Mario and I were more than happy to leave the dungeon of Hostal Los Rosales for the day. We were traveling to Tayrona National Park for the day.
Two Latinas from the hostel and us took an unregistered taxi service from our hostel in Barranquilla to Santa Marta. At 45,000 COP each, the price wasn’t too bad considering commercial transportation was shut down during carnival.
We got off at Santa Marta. The taxi left to drop the Latinas off at Taganga, which was another 20 minutes.
Mario and I walked around for an hour in Santa Marta. The city was calm and clean compared to Barranquilla. The Bay of Santa Marta was scorched by the sun. You had to hide in shade if you wanted to keep your skin.
We made our way to the bus terminal, which by any standards wasn’t actually a terminal, and paid 7,000 COP each to be dropped off at Tayrona National Park.
Tayrona National Park had an entrance fee of 38,000 COP, expensive considering we didn’t enter with a car. In addition, we paid another 3,000 COP to take a cube van to the entrance of the trail. But the 3,000 COP was worth it because it drove us about 5 km slightly uphill and saved us time.
The park was above sea level and we were trying to get down to the beach. Mario and I had to take the trail that winded, going up and down. Sometimes we walked on man-made paths but most of the time it was on forest dirt or between large boulders of rock. The sandals we wore made the terrain more challenging.
The sweat just kept dripping off my face. My body barely sweated, keeping my brain cool was more important.
Some guys along the trail couldn’t take the Caribbean coast humidity and hiked shirtless. Other hikers had a difficult time moving along. They carried belongings to stay overnight including tents, extra clothes, and four-litre jugs of water. I saw one sucker bring a large suitcase – suicide hiking.
It usually takes 90 minutes to complete the trail but I think we completed it in about an hour. Only wearing a backpack helped.