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13 Things to KNOW about Visiting Tayrona National Park in 2024

13 Things to KNOW about Visiting Tayrona National Park in 2024

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Tayrona National Park is quickly becoming one of Colombia’s biggest tourist attractions and as it has been growing in popularity, the rules and requirements for visiting are rapidly changing too.

I went to Tayrona National Park back in 2017 and then just visited again recently, and let me tell you, a lot has changed in that short amount of time. Unfortunately, all of the blogs that I read before visiting Tayrona National Park this time around were not updated and the information was old.

So, I’m writing this post to fill you in on the CURRENT situation in Tayrona National Park and what you NEED to know before you go!

Here are 13 things I wish I know before I went to Tayrona National Park!

Don’t have time to read the full article? Tayrona National Park is a very popular place, so we recommend staying overnight in the park at Cabo San Juan Tayrona to make the most of your time. Or, check out this day tour from Santa Marta that includes private hikes and tons of beach time.

How to Get to Tayrona National Park

By local bus – (cheapest option)

I chose Santa Marta as my base for exploring Tayrona National Park because it’s located only located 1 hour from Parque Tayrona. Another cool place to stay is Taganga which is only another 10 minutes from Santa Marta.

In Santa Marta, the bus to Tayrona leaves from the corner of Calle 11 and Carrera 9 (see map below for location) which is in Santa Marta city center.

Getting to the bus departure point was easy via a short taxi ride. From Taganga it will cost COP 10,000 ($2 USD) and within Santa Marta about 5,000 to 12,000 COP ($1 to $2.50 USD).

Bus times are about every half an hour starting at 6 am. When we arrived it was easy to find the bus as there was a guy screaming “PARQUE TAYRONA” at the top of his lungs. Local taxi drivers know the spot too and can point out where to go.

The bus journey was 1 hour long to the front gate.

I caught the 6:30 am bus and it was a good time as the park entrance gates open at 8 am and you want as much time as possible on the beach. Don’t go much later as a massive line-up develops at the entrance booth around 10 am!

On my way back I took the same bus, and like before, there will be people calling out Santa Marta at the park entrance. The last bus leaves at 6 pm so if you’re not staying overnight be sure to leave enough time to catch the last bus.

If you are staying anywhere between Santa Marta and Parque Tayrona you can catch the same bus along the main road, Calle 30, by just standing on the side of the road and flagging down any bus with a sign “Tayrona” in the front window.

By Taxi

In my opinion, a taxi to the park is really expensive as it will cost between COP 80,000 and COP 100,000 ($16.50 to $21 USD) depending on your negotiation skills.

Go on a tour

If you are very limited on time and only have a day, then I would recommend taking a tour of Tayrona National Park. There are some good options like booking an organized day tour that departs from Santa Marta or a day trip tour from Cartagena. This way, you waste less time on public transport, standing in line buying tickets, and reading a map to navigate around.

Check out this particular tour that leaves from Santa Marta. It is one of the most highly-rated full-day tour options with a guide for $166 USD!

You will start off with a jungle hike until you reach Arrecifes Beach – it’s large and beautiful but the currents are too dangerous to swim here but you can enjoy the scenery and take a rest for a little bit.

Then, you’ll spend the remainder of the day at San Juan Beach where you’ll eat a traditional Caribbean lunch and choose whether to relax, swim, or walk on the beach.

You can book this Tayrona Park Day Tour here.

Related Read: Visiting Medellin? Check out this guide to all things Medellin, Colombia and the best tours here!

Weather in Tayrona National Park

Tayrona is a tropical rainforest and as such, it has hot and humid weather all year long never dipping below 73°F (23°C). The peak of the rainy season is from September to December with October having the highest average monthly rainfall.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit the park during these months as the rainfall never lasts for too long at a time but things will be a little muddier and the road journey to and from the national park might be more difficult.

For the most part, there is not really a bad time of year to visit the park. If you are able to plan your visit for a dryer month it is recommended but I’m sure you can make the best of it either way!

However, you would also need to account for the fact that dryer seasons tend to be busier. So give yourself a good headstart when planning.

Also, keep watch of the holidays and dates surrounding Tayrona’s annual closures and reopenings (more on this below).

