Sunday, April 26, 2009
Driving 5 hours northeast from Cartagena along the Caribbean coast of Colombia, we arrived in Tayrona National Park. The park stretches for 34 miles along the coast, and ranges from lush jungles to dry forests. The first night we camped under palm trees and listened to the waves crash on the beautiful Cañaveral beach a short path away from the campsite. While this beach is stunning, the severe waves and extreme currents make it very unsafe for swimming. Some time in the future when we aren't on a budget, we want to come back here and party like rock stars in the amazing 'eco-habitations' placed throughout the jungle covered hills with spectacular views of the beach. These luxury cabins have spectacular views of the beach, and have the architectural style of the Kogui, the local indigenous people. A 45 minute hike through the jungle led to the sparkling white sand beaches at Arrecifes, where huge boulders jutted out of the turquoise waters and it was safe to swim. Wanting to see more of the diverse park, we drove for about an hour to enter the west park entrance and a different world. Leaving the thick jungle, we drove through steep hills covered with red rocks and cactus to arrive in the starkly beautiful Bahia de Concha. Dry hills with scrubby brush rose dramatically around the horse-shoe shaped bay. We rested on the hot beach, relaxing for a day before our long drive ahead. Tomorrow we head south 12 hours to the city of Bucaramanga, where we will be staying with friends of the family.