Tayrona, on the Eastern Caribbean Coast, is the most famous national park in Colombia. Colombians, Europeans, Americans… Everybody wants to add it to their itinerary in Colombia.

It is easy to understand how Tayrona became so famous among the traveling community.

  • It is easily accessible from Santa Marta
  • You don’t need a guide to visit it.
  • You can sleep in the park
  • The trails are clean, pleasant, and of easy to medium level depending on the itinerary.
  • There are long white sandy beaches with large palm trees.
  • The mixture of mountains, jungle, and sea is fascinating.
  • It’s a little paradise ideal for Instagram pics

Unfortunately, as a victim of its success, Tayrona Park is sometimes too crowded, and I can assure you that the experience will not be the same if hundreds of tourists surround you. Paradise is over!

But don’t panic my fellow traveler!!!! We have many tips and tricks on this page to help you.

  • Get back to the Park early. The Zaino entrance opens at 8 am and the Calabazo entrance opens at 6 am!
  • Walk more than the others. Everyone starts at the main entrance – El Zaino – because they want the easiest way to reach the famous beach of – Cabo San Juan. Start your hike by the Calabazo entrance and you won’t meet any other travelers.
  • Stay 2 or 3 days in Tayrona Park. We recommend the loop Calabazo – Playa Brava(night) – Cabo San Juan(night) – Zaino to our guests. 3 mind-blowing days.
  • The well-being of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is essential for the indigenous communities. For 2022, the park will be closed from 01/02 to 15/02, from 01/06 to 15/06, and from 19/10 to 02/11.
  • There are fantastic hotels between Playa Naranjos and Buritica. Take a look around to find your idyllic accommodation. The beaches are a little less beautiful during the rainy season (Oct – Nov; Tue – April) as some tree trunks are carried by the rivers.

So, are you ready for an exciting adventure in a great setting?

Articles about Tayrona you must read before coming:

Where to travel after Tayrona:

    Getting to Tayrona? (+)

    From Santa Marta to Tayrona:

    From Cartagena to Tayrona: 

    • Door to door shuttle | Marsol | 5-6 hours

    From Palomino to Tayrona:

    • Wait for a bus on the side of the road | 1 hour

    From Minca to Tayrona:

    1. Take a jeep to Santa Marta and get off at the fuel station “La Bomba” | 35 min
    2. Wait for a bus to Tayrona | 1 hour

    From Taganga to Tayrona:

    • Boat to Playa Cabo San Juan | 1h30

    From Riohacha to Tayrona:

    • Take any buses in the direction of Santa Marta and ask the bus to stop at Tayrona | 2h30

    Calabazo Entrance?

    The Calabazo entrance is located further west than the main entrance El Zaino. You start a track at small “tiendas” and houses along the road. The hut that serves as the entrance is about ten minutes away on the track. From there, you can reach Playa Brava or Cabo San Juan depending on what you want to do. This is the entrance to the tranquility.

    Entrance El Zaino?

    The El Zaino entrance is the main entrance where all the transports will drop you off  if you do not specify that you wish to enter by Calabazo. It is by far the most touristic one.

    Table of Contents

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    Where to stay near the park entrances

    Although you can stay in Santa Marta and leave early in the direction of the national park, I recommend you to stay closer to the entrances. We visited a bunch of them, and we are 100% seduced. Don't forget to let your big bag at the reception of your hotel, you don't need it in Tayrona ;)

    • Yuluka

      Eco Hostal - $$


      Our favorite hostel, with private cabins and dorms. Good restaurant. Excellent outdoors. Pool.
      Get the best price
    • Quetzal Dorado

      Hotel - $$$

      Quetzal Dorado

      Fantastic view. Clean. Excellent value for money. Delicious food. Pool. Free shuttle.
      Get the best price

    Where to stay inside Tayrona

    Most of the sleeping options are hammocks or tents in Tayrona. It's part of the experience ;). However, we found two options where you can have a bed. Don't bring your big bag!

    • Teyumakke

      Hostel - $$


      In Playa Brava. Basic cabins or hammock. Isolated beach with few tourists. Strong current.
      Get the best price
    • Cabo San Juan

      Camping & hammock

      Cabo San Juan

      The most famous beach. Arrive early to pick your hammock or book it at the Zaino entrance.
      Learn more
    • Arrecife

      Camping & hammock


      Closer to El Zaino Entrance. You can't swim. Fewer People and cheaper. 20 min from La Piscina.
      Learn more
    • Ecohab Tayrona

      Luxury - $$$$

      Ecohab Tayrona

      Luxury cabins, very expensive. Near the main entrance. You can't swim. I'm not a big fan.
      Learn more

    Where to stay on Los Naranjos Beach?

    Playa Los Naranjos is a secluded beach located next to Tayrona Park. It's a perfect location if you want to enjoy the beach before and after your expedition to the national park. It's 15 min away from the main entrance. All the establishments we have visited are astonishing and peaceful. Ask the bus driver to let you on the side of the road then take a moto-taxi. Hotels can also offer you private transportation options.

    • Los Naranjos

      Ecohab - $$$

      Los Naranjos

      Excellent services and gorgeous surroundings. Pool. Bungalows. Tasty foods.
      Get the best price
    • Playa Tayrona

      Villa - $$$$

      Playa Tayrona

      Luxury habitations. Fantastic view and delicious food. Near the river and the beach.
      Get the best price
    • Barlovento

      Maloka - $$$$


      Gorgeous private cabins with excellent facilities. Top-notch views and delicious food.
      Get the best price

    Our articles about Tayrona

    We went 3 times in Tayrona National Park and we wrote about our travel experiences

    Partners we recommend for the Sierra Nevada

    Some local partners we have met, tested and approved during our stay around Tayrona.

    • Magic tour: Excellent local travel agency based in Santa Marta.

    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 places on the East Coast

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

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