The next morning, I woke up at the crack of dawn.
Surprisingly, there are quite a few people out and about at 5 a.m.
Usually there is a relatively short wait for the showers and toilets but rush hour is definitely around 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.
At around 10 a.m. we decided to hike from El Cabo up to “El Pueblito” where there are old ruins.
The hike was pretty tough and I only brought one bottle of water, which was not enough.
Consisting of a stairway made of rocks, the path up to the ruins is beautiful.
The ruins, on the other hand, aren’t much to look at which was disappointing after a two-hour hike.
To get back to Cabo, we decided to take another path that wasn’t as tiring but a little trickier to manage since it was a dirt path.
This led us to a neighboring beach to Cabo (about a 5 minute walk from the campsite) that is both safe to swim at and stunning.
It is much larger than El Cabo’s beach and not as crowded.
It is also a nudist beach which adds to its’ charm!
We had planned to return to La Piscina later in the day but we ended up spending the rest of the afternoon sun tanning with the nudists.
To get to the nude beach, you have to walk to the end of El Cabo’s beach and there is a small trail through the jungle that will lead you to it.
For our second night, we decided to stay in the little cabin on top of the rocks.
When we went to pay the extra 5,000 pesos, $3, we were warned that it was cold and we shouldn’t bring food up there because of some sort of animal or other.
Although it looked fun in theory, the hammocks in the cabin ended up being one of the worst nights of sleep of my life.
At about midnight, it got very windy. And not like, wow, what a nice breeze windy. More like, hurricane windy.
On top of that, some tourists were on the cabins balcony being incredibly loud and obnoxious.
At some point I must have just passed out from sheer exhaustion.
Even though it was a very long night, it is one of my favorite stories to tell from the weekend.
The next day we had breakfast and headed out of the park. The MarSol bus doesn’t leave until 3:30 p.m. and we ended up having some time to kill.
We ate at a restaurant about five minutes from the park’s entrance called Acarias.
The food was delicious and they gave us a lot of it. Typical Colombian food and typical Colombian portions.
Just how I like it.
Unfortunately, the bus was an hour late and we didn’t get back to Cartagena until around 9:30 p.m.
I have a few recommendations for those of you who are planning a trip to Tayrona (some tips that I am glad I knew or would have really like to have known).
1. Take my word for it. Do not, under any circumstances, sleep on the hammocks in the top cabin, or as I like to call them the “hammocks from hell”, if there is any chance that it may be a windy night.
2. Be prepared. Bring food if you don’t want to buy food at the restaurant. Prices at the restaurant range from around 6,000 to 20,000, $3 to $10, per meal. Bring your own toilet paper and other toiletries. Bring a sweater and/or a sheet if you get cold easily.
3. I must warn readers that I went to El Parque Tayrona during the off-season, which undoubtedly influenced my experience. I have read and heard that El Cabo and the park in general can be packed during high season.
4. This is definitely a trip for those who love nature and the outdoors!
El Parque Tayrona was one of my favorite adventures during my six weeks in Colombia and I recommended it to almost every other tourist I met in Cartagena.
In a matter of two days, I saw so many beautiful places and things. The park is magical and all you have to do is take a hike or two and take it all in.
One day I’ll show my kids pictures of this adventure to prove that I was cool back in my day and say, “that, kids, is when I ventured into the Colombian jungle.”