Hints, Tips and Ideas for Colombia’s Beach Destination
Need to rest after the Lost City Trek, fancy an escape from Santa Marta, not keen on Taganga…head to paradise and beach slumming in Tayrona. Ask any person to conjure up in their mind’s eye their ideal image of a Caribbean beach. Doubtless it will be lined with palm trees, their fronds gently clacking together in a calm breeze, tranquil turquoise waters will lap up onto pristine white sand and you will know that you have found paradise.
Think Tayrona National Park, Colombia. Get away from the hustle of Santa Marta, avoid the backpacker drop out zone of Taganga and relax with your feet up after the Lost City or Cuidad Perdida Trek. Facilities are slim on the ground in the Park and the further you decide to venture in the slimmer they become, so stock up on all your necessities and drop out for three or four days.
Unfortunately, while breathtaking and spectacular, with huge boulders smashed by rolling waves, the first beach that you reach in Tayrona is off limits to swimming. Arrecifes has claimed the lives of some 200 people so do not add your name to a frighteningly extensive list. Take a photo, strike a pose and stroll a further 15 minutes to La Piscina.
Legend has it that the Tayrona Indians (related to the cannibalistic Carib Indians) created the bay here to allow for easy access to the ocean and fishing. Be thankful for their efforts. What you are faced with upon rounding the tip of Arrecifes is an unspeakably beautiful scene. Once you arrive you will be reluctant to leave.
Tips and Pointers
Photographs – If you must snap a photo of a Kogi Indian, ask beforehand and agree a price. The going rate on a good day is in the region of 2000 Colombian Pesos.
What to bring – flash light, repellent, water, snacks/food (restaurants here are pricey) and plenty of sun block.
Where to Stay – High End
Should cash be of no issue the unrivalled Hotel Koralia should be your destination of choice. Located a mere 50 minutes from Santa Marta, Koralia has been created in a fusion of simplicity and luxury. The first thing the visitor will notice upon arrival is the space between each cabana ensuring privacy and tranquility – Koralia is growing in popularity with Colombian celebrities for just this reason. Tired of being paparazzi-fodder the likes of Shakira have booked in here for true isolation and pampering no doubt attracted by the location and the availability of the spa.
There has been no rush to clear vast swathes of palm trees to accommodate further accommodation, one gets the feeling that they the owners are happy with their lot and this is as big as Koralia will get. Each cabin has its own theme, shanghai, nirvana and so on and comes equipped with everything you should need, mosquito net, fan and hammock for those lazy afternoons on your front porch. The bathrooms are self contained and roofless so that while in the shower you are looking up at the verdant canopy of tropical flora and fauna.
For more details see http://www.koralia.com/
For a price of something between 80-90,000 pesos and depending on availability you can rent a cabana in Arrecifes. Of course an alternative would be to return to Santa Marta or Taganga for accommodation there.
String up a hammock in the area in front of Arrecifes beach for 10,000 Pesos per night. This will be the most economical fashion of enjoying paradise. Or for 15,000 you can pitch you tent.