UF in Colombia Day 8: Magical Nature

On Sunday morning we left our hostel at 8.00 am to take the communal bus to Tayrona National Park, a protected rainforest area located just one hour away from Santa Marta. It was a vivid bus ride, where some fell asleep to the loud tunes of reggaeton music while others enjoyed the view or talked with the locals next to them. Despite being a little unprepared (lack of money and id:s) we managed to enter the park and catch a ride to the hiking trails. The park was absolutely beautiful! We hiked along the caribbean coastline, and passed several stunning and completely empty beaches along the way. We all felt that it was rewarding to get to see this part of the country, with outstanding landscapes and surroundings, in contrast the busy-concrete-cities Bogotá and Medellín.

After two hours we stopped for lunch at a small restaurant where we had patacónes and arroz con coco, which is fried plantain with coconut rice. Very colombian and very good! Then we continued our hike and reached Cabo San Juan, our final destination. The view was breathtaking, with clear blue sea and a never-ending horizon.

The legendary beach: Cabo San Juan.

Completely content with life, we relaxed on the beach for a couple of hours before taking a boat back to Santa Marta. The boat ride was surely an adventure! Some of us loved it while others (me) were frightened to death because of the waves. Regardless, the sunset was beautiful.

At night we went out for dinner together, chatting about the day and all the experiences we have had so far. During our stay in Santa Marta we have met many people from Venezuela. Due to a severe economic crisis, poverty and rising violence, an increasing number of people have migrated from Venezuela to Colombia. And undoubtedly, the Venezuelan crisis felt a lot more present in northern Colombia than it did in Bogotá or Medellín.
After dinner and some vegan ice cream, a very happy and pleased travel group went back to our hostel for a good night sleep.
Hasta luego <3
Johanna Löfgren

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