How to visit Tayrona Park: tips and activities


Nature at its best and the crystal clear seas just for you.This is one of Colombia’s most beautiful parks and one of the most visited attractions in the country.  If you like to take stroll along the beach, admire amazing landscapes, bathe in the sea and escape from big cities, you simply must visit the Tayrona Park.

Tayrona Park is located next to the Caribbean Sea and the mountain range, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. This park is a nature reserve and Unesco World Heritage Natural Site with 15 thousand of its hectares environmentally protected.

If you do not have a lot of time, you can simply spend a few hours in this paradise and return happy, but to really take advantage of its beauty you should spend a few days here. To fully enjoy this unforgettable and wonderful natural experience, you should at least spend one night in the reserve during your visit of Tayrona Park.

Enjoy beautiful beaches during your visit of Tayrona Park / Source: Parque Tayrona Official Page

How to visit the Tayrona with a guided tour:

Tour to Cañaveral and Arrecifes in Tayrona – this option is for those who want a one-day visit. The tour begins early and will take you to Cabo San Juan where a beautiful beach will be waiting for you. The walk can last between an hour and a half and two hours, depending on your walking speed, and altogether is a one day round trip.

Neguanje and Crystal Beach Tour in Tayrona – This tour is perfect if you want to enjoy the beach just for one day or if you are travelling with kids or older people and you cannot walk long distances. At the beginning of your visit of Tayrona Park, a boat will be waiting for the visitors and take you to Crystal Beach.

Pueblito Chayrama in Tayrona Park – this option is for those who prefer a cultural visit and want to learn a little about the indigenous local culture. You will walk through indredible vegetation and be able to visit and get to know the indigenous community still living in Tayrona.

Lost City – If you like like long walks amidst untouched nature, we recommend the trek to La Ciudad Perdida (the Lost City). During this 5-day long trip, you will immerse yourself by walk through and sleeping outside amongst the nature and the sights are so amazing that this it will be worth every second.
For more information about this tour, such as prices or availability, contact the Customer Service of Colombia4u.

Visit of Tayrona Park / Colombia4u

Enjoy pure nature in this beautiful reserve that is Tayrona Park / Source: Lucila Runnacles

What to eat in Tayrona Park:

Inside the park there are restaurants that serve simple food – but with all the flavour of the local gastronomy. During your visit of Tayrona Park, you will find prices are a little high, but they are not extortionate. You can also buy drinks. However, if you want to stay for more than one day you should bring provisions such as water and food.

If you want to eat something unique or more elaborate food, buy it before you enter the park because the products available inside Tayrona are simple and there is not much choice.

Something you must take into account: there is no ATM in the park. So make sure you bring enough cash before you enter Tayrona Park!

Where to sleep: Accommodation

The park has a range of accommodation to suit every taste and budget, and will accomodate for those who just want one night’s getaway, or you want to stay for a longer period.The cheapest way to spend the night is to rent a simple hamac or spend the night in a tent (with a mat).

However, if you want to enjoy all the luxury of five star accommodation, you can spend the night in an ecohab. An ecoham is a four-bed house equipped with private bathrooms, sofas and breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea. These houses are situated in the midst of park’s the vast vegetation and offer a five star service. Besides you will be able to go to the spa and receive massages or enjoy a jacuzzi.

Visit of Tayrona Park / Colombia4u

The sea can be treacherous, don’t enter when you see this sign ! Source: Lucila Runnacles

Important information to visit the Tayrona Park

You can enter and exit the park between 8am and 5pm. Before entering, all visitors must watch a little presentation about the protection of the environment and the preservation rules in Tayrona Park.

Do not swim in the sea if the “forbidden” sign is up. Various people have lost their lives as a consequence of the rough seas. The sea often appears to be calm, but it can be more tricky than it seems.

At the end of your visit of Tayrona Park, take your rubbish with you. This way, you can help conserve the park’s flora and fauna.

How to get there
The National Park of Tayrona is on the Colombia’s Atlantic Coast, 34 km away from Santa Marta. If you buy a tour in Tayrona through a tourist agency, the transport is included from Santa Marta.

Distance to Tayrona from:

Tatanga – 18 km – 45 minutes
Santa Marta – 34 km – 40 minutes
Cartagena – 234 km – 4 hours

When to go
If possible, you should avoid the rainy season, which takes place from May to June and in September or November too. The high season usually normally falls between December and January.

The average temperature in Tayrona is 28°C. The days are rather hot and humid.

What to bring
Sunscreen, insect repellent, a hat, walking shoes, a swimsuit, first aid kid.

Visit of Tayrona Park / Colombia4u

In the mountains live 4 indigenous communities: the mountains are sacred to them / Source

Daytours4u tip: There are 4 indigenous communities who live in the mountains: koguis, arhuacos, wiwa and kankuamos. According to their beleifs,  Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is the origin and the center of the world. You can find both snow and sea by these mystical mountains. This strategic position makes the mountains sacred to them. Therefore, it is essential that visitors respect the resources and nature around them.

By: Lucila Runnacles, journalist and author of Viagem Cult blog / Translated by: Grégory Noël