All you need to know about visiting Tayrona National Park as a solo traveller

All you need to know about visiting Tayrona National Park as a solo traveller

In this guide, you will learn everything you need to know about visiting Tayrona National Park in Colombia. How to get there, where to stay, what to see in Tayrona and much more!

Tayrona National Park is on top of every traveller’s Colombia itinerary. And for a good reason. It is called a nature sanctuary, and walking down its trails and discovering its tranquil beaches truly feels like a sacred experience.

While Tayrona Park is quickly becoming Colombia’s most visited turist destination, there is a lot of effort to preserve its natural beauty and sacredness. There are many aspects to visiting Tayrona Park, and I will cover it all in this article, including my personal opinion on whether Tayrona Park is worth the hype.

A short answer – Definitely!

Tayrona National Park is worth visiting for both, glorious unspoiled beaches as well as spectacular jungle hikes!

The hike across the lush forest is incredible. You will have the opportunity to see many species of fauna and flora that you wouldn’t be able to encounter otherwise. Although many travellers visit Tayrona Park for the famous Cabo San Juan beach, there is much more to Tayrona Park.


What are the Highlights of Tayrona National Park

Tayrona National Park is famous for its pristine beaches and glorious waters as well as the spectacular jungle walk to get there. 

The most popular way of visiting Tayrona Park is by spending a night in the park and hiking between a few of its famous beaches. 

For me, a hike towards Cabo San Juan was a definite highlight!

I very much enjoyed a swim in the Piscinita and, of course, sunset over Cabo San Juan and spending a night in the camp sleeping in the hammock! 

Tayrona National Park Beaches:

While Colombia is not most famous for its beaches, and let’s be honest, the competition in this area beats it tough, Tayrona Park offers a pristine and paradise-like experience. The added bonus – you can actually swim at a few of its beaches which is not the case at most of the other beaches on the Colombian Caribbean coast.

Tayrona National Park is also home to 4 different indigenous ethnic groups. The name Tayrona originates from the name of the Tairona people – the ancient civilization that thrived in northern Colombia between 200 CE and 1600 CE.

While visiting Tayrona Park, you will be able to meet the Kogui people, selling their crafts and offering coconut water while you hike. I highly encourage you to support this community by purchasing the goods. Coconut water is very refreshing when walking in high temperatures, and you can support an ancient community at the same time. 

Kogui and their culture and heritage are fascinating. I encourage you to read about it in this post and learn about ancient civilizations before visiting places like Tayrona Park or Lost City. Your experience will be so much reacher because of that!

If you are looking for white sands, blue seas and an adventurous hiking experience in Colombia – Tayrona National Park has it all and is definitely worth a visit.

However ...

I must admit – the experience still felt slightly commercial.

As long as I was walking the trail and admiring its less popular beaches – I absolutely loved it!

The nature and wildlife in Tayrona Park are astonishing. The most beautiful colourful butterflies, lizards, monkeys and some crawling animals I didn’t recognize. Incredible species of birds. The trek is terrific. I really liked the beaches I visited on my way, and I had my packed breakfast at Arecifes Beach.

But as I arrived at Cabo San Juan, I had mixed feelings. I arrived just after midday, and the camp was already full of people who arrived from Taganga on a boat and the remainder of last night’s visitors and a new load that included me, of course.

The first stretch of the beach, the one that is immediately accessible as you enter, was a little underwhelming. Yet, as I walked further, things got much better. The beach is beautiful, and the water is divine to swim in. But excess human bodies make everything a little bit less attractive.

If I did it again I would probably camp or stay at another beach in tayrona Park just like I have seen some other travellers do.  Next time 😉


On Cabo san Juan beach, there is a restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner at pretty overpriced rates. I refused to pay 20.000 COP for scrambled eggs. But there are a few other, street-food-like options as well, and many visitors pack their own lunch.

Once all the visitors that arrived just for the day had left, the beach became a true paradise. The water was divine to swim in, and it was a great camping experience.

