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Camp at the Beach in Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona

Santa Marta, Colombia



6 miles

Route Type



Added by Marti Chance

A beautiful coastline where the mountains meet the sea, the 4-hour walk along the beach is one breathtaking view after another. El Cabo is a large but lovely backpacker community nestled deep within Tayrona National Park. 

There are two main entrances to Tayrona National Park; one on the western side and one on the eastern. The eastern entrance outside the town of Zaino leads to the path to Cabo. At the entrance, there are several small shops selling snacks, water, sunscreen, and other essentials. Just 100 yards in from the main road is the park visitors center. All visitors must watch an informative video and presentation before purchasing a ticket into the park. Bring your passport as identification; international tourists will need to pay an additional fee. Once past the visitor center, there are several vans and taxi drivers offering rides further into the park for a small fee. (I’d advise doing this, it’s a few US dollars and saves you at least an hour of uneventful walking along a road). The trailhead starts at this parking lot; simply follow signs towards Cabo Beach.

The path is well marked and well maintained. Expect to walk along boardwalks through wooded areas, along sand beaches, and through rockier terrain. You will also pass several other beaches on the way; vendors sell fresh juice, arepas, and other refreshments. Heed the no swimming signs. Swimming here is not safe. You’ll know you’ve reached the camping beach by the small rentals stand, large number of tents, and restaurant. There is a beautiful lookout up off to the left of the restaurant. There is also a good additional day hike up to Pueblito, a small village of ruins roughly a 2 hours walk from the campsite.

You cannot reserve tents or hammocks in advance; at the time of this writing rentals opened up at 1pm but the queue began at least an hour earlier. You will need your passport here as well for identification.  A guide is not required for this hike. Should you choose, you can bring your own tent but will still need to pay a camping fee. Sleeping pads are provided but blankets and pillows are not. A light blanket or warm clothes are recommended for the evening, as the nights can become cooler. Start the hike early to avoid the heat! 

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Swimming Hole

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