Best Guajira Tours: What I’ve Learned After 4 Trips In The Desert

My list of the best Guajira tours you can organize in Colombia—based on my 4 trips exploring this famous desert.

🛑 Imagine discovering the most spectacular places in La Guajira with a reliable local agency whose reputation is well-known and respected across the region.

Many agencies operate tours in La Guajira. Although they all include the same stops, there can be a big difference in the quality of service—believe me, I learned that the hard way!

Luckily for you, I managed to meet and test the services of the best agency in the area and you can easily enjoy the experiences listed in this article—learn more about Paola’s agency.

In addition to this valuablee and pricesless contact, here’s what you can find out in this guide:

  • 6 multi-day trips to La Guajira with their Pros and cons.
  • What’s my favorite Guajira tour.
  • The difference between a good a bad travel agency.
  • My 4 favorite tips to improve your experience.
  • Why choose an agency with years of experience.
  • And more.

Who are we 👋

Since 2015, Adrien, Alejandra, and I (Tom) have been helping travelers explore Colombia. Here, you will find everything you need to fall in love with this beautiful country easily.


My favorite local agency

Book with locals
Easily Join The Best Tours in La Guajira with Paola
4.8

Over 100 of our readers explore La Guajira with Paola every month. This is the best-organized agency in the area, with consistent departures, excellent responsiveness, and great flexibility.

Pros:
  • Excellent multi-day tours to Cabo de la Vela, Punta Gallinas and Macuira Park.
  • Pay local prices at no extra cost.
See her profile
Easy, quick and risk-free (Talk first. Book later)

More than 10,000 travelers have already used our Colombia travel guide

I’ve been exploring Colombia since 2015 and put all my knowledge into one E-book. It’s free and accessible now. 👇

6 Guajira Tours: My review

In this section, I compare the best tours to explore La Guajira so that you can easily pick the one you like.

Tomplanmytrip note: This information is for guidance only. Please get in touch with our partners for final prices and availability.

Punta Gallinas + Cabo de la Vela | 3 days

The Classic Guajira Tour

Your three-day adventure begins in Riohacha, the bustling capital of La Guajira.

Day 1: The first stop is Manaure, a fishing village known for its vibrant salt flats. After a brief stop in Uribia, you’ll arrive at Cabo de la Vela. Here, you’ll enjoy a beachside lunch before exploring local attractions like Punta Arcoíris, Pilón de Azúcar, Playa Ojo de Agua, and the Lighthouse.

Day 2: This tour takes you to Punta Gallinas, passing through the Jepirachi Wind Farm, Bahia Portete, and Bahia Honda. At Punta Gallinas, you’ll marvel at the Taroa Dunes and visit the Punta Gallinas Lighthouse. The day ends at a Ranchería, offering a breathtaking view over Bahia Hondita.

Day 3: The final day marks your return trip, with a last lunch in Uribia or Mayapo Beach. You’ll return to Riohacha around 4 pm, filled with unforgettable memories.

  • The tours include meals, transportation, activities, and accommodations.
  • Duration: 3 Days – 2 Nights

Price Range

  • Group tour (6 pers): 780,000 – 870,000 COP / pers
  • Private tour (if only 2 pers): 1,650,000 – 1,840,000 COP / pers
  • Prices vary depending on where you sleep (bed or chinchorro) and if you want a private guide/translator.

Why I Love This Guajira Tour

Our tour to Cabo de la Vela with Paola’s agency
  • It’s the shortest time necessary to enjoy La Guajira’s secrets.
  • This tour offers a unique blend of natural beauty and adventure. You’ll get to explore the stunning landscapes of La Guajira, from its vast deserts to its pristine beaches.
  • There are daily departures.

Drawbacks of This Guajira Tour

  • You won’t be immersed in the Wayuu culture (not enough time—a tad too superficial for my taste)

👉 Paola offers this Guajira experience.

Macuira National Park, Punta Gallinas, and Cabo de la Vela | 4 days

My favorite Guajira Tour

Get ready for an exhilarating four-day, three-night adventure that takes you deep into the heart of La Guajira, Colombia’s northernmost peninsula. This tour is a thrilling exploration of the Macuira National Park, Punta Gallinas, and Cabo de la Vela.

