan. The restaurant at Cabo San Juan is not the nicest and just a short walk back down the trail towards Arrecife is a smaller and quieter beach called La Piscina where they have some nice arepa and juice stalls on the beach, plus a small restaurant just behind the beach which serves better value and quality food.
- Stay at Costeño Beach Hostel or for something a bit more luxurious; Cayena Beach Village. There are a few accommodation options in the park. The main ones being hammocks or tents at Cabo San Juan, neither of which offer the best night’s sleep so if your planning on spending a few days around Tayrona we recommend staying at either Costeno Beach or Cayena, located just 10 minutes drive down the road from the entrance of the park. (Get either a bus or one of the motorbike taxis from outside the entrance).
- Don’t forget the sunblock!
We’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback to make our Tayrona Park Travel Tips page even better, so if you have any suggestions please add them into the comments box at the bottom of the page.