What to expect from your Tayrona National Park visit

Tayrona National Park is most famous for its pristine beaches, and if you decide to take the conventional El Zaino trek – you will see plenty of them during your visit.

You will hike through the tropical forest and appreciate the incredible wild fauna and flora of the park.

If your final destination is Cabo San Juan, you will get a chance to make a stop at Castilletes and Arrecifes beaches and admire their wild beauty. This is where I had my breakfast pit stop. Also, at the Arrecifes, you will have an option to stay for the night. I will detail further in the post all the camping and lodging options.

The trail is easy to follow, and there will be plenty of hikers, so there is no chance of getting lost. There are plenty of incredible viewpoints, and the trail changes its character; thus, it’s an exciting hike.



Once you have arrived at La Piscina Beach – this is where you will be able to have your first dip. I really like this beach and loved having a refreshing swim there!

Your final destination will be Cabo San Juan, where you can set yourself for the night, but you can then take a little walk further down the coast towards the nudist beach.

If you start your trip from Calabaza entry, your first destination will be Playa Brava – a beautiful and secluded piece of paradise. Yet this hike is meant to be pretty challenging. Many hikers opt for a two-night stay from this entrance and, after spending the night at Playa Brava, continue towards Cabo San Juan the next day.

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How many days should you spend in Tyrona National Park

I definitely think that one day in Tayrona Park is a waste of time, effort and money. Also, you will miss on seeing this beautiful place in a more tranquil setting after the day-trippers had gone.

The hike can be a bit tiring given the heat and humidity; therefore, spending at least one night in Tayrona Park is the best option.

By spending a night in Tayrona Park, you will give yourself enough time to take a rest after the hike, properly explore the area and experience the incredible sunset. 

I took my time walking back the next day. As I left pretty early to avoid the heat, I had enough time to stop at the Piscinita beach for a swim, stop at the restaurant for refreshing watermelon juice and coffee and take more pictures of the beautiful Tayrona Park during my hike.

I also really enjoyed the experience of sleeping in the hammock and waking up early to watch the sunrise.

Furthermore, given the cost of the Tayrona National Park entrance staying there for only a few hours is really not worth it given the gate closes at 5 pm.

Should you stay in Tayrona Park for two nights? You definitely could. There are many hikes and beaches you can discover, therefore most visitors opt for a one-night stay. Those who opt for a two-night stay often start from the Calabazo entrance, hike to Playa Brava on the first day and move to Cabo San Juan on the second day.  If you choose the Zaino start – one night is plenty. 

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Best areas to stay for travel to Tayrona National Park

There are several locations you could choose from if you want to visit Tayrona National Park. Many visitors choose Santa Marta or Palomino as their base. I, however, think staying closer to the entrance has many benefits. Firstly you will be able to arrive as early as needed without stressing, rushing around and often without even taking public transport.

Staying on the outskirts of Tayrona will also give you a slightly different perspective on coastal life, and you will really get the feel of the Colombian Caribbean. What’s more, Tayrona is not the only place with wonderful beaches, although in the park you will be able to find some that you can actually swim in.

Here are all the possible options to set your base to see that Tayrona National Park

Santa Marta is a very popular option to stay if you want to visit Tayrona Park. While staying in Santa Marta, you can visit Tayrona but also arrange a trip to Minca and other beautiful locations all from one place. 

I would say it all depends on how much time have you got on your hands. If you want to see as much as possible within a short period of time, Santa Marta is probably the best option. To top it off, I really like Santa Marta. It’s a great, vibrant and colourful town with the best sunsets, a great relaxed feel and fantastic restaurants and nightlife. 

How to get to Tayrona Park from Santa Marta

The best way to get to Tayrona Park from Santa Marta is by local bus. You can get one from in front of the municipal market. Those are blue urban buses that go to Palomino. The ticket costs 15000 COP, and the journey will take around 45 minutes. 

