Blogs from La Guajira, Colombia, South America

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South America » Colombia » La Guajira » Punta Gallinas August 8th 2018

Once again, Colombia delivers! The diversity of this country is amazing and in the department of La Guajira you'll find a desert landscape that meets the Caribbean Sea. It is also the most northern point of South America. We highly recommend doing a tour here if time permits. A three day, two night tour is a great time to see all of the highlights in the comfort of an air conditioned 4WD. The best place to start the tour was from Riohacha. If we had started it from Santa Marta we would have had to add an extra 4-5 hours of driving and the price is a lot more. There were plenty of agencies offering the tour in Riohacha and we chose Alta Guajira Tours as they looked the most professional. All the tours do the ... read more
Lookout Near Cabo de la Vela
Sand Dunes
Desert Landscape

South America » Colombia » La Guajira July 19th 2018

Another classic Colombian bus journey from Santa Marta to Palomino on public transport. Hearing shots fired, we thought we were under attack but actually it was just some party festival event. After a long sweaty walk with our rucksacks we arrived in Paradise. Palomino has not lost its Colombian charm and with a beautiful Caribbean beach at the end of the village it was the ideal place to end our trip. We spent our last day nursing a slight hangover, and so headed for some food and a fresh lemonade. With the slow pace of life we were told 30 minutes for our food, and somehow it took nearly as long for our lemonades by which point we had mouths like sandpaper. Feeling grotty we went for a pedicure in a lovely lady’s back garden, where ... read more
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South America » Colombia » La Guajira » Cabo de la Vela March 25th 2018

"Ein Seil bringt uns zum Stoppen. Joaquin, unser Fahrer, kurbelt mit einem Lachen im Gesicht die Scheibe herunter. „Policía Nacional!“ tönt es ernst in unser Auto. Die Gesichter zweier Jungen, die kaum durch die Scheibe sehen können, schauen in unseren Wagen. Dann schiebt Joaquin eine Kekspackung rüber und unsere Fahrt kann bis zur nächsten provisorischen Absperrung weitergehen. La Guajira ist fest in Kinderhand, was das Business mit Süßigkeiten gegen Wegerecht betrifft." (zitiert aus dem Reiseblog von Mad B.) Ziemlich genau so hat sich das auch bei meiner Tour durch die Wüste - el desierto de la Guajira - abgespielt. Es scheint als wäre diese karge, trockene Landschaft tatsächlich das Reich der kleinsten Bewohner dieser Region: Der Kinder. Auf der Fahrt von Santa Marta nach Cabo de... read more
Wayuú-Kinder im Ansturm auf die süße Beute
Unser Tourbus
Mittagspause in der Wüste

South America » Colombia » La Guajira » Cabo de la Vela March 9th 2018

Cabo de la Vela is a long way, so it turns out. Probably not to be done in only two days, but that doesn’t stop ALL the tour companies trying. So the background is that I had read about La Guajira, the desert up here in the north-east of Colombia (bordering Venezuela) and the pictures on the internet look beautiful. People at the Spanish school had also recommended it, and since I gave up on doing La Cuidad Perdida (The Lost City trek – too hard, I decided with 7 hour hikes each day for 4 days), this was a lazier option. Cabo de la Vela, in the La Guajira department, is one of the first places ever visited by Europeans in South America. It has also been home to the indigenous Wayuu community for hundreds ... read more
Cabo de la Vela
Cabo de la Vela
Salt at Manaure

South America » Colombia » La Guajira » Cabo de la Vela July 24th 2017

We have spent around 5 months of travelling with boats, cars and busses to get from Colombia to El Salvador. Now it took us a just few hours by plane, plus a night at Panama airport, to get back from San Salvador to Bogotá, to get back from Central America to South America. Arriving in Bogotá made us realise how much we had adapted to the Central American way and standard of living and transportation. We currently experience some kind of split personality within ourselves. There is one part that so much loves the most basic life, wearing flip flops and mostly the same clothes everyday, being able to just go for a swim and eat fresh local produce whether this is fruit, vegetables or the fresh fish pulled from the ocean during the past night. ... read more
Big City Bogotá
Bogotá Brewing Company
Going down the old salt mine shafts

