Tayrona National Park – All you need to know

Tayrona National Natural Park is a piece of paradise you need to work for. The walk there is not easy, but manageable.

You’ll make your way through a jungle (we spotted monkeys, lots of birds and lizards!), stagger through sand during blistering sunshine and climb over rock formations to then repeat the whole thing again and again.

You’ll sweat like crazy, not because it is particularly strenuous but because you carry your supplies and the humidity makes it feel like you’re walking through upwards of 35 degrees (Celsius).

This is the park’s location:

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During your walk, you cannot stop at the beach to swim because every year lots and lots of people die when doing so (super strong currents) and it feels like nature is almost torturing you a little.

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No swimming allowed…

But after what feels like forever (1.5 hours) you’ll reach your destination and forget about all of the hard work – you have earned this piece of paradise.

To make your stay as amazing as possible, you will want to be prepared; all supplies kept and sold at the camps have to be carried there by people or horses, there are no cars or roads.

So here is, our packing list based on a 2 night stay:

Clothes For Her

  • 2 x pairs of swimmers (love this one piece) + undies + socks for the hike/walk
  • 1x pair of shorts (for the hike) like these Patagonia shorts
  • 1 x pair of long, summer pants (for after sunset) like these nautical Harem pants
  • 1 x short sleeve active wear tee (for the hike)
  • 1 x long sleeve top (for after sunset)
  • 1 x beach overthrow / beach dress for during the day (love this dress
  • 1 x pair of flip flops (beach and showers – Flo swears by her Crocs
  • 1 x pair of comfy shoes to walk through various terrain
    • You might want to pack more tops/spare shorts but this will keep your pack as light as possible

Clothes for Him

  • 2 x pairs of shorts (like these Patagonia Boardshorts“- each double for hiking / swimming + undies (these Bambooones dry super fast) + socks for the walk
  • 3 x t shirts – 1 x for the walk there, 1 x for during the days, 1 x for the walk back
  • 1 x pair of long, summer pants (for after sunset)
  • 1 x long sleeve shirt (for after sunset) like this Patagonia long-sleeved Tee
  • 1 x pair of comfy shoes for the hike/walk
  • 1 x pair of flip flops for the beach and showers (like the Crocs Classic Flip)

Additional Items

  • Water for the walk – you can buy some along the way but it will be more pricey (twice as much as the supermarkets, sometimes 3 x times as much)
  • A water purifier – just in case. Our SteriPEN has been beyond useful. It saves your health and saves the environment from plastic.
  • A sarong (beach towel + sleeping blanket in one) or a Microfibre Towel
  • Mozzie Spray (!!!) Autanworked best for us
  • Sun cream
  • Sunglasses
  • Toilet Paper -there is NONE but you can purchase some there
  • Apple Cider Vinegar (for mozzie bites, sunburn and so much more)
  • Plasters for blisters
  • Baby Powder (helps your shoes dry quicker after the walk)
  • Playing cards (like Monopoly Deal)
  • Phone / Go Pro (love the GoPro HERO5 ) something to capture this amazing place + spare batteries + underwater case
  • Book (we love our Kindles and the Kindle Oasis is waterproof!)
  • Flashlight(s) – save your phone’s battery for pictures!
  • Portable Charger(there are no power plugs in the park)
  • Vaseline, hand sanitizer (Bronner’s is organic), body wash, toothpaste and brush, hair brush, whatever else you cannot live without
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Accommodation at Tayrona National Park

Food Supplies

While you can buy food at the camps/ lodges you will save money if you bring your own supplied. If you are staying for 2 nights it might be a good idea to buy some meals there and substitute with your own.

This is based on what we ate during our stay;

  • Loaf of bread or bread rolls (1 per person per meal)
  • Peanut Butter
  • Cheese – ours melted in the bag which was fine, but keep that in mind if you don’t enjoy melted and then dried up cheese on bread
  • Ham
  • 2 x tomatoes
  • 1 x avocado
  • Fresh fruit (2 x bananas, 2 x apples and an orange)
  • Snacks – dried fruit and nuts, a pack of crisps
  • mini cereal packets + long life milk for breakfasts

Basically, anything you can prepare without relying on a kitchen and fridge! 🙂

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This cutie sat under our chairs during all meals

So now that you know what to expect from the trek as well as what to bring, here are some more tips:

  • Bring cash – you cannot pay by card anythwere
  • Do not rely on finding WiFi or reception- there is none.
  • Do NOT book online. We did and got told our reservation does not exist when we tried to check in. We booked a little chalet (this was supposed to be a treat after lots of hostels) which meant we were out by US$66/night. Mother nature made up for it, but DO NOT BOOK ONLINE, it is a scam.
  • Pack lightly and leave your big bags behind, you have to carry them yourselves and it might ruin the walk.
  • There is the option to ride horses to your destination instead of doing the hike.

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