Taking the coastal bus from Santa Marta is an experience in itself. There are no actual bus stops on this route. The bus will stop where it’s needed – meaning when a person on the street waves it or when you ask to get off. So it’s essential to keep an eye on your destination. Keep Google maps open, and let the driver’s assistant know precisely where you need to get off. Tell them the hostel name or simply ask for Tayrona Park Entrada, and they will stop there for you.

There are always two guys operating the bus. One is obviously the driver, and the other dude is literally hanging out of the door most of the time while trying to get people in or helping with the bags. He will also collect the money from you once you have sat down.

Those busses have no air conditioning. And trust me, it’s bloody hot! All the window and doors stay permanently open to let some air in. On some stops, you will have sellers walking in and offering different types of snacks. Sometimes the bus driver will stop to grab a cup of coffee from a lady standing in the middle of the road with the thermos.

But what is most important if only you look a little bit lost, there will always be someone offering help. Asking where you are going, which hostel or which place, and they will let you and the driver know when is the time to get off! So hop on and enjoy!

Taganga – The most popular way to visit Tayrona National Park from Taganga is by speed boat. This is a pretty adventurous way to visit Tayrona and, in my opinion, has few drawbacks.

The ride is over 30 minutes long and can get pretty rough. Most importantly, the return ride is around 4 p.m., so you will only be able to see Cabo San Juan at its peak and pack full of tourists. It will definitely feel very touristy and rushed.

It is, however, a great option if you are short on time and cannot spare an extra day to spend a night in the park.

It is very easy to find the boat to Tayrona National Park in Taganga. The boat is leaving daily between 9:30 and 10:30, right from the Taganga beach. The trip cost around 80.000 COP, but please note that you will not be paying the Tayrona park entry fee with this trip.

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Zaino – Zaino is the location of the main Tayrona Park entrance, and you will find quite a few nice hostels in this area. There is a lot to like about this place. Be prepared, though – this place is far from the city and all its conveniences. 

It was the first time I spent the night in an actual Caribbean hostel with missing parts of the wall and set in the middle of lush countryside with all the perks and scares that come with it. I spent far too much time in the evening just laying in my hammock, right next to the river listening to all sounds of nature and contemplating life.

I fought with a giant moth at night, eventually gave up and went to sleep outside in the hammock where it wouldn’t be flapping its wings above my face. I woke up to a family of mini bats making a home in the outside canopy of my room. Wasn’t even paying attention to the lizards crawling my walls anymore. But I have also seen Guacamaya sitting on a branch right behind me, which was one of the best experiences ever!


The village is very relaxed. You will find a few tiendas (local shops) and some places to eat, with the best place being Coconuts restaurant. The food was delicious and the service was very friendly. They also make really lush Cuba Libre. Just opposite the Coconuts, on the other side of the street, you will find a small bar where you can sip on a Michelada and watch crazy motorbike riders passing by. All the life is happening along the main road. Life is slow, kids run around barefoot, and it feels like no one has anywhere to go, really.

It’s a good option to choose a hostel with a pool, but there is also a river running behind the main road, which is a very popular refreshing stop.

From my hostel, I could walk to Tayrona National Park, and it took me 20 minutes. I stayed in Casa Kankui and was very happy with the choice.

Los Naranjos/Los Cocos – Los Naranjos is another great option to stay for the trip to Tayrona National Park. It is, however, around 45 45-minute walk to the entrance thus you might want to take a bus. But by now, you will be pretty familiar with those buses! The added bonus of this location is Los Naranjos beach! This is one of my favourite spots on the Colombian coast. Very much off the beaten path, absolutely stunning and tranquil and paradise-like!

I stayed there for four days, two of which were dedicated to the Tayrona Park trip, and the remaining I spent relaxing on the beach and working (as much as I could force myself to)

I stayed in Juancho Hostel and Coworking, and I definitely would recommend it. It’s a cute little hostel with air conditioning and a desk in each room in case you want to work. The food is delicious, and a couple of hosts are some of the friendliest people I have met! It is located just across the street from Naranjos beach and 5 5-minute bus ride from Tayrona entrance.