13 Tips for Tayrona National Park

1. You must buy Tayrona National Park medical insurance

Bailey shows her wristbands from that are required to enter Tayrona National Park
To enter the park you need a lot of wristbands!

This is a very new thing. Every person who wishes to enter Tayrona National Park is required to buy medical insurance from the park itself. It doesn’t matter if you already have your own medical insurance or not, if you want to go to Tayrona National Park you need to also purchase their insurance.

It’s not a big deal though, as it is only 5,000 COP ($1 USD) per person per day. So, if you’re spending the night in Tayrona National Park it’ll cost you 10,000 COP ($2 USD).

At the entrance gates (“El Zaino” is the name of the main entrance gate), you will be told to buy this medical insurance and once you’ve purchased it you will be given a wristband. Most commonly, a salesman will come up to you when you’re waiting in line to buy your entrance ticket.

The Tayrona National Park medical insurance must be purchased with cash only.

But what does it cover?

The fee you pay pays for medical support staff on the trail as well as the cost of evacuation should something tragic happen. For the $1.50 USD a day it’s a good safety net to have.

2. You might need to buy your entrance ticket online in advance

Taking in the views on the walk to Cabo San Juan Beach in Tayrona National Park, Colombia
Taking in the views on the walk to Cabo San Juan Beach in Tayrona National Park, Colombia

To enter Tayrona National Park you must buy an entrance ticket. For foreigners, it costs 57,500 COP ($12 USD) per person. There is a price increase to 68,000 ($14 USD) during high season (December to February) and during holidays (prices updated December 2022). The only problem is that they keep changing how and where you can buy this entrance ticket.

Back in the day, the only place to purchase your entrance ticket to Tayrona National Park was in person at the entrance gates. Then, at the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019, they enforced a new rule which meant you had no choice but to buy your ticket online in advance.

This was a really annoying and confusing process for international visitors because you didn’t just buy the ticket online with a credit card, you actually had to physically go to a nominated bank and pay for it and then complete the transaction online.

However, after Tayrona National Park was closed during the month of February 2020 (as it is every year), and opened again in March the website to buy your entrance ticket wasn’t working. At this time they switched back to only purchasing your Tayrona National Park entrance tickets in person at the entrance gates. So when we visited, we were able to just buy our ticket at the entrance gate.

As of writing this now (updated Dec 2022), this is still the system they are using. However, I have a feeling it could change again very soon. My best advice is to ask the hotel you’re staying at before entering Tayrona National Park to find out the current rules for you. All hotels in and around Santa Marta should be well informed about Tayrona National Park rules.

3. Tayrona National Park is closed a few different times per year

A woman sits on a rock overlooking Tayrona National Park in Colombia

You cannot visit Tayrona National Park at select times every year. In 2024, the closing dates are from February 1st to February 15th, June 1st to June 15th, and October 19th to November 2nd.

It is completely closed during these dates, so if you want to go to Tayrona, it’s important you keep this in mind and plan your travels accordingly.

This closure also means a couple of other things:

  1. Tayrona National Park is ridiculously busy during the first week whenever the park reopens. Tourists wait around for Tayrona National Park to reopen, so the first few days it is open are some of the busiest of the entire year.
  2. The last couple of days in January, May, and the second week of October are also busier than normal. People rush into the park to quickly see it before it closes on February 1st, June 1st, and October 19th.

The best way to prevent having to deal with these super busy periods is to plan your visit in advance and not during February, the end of January, or the beginning of March.

Note: There have been rumors that Tayrona National Park will start to close 2-3 months per year. While this hasn’t been implemented yet, it is something to watch out for in the coming years.

4. The line at the entrance gate can be very long

Bailey walks amoung palm trees in Tayrona National Park
Walking among the thousands of palm trees!

Remember how I said Tayrona National Park is getting popular, well it is and that means the line to get in can be very long. As in, over an hour’s wait.

If you’re visiting during peak times (end of January, beginning of March, or over the Christmas and New Year period) you should really aim to be at the park entrance gates before 6:00 am. The gates officially open at 7 am (updated Dec 2022), but the line will be so long by then that you may have to wait for 1-2 hours to get in!