Day 1: Your first day is identical to the previous Guajira tour (the classic one).

Day 2: On the second day, you’ll traverse the arid desert to Nazareth, a small town with sand streets within the Macuira National Park. You’ll have ample time in the afternoon to engage with the Wayúu and share their experiences.

Day 3: On the third day, you’ll hike to the Aliwalu dunes in the Macuira National Park before heading to Punta Gallinas (a 3.5-hour drive). You’ll visit all the highlights—just like in the classic Guajira Tour.

Day 4: On the fourth day, you’ll stop at the white sand beach of Mayapo for a delectable lunch before arriving in Riohacha.

  • The tours include meals, transportation, activities, and accommodation.
  • Duration: 4 days – 3 nights

Price Range

  • Group tour (5 pers): 1,420,000 – 1,550,000 COP/person
  • Private tour (if only 2 pers): 2,376,000 COP/person
  • As there is limited demand for this tour, it is more challenging to arrange group tours. The final price will depend on the total number of people.

Why I Love This Guajira Tour

  • This tour allows you to explore the Macuira National Park, a unique cloud forest in the middle of the desert. The park is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, offering ample opportunities for wildlife spotting and nature photography. 
  • It also provides a deep dive into the culture and traditions of the Wayuu people. From visiting a traditional rancheria to meeting local hosts, you’ll gain a unique insight into the Wayuu way of life.

Drawbacks of This Guajira Tour

  • You’ll spend more hours in the jeep as Nazareth is far from everything.
  • You have to be in relatively good shape to hike the national park (it’s not complicated but more challenging).
  • The tour is more difficult to organize. The roads are impassable in case of rain, and there are fewer departures.

👉Paola offers this exciting Guajira tour (my favorite one).

Cabo de la Vela | 2 days

Shortest Guajira tour

Your journey starts in Riohacha, takes you through the vibrant salt flats of Manaure, and culminates in the stunning landscapes of Cabo de la Vela. You’ll explore local attractions like Punta Arcoíris, Pilón de Azúcar, and the Lighthouse here.

 Day two is all about the beautiful beaches of Mayapo before you head back to Riohacha.

  • The tours include meals, transportation, activities, and accommodation.
  • Duration: 2 Days – 1 Night

Price Range

  • Group tour (6 pers): 520,000 – 450,000 COP/person
  • Private tour (if only 2 pers): 950,000 COP/person
  • Prices vary depending on where you sleep (bed or chinchorro) and if you want a private guide/translator.

Why I Love This Guajira Tour

Cabo de la Vela - Pilon de Azucar in Laguajira

It’s an option for those with limited time but a desire to experience the stunning landscapes of La Guajira.

Drawbacks for This Guajira Tour

  • While this tour offers a unique experience, it won’t have the same ‘wow’ factor as longer tours. 
  • The journey to Cabo de la Vela still involves long drives on sandy tracks (3h one way), so you won’t have as much time to enjoy the destination.
  • It’s a tour you can plan on your own.
  • It makes no sense to get there and not continue to Punta Gallinas.

👉 Paola offers this Guajira experience.

Kitesurfing Guajira Tour: Punta Gallinas | 5 days

My Kitesurfing lesson with Etto’s agency in Mayapo

Be ready to live a thrilling 5-day kitesurfing expedition to Punta Gallinas, the northernmost point of South America. 

This tour, organized by Paula and Etto, is designed for groups of 4 to 12 people and covers all aspects of your adventure, from transportation and accommodation to food and kitesurfing gear. You can bring your own equipment, rent some, or even take private lessons on-site.

The journey begins early in the morning from Riohacha, and by afternoon, you’ll be kitesurfing in front of your hotel, Luz Mila. 

The following days are filled with kitesurfing sessions, downwind trips to La Boquita beach, and opportunities to explore the stunning Taroa dunes. You’ll also have the chance to visit local tourist spots and immerse yourself in the breathtaking landscape of Punta Gallinas.

  • The tours include meals, transportation, a rescue boat, downwind trips, and accommodation.
  • Duration: 5 Days – 4 Nights

Price Range

  • Group tours only (4 to 12 people): About 550 USD/pers.