Mendihuaca and Costeno Beach – This place is on another level! Both Costeno Beach and Mendihuaca are not just great places to make a base for the Tayrona Park trip. It is a great place to stay, full stop.

I originally wanted to stay at Costeno Hostel, but this place is becoming more and more popular, so you need to book your stay well in advance. Instead, I booked an eco-hostel in neighbouring Medihuaca, which is 20 minutes beach walk from Costeno. And I think this is probably the best option. It is much closer to the main road where you will be able to catch the bus to Tayrona Park, but also this is the closest to paradise I have found on the whole of the Colombian Caribbean coast.

I stayed at the Paraiso Eco Hostal and loved it!


Mendihuaca - Hidden Paradise on the Colombian Coast

Costeno Beach Is a great place to stay if you want to combine a visit to Tayrona National Park with super relaxation and the party vibe of a beachfront hostel. In fact, a friend of mine liked it so much that he decided to take on a volunteering job and stayed for a whole month.

Mendihuaca, on the contrary, is a tranquil beach 20 minutes walk from Costeno, dotted with eco hostels and with beautiful river entering the sea and offering excellent bathing and kayaking opportunities. I totally fell in love with Mendihuaca, and I decided to write a separate post about it.

Palomino – Although it does take around 45 to get from Palomino to Tayrona National Park, many visitors decide to make Palomino a base for their Tayrona trip. And you can’t blame them, really. Palomino is known for being one of the hippiest towns in Colombia, and it is a great town to stay in for more than just a few days.

In order to get to Tayrona National Park from Palomino, you will have to take the return bus to Santa Marta from the main road in Palomino and ask the driver to drop you off at the Tayrona entrance. The ticket shouldn’t cost more than 8000 COP, and the journey will last around 45 minutes.

Best Hostels Around Tayrona National Park

Hostels in Colombia are amazing and some of the most epic hostels in Colombia are located near Tayrona Park. 

The four best options are Costeno Beach Hostel, Journey Hostel, El Rio Buritaca and Viajero. If you want to meet some other travellers and find a company for your Tayrona trip – staying in one of those hostels will make it a reality. 


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Practical Information about Visiting Tayrona National Park

How to enter Tayrona National Park

There are few ways to enter Tayrona National Park, but there are two official entrances. 

El Zaino and Calabazo, with El Zaino being the most popular one. This is also the entrance I recommend, especially if this is your first visit to Tayrona National Park and travelling solo. The trek from El Zaino is easy to follow, and it’s easy to meet other travellers on the way. Having said that, the trail can get pretty busy. 

El Zaino is easily accessible from the main road and gives the best access to all the most popular beaches, as well as Cabo San Juan and an overnight camp. From the El Zaino entrance, you will also have the option to take a horse ride all the way to Cabo San Juan.

You can also access Tayrona Park for a day by boat from Taganga, which will give you a few hours to visit and will allow you to avoid the entrance fees. 

If you decide to visit for the second time and want to see more remote beaches and experience a bit more of a challenging trek, enter via the Calabazo entrance. This is a much less popular entrance hence there is a greater possibility you will meet much fewer travellers and tourists. From Calabazo, you can hike to more remote Playa Brava, and if you are an avid hiker and want to stay in Tayrona for more than one night – this is your entrance. 

In comparison, it takes around 1.5 hours to get to Cabo San Juan from El Zaino and under 4 hours from Calabazo. 

Please note that if you are thinking of choosing Calabazo entrance in order to visit Pueblito (the indigenous people village), this is no longer possible. On request of the indigenous communities, the village has been closed to visitors.

Also, I have not personally done this trek, but I have heard many opinions that this route is hard and unsuitable for solo travellers. I would recommend that you did this trek in a company or with a guide.
I am happy to hear any opinions of hikers who actually walked this trek recently so that I can update this post accordingly.