During all other times of the year, I would still recommend getting to Tayrona National Park as early as 6:30 am. The reason for this is that many people in large tour groups visit Tayrona on a day trip from Santa Marta. Most of these groups will show up between 8-10 am, so you need to get there before them!

In fact, because the park has shortened admission hours to be from 7 am to 12 pm (updated Dec 2022) there is an even smaller window for tourists to enter.

You must exit the park between the hours of 2 pm and 5 pm (updated Dec 2022).

In order to get to the park early, I personally recommend staying the night before at a hotel or hostel near the park entrance gates. This way, you can either walk to the gates first thing or take a moto-taxi.

Recommended hotels near Tayrona National Park El Zaino entrance gates:

Eco Hostal Yuluka – A budget backpacker choice only a couple minutes from the park entrance gates. They have a pool, private rooms, and dorms.

Recuerdos del Tayrona – A small budget hotel offering everything from cheap fan rooms all the way up to air-conditioned lodges. They are 300 meters (984 feet) from the park entrance and have a really nice pool.

Costeno Beach Hostel – The best hostel in the area with luxury facilities on a gorgeous beach at an affordable price. It is, however, a 10-minute 12,000 COP ($2.50 USD) motor-taxi ride from Tayrona entrance gates.

Villa Playa Tayrona – Located 2.5 km (1.6 mi) from the Tayrona entrance gate, this hotel is a complete paradise. In fact, it is so popular it is almost always fully booked. You can’t beat staying here for a night or two if your budget allows it.

5. It is totally possible to get a pristine beach all to yourself

La Piscina Beach in the morning when no one else is around.
Not a soul in sight!

I don’t want to scare you by talking so much about how popular Tayrona National Park is and how busy it gets. Yes, it is busy for most of the day, but on my recent visit, Dan and I were able to enjoy the most beautiful beach all to ourselves for nearly 2 hours!

The secret is that you need to stay the night in Tayrona National Park. The majority of people visit Tayrona on a day trip from Santa Marta. These people make the park very busy between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm. But if you stay the night, you’re able to enjoy Tayrona during its most peaceful hours.

We got up early after spending the night in a hammock at Cabo San Juan (more on that below) and walked 20 minutes to the beach called La Piscina. This is my personal favorite beach in Tayraon National Park because the water is the calmest.

When we reached La Piscina there was not another person in sight. We had this entire beach to ourselves for nearly two hours. and even then, only a couple of other people arrived. It was so peaceful and a relaxing way to enjoy the morning before we had to leave Tayrona again.

6. The best place to stay is Cabo San Juan (and you can book your hammock or tent in advance!)

Cabo San Juan Beach in Tayrona National Park, Colombia
Cabo San Juan Beach in Tayrona National Park, Colombia

If you are wanting to spend the night, you have a few options for campsites and basic accommodation within the park. In our where to stay in Tayrona blog we outline all of these options in detail, but to cut to the chase, we recommend staying at Cabo San Juan.

This place has the nicest beach and although the facilities are basic, it has everything you’d need from a restaurant to a mini-mart to showers.

You can book cabins at Cabo San Juan on their website in advance. Just be warned, these cabins are very basic and extremely overpriced in my opinion.

For that reason, most people choose to stay in a hammock or tent. However, these too often sell out and they cannot be booked online in advance.

But they can be booked in advance in person. Near the El Zaino entrance gate there is a small Cabo San Juan desk. Here, you can book your hammock or tent before you even enter the park. This can be done first thing in the morning when you arrive, or if you’re staying the night near the park, you can buy it the day before.

This is what we did. After checking into our hotel near the entrance gate we walked to the Cabo San Juan desk. We purchased two hammocks for the following day and this saved us time and hassle the next morning!

Related Read: Check out these tips if you’re travelling to Ipiales, Colombia.

7. Keep your eyes and ears open for wildlife!

A monkey sits in a tree in Tayrona National Park
The Capuchin Monkeys were super cute!

I truly think that one of the things about Tayrona National Park that doesn’t get highlighted enough is the wildlife. People rave about the jungle, pristine beaches, and overall impressive landscape. But to me, one of the best things about visiting Tayrona is the wildlife you can see!

