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Tayrona Park Essentials

  • Best hotels in Tayrona National Park? The best place to sleep in Cabo San Juan’s Camping, in hammock. Tent is also possible, but be careful in rainy season. Hotels are very expensive
  • When does the Tayrona Park Closes in 2021 ? First close is from february 1 to 28th. Second is from June 1rst to 15. Third is from Oct 19th to Nov 2nd . Due to Covid,  new Closing dates will be:
    – Sundays: March 28 and April 4, 11, 18 and 25, 2021.
    – Wednesdays: March 31 and April 7, 14, 21 and 28, 2021
    – Fridays: April 2, 9, 16 and 23, 2021
  • How to get to Tayrona Park? Bus leaves from the Santa Marta’s market every 20min for 7000 Cop aprox. You can take also taxi from Santa Marta for 80000 Cop. Boats leaves from Taganga everyday at 10h30
  • How much cost the entrance fee to Tayrona Park ? It costs between 49.000 and 59.000 colombian pesos – 15 Usd (depending on the season) for non-residents .
  • When to visit ? Can be visited all year round – rainy season in September and November high season from 20 December to 20 January. Be careful, the park closes 3 times per year, generally in
  • Where to eat ? There are restaurants on all the main beaches for 30.000 Cop aprox. Many people carry their own food. There is also mini shop in Cabo San Juan with basic things.
  • What to bring ? Water, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, walking shoes, passport, flashlight, small padlock, bathing suit… And your food if you want to save money
  • How long to stay ? You should stay at least one night, but better if you can stay 2. Don’t go only for 1 day, unless you do a day trip at Playa Cristal or Bahia Concha, or if you plan to come back by boat from Cabo San Juan to Taganga.
  • Do I absolutely need a guide to visit Tayrona Park ?  99% of people visit the park without guide. Nevertheless, the experience is 99% more complete with a guide, who can reveal you all the magic of the place

TOP Tips to Visit Tayrona National Park

For those who don’t have the time to read the whole article, here are the 16 essential information you need to know before you leave:

  1. The park can be visited on foot, and a good level of walking is required.
  2. There’s no electricity in the park.
  3. Try to arrive early in the morning, especially in high season (december – january)
  4. Don’t forget your passport !
  5. The entrance to the park closes at 5 pm, leaving from Santa marta Maxi at 3 pm.
  6. Take cash, as there are no ATMs around.
  7. The park closes 3 times a year for a total of 2 months.
  8. Water and meals are more expensive than in the city.
  9. Take a Padlock for your locker
  10. Don’t forget your headlamp
  11. Leave Light, take only what is strictly necessary.
  12. Wear a hat, take breaks and stay hydrated.
  13. Plan 2 or 3 nights to live your experience well.
  14. Don’t bring alcohol or drugs and the guards can search you at the entrance.
  15. Don’t swim on beaches that are closed to bathing
  16. Don’t waste your money on a room.
  17. Beware of sun burns: in 45 minutes you already risk sunstroke.
  18. Respect this sacred site: bring only positive thoughts! 🤞

Discover Tayrona Natural National Park

Because Tayrona National Park enjoys a tropical climate all year round and is increasingly popular, it is important to plan when you want to visit.

Tayrona Park in figures

  • 300,000 visitors per year
  • 19,256 hectares, of which 3,000 hectares are maritime
  • 4350 people per day maximum
  • 1000 different plant species
  • 300 species of birds
  • 85 km wide (53 miles)
  • 45 minutes from Santa Marta or Palomino
  • 42 beaches, half of which can be visited
  • 32 degrees on average
  • 31 species of snakes 6 highly poisonous species
  • Tayrona Park is one of the 20 most beautiful beaches in the world.
  • 13 Agujas caimans with an average length of 3 metres.
  • 4 varieties of monkeys: Titi, Capuchin, Howlers and 1 nocturnal monkey.
  • 4 different inputs
  • 1 variety of ultra poisonous frog

Video of Tayrona Park

There many videos about Tayrona Park, but few are really representative. And there is one video which is mind blowing ! it is this one : 

Maps of Tayrona Park

Where is Tayrona Park ?

Tayrona Natural National Park is located in the north of Colombia, at 45min from Santa Marta. 