Why I Love This Guajira Tour

  • The constant wind conditions in Punta Gallinas make it an ideal location for kitesurfing, and the tour’s organization ensures you can focus on enjoying the experience rather than worrying about logistics.
  • The combination of kitesurfing, exploring the beautiful landscape, and a glimpse of Wayuu culture makes this tour a truly unique and exciting adventure.

Drawbacks for This Guajira Tour

  • While this tour offers a lot of excitement, it may not be for everyone. The journey to Punta Gallinas can be long and tiring.
  • The tour requires a certain level of physical fitness and comfort with outdoor activities.
  • If you’re not a fan of kitesurfing or prefer more leisurely vacations, this is not the tour for you.
  • There are only a few trips each year.

👉 Etto, our kitesurfing expert, offers this Guajira experience.

Book with locals
Kitesurfing in La Guajira with Etto & Paula
4.8
Pros:
  • Excellent bilingual guides.
  • Kitesurfing trips to Punta Gallinas.
See their profile Our guide

Day Trip to Cabo de la Vela

Macuira Tour, La Guajira

Guajira tours

Going on this day trip to Cabo de la Vela means condensing the usual 2-day/1-night tour into a single day, so be prepared for an early start (around 5:30 am).

  • Tours include meals and transportation
  • Duration: 12 hours

Price range

  • Group tour (6pers): 250 000COP/pers
  • Private tour (if only 2 pers): 600,000 COP/person if you’re a duo.

Drawbacks for this Guajira Tour

  • I don’t recommend this Guajira tour, as you’ll spend over 6-7 hours in the jeep (for a 12-hour tour), leaving you with insufficient time to appreciate this adventure.

Day Trip to PNN Los Flamingos + Rancheria + Mayapo

Guajira Tours

Your journey begins at the Santuario de Fauna y Flora Los Flamencos. This sanctuary is a haven for bird lovers, particularly those keen on spotting flamingos in their natural habitat. As you sail through the lagoons, you’ll be captivated by the vibrant pink hues of the flamingos contrasting with the clear blue sky.

Next, you’ll be welcomed into a Wayuu rancheria, offering a glimpse into the daily life of the Wayuu people, one of Colombia’s largest indigenous communities. Participate in traditional dances, savor local dishes like friche, and sip on the popular chirrichi drink. 

Finally, your day ends on the white sands of Mayapo Beach. Here, you can relax and unwind, letting the cool sea breeze wash over you as you watch the sun set over the horizon. 

  • Tours include meals, transportation, and experiences
  • Duration: 4 -8 hours (depending on the option you choose)

Price range

  • Various options are available.
  • Only Flamencos: 220,000 COP/person (min 2 pers)
  • Flamencos, rancheria, and Mayapo: 330,000 COP/person (min 2 pers)

Why I like this Guajira Tour

Rancheria wayuu La Guajira (1)
Our tour to La Guajira with Paola’s agency
  • This day trip offers a unique blend of nature, culture, and relaxation without spending hours in a jeep! 
  • The visit to the flamingo sanctuary provides a chance to connect with nature and appreciate the region’s biodiversity. 
  • The time spent in the Wayuu rancheria is an enriching cultural experience, offering insights into the traditions and lifestyle of the Wayuu people. 

Drawbacks for this Guajira Tour

  • While this tour is fascinating and comprehensive, it can’t compare to a multi-day desert trip. It is more of a complementary tour.
  • Some travelers may feel uncomfortable visiting the rancheria and participating in their traditions, feeling like intruders. However, it’s important to recognize that this is a way for the Wayuu to supplement their meager income.

👉Paola offers this exciting Guajira tour.

Why Do I recommend Paola’s agency

Paola Travel agency La Guajira

Paola’s agency has been a trailblazer in Guajira travel for over 10 years. It’s renowned for its ability to plan anything at any time, even specialized tours to the remote La Macuira region. The agency’s strong community connections and dedication to sustainable tourism have led to job creation and the promotion of local cultures.

Paola partners with only the best drivers who own and maintain their vehicles meticulously, ensuring a safe and comfortable journey for travelers.

You can easily contact Paola directly by using our online form. This won’t cost you extra – we simply connect you with her, and then she’ll reach out to you via WhatsApp. We do this to help travelers get in touch with reliable local agencies and ensure you get the best prices. It’s our way of supporting our favorite local agencies and ensuring you have direct access to top-notch services.