The last time we visited we saw so many colorful birds it was crazy. We also saw Cotton Top Tamarin monkeys on the first day as well as some larger Capuchin Monkeys on the second day. We heard Howler monkeys but unfortunately didn’t see them.

My best advice is the walk slow, stay away from larger groups of people, and listen. You’ll likely hear monkeys and birds long before you see them. Once you hear them, take it slow and keep your eyes open!

8. No plastic bags are allowed in Tayrona National Park

Bailey stands in the water at Caba San Juan Beach on a beautiful day in Tayrona National Park
A clean beach is a beautiful beach!

We learned this one the hard way. We were planning on bringing a large 6-liter bag of water with us (water is often sold in sealed bags in Colombia) but were told we couldn’t bring it at the entrance gate.

Apparently, they have a rule against plastic bags in Tayrona National Park altogether. So, be sure not to bring any and make sure your water comes in a jug (plastic bottles are fine, just not bags because they get blown away and become litter).

We highly recommend bringing 6 liters (almost 2 gallons) of water for two people for two days. It is very hot in the park and the water isn’t exactly cheap.

9. The Nudist Beach is not what you’d expect

A lady sits on a rock overlooking a beach in Tayrona National Park
No, we didn’t bring our camera to the nudist beach!

When we were hanging out in Taganga we often had salesmen come up to us trying to sell us day trips to Tayrona National Park on the boat. One of the first pictures they always showed us to “entice” us to want to go is of the nudist beach with a bunch of naked gringos on it.

Okay, to set the record straight, the Nudist Beach is not what you’d expect.

When we went there was practically nobody there and they weren’t nude. You are also not allowed to swim at this beach which makes it a terrible beach to hang out at, in my opinion.

And to top it all off, the Nudist Beach is where all of the boats bring day trippers, dropping them off and picking them up. I’m not sure about you, but for me personally, if I was going to enjoy a beach in the nude, I wouldn’t want it to be where hundreds of tourists are parading through all day long (including families with children.)

So basically, don’t let the Nudist Beach sales pitch be the reason you go to Tayrona. There are lots of good beaches in Tayrona, but to me, the Nudist Beach isn’t one of them.

10. I don’t recommend a driven day trip from Santa Marta

A man sits on a rock in the ocean at Cabo San juan Beach.
Just chilling!

On a driven day trip from Santa Marta, you must sit in a van for 1 hour, then walk to 2-3 hours, relax for only a couple of hours at the beach before having to walk back and also drive back. It’s a big day that’s mostly spent driving and walking.

Personally, I recommend spending the night in Tayrona National Park or near the entrance gate El Zaino if you can. This way you’ll have a much more relaxed visit and more time to explore and relax.

Tip: For more information on spending the night in or near Tayrona National Park, check out our blog, where to stay in Tayrona National Park.

If you do want to visit Tayrona National Park on a day trip I highly recommend taking the speedboat from Taganga to Cabo San Juan (as opposed to a driven day trip.) This not only cuts off driving time, but it also takes away any mandatory hiking and waiting in line at the entrance gate.

The boat from Taganga (a small village only a 10-minute drive from Santa Marta) will take you directly to Cabo San Juan beach in Tayrona. From there you can relax for the entire day, or if you want, go for a hike to another beach such as La Piscina which is only 20 minutes away.

You can book a day trip to Tayrona using the speedboat as your transport online in advance. This particular tour will also pick you up from your hotel and bring you directly to the boat in Taganga so you don’t have to organize anything! It takes you to a few popular beaches including San Juan. I think it’s a really great deal priced at only $55 USD.

11. Bring your PASSPORT!

Bailey relaxes on the beach in Tayrona, Colombia

As a foreigner, you will need your passport to buy your entrance ticket and/or enter Tayrona National Park. A copy is fine but it must be clear and easy to read.

So, a copy of your passport at the very least or like us just bring your passport in a protective case.

Tip: If you’re spending the night at Cabo San Juan they have lockers you can use for free to lock up your passport and other valuables, you just need to bring your own little padlock.

