Everyone’s right, it is a beautiful place although for 1 night it may not be worth the walk it takes to get to the beaches. It’s about 1.5 hours to get from the start of the track to the first beach, Arrefices, but you can’t actually swim there because there is a deadly undertow that has killed a lot of people. This walk is mostly through rainforest and involves a lot of balancing and clambering to avoid the sludgy track left by horses
. This was as far as we went on the first day as we stayed inland near to Arrefices in a cool place called Finca Don Pedro. For the novelty we slept in hammocks which were comfy enough. I would recommend taking something warm to wear though - in just our shorts and t-shirts it got a little nippy at around 3am, so much so that we sneaked off to find an empty tent for the rest of the night. The people there were fine about it and didn’t charge us any extra, even though tents are more expensive! The next day we walked along Arrefices beach which was beautiful and deserted, I guess because of the potential for dying there. Then we went through a bit of rainforest until we reached La Piscina, a large, calm bay formed by a semicircle of rocks that block the main tides and currents. We were so hot by now that we went for a dip and then chilled out for a bit. Again it was gorgeous and deserted. Our final stop was to walk to the furthest beach Cabo, where we knew we could get some lunch! Although the beach was undeniably beautiful it wasn’t really for us. There is so much land and so many stretches of beaches in Tayrona but for some reason all the people were here! A bit too tacky, expensive and crowded for us. After some food we headed straight back to La Piscina, which by then although being a bit busier than earlier was still more relaxing.
Because we only had one night and the walk back was quite long we had to leave at about 2.30pm and it took us about 2 hours to make it back to the bus. We probably could have done it a bit quicker but we kept stopping to look at various ant chains carrying leaves! We could follow the trail up trees where they collected the leaves all the way into the forest. Some were so big that they had actually worn away mini tracks which was pretty incredible. Sounds a bit geekish I know but it was still impressive!
Although we had very little time left before going down to Bogota, we had been advised by so many people to go to Tayrona National Park that we had to go there, even just for 1 night. It's very easy to get to from Santa Marta – a 45 minute bus to the park entrance and then a 5 minute shuttle down to the start of the walking track. The national park consists of forest and beaches, so in a way it isvery similar to Capurgana.