Colombia has some awesome beaches and Cabo San Juan del Guia in Tayrona National Park is one of them. The palmtrees, blue water and a cooling breeze are the perfect ingredients for a great time. It’s tucked away in the jungle and can not be reached by car. There are 2 beaches at Cabo San Juan del Guia and it looks like they are mirrored. This is one of the few beaches in the National Park where you are allowed to swim and it’s the most popular beach amongst tourists who either come for a day or stay the night. The sunsets and sunrises are spectacular and it’s definitely a little piece of paradise in Colombia.
Coming from San Gil we took a taxi to Terminal de Transportes for 4.000 Pesos and bought our tickets for the nightbus, Brasilia for 90.000 Pesos p.p. (it’s cheaper to go on weekdays). The bus left at 7 pm and we arrived 12,5 hours later in Santa Marta. We stayed one night in Santa Marta but didn’t like it here so we decided to go to Taganga (10.000 Pesos for the taxi ride) before heading out to the National Park.
In Taganga we stayed at Casa Italia Guesthouse. The really friendly owner helped us by booking the boat to Tayrona (45.000 Pesos p.p.) and we could leave our backpacks there so we only needed to bring a daypack with some beach essentials.
The boat ride took about 45 minutes but felt much longer thanks to the high waves. You could say it was a bumpy ride, but we made it! Once we arrived at Tayrona, we payed the 45.000 Pesos entrance fee p.p. (which we didn’t know about so that was a bit of a bummer), and walked to Cabo San Juan del Guia which is about a 3 minute walk.
You can also get here by foot, which we did on the way back, or by horse. A horse trip can be arranged in either Santa Marta or Taganga. If you want to go by foot, you take the bus from Santa Marta (7.000 Pesos p.p.), pay your entrance fee (45.000 Pesos p.p.), get a minivan to the start of the track (3.000 Pesos) and start the 2,5 hours walk. The paths are really good and along the way you pass several other beaches. However you are not allowed to go swimming here cause of the strong current. And please don’t be foolish by going in because several people drowned there.
When staying at the camping there are three choices: bring your own food/snacks that will get you through the day(s). There is a restaurant which is a bit more expensive but they don’t overprice. However, we have no idea how the food is, because we went for option number 3: sandwiches from the lady next to the restaurant. Not to expensive (about 6 Pesos), big sandwiches and pretty good as well.
To arrange your overnight stay, you walk towards the campground and you’ll see a small wooden bungalow. You can either sleep in a hammock or a tent. Our initial plan was to stay in a hammock but when we arrived they were all taken. Which we didn’t really mind because a tent is more comfortable, and only costs 5.000 Pesos p.p. more. We payed 30.000 Pesos p.p. and were surprised about the comfort of the mattresses. We did some camping during our trip and this was probably the most comfortable mattresses (in a tent) we had. However, you do need to take the scruffy smell as a bonus. And do bring a blanket or make sure you have a dry beach towel/sarong to keep you warm during the night because it does cool down. Another tip is to bring a lock for your tent. It will make it a bit more difficult to break into the tent.
There isn’t really that much to do except chill on the beautiful beach. You can go for a walk, play some beach games, go for a swim and just enjoy the beach. It’s probably best to avoid weekends and public holidays because it’s a popular beach amongst locals as well. We spent the day of arrival at the beach and walked back the next day after a refreshing morning swim. Both the sunset and the sunrise where really beautiful and definitely worth going here.