12. Cash is king in Tayrona

The hammocks at Cabo San Juan in Tayrona, Colombia
If you want to stay the night you’ll need cash!

This is another one we learned the hard way. You need cash if you want to buy practically anything in Tayrona National Park including food, drinks, accommodation (hammocks or tents at Cabo San Juan), medical insurance, water, the collectivo, and pretty much everything else.

There is no ATM near the El Zaino entrance gate so you need to take cash out of an ATM in Santa Marta before heading to Tayrona.

You can, however, pay for the entrance ticket with a credit or debit card. We also did find one restaurant within the park near La Piscina that actually accepted cards for payment. But with that said, it is common for the machine not to work so it is best to be prepared with heaps of cash on hand.

Money-saving Tip: BBVA is the name of a bank in Colombia and their ATMs do not charge any fee to withdraw cash. Many other banks charge upwards of 12,000 COP ($2.50 USD) just to withdraw cash, but BBVA does not. Find more tips like this on our Colombia travel guide blog!

13. You are not allowed to swim at most of the beaches

A view of the rocks that protect Cabo San Juan from large waves and currents
These rocks are the only reason you can swim at Cabo San Juan!

Many visitors to Tayrona National Park don’t know that many beaches prohibit swimming. There are signs posted warning you that swimming is absolutely not allowed at the majority of beaches in Tayrona National Park due to strong waves and currents that have taken many lives.

In fact, at all of the closest beaches to El Zaino entrance gate swimming is not allowed. This is why most people hike to Cabo San Juan, here you can swim in two different bays.

Personally, a beach called La Piscina is my favorite. At a decent pace, you can walk there from the entrance gate in about 1.5 hours. From Cabo San Juan, La Piscina is about a 20-minute walk away.

Related Read: Besides Tayrona National Park see what other places I consider to be the best spots to visit in Colombia

Where to Stay IN Tayrona National Park

Cabo San Juan

Cabo San Juan, Tayrona National Park
Cabo San Juan, Tayrona National Park

Cabo San Juan is where I stayed, and in my opinion, the best all-around place to stay in Tayrona National Park.

Some of the main reasons are because you can swim at the beach here and it is only a couple of minutes walk to some of the other best beaches. However, it is not a luxury option.

They do have lockers for your stuff (bring your own lock instead of buying one here), shared cold showers, electricity (limited plug-ins available from 6 pm to 10 pm), one restaurant, an ice cream vendor, and a small beach shop.

Only cash is accepted here.

Accommodation Options

Hammock – can be rented for COP 40,000 ($8.20 USD) on arrival at Cabo San Juan or through info on their Facebook page.

You can also reserve a hammock in advance to the left of the entrance gate El Zaino and it says “Cabo San Juan” on it. Due to the high demand for hammocks, I recommend reserving one at this booth so you don’t miss out.

Tent – the next budget option and costs COP 80,000 ($15.50 USD) per tent (they sleep up to 2 adults.) However, reviews say they are in bad condition, moldy, and really dirty during the rainy season. These can also be booked at the park entrance however they book less quickly than the hammocks.

With that said, during the dry season, the tents aren’t the worst option.

Cabin – More like small falling apart shacks. They cost COP 200,000 ($41 USD) for two people and another COP 50,000 ($10.30 USD) for an extra person. Definitely not worth the COP 200,000 at all if you ask me!

Please Note: You CANNOT book Cabo San Juan in advance online. If you want a guaranteed place to stay or are visiting in the peak season then you might want to stay somewhere else. No need to worry though, we’ve listed plenty of other great alternative options below! Otherwise, be sure to get to Tayrona early and book a tent or hammock at the booking desk at El Zaino entrance BEFORE you enter the national park.

Castilletes

camping castilletes hammock
Hammock with a view! Photo Credit: Camping Castilletes

A campground and hotel located right at the end of the road within Tayrona (also the start of the official trail.)

This is a great option for anybody who does not want to have to walk to where they will spend the night as you can catch the shuttle from El Zaino to Castilletes for only 3,000 COP ($0.60 USD) per person. This way, you don’t need to walk with your luggage!

