Santa MartaJune 3, 2017 in Colombia
After having such a great time in San Andres and Cartagena, I really didn't think things could get better. I hadn't heard amazing things about Santa Marta - and quite mixed reviews of Tayrona, so I guess my expectations were pretty low.
But boy were they exceeded!
The town of Santa Marta is probably best to avoid, but the area and region around the city is just beautiful. We spent the first night in the dreamer hostel - which tbf is okay - just around the pool.
The next day we'd heard about the tubing at El Rio hostel, and so got the bus to the little village of Buritaca which is on the way to Palomino. El Rio hostel is just amazing. Tucked away in the rainforest, it has its own little beach and river. The hostel is made of little huts and is so cool. We did the tubing which was really fun, apart from the barefoot hike to get far enough up the river. At times the river was really calm and I'd go really slowly, but at other times we would come into rapids and be thrown around.
We spent the rest of the day just chilling and drinking gin and tonics by the bar. The hostel was really social and so we met a lot of nice people there.
In the morning we got up and headed to Tayrona. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked Tayrona actually, as I had heard some people saying it wasn't that great. We walked to Cabo San Juan which has one of the nicest beaches, which you can swim at, in the park. We rented hammocks for the night because it was way too hot for a tent. We met a really nice Colombian guy called Julian and we explored the other beaches - la piscina and playa nudista (although it was empty and clothes were kept firmly on) - with him.
There is lots of cool wildlife in the park. We saw wild monkeys in the trees, brightly coloured lizards and iguanas, snakes and even a cap aburra. In the night, if you go into the jungle just a tiny bit you can see hundreds of fireflies glowing which was pretty special.
I fell asleep pretty early but Josh and Julian saw a Cayman on the beach at night.
After what wasn't exactly the most comfortable sleep in the hammock, we woke up and had a nice morning cup of tea on the beach (cut me and I bleed English). We were leaving the park that day but decided to leave a different way so we could go to Pueblito which is the indigenous settlement in the park. The route to Pueblito was pretty hard because it was so humid and we had to climb up hill on rocks for about an hour and a half. When we got to Pueblito we saw the settlements which was cool and had lunch. Josh and I then set off to the road back to Santa Marta which took us probably another 2-3 hours. Pretty exhausted and sweaty from all the walking, we arrived back in Santa Marta and were so happy to have a shower!
The next day we had to wait around because our flight to Medellin was rescheduled from 4pm to 9pm. After all that trekking we didn't really fancy a big day out so we spent the day by the pool at the dreamer. The highlight was probably throwing away our disgusting leftovers from dinner the night before and instead having our amazing McDonalds (I have not had one since the terrible one I had at Santiago airport) which was so filling - we had 1.5 meals each.
All in all, we managed to fit a lot into Santa Marta and had a great time. Tayrona is so beautiful and El Rio was lots of fun! On to Medellin, the last leg of our trip because Josh heads back to England and I to Panama.Read more