Some 45mins’ drive from Santa Marta, at the base of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, lies the National Natural Park of Tayrona. The park’s habitats change from dry forest nearer Santa Marta to humid tropical forest towards the east, and display a startling level of biodiversity. Its beaches, once noted by the Discovery Channel as some of the best in the world, are laden with coconut trees and bordered by turquoise water.
This beautiful reserve spreads from the fishing village of Taganga all the way along the Caribbean coast to Buritaca and protects 12,000ha of well conserved habitat and 3,000ha of coral-rich coast.
Tayrona is a treasure for those interested in nature and wildlife. There various endemic species can be found, among them the critically endangered blue-billed curassow. Jaguar sightings are not uncommon and the birdlife is second to none. There are also three species of primate within the park, one a recently distinguished species of capuchin endemic to Colombia and to the park. Tayrona vast size means it is better to stay more than one day in order to enjoy this paradise with its stunning views, jungle hikes and extreme biodiversity.