The downside to Castilletes is that it is not near a beach where you can swim. The best swimming beaches (La Piscina and Cabo San Juan) are a 1.5-2 hour walk away. However, you could always drop your luggage and then go explore the other beaches for the day and return in the evening.

At Casitlletes you can choose to either camp in a tent or book a room. They have an onsite restaurant and are one of the nicer options within the park

One of the great things about Camping Castilletes is that you can book it in advance on booking.com! During the busy season, this is an excellent option to avoid disappointment. 

Click here to check prices, availability, and to book!

Cañaveral

Cañaveral Beach in Tayrona National Park
Cañaveral Beach in Tayrona National Park

Accommodation Options

From where the shuttle drops you off within Tayrona National Park, Cañaveral is about a 30-minute walk through the jungle. It is located right on the coast and has stunning views but the beach is not swimmable. There is only a small little swimming area in which you can jump in for a dip.

Campground – Camping Cañaveral

An option for those wanting to camp.

Bungalow – Ecohabs

These are really nice bungalows and sleep up to 4 people. They also have the best restaurant in the entire park as well as a day spa.

Ecohabs is definitely the most luxurious option for accommodation in the park and as such, it often books up well in advance. You can check availability and book online.

Note: You can eat at the Ecohabs restaurant even if you’re staying at Camping Cañaveral. It is only a short five-minute walk away as these two places to stay are right next to each other.

Arrecifes

Arrecifes Beach in Tayrona National Park
Arrecifes Beach in Tayrona National Park

Arrecifes is a beach closer to the park entrance (El Zaino) than Cabo San Juan. The beach is only a one-hour walk from the entrance, however, you CANNOT swim at the beach here due to extremely strong currents.

The benefit of staying at Arrecifes is that there are fewer people and it is less of a walk from the entrance (carrying your bags) than Cabo San Juan. It is still within walking distance of Cabo San Juan and other swimming beaches. This area provides a more relaxing atmosphere and would be nice for people staying more than one night or looking for a more relaxed stay.

Accommodation Options

At Arrecifes Beach there are a few different campsites to choose from, however, the most popular one (Don Pedro) has recently closed (as of March 2020!) Now, your options are either Cabanas Arrecifes or EcoCamping Lui.

Campgrounds

Cabanas Arrecifes offers 6 cabins that sleep up to 5 people. These cabins can be booked online in advance. They also offer camping options that are just booked on arrival.

Just a few minutes from Arrecifes beach is EcoCamping Lui. This place offers more budget-friendly accommodation but is not on the beach. You can bring your own tent, rent one of theirs, stay in a hammock, or a very basic cabin. You can try to book by contacting them directly.

Playa Brava

Playa Brava, tayrona National Park
Playa Brava, tayrona National Park

Playa Brava is a great place to stay if you want a quieter experience in Tayrona National Park or want to complete the entire loop (enter at Calabalzo and exit at El Zaino.)

The beach here is calm enough to swing and there is also some great snorkeling. Because of its remote location in relation to the other attractions in Tayrona, it is much quieter than the other places to stay.

The only downside to staying at Playa Brava is that it is quite a hike to get there. From Calabazo entrance, most people take around 3 hours, and from El Zaino expect to walk for about 5. If you want to walk the whole park you could enter at Calabazo, spend one night at Playa Brava, then one night at Cabo San Juan, and then finally leave from El Zaino. This would make for an ideal 3-day Tayrona hiking itinerary!

Accommodation Options

The only place to stay at Playa Brava is called Playa Brava Teyumakke. Here you can rent bungalows, hammocks, tents, or just campsites to set up your own. They also have a restaurant on-site and showers.

After Cabo San Juan, I think that Playa Brava is the next best place to stay in Tayrona National Park!

You can book Playa Brava Teyumakke in advance online – which is a great idea to secure your stay!

Tayrona Access Road

tayrona yachay eco hotel bungalow
Photo Credit: Yachay Eco Hotel

Between the El Zaino entrance gate and the beginning of the walking trail, there is a 7-kilometer (4.3 miles) stretch of road that has a couple of different hotels you can stay at.

