Just a week in to our trip, and Kristen is already learning the benefits of not having everything planned out into her usual spreadsheet. If we had one of her typical spreadsheets, we would have missed out on this amazing area.
Tayrona wasn’t on our travel radar for this trip because we thought it would be too expensive. However, once we were in Cartagena, we learned that there are decent alternatives somewhere between the $3 hammock and the $300 per night Eco Habs. We were in! For $40 per night we got to stay in our own cabana complete with an outdoor bathroom, balcony with great views, hammock, and the biggest bed we’ve ever seen.
Ok, so there was a bit of a compromise. We weren’t in the park and there was pretty well-traveled road nearby, but the place was still amazing. It was a long 6 hour journey from Cartagena to Hostal Yuluka, so once we arrived, we just relaxed, swam in the pool, and lounged on the balcony for the afternoon. It was perfect.
We woke up early the next morning ready for our big trek. We (for some reason) wanted to push ourselves and take the long hike (literally over a mountain) into the park. We started out early in the morning, but 3 minutes in, we were already sweating. Big time. Way more than while we were in Cartagena. It was HOT.
We trudged mostly uphill for about two hours, stopping only for water and to wipe the sweat pouring down our faces. It is, BY FAR, the most “dewy” either of us has ever been.
It was a gorgeous hike through the tropical forest, past indigenous families, and friendly locals. The goal of this longer hike was to make it to Pueblito, a cluster of ruins, but when we finally did, we were somewhat disappointed. Either we were in a heat stupor missed something significant, or the place just needed a good weed-whacking so the ruins were more visible. Luckily, the beauty of the hike made up for the lack of ruins.
After the ruins we went downhill for an hour over huge boulders. It was still quite difficult and hot, and at one point Joe was so hot, he resorted to literally laying in a jungle creek to cool down. Once we made it to the gorgeous beaches, we both felt much better.
We enjoyed the scene at Los Cabos Beach for a bit before heading to “La Piscina” to relax and swim. The park was gorgeous and I think we were most impressed by the unique rock formations along the beach.
The park was great, and although we were exhausted by the end of the day, we definitely knew we made the right decision coming out to this area of Colombia.
The next day, we relaxed on a private beach (someone’s backyard). It was a chill day in order to recoup from the previous day’s activities.
On our last day in Tayrona, we thought we’d just spend the whole day traveling to Mompos, but our hostel owner suggested hiking to the waterfall. He said we had enough time to do it, and that it was amazing. Joe and I were hesitant at first because, well, we’ve seen a lot of waterfalls, and they’re not always worth the effort (I’m looking at you Piedra Falls in Pagosa Springs).
Let me just say, this one was worth it. Joe and I both agree that this definitely ranks up as one of our favorite waterfalls of all time. It had amazing pools to swim in, warm water, and we were the only people there. We got out just before the crowds started showing up. Additionally, the hike through the jungle was stunning in the morning light.
We enjoyed the hike and waterfalls with our new friend Oliver (teacher from Germany who spoke fluent Spanish and English). Thanks to his help, we successfully made it our next destination…. Mompos