Wednesday, 4 April 2012




You will have to pay an entrance fee before you’re allowed to enter the park. You will get a wristband and they will make you put it on your wrist. If you’re arriving by boat a park official will charge the fee. Different prices apply depending on whether you’re a foreigner or a Colombian citizen (a little annoying in my opinion).

Officially, it is forbidden to bring alcohol, plastic and styrofoam to the park (a bit ridiculous if you ask me as beer, soft drinks, etc. are being sold in all restaurants in the park). Your bag might be searched by police at the entrance and inside the park (see below: DANGERS)

El Zaino entrance
The current prices are as follows:

foreigners $35,000
Colombian residents $18,000
Colombians $13,000

5-12 year olds (foreigners&Colombians) $7,000
under 5 and above 65 (foreigners&Colombians) - free

There are no discounts for students

For car entrance fees and prices for all national parks in Colombia download the pricelist here


Bring your climbing shoes (obviously) and a lot of chalk (there are NO climbing shops on the Caribbean coast).

If you’re on a low budget bring as much food with you as you can as everything here is overpriced. If camping, make sure your tent is waterproof as the almost-nightly rains can be quite intense (even though it’s very near much drier Santa Marta, Tayrona has its own, very humid microclimate). Don’t forget an insect repellent (see: DANGERS below) and sunscreen. Take some comfortable shoes (sandals or trainers) that you can easily rinse&dry after walking on muddy trails.
DO NOT bring your hiking shoes. They will never dry here and will only get destroyed.


The nearest ATM is in Santa Marta so make sure you take enough cash with you. You can, however, pay for food and accommodation with most major credit cards at Aviatur restaurants.


If you’re desperate for internet access there is a free (and rather slow) Wi-Fi near the Aviatur’s Ecohabs reception in Playa Cañaveral. They also have an internet connection at the reception of their Yuluka sector in Arrecifes. No Wi-Fi there but I suppose they would allow you to use their computer if you had some kind of emergency.
If you want to use your mobile phone in Tayrona there is some mobile network coverage (usually close to the campsites)


Lifeguard and a policeman checking out our work
Tayrona is generally a very safe place. There is a high police presence in the park (their uniforms make them look like military though) and they are (as ALL Colombians) very nice. Don’t be surprised if they randomly choose to search your bag though. Just be polite. There are also a couple of lifeguards in Arrecifes.

Warning board in Arrecifes
Swimming is allowed on some of the beaches only; it might not look like it but the riptides are very strong here; if, by chance, you get caught in one do not try to swim back to the shore but instead save your energy by floating and swimming parallel to the shore until you get rescued or swim out of the current.

Malaria - there is no malaria risk on most of the Caribbean coast of Colombia
Yellow fever - it is recommended (but NOT REQUIRED) to have a vaccination against yellow fever in Tayrona (if you plan to travel in South America for longer I would recommend getting a jab anyway - the protection lasts 10 years)
Mosquitoes - quite a lot so make sure you bring a repellent and, when sleeping in hammock, hire one with a mosquito net


Sandflies' bites on my legs

Sandflies - these little critters can give you a really hard time; you won’t even notice (till it swells and begins to hurt)
Ticks - just avoid high grass and shrubs and check your body occasionally (I’ve never caught any ticks before in my life and found 8 sucking my blood in Tayrona!)



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