LA GUAJIRA - DESERT X OCEAN

I visited the north coast of Colombia with some friends I met in Cali. After hearing about how amazing the north coast was from other travellers, it quickly made its way to the top of my list of places to visit in Colombia. 

We organised our trip with Calle 11 - the hostel we were staying at in Santa Marta. It was a 3 day/2 night trip from Santa Marta all the way to Punta Gallinas, the most northern point of Colombia - the trip cost us roughly 250,000 COP (approx $115 AUD) each.

DAY 1

Our adventure to the Guajira penisula started early in the morning, we were picked up at 4:30am. It was so early, I went straight to sleep in the car for the next 3 hours as we made our way to Riohacha where we stopped to have breakfast. After breakfast we were back on the road and on our way to Cabo del la Vela.

Merchants selling handmade patterned bags on the coast in Riohacha.

Merchants selling handmade patterned bags on the coast in Riohacha.

The salt plains enroute to Cabo del la Vela.

The salt plains enroute to Cabo del la Vela.

Meeting some of the locals along the way to Cabo del la Vela.

Meeting some of the locals along the way to Cabo del la Vela.

When we arrived, we had a quick lunch at the lodge before heading out to the beach (playa Ojo de Agua) for a dip. The sea collides with the several cliffs and over time weathers it down to create a beautiful landscape.

The day was so hot that we were all itching for a swim in the cool waters - it was sooo dang refreshing when we finally jumped in. Apart from some medium waves perfect for wave jumping the water was pretty calm.

A beautiful view of the baron desert meeting the caribbean from Ojo de Agua.

A beautiful view of the baron desert meeting the caribbean from Ojo de Agua.

Kids jumping waves.

Kids jumping waves.

Playing tag.

Playing tag.

After a quick dip our guide took us to another nearby beach which was quieter and more secluded. As we made out way to the beach we found a vendor that sold beers. We bought a few bottles drank them while we watched sun set over the water and painted the sky.

The crew chilling at the beach. (Sabrina, Moritz, Sam and Daniela).

The crew chilling at the beach. (Sabrina, Moritz, Sam and Daniela).

Sabrina walking the beach.

Sabrina walking the beach.

We headed back to our hammocks after it got dark and had dinner. Dinner was farely simple - rice and locally caught fish. But if you wanted something more extravagant there was an option to pay an extra 25000COP (approx $11AUD) to upgrade to fresh lobster. I went with the lobster - it was delicious and for 11 bucks it was definitely worth.

An incredible view of the milky way.

An incredible view of the milky way.

To close out the night we bought some drinks from the bar and made our way out to the beach to chill - literally in front of our hammocks. 

The view of the stars from here was spectacular. The only other time I remember seeing the stars so clearly was when I visited the Sahara desert during new years eve.

DAY 2

This morning we got up out of our hammocks by the beach and jumped straight into the beach for a dip. Then we had some breakfast and we were on our way to Punta Gallinas (the most northern point of Colombia). 

The nearby villagers had created makeshift gate so that they can collect food, water or lollies from tourists enroute to Punta Gallinas. 

The nearby villagers had created makeshift gate so that they can collect food, water or lollies from tourists enroute to Punta Gallinas. 

We stopped at Jepírachi, in the department of La Guajira, it is the only wind farm in Colombia. The wind farm harnesses an average of 9.8 meter per second winds and has a capacity of 19.5MW of power.

We stopped at Jepírachi, in the department of La Guajira, it is the only wind farm in Colombia. The wind farm harnesses an average of 9.8 meter per second winds and has a capacity of 19.5MW of power.

We took a break from the road at the Taroa dunes for a dip to cool off. To get to water we had to climb over a massive Taroa dunes, it was crazy because we couldn't see anything but sand until we had reach the peak of the dunes. Over the peak we had an incredible view of the beach. 

Climbing over the massive Taroa Dunes, we were not prepared to see the ocean on the other side.

Climbing over the massive Taroa Dunes, we were not prepared to see the ocean on the other side.

The beach beyond the dunes.

The beach beyond the dunes.

After lunch we headed up to Punta Gallinas to checked out the most northern point of Colombia. There is an old light house here that marks this spot, otherwise you probably would never know it this was the top of the land mass that is South America.

Punta Gallinas, the most northern point of Colombia.

Punta Gallinas, the most northern point of Colombia.

The rest of the day was spent wandering and exploring the bay near our lodge, swimming and hanging out while we watched another epic sunset. 

Kicking back at the beach.

Kicking back at the beach.

For dinner I had my last lobster from the Gujiara peninsula. Then we capped the night off the right way, hanging out in the dark, listening to some tunes and staring at the epic view of the night sky for the last time.

DAY 3

This morning the guys decided to head out to a nearby lagoons and mangroves surrounding the inland sea. I decided to skip in favour of exploring the lodge and meeting some more friendly people in the area.

Morning stroll around the lodge.

Morning stroll around the lodge.

A couple of the locals sitting on top of the stairway down to the dock.

A couple of the locals sitting on top of the stairway down to the dock.

Our ride back to the car.

Our ride back to the car.

When the guys made it back, we had a quick lunch and then we jumped into a barge which took us on a scenic ride through the turquois waters and mangroves back to our 4WD. We spent the rest of the day driving through desert terrain back to Riohacha where we were picked up by a mini van to bring us the rest of the way back to our hostel in Santa Marta. 

DESERT X OCEAN

The last 3 days of adventure to La Guajira was amazing. It was really cool to see the crazy contrast in nature - desert meeting the ocean. I had an incredible time swimming in the cool waters during the hot days and watching the stars come out so clearly at night. 

And one of the coolest things about visiting La Guajira was the fact that we were completely disconnected from our tech for 3 days. It was refreshing to get away from all of those distractions and just enjoy the experience.

A visit to La Guajira is a must if you're ever in or visiting Colombia.


 
 

THANKS FOR READING

Hi, I'm Phillip Lay — I love to travel, I'm passionate about photography and I love sharing my experiences. Let me inspire you to travel more with some stories, photography, and useful tips from my travels. Join the newsletter and receive exclusive email updates by signing up below...