Parque Tayrona is located in Magdalena, Colombia, about 34 Km away from Santa Marta. This park is one of the most well known eco tourism parks in Colombia. The park offers different accommodation choices depending on how (well) you would like to sleep. There are cabins for 4-6 people, luxury huts ideal for a couple, and camping grounds for those who want to get closer to nature, either in tents or a hammock! Parque Tayrona also has an auditorium, a restaurant and an interpretation center.
If you want to relax and take a break, the park offers beautiful beaches with awesome views of the intensely blue ocean, with tropical mountains falling onto white deserted sands. For more exciting activities the park also has plenty of options; with ecological walks, snorkelling and scuba diving. The park also has archaeological remains of the ancient town of Tayrona.
So what should you take in your luggage?
- Make sure to wear thick shoes that protect your ankles if you want to participate in the ecological walks. Beach shoes are also recommended so you can take full advantage of the beautiful beaches
- Try to take thin clothing made of cotton (it gets very hot in Tayrona), a bathing suit, trousers and long sleeved shirt to protect you from the sun and the branches you will encounter in the dense forests
- Make sure you take a baseball cap, a sombrero or something to protect your head from the blazing heat. Sun glasses and light rain gear is also recommended in the months August-November when short but sharp showers are possible
- Make sure you take valid identification and some kind of international insurance, just in case
Some other Top Tayrona Tips
- Take repellent and a mosquito net if you are staying over night, you will certainly appreciate it! Yellow fever injections are recommended but not enforced. There is no malaria in coastal Colombia and Dengue is very rare, but the mosquitos can be vicious!
- Food (not gourmet but very tasty freshly prepared fish and local specialities of coconut rice and patacones, not to mention sweet egg-filled arepas!) and drinks are widely available and not too expensive throughout the park so don’t worry about carrying additional water in. Better to enjoy the trek and go light-weight
- If entering through Cañaveral you will first arrive at Arrecifes beach. Respect the NO SWIMMING signs, the currents take victims every year, it is no joke. There are safe bays another 10-15 minutes further along the coast
- It’s well worth the hike from Arrecifes past “La Piscina” all the way to the famous hut perched on a rock at Cabo San Juan. It’s another 90 minutes from Arrecifes (after the 45 minutes to get to the beach from the entrance) but you will not regret it. Leave time to come back again, the park closes at 5pm and it’s best not to be walking around at night
- Enjoy it! There are no dangerous animals, the people are friendly, the food and water are well prepared, the Parque Tayrona is totally safe, relax and have an amazing stay!
On april 24th 1964 the colombian government passed a law in order to guarantee the preservation of the park. The resolution (N 191) implemented by the colombian institute of agrarian reform declared that the park was a protected area. This was done to protect the fragile ecosystem that inhabited the area.
Parque Tayrona was once inhabited by the native people of tayrona, leaving behind clear evidence of their presence there. They had a small town within the area that was called “Chairama”. The marine ecosystem protected by the park contains over 350 species of algae. The terrestrial flora of the park is a bit more diverse, the park has over 770 different species of plants. The national flower is the orchid which is found abundantly in the Caribbean region.
Other things to take into consideration
Parque Tayrona is getting more and more famous each year, and although daily entry and total capacity are controlled and limited, in certain peak seasons it can get crowded and visitors are even turned away. With tourism booming it’s a good idea to plan ahead, particularly accommodation which is very limited. The best months to be in the park are probably outside Easter and Christmas-New Year as it is that much less crowded. Off season you can find yourself practically alone on a paradisiacal beach. If you do decide to go in the high season, then make sure you book your flight and your accommodation ahead of time. It would be a shame to make the long trip and end up not having a place to stay or things to do. In order to get the full Parque Tayrona experience it’s recommended that you stay for at least a few days.
Where to stay in Santa Marta
Experience the amazing Parque Tayrona in Santa Marta while staying at Hotel Boutique Casa Carolina. For lazy days, before and after the park; enjoy our pool, sun terraces, jacuzzi, spa and gourmet restaurant, Eli’s! Take in the sunset over the ocean with your favourite cocktail at our rooftop jacuzzi. You will appreciate the luxury but friendly atmosphere at Hotel Boutique Casa Carolina, not least if you opted for a hammock or tent in Parque Tayrona!!
Contact Hotel Boutique Casa Carolina if you would like more information about Parque Tayrona in Santa Marta or about our hotel in Santa Marta. Contact us also for boat tours to Parque Tayrona. Our 24 foot speed boat, Samoa, can be private chartered or booked on a group trip to discover the most exclusive deserted beaches in Parque Tayrona. A private boat trip is absolutely the best way to visit the park!