After a night in Taganga, we caught a but to Tayrona National Park. It runs along the Caribbean sea at the foot of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains. Upon arrival, we began an hour plus hike (with our massive backpacks) to our campground. The shade of the jungle provided some relief but it was an exhausting hike, especially since we had to constantly avoid donkey pooh!!! (donkey is the only way to bring supplies to the campgrounds and restaurants along the beach fronts). It was rewarding to finally arrive at our camp in Arrecifies. We stayed at Finca El Paraiso which is directly on the beach, although the current is too strong for swimming here. There is a sign informing us that over 100 people have drowned at this beach, so it is best avoided! We spent the rest of the day exploring the immediate area, and then sweated to death in our tent.
The next day we continued to hike through the park. (We left our packs at the campsite) After an hour or so we arrived at Cabo San Juan de la Guia. This was a much better camping area, and you can swim here as the
beach is somewhat protected from the currents. We briefly relaxed here, before heading on the day's main hike to the ruins of Pueblito. To get to Pueblito you have to hike inland (prior hikes were along the coastline), uphill through some challenging sections. 5 mins into the hike we met an elderly couple (70's?) who were in great shape coming the other way. We asked them if they had reached Pueblito. They said no, and explained that thier guide had hurt his knee and they had to return. A few moments later the guide came hobbling by... he was clearly 300lbs. Rich and I both agreed that this guy had the best scam going... trick some gringos to be their guide, hurt yourself early in the hike, and then keep their money. If this guy really was a guide and hiked this regualry, there is no way you could be so fat!!!! Anyhow we continued with the hike, through amazing scenery, relaxed in some mountain streams and after a little more than an hour we arrived! Pueblito was built by the Tayrona native peoples, but not much of it remains. Aside from small fragments of stone paths and homes not
much is here... but it was great fun hiking! We returned back to Cabo San Juan and relaxed in the sea for a bit, then continued our hike back to our campsite, where we enjoyed wine and card games before being attacked by geese on the way to the washroom! We slept better as a rainstorm brought some cool relief... and a giant beetle to our tent!
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