How much does it cost to visit Tayrona National Park (Full breakdown)

The Tayrona National Park entrance cost varies depending on the time of the year and whether you are a Colombian resident. 

Here is the full breakdown (prices in COP) (Updated September 2023)

Tayrona National Park entrance fees during off-peak season 

  • Foreign nationals $ 62,000
  • National Over 25 Years of Age and older: $ 24,500
  • National Over 5 Up to 24 Years: $ 18,500
  • Resident 25 Years and Over: $ 24,500
  • Resident From 5 to 24 Years: $ 18,500
  • Born In Santa Marta 25 Years Onwards: $ 9,000
  • Born in Santa Marta From 5 to 24 Years: $ 12,000

Tayrona National Park entrance fees during peak season ( June 15th to July 15th, December 15th to January 15th, Holy Week, from Friday to Sunday (10 days), Weekends with bank holiday days ended on Tuesday) 

  • Foreign National $ 73,500
  • National Over 25 Years of Age and older: $ 29,000
  • National Over 5 Up to 24 Years: $ 20,500
  • Resident 25 Years and Over: $ 29,000
  • Resident From 5 to 24 Years: $ 20,500
  • Born In Santa Marta 25 Years Onwards: $ 29,000
  • Born in Santa Marta From 5 to 24 Years: $ 20,500


Important Closure Notice: 

Be aware that From February 1 to 15, June 1 to 15 and October 19 to November 2, Tayrona Park will remain closed.

In addition to the entrance fee, it is obligatory to purchase insurance which costs 5.000 COP per day – this is obligatory regardless of whether you have already purchased the insurance elsewhere.

After crossing the gate and purchasing the tickets, I recommend taking a shuttle to the actual beginning of the trek. I would say, don’t be a hero and just take the shuttle. It is scorching hot and humid in the park, and you will walk plenty. Also, if you are in a hurry to book your overnight stay or hammock – taking a shuttle will save you a lot of time. The shuttle costs 5.000COP one way.

Gates to Tayrona National Park open at 8 am and close at 5 pm.

Try to arrive at Tayrona park as early as you can. The queues, especially on the weekends can get massive and you really don’t want to waste 3 hours of your day standing in line. 

Don’t be surprised if your bag will be checked at the entrance. This is a normal procedure as some objects like plastic bags are not allowed in the park. 

Sleeping at Cabo San Juan Tayrona Park

If you are planning on spending the night at Cabo San Juan, I highly recommend booking and paying for your hammock or tent at the entrance. Both hammocks and tents get booked pretty quickly, and the last thing you want is to arrive at the destination and find out you have nowhere to sleep.

Once your hammock or tent is booked, you can take your time hiking, exploring and taking as many breaks as you want, while those who didn’t book would rush to the camp. It’s a no-brainer.

The price for a hammock is 40,000 COP on the ground and 60.000 at the ‘top’ – a hill with a view. 

Tents cost 140,000 COP for a larger tent or 70,000 COP for a smaller tent for one person. You can also bring your own.

All you need to know about visiting Tayrona National Park as a solo traveller

Food and drinks in Tayrona National Park

Food and drinks in Tayrona National Park are on the pricier side.

You will find a few small restaurants and snack shops on the way to Cabo San Juan, and at the Cabo, you will find a decent-sized restaurant serving pretty good food and natural juices.

Please note food and drink at Tayrona Park is pretty expensive. The meal at Cabo San Juan ranges between 25.000 and 50.000.
Many visitors bring their own food. I personally refused to pay 20,000 COP for scrambled eggs and instead purchased Tayrona bread filled with onion and spinach for 10,000 COP. It was delicious and filled me for the whole return journey. You will also be able to buy empanadas and sandwiches on the beach.


Where to stay for the night inside of Tayrona National Park

There are a few areas around Tayrona National Park where visitors can spend the night.

