Colombia - Tayrona National Park

Trip Start Jul 25, 2005
Trip End Jul 26, 2006

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

We travelled east along the coast by bus stopping briefly in Santa Marta and Taganga.

From Taganga we took 2 buses, 1 jeep and trekked for 2 hours through the jungle on foot to reach the beach of El Cabo. Boy was it worth it! Imagine a paradise similar to that in the book "The Beach". Two horseshoe shaped bays, crystal clear water, white sand, palm tress and jungle covered mountains on every side. This is the highest coastal mountain range in the world (5770m) and coastline is scattered with enormous boulders spewed from long ago active volcanoes. Accomodation was a circular palm hut set up on the rocks, open on all sides giving us 360 degree views.

In prepartion for the imminent Inca trail we hiked to El Pueblito, the ruins of a Tayrona indian settlement (about 800 years old and producers of some of the finest goldwork ever seen from that time). The hike was about 1 1/2 hours straight up through the jungle. Climbing 2 peaks we scrambled over boulders and through secret passageways and though a river full of gold (OK, after 10 mins of "we're rich!" we realised it was fools gold). On route we saw tons of weird bugs, noisy frogs and armies of leaf cutter ants. We reached the village to find it is still inhabited by Tayrona Indian descendants, 1 donkey, 1 horse, 1 mule, 1 dog and a number of chickens. Not much remains of the village but the stonework foundations which were quite complex and impressive. The views from the top back to the ocean were fantastic.

Other than awaking one night with a mouse in our bed the time at the beach was fabulous...our last taste of the Carribean for some time :-(
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