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My fantastic Colombia travel BlogTrip to La Guajira

Very occassionally a trip comes along that reminds you why you fell in love with travel in the first place: the sense of adventure, the overwhelming feel of amazement with the world and the excitement of encountering new cultures you didn't know existed.

 

 

I was recently given the incredible opportunity to visit La Guajira by the Colombia Official Bloggers project and, as you might have gathered from my gushing introduction, this is the kind of place that reignites the travel flame in even the most jaded of travellers.

Sand dunes roll down into the wild Caribbean seas, and you stand there overlooking the spectacular views, not another body in sight, as the relentless wind distracts you from the incorrigible heat of the American sun. La Guajira is the most northern point of the continent, but it feels like the end of the earth's surface.

Any trip to La Guajira starts off in the unspectacular town of Riohacha. There isn't a great deal to do here, but the seafood is good and locals are friendly. In addition, not too much of your time is spent here. Indeed, as soon as I arrived I was whisked off to a nearby Wayuu ranch, where myself and two Rolas (Bogotanas) got to know the culture of these indigenous people, as well as enjoy some traditional foods. Perhaps most enjoyable was the dancing section, where the children of the tribe performed a show for us (in which we reluctantly and flat-footedly participated).

The next day I woke early to be taken by my guide to Punta Gallinas. It's a gruelling drive, punctuated by children at checkpoints that ask for a small amount of money (or fruit in our case) in order to pass. It's an insight not just into the arid nature of the area that doesn't allow for agriculture, but also into the lack of development here: the locals still very much run the roost. After 5 hours of bumpy, uncomfortable journeying soundtracked by reggaeton, we arrived at Punta Gallinas.

 

 


The first scene you're struck by is the coastline, where a phosphorescent beach meets a luminous blue-green sea. It's otherwordly, and one of the most iconic views in the area. The next striking feature of the area is the food, which unsuprisingly is mostly delicious fresh sea food.

Punta Gallinas is simply a place to rest, wander and enjoy the stunning views. Your one day spent there will be enough, but it will have forged a permanent place in your memory without a doubt.

After a night in a hammock, the next day we embarked early again to Cabo de La Vela. We stopped at a lighthouse that signifies the most northern point of La Guajira, a landmark relatively few others have ever seen. It was another gruelling drive around the spectacular plains of La Guajira, but again one that rewards you with a truly amazing final destination. Cabo de La Vela, or more specifically the beach next to the Pylon de Azucar, is the most photographed area of La Guajira, and easily the most recognisable. It's also one of the few places you can swim, so schedule yourself a long time to relax in the sea and enjoy the sunbathing opportunity.

Many people choose to stay nearby to this area thanks to the watersports available and the fact that, in contrast to other areas of La Guajira, you’ll find a small amount of fellow travellers to keep you company.

 

La Guajira easily ranks as one of the best possible trips in Colombia and for any keen explorer should be on the top of the list. Unless you go with a tour operator, like I did, it takes some organizing… But doesn’t every good adventure?

Thanks again to Proexport and the Official Bloggers for this amazing opportunity!

Paul

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Comments

Guest
Marce Sunday, 04 August 2013

Hey Paul. How many days were you in La Guajira?

Guest
Domitilla Raimondo Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Hi Paul

Could you send the details of the tour opperator you went with. We would like to do the same trip.

Thank you
Tilla

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Guest
Guest Wednesday, 16 April 2014

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