  • The most popular is Cabo San Juan, where most travellers will stay either in a tent or a hammock (what I did). I really enjoyed sleeping in the hammock. Lounging or sleeping in the hammock became my new hobby while in Colombia! I have heard that tents can get pretty hot during the day, while a hammock is a perfect place for an afternoon or a midday nap. Just saying 🙂

Hammocks are comfortable enough, and there is a decent distance between them, so although you are sharing the space with strangers, it still feels pretty private.

You will be given a locker to store your belongings (bring a padlock!), and there are pretty good shower facilities at Cabo San Juan.

Here are the prices for an overnight stay at Cabo San Juan Tayrona Park for 2023


  • Tent 1 pers: 70 000 COP
  • Tent 2 pers: 140 000 COP
  • Camping space for your own tent: 20 000 COP / Pers
  • Private cabin: 200 000 COP / 2 pers 
  • Hammock near the camping zone (the bottom): 40 000 COP
  • Hammock ‘on top’.You will be asked if you’d like a tent abajo o arriba (bottom or top). Top basically means a tower overlooking the beach. And while the views are spectacular, the area is pretty secluded and gets cold and windy at night. – 60 000 CO
All you need to know about visiting Tayrona National Park as a solo traveller
Hammocks at 'the top'.
All you need to know about visiting Tayrona National Park as a solo traveller
All you need to know about visiting Tayrona National Park - My bed for the night 🙂
  • For visitors looking for a cheaper and quieter option, there is Arrecife beach and the surrounding area. You will have few options at Arrecife. 

You can stay at the cabin, which can be booked online or at the campsite, where you can rent a tent or park your own. This camp looked pretty good, and there were a couple of small restaurants where you could get breakfast. This could be a great option if you travel in a group, yet as a single traveller, I preferred to stay at a bit busier location. I am not very much of a loner. 

  • If you fancy a luxury stay at Tayrona Park, you can choose to stay at Eco Hubs Tayrona. Ecohabs Tayrona consists of 14 huts inspired by the indigenous constructions of the ancient Tayrona tribe, based on wood, with high roofs, which are covered with palm leaves, to reach an ideal temperature. They are located at Cañaveral beach, therefore a bit far from other beaches. Also an excellent option for a more extended stay.

Although Arrecife is a beautiful beach, swimming there isn’t possible as it is the most dangerous beach in Tayrona Park. If you opt to stay in this area, you will need to walk to La Piscina or Cabo San Juan for a dip.

Castilletes is a camp and hub located just before the start of the main Tayrona trek. It is pretty far from the main beaches, and you will need to walk the length of the hike daily to reach the Cabo San Juan and then back. It is probably a great option if you plan to stay at the park for more than one night.

Make sure to let the shuttle driver know that this is where you are staying so he will stop at the camp.

  • Playa Brava (Teyumakke camp) is definitely a less mainstream and more remote location, nevertheless a great option to spend the night in Tayrona Park, especially if you are an independent adventure seeker.

Teyumakke camp at Playa Brava is a beautiful location, and the camp offers excellent facilities. 

Popularly this is the camping beach that visitors entering via the Calabazo entrance would choose.

You will be able to swim at Playa Brava, and you will have the option to sleep in the elevated eco-hub, hammock or bring your own tent. There are showers, toilets and a restaurant on the site. 

The price of a hammock at Teyumakke Camp Playa Brava is 35.000 COP, which includes a mosquito net and a blanket

There are also many camping options within Tayrona Park and I have seen many visitors bringing their own tents. There are dedicated camping areas within Tayrona Park and you can check those in this post. 

What to pack for Tayrona National Pack visit

Here is the list of essential and recommended items you should pack for your overnight stay and hike in Tayrona National Park


  • Passport (essential)– You will be asked for a passport when purchasing the ticket. You will not be able to enter without it. 


  • Cash (essential) – You can pay for your entry ticket by card, but this is it. Everything else is cash only. 


  • Mosquito spray/repellant (essential) – I was never the one getting bitten by mosquitos much. Until I arrived on Colombia’s Caribbean Coast. Bring good mosquito repellant, otherwise, you will get eaten alive at night. 