Map of Tayrona Park Colombia

Areas of Tayrona Park

The Park is Divided in 4 areas. 90% of people goes the El Zaino Sector. But there are also amazing beaches in Palangana sector

Map of the 4 different areas of Tayrona Park

Map of Beaches in Tayrona Park

Here is the map of all the beaches in Tayrona Park, so you can get an idea. 

Tayrona park beaches mapPin

But in this guide we will concentrate only on El Zaino sector, this where you will probably want to go. Otherwise please refer to my guide to the 21 beaches in Tayrona Park

Map of El Zaino Area and Calabazo

Section 2

Where to stay in Tayrona Park ?

In Tayrona Park, you have 3 options for sleeping : Hammock, Tents or Cabins

Some are HEAVENLY GOOD, other are awfull.

Let’s see the best hotels inside and around the park

So, there are 3 options for sleeping in Tayrona park : Hammocks, Tents, or Ecohabs. 

let’s see what works best for you :

1.  Hammocks

Hammock definitely make part of the Tayrona’s experience. 

What is more pleasant, falling asleep between 4 walls or to the sound of the waves and ocean breeze?

Important: if you sleep in hammocks bring a lock for the lockers

hammocks tayrona parkPin
Pro Tip

Remember to sleep diagonally in the hammock and not lengthwise, it will avoid a good backache!

2. Tent

It’s also a great option if you’re afraid of the hammock. 
But beware, if it rains you’ll be the first to know. 
Also say goodbye to the midday nap, the tents turn into an oven between 10am and 4pm.

3. Ecohabs

The prices of the Ecohabs seem excessive to me: 400 Usd, and they are not close from the best points of the park. 

cañaveral Ecohabs tayrona park colombiaPin

If you use the application, all the dwellings are indicated in the Tayrona park.

Best hotels in Tayrona Park

If your are not interested in lodging, just read these 5 recommandation and then skip to the next part. 

Favourite Lodging
Camping Don Pedro
Best Location
Camping Cabo San Juan
Cleanest Place
Camping Yuluka
Cheapest Campsite
Camping Jacobo
Best Hotel
near of the park
Maloka Barlovento

If you want more detailed information about a the best hotels in Tayrona Park sea also :

Section 3

How to get to Tayrona National Park

By bus, taxi, walking or by boat, we will see all the ways to go

There are 4 different entrances to get to Tayrona Park. We will concentrate here on the 2 main ones. 

For the other, please refer to the other article : Best beaches of Tayrona Park

From Santa Marta

By bus

The best way to get to Tayrona Park is by Public Bus. It’s the cheapest and best discovery experience.

Let the driver know where you want to get off (Palangana, Calabazo or Zaino or the name of your hotel).

  • Price : 7.000 Cop
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Departures: every 20 min
  • Hours: 07:00-17:00, daily
  • Address: Central Market (mercado). Street 11 with 11. (See on Google Map).
Pro Tip

The bus will drop you at the main entrance, then you will have to take the minibus at 3000 inside the park.


  • Price : Between 80,000 and 100,000 Cop
  • Duration : 45 min
  • Negotiate the price well before going up, some will try to screw you.
  • They will leave you at the main entrance, and you will have to take the minibus at 3000 inside the park.

Collective Taxi

Collective taxis leave every day from Santa Marta.

  • Address: Mamatoco petrol station
  • Departure: Floating departure time, when the taxi fills up.
  • Price: between 20.000 and 30.000

Chivas (Colombian Touristic Buses)

  • Departures: daily from Rodadero
  • Variable time: between 09:30 and 10:30.
  • Price : between 30000 and 40000 Cop
  • Included: Entrance to Tayrona Park, 

From Taganga

Getting to Tayrona Park by boat

Speedboats leave Taganga every day.

This is the best method if you don’t want to do the 2 hours walk in the Park.


Beware, the sea is often very rough, the boat captains go at full throttle, it can hurt your back very badly.

In case of swell you will arrive soaked.

Remember to buy 2 garbage bags at the shop in front of the pier.

One to protect your big backpack, and a smaller one to protect your mobile phone, passport and other electronic devices.

  • Price: Between 35000 and 45000 (12$-15$)
  • Departure: between 09h30 and 10h30
  • Address: on the beach of Taganga, near the roundabout.
  • Duration: between 1h and 1h30
  • Return : from Cabo San Juan at 3:30 pm – 4:00pm
Be careful with the Boasts

You must not get seasick, and also have very strong loins.
The boats don’t have the same standards of conduct and safety as at home.
Moreover, some boats do not have their certificates and papers up to date

From Palomino


  • Price : Between 80.000 and 100.000 Cop
  • Duration: 45 min


By Bus

Buses run daily from Riohacha to Santa Marta. Let the driver know where you want to get off

  • Price : 7.000 Cop
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Departure: every 20 min.
  • Address : Near the gas station, main road ( See on Google Map).

