All the information about the Tayrona National Park Hotels, Colombia. One of the most important tourist sites Colombian Caribbean coast.
The Tayrona National Natural Park offers visitors the privilege of discovering its archaeological heritage, its range of cliffs and low hills, dry and wet forests, bays and inlets and, needless to say, Caribbean beaches with their crystal clear waters and white sands, bounded by rocky atolls, scrubland or forests. Beaches of exceptional beauty such as those of Chengue, Cinto, Concha, Gayraca, Guachaquita and Neguanje provide the perfect setting for true relaxation. Given its natural wealth, together with its diversity of marine and land ecosystems and its biological variety, the Park has been designated an important area for birds conservation and, principally, a Biosphere Reserve by Unesco in 1979.
The Park hydrographies consists of two drainage systems:
- Maritime: a set of rivulets and bayous that flow straight into-the Caribbean. East of Gayraca, their volume of water gradually increases to become permanent.
- Continental: formed by rivulets that flow into the Piedras River, the most important of which is the Jordan.
The Park has Iwo kinds of ecosystem, which In turn present different subtypes, but their common denominator is the the fact that they provide the habitat for a great variety and number of species:
- terrestrial: types of vegetation change very rapidly parallel to the coast, from the western to the eastern ends, including thorny scrubland and dry, wet and cloud forests. The rainforest, towards the eastern sector of the park, remains luxuriant throughout the year with a great variety of mosses. and orchids.
- Marine-coastal: predominant here are concentrations of seaweed, soft or sedimentary seabeds, coral reefs, coastal lagoons, rocky coasts, sandy beaches, underwater meadows and mangrove swamps, which occupy limited, discontinuous extensions along the whole length of the park in the bays of Arrecifes, Cabo San Juan de Gufa, Cinto, Chengue, Concha, Gayraca and Neguanje, where four of the five species unique to the tropics are found: the white mangrove, the black mangrove, the red mangrove and the salt mangrove.
The main species may be divided into three groups:
- Wildfowl, like the white-headed eagle, the royal flycatcher and the turkey.
- Land mammals such as the squirrel, two species of deer, the howler monkey, the white-headed capuchin, two species of oncilla, the common opossum and thirty-six species of bat.
- Reptiles like the iguana, the boa constrictor, five species of tortoise and a great number of lizards.
- Established: 1964
- Area: Between 0 and 900 metres above sea level
- Altitude: 15,000 hectares (of which 12,000
- Climate: Temperate-warm are terrestrial and 3,000 marine)
- Average temperature: 27°C
PLANNING YOUR VISIT
- LOCATION: The Park lies on the Caribbean coast in the district of Santa Marta, which in turn belongs to the department of El Magdalena. The main entrance to the Park is at El Zaino, on the main Caribbean highway. Communities of mixed heritage or Afro-Colombian descent live in the protected area and its immediate environs, earning their income from activities such as tourism, fagricul-ture and stock raising.
- HOW TO GET THERE: The Park has a parking area and two entrances: El Zaino, 34 kilometres from Santa Marta on the main Caribbean highway to Riohacha. Other option in Palangana, 12 kilometres from Santa Marta. In this area, visitors may spend the day only, since given the characteristics of the dry forest, it is not possible to stay overnight.
- WHERE TO EAT: There are restaurants in the sectors of Arrecifes, Canaveral and El Cabo, where typical regional dishes are served.
- WHERE TO STAY: Two options are available: Ineco-habs accommodating four to six people and On campsites: for tents sleeping five people, These are available only in the Arrecifes and Canaveral sectors, and you must bring your own complete camping equipment.
- WHERE TO SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION: The nearest hospital is in Santa Marta, while Guachaca (at Km 15 on the road to El Zaino) has a health centre.
- HOW LONG TO STAY: It is not possible to speak of an ideal length of stay. The most advisable is to check availability before deciding how many nights.
- WHEN TO GO: If you want to visit the Park during the dry season, it is best to do so between December and April or between June and August, because it rains during the remaining months. The Park opens from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
WHAT TO VISIT IN THE PARK
besides the bays, inlets, coves and beaches already mentioned, the Park area contains several sites which the indigenous communities of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta regard as sacred, as well as archaeological vestiges remains and signs of past cultures, such as the ancient city known as ‘Pueblito’ one of the sites most representative of Tayrona culture, with stepped terraces held in place by bearing walls, ring-shaped stone constructions, paths made from dressed stone slabs, and stone staircases and bridges reflecting a variety of design criteria and degrees of sophistication. In the past, this was one of the most important centres for indigenous craftsmen, fishermen and farmers, who exchanged their wares in accordance with a barter system. Today it is in a perfect state of conservation. From El Cabo, ‘Pueblito’ is reached by means of an intricate network of indigenous stone paths.
WHAT TO DO IN THE PARK
Besides visits to the magnificent, relaxing beaches with their crystalline waters in the Tayrona area, and the archaeological sites of ‘Pueblito’ or Chairama, which provide visitors with great scope for Exotic beaches characterise the Park photographs or video, the Park offers a variety of thrilling activities such as:
- Hiking: The Park provides scope for splendid walks if you follow the different interpretive trails arranged in a number of inner circuits, notably: The trail to ‘Pueblito’, The trail to the Nueve Piedras, Trails from the marine-coastal area, which penetrate the dense vegetation of Neguanje, Gayraca, Canaveral—Arrecifes, Cabo de San Juan de Gufa and Los Naranjos.
- Observation of wild fauna and flora, birds and the cultural heritage.
- Nautical activities: Besides sunbathing and swimming in the sea, from the beaches you can engage in thrilling activities like scuba diving and snorkeling, The ideal places for eco-tourism and diving are the bays of Concha, Bonito Gordo, Gayraca and Neguanje, Cristal Beach, Canaveral, Arrecifes, Isla Aguja and Granate.
- Research and environmental education activities.
- Make sure that the guides you hire are suitably qualified.
- Check that boats are equipped with life jackets.
- For your own safety, find out in advance which places are suitable for swimming. Stick to established timetables when you take showers.
- Use water efficiently.
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