  • Sunscreen (essential) – Once you are out in the open space, there will be no place to hide from the sun. 



  • Swimming costume – Skinny dipping is not allowed unless you are directly heading for the nudist beach (its an option)


  • Towel – For the beach and shower. I carry one microfibre towel, which dries quickly, is very light and is versatile. The great thing about microfibre towels is that sand doesn’t stick to them either. 


  • Power Bank: There are some charging stations located at Cabo San Juan it offers limited access at limited times. I love not relying on those things. My power bank lasts me three whole days when I can charge my phone, camera and other electronics.


  • Torch or headlamp – for the night trips to the bathroom. There is also no light where the hammocks are – in case you need to access your locker or padlock combination. The phone torch would probably do I, but I have drawn my phone in the sea on the first day and couldn’t be more grateful for the head torch I take with me on all trips. It’s a great reading lamp too!


  • Book – There I no signal or internet around Tayrona Park. And accidents happen. I ended up with no phone and couldn’t be more grateful for my book! 


  • Toothpaste and toothbrush / Soap – Self-explanatory


  • A big bottle of water and snacks – Don’t overdo it, though! It’s a long hot walk, so you don’t want to carry too much. 1.5l to 2l bottle will do. Once at the park, you can refill your bottle. It’s not cheap, but there is no need to carry 5 litres on the hike. If you don’t want to eat at the restaurant or buy snacks at the stands, bring your own food. However, please keep in mind that it’s hot, and you want to make sure your supplies don’t spoil in hot weather. 


  • Warmer clothes for the night – I was pretty surprised when I got cold at night. I have never been cold at night around the Colombian Caribbean, even in the Guajira desert. I was very pleased with the long trousers and pashmina I packed for this purpose. 


  • Toilet paper – I was lucky enough not to have to find out if there is enough, but just in case there isn’t – you don’t want to be surprised!

What to wear for Tayrona National Park overnight stay

It is hot and humid on the hike in Tayrona Park, and you won’t be able to escape it. I was sweating buckets all the way to Cabo. It is important you wear light, comfortable and breathable clothing. Carry as little as possible. I have seen people in flip flops, carrying two bags or a five-litre water bottle, straggling only an hour into the trek. It’s not a very difficult hike, but it is a hike on often uneven surfaces, slippery, and you want to make it as effortless as possible. 

For the Tayrona National park, it’s best to wear comfortable and non-slippery shoes. I don’t recommend hiking boots (it’s hot!). I recommend comfy trail runners or non-slippery trainers, or hiking sandals. I wore the latter and was very happy and comfortable. 

Breathable and comfortable clothing. Shorts and a t-shirt are fine, just make sure you are comfy. There are steps and boulders you will have to traverse. Make sure your moves are not restricted. I saw people wearing training outfits as well as girls wearing more fancy outfits (for those Insta shots, hahaha). It’s up to you and your priorities. It’s not a Kilimanjaro trek – just a hot and sweaty one. 

Rain jacket – It might rain, although, in this heat, I would rather get wet than bake in the rain jacket. I took mine, though. Never used it. 

Pack a pair of flip flops and some sleeping gear for the camp – it’s nice to relax and change into non-sweaty clothing for the night. 

You should definitely visit Tayrona National Park if you manage to spare a couple of days. It’s an experience like no other, and you will be able to see Colombia at its best!

I will be looking forward to hearing any updates if you visited after me or took an alternative route! Please add a comment below, and I will update the post!

Until then, happy travels!

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If you are still drafting your Colombia itinerary read my Colombia planning post!

Heading to Colombia coffee region next? Read my posts about why you should visit Jardin and all the surprisingly awesome things to do in Salento!

Planning to see all the gorgeous beaches of the Colombian Caribbean coast? Here is the guide to all beach towns in Colombia!

And if you are planning your first solo trip, visit this post where I provide all the tips and hacks for solo travellers and backpackers. 

