• Kelsey Bumsted

Caribbean Treks: Tayrona National Park, Colombia

Updated: Jul 28

Google images will convince you that this place is pretty- but trust me, it’s even more beautiful in person. I tried to capture Tayrona by photograph, but it’s one of those places that you need to experience for yourself to really feel it.

About three hours outside of the small city of Santa Marta, Colombia, this rocky shored, jungle filled national park borders Venezuela and hugs the Caribbean Ocean. In retrospect, Tayrona was much muddier than we anticipated but I’m not sure there was anything else we could have done to make it more comfortable for ourselves- be prepared with hiking boot and dry bags. We hiked two hours through the jungle coast to the most notable park called, San Juan del Guia. While there are other overnight locations within the park, the clean hammock cabañas and relax feel worked perfectly with our budget. Over a span of three days and two nights, we hiked every corner of the park we could get our boots on. 

The morning we were meant to leave, a monsoon-like storm hovered over the park for six hours turning the muddy paths into giant swamps and rivers. The two hour trek back turned into four because we weren’t even able to see the trail for the majority of the time. One of the creeks we initially passed turned into a strong four foot high river! Although it was the most difficult part of the week, it was by far my favorite.

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