Section 4

Hikes in Tayrona Park

We have seen that there are many options to visit Tayrona Park.

Now you will have to make your choice according to your physical level, your timing and your taste for adventure

Here I

You have several possible hikes in Tayrona Park

1. Kogui trail or Knowledge Route from Canaveral to Arrecifes (low difficulty, one hour).

2. Arrecifes – Boca del Saco Trail, passing by the beach of Arrecifes, La Piscina and Cabo San Juan del Guía (low difficulty, two hours).

3. The trail to Pueblito from Cabo San Juan del Guía (high difficulty, 3 hours).

4. The Calabazo – Pueblito – Cabo San Juan del Guía trail (high difficulty, 4 hours).

1. Hike “Sendero Kogui”

This is the classic path that has been moved between Cañaveral and Arrecifes so that visitors can access the beaches.

Basically it is the hike that 99% of the people do in the park, if you enter the park by el Zaino you will have to go through it.

As you go along, the trail will vary between gentle dirt paths surrounded by vibrant green jungle and stairs built on the hillside between large boulders.

Once you reach the highest points of the trail, you will be treated to superb views of the coast, including Piscinita beach where the Ecohabs are located.

Later, the trail will take you between grape groves, beach paths and rainforests which makes the walk interesting.

Walk to Arrecifes, stop at the Piscina and finish the walk to Cabo San Juan.

  • Reminder of walking times :
  • Entrance to Arrecifes: 1 hour walk.
  • Arrecifes to Piscina Beach : 30 – 40 minutes walk
  • Swimming pool in Cabo San Juan: 20 minutes walk

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2. Hike to Pueblito Chairama 

Pueblito is a sacred site for the Indigenous communities of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, a remnant of an ancient Tairona indigenous village.

For centuries the great leaders of the 4 communities have gathered here annually for important meetings, ceremonies and spiritual cleansings.

There is a small village of about 10 huts on the site, guarded by an indigenous Kogi family.

If you haven’t considered going to the Lost City, it’s worth going up and seeing.

pueblito Chairama tayrona park colombiaPin
The site is now closed to tourists, according to the wishes of the indigenous communities.

How to get to Pueblito?

There are 2 ways to get to Pueblito:

  • From Cabo San Juan (45min)
  • From the Calabazo entrance (2h30min)

Whichever way you take, you need a good walking level

Let’s see the 2 options : 

Option 1 : From Cabo San Juan

  • Duration : 45 min
  • Level : Very hard

From Cabo San Juan take the path that goes up from the campsite to Pueblito Chairama.

This is a difficult road in the hills. You will climb for 1 hour on giant rocks and lose 1L of sweat.

There are signs every 10% of the hike. But as luck would have it the last 10% seems to be getting further and further away.

Above, the Indians sell you water, soda and snacks at 5.000 COP.

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Survival Tips

  • Do not consider leaving Tayrona Park this way if you have a large backpack.
  • Be careful, follow these signs carefully as many people get lost
  • Don’t do as the unconscious tourists do: don’t go barefoot or in tongues. Wear good shoes.
  • Leave with a minimum of 1L of water, even 2L per person.
  • Take sun cream
Option 2 : From Calabazo
  • Duration : 2h30min
  • Level : Moderate

There is only one part, where it is difficult to navigate, many people get lost. 

There are not many signs, so when the road forks, make sure to go to the right.

You will need more 45 min after pueblito to reach Cabo San Juan. 

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3. Hike Playa Brava 2 days 1 night

Adventure and off the beaten path
This hike is probably the best way to discover Tayrona Park.

Day 1 : Calabazo – Playa Brava

Entry via Calabazo. Night in Playa Brava. Half way do not make a mistake the road divides into 2, left Playa Brava, right Pueblito (access prohibited to the public).

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Day 2 Playa Brava – Cañaveral

 Hike to Boca del Saco then Cabo San Juan. Time for a short swim and departure for the swimming pool.

Visit of the rest of the park passing by Arenillas and Arrecifes.

