Tayrona national park and Santa Marta

Finally we arrived to the seaside (ok, with the little break in the Galapagos), where the sea is warm enough to take a dip, palm trees swaying in the wind and the temperatures are above 250C.

Our Colombian friend suggested St. Marta as a good destination after the long cold weeks travelling through South America. So we booked a bus and went there.

The city is nothing special (except the crazy Christmas lights in the main square – Colombians take Christmas decoration very seriously), so is the city beach – nothing special. On both sides is a harbour, on the right even one for big cargo ships. So not a picturesque Caribbean beach one would imagine. Mentionable is Carrera 3, a street one block from the sea with the most restaurants, cafes and tourist agencies.

Because St. Marta beach didn’t make an impression on us, we decided to go to Playa Cristal aka Playa de Muerte the next day.

Playa Cristal
Playa Cristal

Going there
We booked a tour (around 85.000 pesos), which included transport, park fees and a Spanish speaking guide. First we drove 1 hour to the park entrance, where a presentation was held. Then another 30 minutes to a beach, where we boarded a boat and drove 10-15 minutes to Playa Cristal.

What to do
On the beach cabanas can be rented (25.000 pesos), restaurants offer lunch for 25.000 – 35.000 pesos and bars have cold cocktails. Beach vendors are stocked up with fresh fruit, snacks and drinks. Sorry, we don’t know about the prices, because we brought food with us.
They also offer snorkelling on the left side of the beach, but it’s pretty weird – you are forced into a life jacket, swim in a row and hold on a rope. No free snorkelling … Cost? 25.000 pesos with an underwater photo.

Our main goal was to have a nice day on the beach doing nothing. And we did precisely that. 🙂


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