Minca – Parque Tayrona
Monday and Tuesday were about nature and hiking in the area of Santa Marta.
Monday I decided to go to Minca, a little village up in the rainforest of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. I took a collectivo (understand here a taxi, inside which you fit 6 people), so I was between two fat people, so let’s say that the trip was squeezy for me but still good. The village is not that far, but you have to go through the dense traffic and then a little road with a lot of holes on it, so it’s a little bit “adventurous”, especially taking into consideration the car we had, when you look at it you wonder how the engine started ;-).
But anyway, I arrived in Minca, this little village, and after digging some touristic information I had a nice walk for 2 – 3 hours on a very muddy walking path. A lot of birds can be seen in the area, it’s a rainforest environment. The rain usually happens in the afternoon, and it didn’t miss me. So aim of the walk was to see some nice rainforest landscapes and reach a cascade, you go through a lot of coffee and banana cultures.
Tuesday was about Tayrona National Park. To avoid the touristy usual way, I took the “out of the beaten track” option (as usual if I can). So I took the usual bus to Parque Tayrona Entrance, but I stopped at “Cabalazo”, and started a 3 hours hike to reach “El Pueblito”. It was 9 am when I started the hike, and let’s say it go very fast very very warm and humid, I wondered why I was wearing a T-shirt. Water in the backpack was more than necessary. This rainforest – banana culture area is definitely beautiful, reaching “El Pueblito” which is basicelly a little indigenous village, you pass a couple of huge stones, wondering how they got here as we are on the top of a mount.
My overall hiking planning was of 5-6 hours, so I didn’t waist too much time up there in el Pueblito and went back down the other side, to reach the sea coast. I almost lost myself on the last part of the downhill walk, and as it got very muddy and you couldn’t see anything as soon as you are out of the beach (the rainforest meets the beach), but in the end I reached Cabo de San Juan, surely the most touristic part of the Parc Tayrona. You can camp here, or sleep under a roof with you hammock, or you can play the expensive stuff and get a nice romantic room seaside. The place is really stunning, huge rocks are part of the side of the beach, coconuts are everywhere (be careful while choosing your tent place, a coconut might kill you 😉 )
The walk back along the beach to the main entrance took me another 2 hours, it was also very muddy. And it begun raining during the last 30 min. But, arriving at the exit I have met a big group of people from los Llanos, and we had a good time just waiting for the bus to get out of the Parc. Very friendly people, I just regret that our path didn’t match to meet later on.
If you look close at my poor t-shirt, that tells you how sweaty you get while walking in the rainforest 😉
Whole album to be found here :