Take some time in the forest. Return by the El Zaino entrance in the late afternoon.

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In theory it seems easy to hike, but there are a number of things to take into account: it’s incredibly hot! and it changes everything.
I can’t repeat it enough: many people are close to feeling sick from dehydration or sunstroke. So you’ve been warned.
Now that that’s said, it’s really worth it, the hikers are magnificent!

4. The 9 Stones Walk

I’ve never done it before, so I don’t spend too much time on it.
But here’s what I’ve heard:

“The Nine Stones Hike, is a hike around the park following egg-shaped stones in places along the way”.

During this hike, you will have cult places for the natives of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

These stones, used during the sanitation sessions, would allow the indigenous people to communicate with their ancestors and the cosmos.

The walk lasts about an hour.

Hiking in Tayrona Park : Guided or unguided ?

99% of tourists visit Tayrona Park without a guide for the sole purpose of lazing around. However, I strongly recommend you to be accompanied by a professional guide. 

Highly qualified, they will tell you a lot of rich anecdotes about the history of the park, the indigenous communities, the flora, and most importantly they know where and when to see the animals in the park that you would not be able to see alone.

Section 5

Boat Trips to Tayrona Park

Because Tayrona National Park enjoys a tropical climate all year round and is increasingly popular, it is important to plan when you want to visit.


Sailing day excursion from Santa Marta

Departure 10:30 am and return 6 pm from the Marina de Santa Marta, ask for pier 21 (Muelle E21).

Includes 1 beer, water, fruit and insurance.

Possibility to eat on the boat for an extra charge, as well as extra drinks.

  • Included activities: Snorkeling, Kayak, Sup Board
  • Price: 120,000 per person
  • Contact: Tayrona Sailing
  • Tel : +57 323 336 69 80 | + 57 321 206 16 91 (Nicolas)
  • Website:

Speedboats from Taganga

You can choose from the following destinations:

  • Cabo San Juan
  • Bahia Concha
  • Playa Cristal
  • Guachaquita
  • Bahia Cinto

There are several types of excursions that go to Bahia Concha: Chiva, private taxis, speedboats, private boats or sailboats.

Speed Boat
  • Departures: every day from Taganga between 09:30 and 10:30 a.m.
  • Price : between 60000 Cop and 80.000 Cop
tayrona park bahia concha colombiPin

Excursion to Playa Cristal

Boat departures from Taganga every day between 09h30 and 10h30.

  • Included : Entrance fee, Mask for snorkeling
  • Price : 100000 Cop Round trip
  • Duration: 7 hours

Playa Cristal Tayrona ParkPin
Section 6

Best time to visit Tayrona Park

Because Tayrona National Park enjoys a tropical climate all year round and is increasingly popular, it is important to plan when you want to visit.


First of all it is important to now that since 2020 the park closes 3 times a year

There reason is taken by the indigenous communities that wish to restore the spiritual balance in the park, and for the animals to reclaim the place.

The dates are usually revealed only a short time in advance, but consider that the longest closure is usually in the month of February. 

> Check here for closure periods 

That said, when you plan to visit Tayrona Park there are 2 factors to consider

  • the high / low seasons, in other word the best times to avoid crowds (at campsites, restaurants and beaches)
  • The Summer / Rainy season, ie the best times to get some sun.

 Let’s have a look at each one : 

High Tourist Seasons
  • Summer holidays: December 15 to January 30
  • Winter vacation: June 15 to July 15
  • Holy Week (usually 5 days in April). Check here the dates
  • Holiday weekends (placed on Monday in Colombia, so it starts on Friday until Tuesday morning). Click here to see the public holidays
Low Tourist Season
  • Low season includes weekdays and weekends without holidays.
Summer season
  • The Summer Season, the opposite of our home, starts in December until April, and from July to August. That said, even in summer, it is very hot and humid.
Winter Season
  • The rainiest months are May, June, September, October, and November.
  • The rain is not constant and it is usually very nice in the morning. It gets worse in the afternoon.

Conclusion on when to visit the park

Taking into account the above information, to find the ideal mix of dry weather and few people, we come to the conclusion that the best time to visit Tayrona Park would be March and April.

How long to stay in Tayrona Park ?

There is no time limit for camping in Tayrona, my advice is to stay 2 nights.
It’s up to you on your own schedule. If you only have 15 days in Colombia, 1 night will be enough.

