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Backpacker's Guide to La Guajira

Posted by on in Caribbean Coast
It's safe to say that La Guajira is one of the most remarkable places I've been to in all my travels. So epic is La Guajira that words often fail to do it any justice: it's end of days, apocalyptic stuff that can humble the most jaded of all travellers with its sheer deserted beauty.

[caption id="attachment_535" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Punta Gallinas Punta Gallinas


So, first off, be sure to check out Off2Colombia's videos and photos of La Guajira to get some visual understanding of the area. Me? I'm here to give you a backpacker's guide to the ins and outs of La Guajira.

First up, how do you get to La Guajira?

The nearest city is the rather unremarkable Riohacha. Unfortunately you can't avoid it wherever you arrive from. Most backpackers will arrive from Santa Marta, which is a 4 hour bus ride away that should cost around $30,000.

You'll arrive in Riohacha and, unless you're really organised, need somewhere to stay. The city hasn't got a great selection of cheap accommodation, but the picks of the bunch are Casa de Mama (cll 9 # 3, $40,000) and Castillo del Mar ().

[caption id="attachment_536" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Cliffs in La Guajira Cliffs in La Guajira


The next day wake up bright and early, ready for your La Guajira adventure to begin. Pack a lot of water and some energy snacks, like bananas.

To get from Riohacha to El Cabo you'll need to take a taxi to Uribia, which will cost $12,000 each (4 people). From there, get onto a truck with other people heading to El Cabo. This will take 2-3 hours and should cost each passenger $12,000.

Next up, accommodation in El Cabo. There are a range of options, with the cheapest I've seen being $8,000. Be prepared to ask around for the best deals. You'll see plenty of options for some watersports, so ask around, find a group and join in the fun.

The next day you'll be wanting to head to the place everyone's been raving about, Punta Gallinas. Sure it's tough to get to, but that's why you're reading this, right?

You'll need to hop on the back of some random dude's bike that'll set you back $20,000. He'll take you to a port where you'll be charged $100,000 (depending on your bartering skills) to board a boat that'll take you to Punta Gallinas. Don't worry, that cost includes tomorrow's return. a night in a hammock at Punta Gallinas will cost $15,000, and a meal $10,000. If I can be so bold as to make a recommendation, I strongly suggest the lobster ($25,000).

After you day at Punta Gallinas doing basically nothing, speak to someone there about your return, and you should be able to organise a taxi back to Uribia for just $15,000 if it's full, and from there you can head back to Riohacha.

Where to from there my smelly backpacker friend? Well the world is your oyster, but how about the capital of Vallenato, Valledupar, just 4 hours and. $25,000 bus ride away?
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