Book with locals
Easily Join The Best Tours in La Guajira with Paola
4.8

Over 100 of our readers explore La Guajira with Paola every month. This is the best-organized agency in the area, with consistent departures, excellent responsiveness, and great flexibility.

Pros:
  • Excellent multi-day tours to Cabo de la Vela, Punta Gallinas and Macuira Park.
  • Pay local prices at no extra cost.
See her profile
Easy, quick and risk-free (Talk first. Book later)

How to Choose the Perfect La Guajira Tour Agency

Dunas de Taroa La Guajira (6)
Our tour to La Guajira with Paola’s agency

Upon arriving in Riohacha, it becomes apparent that many local agencies are vying for your attention. 

Some are more affordable; some operate without proper licenses (and therefore lack insurance), and, unfortunately, many fail to deliver a memorable experience. 

Here are some essential factors to consider when selecting your agency.

Quality Cars and Friendly Drivers

Jeep in Dunas de Taroa in Punta Gallinas La Guajira

Transportation is a vital aspect of your La Guajira adventure. 

Given the region’s rugged landscape and remote locations, selecting a tour company that provides reliable, well-maintained vehicles and experienced (and friendly!) drivers who know the area like the back of their hand is crucial.

Look for Well-Maintained Cars

La Guajira Desiert transport
Jeep on our tour to La Guajira with Paola’s agency

Navigating the desert terrain of La Guajira can be challenging, thanks to its sandy roads and off-road trails. 

As such, choosing a tour company that uses robust vehicles suitable for these conditions is essential. 4×4 vehicles equipped with air conditioning are typically the best choice for traversing the desert landscape. 

My first two trips to La Guajira with random local agencies resulted in our jeeps breaking down multiple times during the journey.

👉 Paola collaborates directly with drivers who own their cars and maintain them with the utmost care, akin to a captain tending to his boat.

Seek Out Skilled and Friendly Drivers

Not only should drivers be experienced, but they should also be intimately familiar with the region. They need to know the best routes and adapt to changing weather and road conditions. 

Moreover, they should prioritize passenger safety by respecting speed limits and not rushing to reach the destination.

Also, remember that there are no dedicated guides on these La Guajira tours unless you request a private tour with one. 

This means that the driver also acts as your guide (albeit primarily taking you from point A to point B). 

As such, you’ll want a friendly, helpful driver, and eager to answer your questions. Trust me, finding one is no easy feat!

👉 Paola is likely familiar with every driver in La Guajira. She’s meticulous in her recruitment process and only partners with the best.

Solid Experience and Local Contacts

Nazaret For La Macuira, La Guajira

When planning your trip to La Guajira, it’s important to select a tour agency that boasts both extensive experience in organizing tours and strong local connections—leading to more authentic experiences.

An experienced agency will possess a deep understanding of the logistics involved, from transportation and accommodation to dealing with unexpected situations. They’ll know the best times to visit specific attractions to avoid crowds and provide accurate information about what to expect.

For instance, having a contingency plan when rain renders dirt roads impassable or if an unforeseen Wayuu strike blocks the route is essential. 

During my last trip, we had to leave at 3 a.m. to avoid the strikes. On the way, I met two backpackers “trapped” in the middle of Cabo de la Vela, not knowing if they would be able to leave.

👉 Paola has been a pioneer in Guajira travel agencies for over 10 years! She knows everyone, works with a team of 8-10 and can arrange anything anytime.

a Guajira Agency that Promotes Responsible Travel

Wayuu Mochilas in Macuira, La Guajira

Tourism can benefit local people, but it must be done well by both responsible travelers and agencies. 

La Guajira is one of Colombia’s poorest areas and already suffers from plastic pollution due to a lack of awareness among the Wayuu and some disrespectful agencies and tourists. 

Therefore, you should choose a local agency that promotes responsible and sustainable tourism.

👉 Paola’s agency is a community tourism operator that showcases Colombia’s attractions while respecting various cultures, such as Wayuu, Wiwa, Arhuaca, and Kogui. Paola’s team has trained many locals to become tourism operators, creating jobs in the process. You’ll be able to participate in various Wayuu experiences where your money goes directly to the communities.