My favourite Travel Resources 


  • For most of my accommodation, I use and Hostel World. With both booking platforms, you will often get free cancellations and access to tons of reviews. Read them! You will also get the most extensive selection of all types of accommodation. I hardly ever look elsewhere. If you are travelling in Asia – Agoda is definitely worth checking out!
  • Make sure you download Google Maps and, for each new destination, download an offline map of your location and surrounding area. This way, even without the internet or Wi-Fi, you will be able to get to navigate around the town.
  • Moovit is also an excellent and very underrated travel and journey-planning app. It works great in many countries and will show you all possible routes by public transport, including the timetables.

  • For busses, I mainly use Busbud or Omio and Flixbus to travel in Europe. 

  • 123Go — Great for tickets for trains, buses, ferries and charters in Southeast Asia! The best way to buy your ticket for the overnight Bangkok train! Rome2rio – Another great journey-planning app. If your way of travel is mainly public transport  – you will use this app for sure!

  •  The travel insurance I use is Heymondo, and their plan suits me perfectly. They have clear policies with no deductibles, the price is excellent for what they offer and the price doesn’t go up when you are over 30 years old. They have a dedicated, easy-to-use app and free assistance calls.

    I can get a cover for a month or three months and I know I can travel with peace of mind and get the best product for my money. And it also covers COVID-19.

    Heymondo offers my readers 5% off so go ahead, and click on this link and your quote.

  • I carry two debit cards with me. Given I don’t have a permanent country of residence, Revolut and Wise work fantastically. In case one gets frozen, stolen or simply lost, I have a backup. The great thing about both cards is that you can freeze them straight from your phone and transfer money between them in case you need to. You will also get a great exchange rate and create separate foreign currency accounts. 
  • I booked most of my tours via either Get Your Guide or Viator. You can also book locally, but I advise you to ask around and follow the local recommendations. 

For more travel tips and recourses, visit Pati’s Travel Tips page!

4 thoughts on “All you need to know about visiting Tayrona National Park as a solo traveller”

  1. Hi. I want to go to the park, however what I really want to know as an solo female traveler with many years of travel experience and having witnessed much theft and issues:

    1. What provisions are there for safe storage of bags / rucksack so they are not stolen e.g. when staying in a hammock?
    2. Personal safety for females in a hammock and how do you sleep without risk of theft of cash/cards/passport?
    3. Is it safe to walk paths on your open, which ones have plenty of people so you are not completely alone?
    4. One major problem when alone is swimming, having to keep within sight of possessions on the beach and away from other people and being ready to leap out of the water if someone approaches them. Always easier if you can take turns to guard possessions when in a group or with a friend but a huge problem when alone! How did you or other people manage this problem?

    1. patisjourneywithin

      Hi Maria! There are lockers that you can use which are located right next to hammocks, just make sure you bring your own padlock. This is where I kept all my belongings. I left my main backpack at the hostel, they were happy to keep my bag for a couple of days. The park is very busy at all times, you will never walk alone, trust me! Nevertheless, Tayrona is very safe for solo female travellers if only you follow the general safety rules. Swimming was an issue for me as well and in fact, it often is. It was in Tayrona where I have drawn my phone as I used not very good phone water cover. Funny now, but not at the time. Keep your phone in a locker when you go for a swim or choose a nice family next to you to keep an eye on your belongings. It is always tricky but I have actually never had anything stolen while in Colombia. As solo travellers we need to be resourceful, it’s a price you pay for the adventure and an incredible experience of roaming around the world on your own terms! Have a wonderful time!

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Pati's Journey Within

Hi, I’m Pati. A traveller, photographer (aspiring), dreamer and hopeless believer in magic. I caught the travel bug in my forties – and not planning to look back any time soon. I travel solo and on a budget and I try to spend as much time and effort as possible to truly immerse myself in the country I am visiting.

Whether you are like me and decided to change your life around a new dream or just wandering (because not all who wander are lost) – I am here to tell you that everything is possible. 


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