  • 0 night : intense and tiring day but it’s worth it. Timed swimming.
  • 1 night: you start to enjoy the atmosphere of the park, you will have more time to swim and relax.
  • 2 nights: you will come back reconnected with nature and recharge your batteries.

Section 7

Where to Eat in Tayrona Park

You have four options for food:

  • Bring your own supplies…
  • Eat in the campsite restaurants
  • Eat the food from the street vendors.
  • Buy canned food in the campsite shops.

Here I will guide you in your choices

Option 1: Bring your food

Bear in mind that it is hard to bring food to Tayrona Park, and it makes more expensive than normal

So bringing your own food can seriously considered. 

But, don’t forget you’ll have to wear the food for 2 hours.

You can buy most of the food in the shops at the entrance to the park.

It costs about 10% more than in Santa Marta.

If you arrive by boat from Taganga, you won’t have a long distance to travel carrying your food.

Often I see tourists carrying 5-10 litre bottles of water for the entire duration of the hike. 

Personally, I find that it is better to walk light and enjoy the trail than to carry an extra 10 kilos. 

Therefore I recommend that you take only a 1L bottle with you. 

You can have all your bags carried to Cabo San Juan by muleteers. It will cost you 40.000 Cop approx.

Option 2: Restaurants

There are restaurants in all accommodation areas, with complete menus (fresh fish, chicken, vegetable rice, etc…).
Prices vary according to the category of campsite. 
As an example, here are the prices of Camping Cabo San Juan

  • 5,000 – 15,000 COP for breakfast (2 – 10 Usd)
  • 15,000 – 30,000 COP for dinner (5-10 USD$)
  • 5,000 – 6,000 COP for the beer.

Option 3 : Street Vendors

Also on the beaches where swimming is allowed, (like Arenillas, La Piscina and Cabo San Juan) there are stands selling juices, beer, water and some of the most typical snacks, such as arepa.

Option 4 : Camping Shops 

The Camping de Cabo San Juan also offers non-perishable products such as tuna fish, salty cakes, and canned sausages.

You already know it: everything is more expensive than in the city.

As an indication: The most expensive is water, one litre costs around 5,000 COP, i.e. five times more expensive.

  • Water bottle: 3000 Cop
  • Beer: 5000 Cop (2 usd)
  • Fresh juice: 5,000 COP

They also have batteries, suntan lotion, shampoo, etc…
Keep in mind that you are not allowed to bring your own alcohol into the park.

Pro Tip
There is a bakery hidden just behind Arrecifes, with excellent sweet and savoury breads and fresh fruit juices. In my opinion, this is the best spot to take a break and eat during your hike in the park. You can even pick up take-away and picnic on the beach of Arenillas or the Piscina.
Section 8

Health and Security

If you’re traveling with your family, you’re probably wondering what the greatest dangers in Tayrona Park are. 

For your safety, here are the recommendations to follow.

Recommandation for keaping safe during your trip

  • Do not expose yourself to the sun all day : High risk of sunstroke.
  • For white skin: use index 50, risk of severe burns.
  • Moisturize yourself: walking is tiring, especially in this humid heat.
  • Even if you are a very experienced hiker or if you are in great shape, the heat during this hike is no joke! Heatstroke is common and remember that you are in the middle of the jungle with little or no access to medical care. 
  • Do not swim where signs indicate that swimming is prohibited.
  • Be careful when climbing rocks and avoid going where you are not supposed to go. Rocks can be slippery, and you could get stuck. Don’t underestimate prohibition signs.
  • Take swimming warning signs seriously.
  • There is an extremely strong current along the entire coast of Tayrona Park and many people have died here trying to swim. In addition, there are no lifeguards, surfers or rescue teams, so if you get sucked into the sea, no one is there to save you.  Don’t overestimate yourself, obey the signs and be careful! The currents suck in even a few meters from the shore, so be careful!

Are the animals dangerous in Tayrona Park?

There have almost never serious problems related to animal attacks on humans in the park.

There are Caymans, three varieties of deadly snakes, jaguars, and poisonous frogs

So Important, to follow these advises :

  • If you come across a big cat of 300 kilos, yellow with black spots, do not call him by saying “kitty kitty!” 😉
  • Do not touch the yellow and black frogs, they are venimous
  • Do not walk off the marked trails, especially at nightfall when the snakes are coming out.
  • Walk around with a headlamp at night, and watch where you walk.
  • Don’t get too close to the swampy areas, the Aguja Cayman is never far away.
What to do in case of a snake bite?
Be aware that your entry includes compulsory insurance.
There is an emergency station located in the area of Arrecifes equipped with serums and antidotes.