Check out what’s included in your plan

Cabo de la Vela, La Guajira - Food

When selecting a tour agency for your La Guajira adventure, it’s essential to understand what’s included in your package. Key elements to consider include:

  • Water: La Guajira is a desert region, so staying hydrated is crucial. Some tour packages include water, but others may not.
  • Wayuu Experiences: Some tours involve visits to Wayuu communities, participation in traditional dances, or meals featuring Wayuu cuisine. If local culture is a priority, look for a tour that includes these experiences.
  • Hammock or Bed: Accommodations in La Guajira range from hammocks to beds in simple bedrooms. Verify what type of lodging is included in your tour. If you’re uncomfortable sleeping in a hammock, ensure your package includes a bed.
  • Food: Tour packages may include all meals, only specific meals, or none at all. 

Where to start your Guajira tours

Desert Dunas de Taroa in Punta Gallinas La Guajira (1)

The vast majority of agencies are located in Riohacha (as is the case for Paola).

If you book a tour with an agency in Santa Marta, Cartagena or Palomino, these are intermediaries who will go through an agency in Riohacha.

That’s why I recommend booking with a Riohacha agency. If you don’t want to spend the night before the tour in Riohacha, you can ask Paola to organize private transport for you. She has good contacts and her prices are very reasonable.

Tips to enhance your experience

El Faro Punta Gallinas La Guajira
  • Pack Light: La Guajira is remote and rugged, and you’ll likely be on the move throughout your tour. Bring only the essentials in a small, easy-to-carry bag to ensure a more comfortable journey. Also, don’t forget a jumper for chilly nights!
  • Bring a Flashlight and Portable Battery: In remote areas, electricity may be limited, so be prepared with a small flashlight and a portable battery for your devices.
  • Open Mind: Embrace the unique aspects of Wayuu culture and the beauty of the Guajira region by approaching your experience with an open mind and a willingness to learn.
  • Patience: Transportation can be unpredictable, and the pace of life is slower in La Guajira. Stay patient and flexible, and remember that these unexpected moments often make for the best travel stories.
  • Choose a Good Local Agency: A quality tour agency will have knowledgeable guides, reliable transportation, and a commitment to responsible tourism. They should also be transparent about what’s included in the tour price. Remember, your tour agency can make or break your experience in La Guajira.

Here are the most frequently asked questions we get from our readers:

  1. Are the Guajira tours safe?

    Yes, Guajira tours are safe. The Wayuu fiercely protect their land, and tour agencies are well-versed in the current safety situation in the desert.

  2. When is the best time to book your Guajira tour?

    The ideal time to book your Guajira tour is from December to April (excluding Holy Week) and June to August. Avoid high season and heavy rain in October and November.

  3. Is it worth visiting La Guajira with a local agency from Riohacha?

    Absolutely! Choosing a local agency based in Riohacha usually means more affordable prices and better services.

  4. From where can you start your Guajira tours?

    You can begin your Guajira tours from Santa Marta, Palomino, Dibulla, or Riohacha.

Bottom line: La Guajira Tours

Paola’s agency offers daily departures, unparalleled flexibility, and specialized tours to La Guajira

Whether you opt for the classic tour, the Macuira adventure, or any other option, booking your tour with Paola ensures an unforgettable journey through La Guajira with expert guides, responsible travel practices, and a deep appreciation for the region’s natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. 

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity – book your tour today!

Book with locals
Easily Join The Best Tours in La Guajira with Paola
4.8

Over 100 of our readers explore La Guajira with Paola every month. This is the best-organized agency in the area, with consistent departures, excellent responsiveness, and great flexibility.

Pros:
  • Excellent multi-day tours to Cabo de la Vela, Punta Gallinas and Macuira Park.
  • Pay local prices at no extra cost.
See her profile
Easy, quick and risk-free (Talk first. Book later)

INFORMATION: PLEASE NOTE THAT SOME LINKS ARE AFFILIATE S AND AT NO EXTRA COST TO YOU, I EARN A SMALL COMMISSION IF YOU MAKE A BOOKING. IT’S A NICE GESTURE TO THANK US FOR THE MANY HOURS WE DEDICATE TO TOMPLANMYTRIP 🙂

I have been traveling around Colombia and Mexico since 2015 to discover new experiences and help travelers make the right choices.

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