South America » Colombia » La Guajira » Cabo de la Vela June 29th 2017

La Guajira has a privileged place on the map of Colombia. Although I was born in Riohacha, Capital of the Guajira, when I was only 19 years old I discovered why it´s one of the destinations preferred by foreigners. My land has the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets that I´ve ever seen, its landscapes are exotic, you can see deserts, seas, lots of vegetation and beautiful animals like the flamingos in the same territory, it´s amazing! Cabo de la vela and Camarones have in common that they are two beaches that catch your attention with what there is in their surroundings. The Guajira is a virgin and natural land, of many contrasts in it´s landscapes. If you visit this land you will surely want to return, it makes us feel calm and think about how great ... read more
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South America » Colombia » La Guajira June 29th 2017

Last year I went to learn more about the Wayuu´s culture that is typical of La Guajira. I had always wanted to go to Rancheria with Clara, my best friend Wayuu, she took me to her rancheria called Urraichi. The Wayuu live very far from the city and the roads. Their native language is Wayunaiqui, men are dedicated to shepherd goats and women raise children, find water to prepare food and knit backpacks, hammocks and other stuff to sell to tourists. Their houses are made of mud and wood to take care of the high temperatures of that area. Rancheria is a calm place where you can get away from the noise and stress of the city and get along with nature and appreciate the simple things of life. Although it is very difficult to survive ... read more
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South America » Colombia » La Guajira May 30th 2017

Funny, the movie "Secret Life of Walter Mitty" is playing on my flight from Seattle to Atlanta. I'm not watching it but can see the scenes, have heard that it is about a mild mannered office worker who deals with his life by having vivid fantasies of life and travel adventure. I understand Walter very well. For me, the fantasies of upcoming trips are the way I soothe my traveler heart and function in the real world. They aren't fantasies, though. They are quite real. When I walk through my daily existence. I see things through the eyes of my journeys, both past, present and future. I like it that way. I am off again, this time to Colombia. I have been close, to Guyana with my sister Annie, Ecuador. with my Dad and Panama a ... read more
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South America » Colombia » La Guajira April 29th 2017

Geo: 13.4024, -72.6044Breakfast in the buffet was followed by a trip to the laundry to wash our clothes. There were several available washers and dryers when I checked on the way back to the room after breakfast so I hurried up to our room to grab the laundry bag I prepared last night. There are eight sets of washer/dryers that charge $3.00 per load in each. They only take tokens that are available from a machine in the laundry room. Slide a cruise card to charge the fee and get the tokens. At dinner tonight, Suzann, one of our tablemates, said that although she gets free laundry with her Princess elite status, she does her laundry herself. The commercial laundry on the ship shrinks things and uses too high a temperature. I won't be using it ... read more

South America » Colombia » La Guajira August 17th 2014

La Guarija, c’est un désert avec des cactus, de la terre rouge, du sable et quelques dunes, des carcasses de chèvres mortes de soif, quelques indigènes (les Wayous), et la mer très calme. Il fait 45 degrés l’après-midi. Les seuls animaux qu’on y trouve sont : caïmans, flamands roses, ibis rouges, chèvres survivantes et serpents à sonnettes ! Pour aller au bout du bout de ce désert, à quelques kilomètres du Venezuela, il faut un 4x4. Pour avoir un 4x4, il faut négocier dur pendant une heure à un carrefour perdu sur la route reliant le nord de la Colombie avec le Venezuela, au risque de se faire surnommer en riant, "Pablo Escobar"… Le cadre est posé. Et comme toute excursion un peu à part, c’est extra. Nous avons passé 3 jours merveilleux avec Joaquín notre ... read more
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