If you are bitten, alert someone to go and warn the emergency services.
Do not use a tourniquet, it will necrotize the wound, risk of amputation.

Is it necessary to vaccinate against yellow fever?

The official entities recommend to be vaccinated at least 10 days before the trip.

Actually: There’s no risk of catching him.

It is not mandatory to present your vaccination booklet at the entrance (see National Parks site).

However, it is always good to have it with you in Colombia.

Chikungunya and Dengue?

There is no risk

Risk of theft?

No, the risk of theft is close to 0%, but we never know, remember to take a locker for your locker.

Section 9

What to pack for Tayrona Park ?

A Japanese proverb says : “Traveling smart starts with packing smart.”

Here are all the tips to avoid the rookie mistakes

So plan to travel light to get the most out of your trip!

Guess what’s the good news ?

You don’t have to carry your big bag around the park.

Any good hotel or hostel in Santa Marta will be happy to store the bulk of your stuff while you go to Tayrona so you can just take the essentials with you. 

So what to take in your bag? Here is a list of the key items.

  • Passport or cedula (required)
  • Student card (to have a discount at the entrance)
  • Cash (in sufficient quantity because bank cards are not accepted and there are no ATMs in and around the park)
  • Water (at least 1L for the outward journey)
  • Your food (if you want to save money)
  • Hat or a cap (as wide as possible to mask the neck)
  • Walking shoes
  • Lightweight T Shirt
  • Short
  • Lightweight Pants
  • Long sleeves (Even with sun cream index 50 you get sunburned after 45 minutes of direct exposure)
  • Rain cape. And yes, when you say tropical, you mean tropical rain!
  • Warm clothes for the evening (it can be windy at night and you’ll be happy to have it).
  • Sandals (for showers and the beach)
Hygiene / Health
  • Shampoo (in pods), soap, toothbrush, etc…
  • Toilet paper (they provide a small quantity, but they may be out of stock!). )
  • Mosquito repellent, preferably natural
  • Sun cream index 50
  • Sunglasses
  • Headlamp
  • Sheet of silk
  • Preference code padlock (so as not to lose the key 😉 )
  • Bath robe and towel
  • Mask and snorkel (if you have them with you)
  • Card games, books (if you spend several days on site)
Other important information
  • There is no internet in the park, essential for a real reconnection 😉
  • There is some telephone network in Cabo San Juan.
  • Sheets are not provided in the campsites. In windy periods it can be chilly at night.
  • There are shops in Cabo San Juan and Arrecifes with the bare minimum: water, sodas, coffee, cigarettes, batteries, some canned food, toilet paper, etc…
  • There is (casi) no electricity. Think about saving your batteries.

Do not bring in the park

  • It is forbidden to bring plastic bags and polystyrene objects.
  • Prohibited to bring alcohol or other drugs
  • It is forbidden to bring musical instruments
  • Forbidden to take your mother-in-law with you 😉 Lol
  • The entry of pets is restricted.

Photographers and Drone enthusiasts
It is prohibited to take photographs and make films for commercial purposes without the prior authorization of the National Parks and Colombia.
Section 10

Budget for Tayrona Park

We have gone over the prices in the previous chapters.

We can now add up the bill considering that you are a backpacker and that you sleep in Cabo San Juan

Budget 1 night coming from Santa Marta

+ 7,000 buses from Santa Marta
+ 63,500 Entrance fees
+ 2,000 insurance
+ 3.000 of Shuttle entry
+ 2×3.000 bottle of water
+ 40.0000 accommodation in hammock
+ 30.000 Meals in restaurants
= 140,000 Cop

Budget for 2 night and more

Count around 100.000 Cop per extra day

entrance fee tayrona parcPin
Tips for saving money :
If you bring your own tent or hammock, you’ll pay half the price…

If you bring your own food, it’ll save you a lot of money.

If you come by boat, you can bring much more food as you dont have to bring it on your back.

There is a bakery in the park, and street vendors sell hot bread for 5000-8000 pesos on the beach. Great vouchers
Section 11

History and Culture

Currently, Tayrona National Park is not inhabited by any of the 4 ethnic groups that are found in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, of which Tayrona Park is part of its lower zone.

