La Guajira

Located on the north Caribbean coast, La Guajira is the largest desert in Colombia. The landscape is composed of beautiful beaches, vast arid lands with some bushes, yellow dunes, and a green oasis.

Although you can get to Cabo De La Vela by public transport, you will have to book a tour to get to the most beautiful sites of this bewitching desert. Be aware that you will spend most of your time in the jeep. However, the scenery is worth it.

99% of travelers take the same 3D-2N tour to Punta Gallinas, which is the northernmost point in South America. Jeep tours start from Santa Marta, Dibulla, or Riohacha.

If you are looking for a “deeper experience” and more cultural, go meeting the Wayúu (the indigenous people of La Guajira) and learning about their habits and customs. However, choose your agency carefully as some of them are tourist traps.

Also, try to add Macuira National Park to your itinerary in Colombia if you have the soul of an adventurer. It’s an oasis hidden in the desert!

 

Articles about La Guajira you must read before coming:

 

Getting to La Guajira?

From Santa Marta to Riohacha:

  • Many buses leave from the Mercado public (Public Market) or you can take one the few buses leaving from the main terminal | Copetran & many others | 3 h

 

From Palomino to Riohacha:

  • Wait for a bus to stop on the side of the road | 1h30
  • Or a taxi

 

From Tayrona to Riohacha:

  • Wait for a bus to stop on the side of the road | 2h
  • Or a taxi

 

From Dibulla to Riohacha:

  • Taxi | 45 min

 

From Bogota to Riohacha:

 

From Cali to Riohacha:

 

From Medellin to Riohacha:

 

From Cartagena to Riohacha: 

  • Many direct buses | Unitransco, Copetran & Expreso Brasilia | 8 h | 

 

From Riohacha to Cabo de la Vela:

  • You can book a private tour  | 3 hours
  • Or take a bus till the crossroad “4-vias” (1h) then take a jeep to Cabo de La Vela (2h)

 

From Cabo de la Vela to Punta Gallinas:

  • There are private tour  leaving from Cabo de la Vela (2D/1N) 
  • You can’t do it on your own. 
  • Tours are also leaving from Riohacha or Santa Marta

 

From Cabo de la Vela – PNN Macuira – Punta Gallinas:

  • It’s part of a 4D/3N tour from Riohacha.

Riohacha's airport?   (+)

The airport is 15 min away from the center of Riohacha.

Riohacha bus terminal?

The bus terminal is located 5-10min by taxi from the “center” of Riohacha.

Table of Contents

Click on the orange links below ⬇️ and scroll down ⬇️ to read the chosen section.

Where to start your tour to La Guajira

On the Caribbean coast, there are many local travel agencies that organize expeditions to Punta Gallinas. It means you don't have to travel on your own to Cabo de la Vela or Riohacha to book your tour. It's a good way to save time on your Colombia Itinerary.

  • Santa Marta

    Travel guide

    Santa Marta

    Santa Marta is a strategic city to explore the Caribbean Coast. Easy to reach by bus or plane. Read our travel guide!
  • Palomino

    Travel guide

    Palomino

    Palomino is a famous beach town, located 2 hours away from Riohacha. Wait for your tour on the main road. Read our travel guide!
  • Dibulla

    Travel guide

    Dibulla

    Dibulla is our favorite option to explore La Guajira. A calm place to rest before and after your expedition. Read our travel guide.

Where to stay in Riohacha

If you're a slow traveler, you can decide to stay a few days in Cabo de la Vela. You won't find your hotel on the internet, but it's effortless to get a bed or a hammock once you arrive. Riohacha can be a strategic choice if you fly from Bogota.

  • Bona Vida

    Riohacha - $

    Bona Vida

    Excellent hostel divided into 2 buildings (3 min walk). Swimming pool, great rooftop with a bar.
    Get the best price
  • Laguna Sala

    Riohacha - $$

    Laguna Sala

    Modern hostel with a fantastic rooftop. Swimming pool and bar. Great value for money.
    Get the best price
  • C. Patio bonita

    Riohacha - $$

    C. Patio bonita

    Lovely Bed & Breakfast with a few comfortable rooms. Family vibe. Spacious rooms.
    Get the best price

Things to do in La Guajira

Dibulla is a perfect option if you want to escape the mass tourism of Palomino. Come there to witness the daily life of a quiet fishing town, chill on the beach and plan your expedition to the La Guajira desert.

  • Punta Gallinas

    3 days | $$$

    Punta Gallinas

    It's a 3D/2N expedition in a jeep to admire the sceneries of the desert. Cabo de la vela + Punta Gallinas.
    Get the best price
  • Cabo de la Vela

    Multi-day | $

    Cabo de la Vela

    Cabo de la Vela is the last town in La Guajira. You can Kitesurfing and chill at the beach. Take a jeep to get there.
    Learn more
  • PNN Macuira

    4 Days | $$$

    PNN Macuira

    A hidden oasis located in the Alto Guajira. Beautifull. Tours are more complicated to organize.
    Learn more
  • Camarones

    6 hours | $$

    Camarones

    Observe thousands of flamingos with a local and its tiny boat. Season: Mid November till End of February.
    Learn more
  • Rancheria Wayuu

    2 days | $$

    Rancheria Wayuu

    Stay 2 days with Wayuu family to learn about their cultures and traditions. School and cooking. Fantastic experience.
    Learn more
  • Kitesurf

    1 - 4 days | $$

    Kitesurf

    The beaches in Cabo de la Vela and Mayapo are perfect spots for Kitesurfing. Take some classes there!
    Learn more
  • Pilon de Azucar

    4 hours | $

    Pilon de Azucar

    The most beautiful beach in Cabo de la Vela. Take a moto-taxi. Better to get there in the morning.
    Learn more
  • Mayapo

    6 - 8 hours | $

    Mayapo

    An easy trip from Riohacha. Take a shared car and stop at the Playa Refugio Maliiwala. Shade & Beers.
    Learn more

Our articles about La Guajira

We stayed for more than 2 weeks in La Guajira and wrote about our travel experiences.

Partners we recommend for La Guajira

Some local partners we have met, tested and approved during our stay in Rihoacha, Cabo de la Vela and Punta Gallinas.

  • Pura Guajira: An excellent Local agency to explore the La Guajira desert.
  • Magic tour: Excellent multi-day trips from Santa Marta or Riohacha.

More places on the East Coast

Find out all our other favorite places on the Eastern Caribbean Coast

Where to eat & drink?

For us, good restaurants and exciting nightlife are important when traveling. We gathered our favorite picks on an interactive Map. Download the APP "Mapstr" and look for "Colombia Insider"!

More Travel Guides

(Click on the Map)

Click to get back to the table of contents

Specific information by location

Our travel guides per city

Where to sleep? What to do? Where to eat? How do you get from one place to another?

How to decide among all these stunning places?

 FREE Ebook based on our 5 years of travel in Colombia. 150 pages of information pure, no bullshit.

Just one last step and you will be able to start reading our guidebook! You should receive an email soon to confirm your inscription. Please, check your email box (Don't forget the Promotion and junk boxes)

Travel stress-free in Colombia

Colombia is a country with tons of exciting experiences and hidden places. Stop working hours on your itinerary while wondering if you've made the right choices. Tell us what you like, and we take care of the rest. Thanks to our service, you save time, money, and experience Colombia differently.