At less than 3-hour drive from Santa Marta, lies La Guajira desert, an end-of-the world untouched paradise, with almost no tourists, inhabited by the Wayuu community, also known as South America’s most northerly point. Desert colors, waves smashing the coast, green oasis, blue lagoons, vertiginous cliffs, breathtaking sunsets, all these natural elements come together to create unforgettable moments. Welcome to the ultimate Colombian “slow” destination, a magic place inviting all of us to disconnect to reconnect.
Although it’s technically feasible to visit La Guajira by yourself, booking a tour with a professional guide is highly recommended. With headquarters in Santa Marta, Magic Tour Colombia offers up to 5-day adventure trips that cover transport, accommodation, food and activities. Their local guides are very well prepared to inform you not only about geography but also about Wayuu’s myths and legends, their political structure and other interesting life habits and events of this lawless region. We opted for a 3-day tour that took from Santa Marta up to Punta Gallinas.
CABO DE VELA
Start your trip at the salt mine in Urbia followed by a short visit of Riohacha before reaching the first halt of the trip, Cabo de la Vela, a small familial village and an unexpected kitesurf spot. The perfect place to start exploring the area: climb the windy Pilón de Azúcar hillside for 360 spectacular views, swim at Playa del Pilon, a beautiful beach backed by craggy cliffs, enjoy sunset on the golden cliffs of Bahia Hondita and discover (and shop) colorful crafts made by Wayuu indigenous people: women dresses (mantas), hand bags (mochilas) and hammocks (chinchorros).
Sleep happens under the stars (or almost) in large and comfortable hammocks at the Wayuu Rancheria Posada Pujuru. If you enjoy fresh fish, you are in for a treat! The indigenous people prepare rustic but delicious meals. Ask your guide to order fresh lobster for lunch. It’s an extra but it is totally worth it. Are you a night owl? Enjoy a last delicious smoothie served in cute mason jars at Pujuru Kite Surf bar, next to the guesthouse and listen their beautiful curated music playlist.
Continue your journey up to Punta Gallinas, officially the most northerly point of the continent, a sacred land of the Wayuu and spend the night at the Wayuu Rancheria Luz Mila. Between massive dunes kissing turquoise waters at Playa Taroa, chill time at Playa Dorada and watching the stars, surrounding you like a cathedral dome at night the only wish one could have is to stop the time and enjoy this dazzling wild nature forever.
Finally tip: if you want to add even more color to this natural masterpiece, organize your trip during the wet season (September to December) to observe the great number of pink flamingos that live in the area. 15km south the capital of the region, Riohacha, visit the Santuario de Flora y Fauna Los Flamencos, a 700-hectare nature reserve, home of around 10,000 flamingos.
Booking and information: Magic Tour Colombia
Tours from 270$ CAD for 3-day exploration.