Tyrona national park - alligator in the dark

Trip Start Apr 09, 2013
Trip End Mar 15, 2014

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Where I stayed
Drop bear hostel
Cabo de San Juan del guia
What I did
Tyrona national park

Flag of Colombia  ,
Tuesday, May 7, 2013

We started our journey with good intentions to take a shuttle all the way from Cartagena to Santa Marta. This journey, as we are now finding with most journeys, was not as straight forward as it sounded. We ended up sat on what can only be described as a make shift bus stop (a log by the side of the road) with random Colombian men waving signs of various places at every car/minibus/bus that passed. Eventually a minibus stopped and we were marshalled on the bus, quicker than we could say where are we going? This bus took us to a town half way between Cartagena and Santa marta where yet again we were marshalled onto another minibus but at least this time it had the town name on the front. We were then let off the bus by the side of the road and put into a very rusty old looking taxi. The taxi journey was particularly eventful because the driver had no idea where he was going despite our instructions (in our best Spanish), and us showing him on google maps where we were headed. He kept stopping outside random hostels saying "you're here" to which we would reply "no we are not!"

We eventually arrived at drop bear hostel which was pretty cool, not only because Steph's Australian friend Jane had told her so much about Drop bears, but because this was a mansion slightly out of town in the suburbs which used to be a drug cartel house. (Luckily we managed to avoid the drop bears as they are native to Australia)

Whilst in Santa Marta we headed to Tyrona National Park, which the guide books, and many fellow travellers had raved about. It was a unique opportunity to be by the beach but also surrounded by luscious forests and wildlife. The journey there included a 3 hour hike through woods, up and over rocks and across sandy beaches. We were amazed by the number of ants we saw carrying leaves and we saw longest centipedes that we had ever seen.

Whilst here we slept on hammocks by the beach, took in the beautiful surroundings and hiked through the forests which also included some pretty small cave passages en route to Pueblito (a lost city). Whilst it seems that we were in paradise, you will be pleased to know that whilst England basked in sunshine on the may bank holiday weekend, it poured down with rain where we were and we slept in damp hammocks so maybe England isn't that bad after all!

We didn't really swim in the sea because on the first night that we arrived, an alligator appeared to come out of nowhere and lie on the beach before being scared back into the sea by a local throwing a coconut at it?!

Overall Tyrona National park gets a thumbs up not only because it meant that the heavy hiking boots that we had been carrying around for a month got some use but because we actually found the area beautiful and the hiking quite fun!
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Jane on

Hey guys, looks like you are having a awesome time, I can't believe someone named their hostel after Dropbears???? How strange! Loving the updates! Xxoo

john on

Great pics, keep 'em coming.
All the best

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