I have said many times with the utmost certainty that I will not be hiking or trekking anywhere for another month. Well, it didn’t last a week. However, the hike to the beach through Tayrona national park was easy at best. There wasn’t much climb, there wasn’t any dreadful rocky road or the even more dreadful large stone steps. There was just the jungle path well paved by horses going through.
I was a little disappointed with this hike to be honest, since I was expecting to hike through narrow jungle paths and encountering different animals along the way. The Tayrona or Tairona forest area is vast and I’m sure there are paths resemble my expecting, but we only had time for the most popular: the hike to the beach el cabo San Juan.
I’ll start with the history of Tairona I learned at the museum in Santa Marta. The Tairona is a tribe of indigenous, they have built similar architectures like the Incans. They were especially well rounded with metal work. They lived in the Sierra Nevada area near Santa Marta. They have built terraces in the jungle for irrigation and such. The people of Tairona also fought the Spanish invasion quite furiously. What I found very interesting is that the people of Tairona revers the bat. Their highest ranked leaders would wear costumes and jewelries to transform themselves into bats. They have many artifacts resembling bats, and birds. Very interesting people.
Let’s go back a bit. We found the bus to Tayrona at calle 11 and carerra 11, by the Central market. Inside the bus it is very hot and uncomfortable. We met two Argentinian girls who are also going to Tayrona on the bus sitting next to us.
After about an hour, the bus finally arrived, we went through an orientation and bought the really expensive entrance tickets. There is about an hour of walk until the trial head, but we took a van instead.
The start of the trail head is called Canaveral. There are four beaches in this side of the Tayrona park, Arrecife, La Piscina, El Cabo San Juan, and Playa Brava. Our destination is is el cabo. I personally like the waves in Arrecife better but it is stated 100 people have died in the under current so swimming is not allowed. No swimming after a sweaty and hot hike doesn’t sit well in my book. So, we went to the popular destination, el cabo.
It is a pretty beautiful place, with cool rock formations, and a tower for people who got a hammock up there to sleep. The ocean is deep and scene is beautiful. We really wanted one of the hammocks on the tower, but we were only able to get the hammocks near the beach by the camping site.
There we saw the folks from Tanganga, and the french girls from Playa Blanca. Above all surprises is that Elliot and his crew happened to be there. We are friends since freshmen year of college, can’t find them anywhere in LA, but just showed up in the middle of nowhere in Colombia.
Anyways, we swam a bunch, then ate at the cafe by the beach. The food was bit expensive, but it was good. I ordered the churrasco, and it didn’t disappoint. After, dinner, we bought about 100 cans of beers and sat on the beach and drank and played cheers to the Governor.
The sleep on the hammock was OK for me, but not for Devin. I didn’t like waking up feeling very very wet. Well, I think everyone felt very wet, maybe not the people on the tower. Another thing was the temperature that day, it wasn’t cold, it wasn’t really hot, but it was extremely over cast, and that might have contributed to how wet it was that night.
So the next morning we had coffee and went to check out La Piscina, but ended up at Arrecife. It was cool, but you can’t swim there.
Now, on our hike back is when the magic happens. I always wanted to see a monkey in the jungle. The Tayrona area is known for the mico titi malena specie, which is endangered. We were walking, haven’t seen anything except ants and lizards, and there were two kids pointing at the trees and telling us there were monkeys. There they were, 3 mico titi monkeys.
That was pretty much the highlight of the Tayrona trip, now I’m just kind of waiting for the ride to Medellin, and start a new journey, and stay with couchsurfing. The hostels have been pretty cool, but really can’t sit around here that much.