The four indigenous ethnic groups (Kogui, Arhuaco, Wiwa and Kankuamo) decided to settle in the high Sierra Nevada because of the high number of younger brothers (as we are all called outside their communities) but this does not mean that Tayrona Park is not part of their refuge or ancestral territory.

There are sacred places where they have long practiced their rituals and ceremonies and which must be protected and respected as one of the most important cultural heritages of humanity.

Kogui Indigenous People

The Kogi, related to the Tayrona culture that flourished at the time of the Spanish conquest, survived by isolating themselves in the high mountains of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta for generations.

Mythology tells that they are the “older brothers” of humanity living in the “centre of the world”, and that strangers or “younger brothers” have been banished for some time.

In response to the offences they have committed in their homeland, the young brothers will have to walk the road home and reap what they have sown in the form of self-destruction.

Every time a native uses an element of nature, he must make an offering.

There is no concept of ecology among the natives there is only spiritual balance.

But spiritual payment is not necessarily better than ecology, because sometimes they make an offering and then it devastates the place.

The representation of stones

There are large stones very representative of the park that the natives consider as guardians who protect them.

In fact, the natives used to build all their terraces out of stone.

So the stone was very important to them.

Stones: Connection to the Spiritual

In Tayrona Park there are 130 sacred sites, and all the sacred sites are represented by the stones.

Among the Kogis, cotton has the power to absorb thoughts. It is like a USB key and holds information.

During the offerings, the kogi put cotton on some connecting stones and that would connect them to the spiritual world.

There are stones that are used for weddings, others for protection (seguranzas), and others to ask for miracles.

Like an oracle they put the stones in the water.

Here is one the most comprehensive article on the web that may interest you : 

Pre-Columbian Cemeteries

In the park there are also pre-Columbian cemeteries. The tombs were often very rich in stone and gold.

Until 1991 the guaqueros, the grave robbers, had the right to plunder the graves because in the Constitution the natives did not exist, they were not even mentioned.

So all the holes that we see on the road to the tayrona park were areas of ransacking and excavation.

  • Jaba Seinajan is the mother of black stone.
  • Hatei Tumu is the father of stones.
  • Jaba Saldawi is the mother of plants.
  • Jalintana : Padre del Mar

History of the Park

The Tayrona area has always been of great natural and cultural importance.

The pre-Hispanic Tayrona tribe has always populated the region in small villages and communities.

The hunters and collectors lived in the coastal area and in the heights of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Mara.

The descendants of this tribe, called Koguis, as well as three other groups still live here and maintain their culture and traditions

Creation of Tayrona Park

The park was established in 1964 and transformed into a national park in 1969 to protect and promote ecology and archaeology.    When Tayrona Park was created, they formed two associations: the Guides’ Association and the Riders’ Association.

The Park is also declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO.

They then banned all other activities: gold hunters and animal hunters.

It was therefore necessary to transform the activity into a tourist activity.

It is now the second most visited national park in Colombia after the natural coral reef park of Rosario and San Bernando, near Cartagena, with almost 300,000 visitors in 2012.

For the anecdote, it is said that the Davila family, originally from Italy, became the richest family of Santa Marta thanks to Tayrona Park.

Indeed, originating in Italy, they were importers of barbed wire.

And at the time, not having a land registry, they appropriated some of the most beautiful lands in Tayrona such as Bahia Concha, and even private property.

Pre-Columbian Cemeteries

In the park there are also pre-Columbian cemeteries. The tombs were often very rich in stone and gold.

Until 1991 the guaqueros, the grave robbers, had the right to plunder the graves because in the Constitution the natives did not exist, they were not even mentioned.

So all the holes that we see on the road to the tayrona park were areas of ransacking and excavation.

  • Jaba Seinajan is the mother of black stone.
  • Hatei Tumu is the father of stones.
  • Jaba Saldawi is the mother of plants.
  • Jalintana : Padre del Mar

Now Your Turn

I hope that you enjoyed my guide to Tayrona Park

Now I’d like to hear what you have to say:

Do you have any questions about Tayrona Park ?

Or maybe I didn’t mention one of your favorite tips about this destination ?

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.

Now Your Turn

Now I would like to know, do you have any question ?

Or maybe do you have some information to add ?

Either way, let me know in the comments below

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