The benefit of staying here (as opposed to somewhere just outside of the entrance gate) is that you don’t need to wait in line early at the entrance gate to start exploring. You could wake up and either walk or catch the shuttle to the hiking trail without needing to wait in line to buy your ticket at all!

These hotels are also considerably cheaper than the cabins and bungalows offered at Cañaveral or Arrecifes.

Accommodation Options

Hotels

Ecohotel Yachay Tayrona is one of the two hotels I would recommend located along this stretch of road in Tayrona. It’s a very beautiful property offering rooms and suites for reasonable prices.

The other good choice is a place called Hotel Jasayma Parque Tayrona and it is even cheaper! They have great reviews despite the facilities being somewhat basic. It is a quiet and smaller place to stay where you can get a good night’s rest before exploring!

Accommodation NEAR Tayrona National Park

A yoga class by the pool at Costeño Beach Hostel, Colombia
A yoga class by the pool at Costeño Beach Hostel.

Eco Hostal Yuluka

Eco Hostal Yuluka is located only a couple of minutes bus ride from Tayrona National Park entrance. They offer free WiFi, free breakfast, and have air-conditioned rooms. They also offer a free shuttle to the park entrance – what more could you ask for?!

This hostel offers dorm rooms but also has a selection of privates available. Their onsite bar and pool will make you forget you’re in a “budget” place completely! The staff are also incredibly friendly and helpful.

For those traveling on a budget, Eco Hostal Yuluka is a great option near Tayrona National Park!

Check out prices and availability for Eco Hostal Yuluka on Booking.com or Hostelworld!

Costeno Beach Hostel

Although not the closest hostel to Tayrona National Park, Costeno Beach is the best! It is a social, fun hostel right on the beach with a 5-star-looking pool.

Here, you can find budget dorms as well as luxurious private bungalows. There are tons of activities as well as a fully stocked bar and delicious restaurant.

From Costeno Beach Hostel, you can reach Tayrona National Park entrance on a moto-taxi in about 10 minutes.

We loved staying at Costeno Beach and actually wrote a blog all about it!

Costeno Beach Hostel is almost always fully booked! Be sure to book it in advance on Hostelworld!

Recuerdos Del Tayrona

This place is the ideal place to stay near Tayrona National Park as it is affordable and in the perfect location. From Recuerdos del Tayrona the park entrance is only 200 m (650 ft) away making it the perfect base for exploring the park!

Rooms are more comfortable than accommodation offered directly in the park (larger rooms with televisions and private bathrooms!) WiFi is available and prices are very reasonable!

We actually stayed here recently and really liked it. The pool also comes in handy for cooling off and relaxing.

Check Recuerdos del Tayrona’s prices and availability on Booking.com!

Villa Playa Los Naranjos

If you want luxury then this place is for you! It is technically located outside of Tayrona National Park but sits right on its border. It is also a beachfront hotel! Rooms have ocean views, access to a beautiful sandy beach, and a huge pool onsite!

For relaxing, enjoying the views, and exploring Tayrona Villa Playa Los Naranjos is perfect. Expect to pay a couple of hundred dollars a night for a room, but also expect to be impressed!

Check out prices and availability for Villa Playa Los Naranjos on Booking.com!

How Long Should I Stay in Tayrona National Park?

Cabo San Juan Tayrona National Park
What you can expect at the best place to stay in Tayrona National Park

Spending more than one day at Tayrona National Park is ideal, so 1 or 2 nights would be enough. Any less and your trip would be rushed in my opinion!

Our 2 days at Tayrona National Park were perfect!

If you really like to hike and have enough time, you could spend 3 days and 2 nights. In this case, I would recommend entering at the Calabalzo entrance and then hiking to Playa Brava to spend the night at Playa Brava Teyumakke. The next day you could hike to Cabo San Juan and spend the night there before hiking out to the El Zaino entrance gate on your final day.

Thanks for reading!

Bailey and Daniel sit on a beach in Tayrona National Park
Thanks for reading!

There you have it, 13 important tips for visiting Tayrona National Park this year. I hope my tips have helped you prepare for your own trip as well as avoid any additional hassle once you’re there.

If you’ve been to Tayrona recently and have any tips to add to this list, please leave them in the comments below so other readers can also benefit. Feel free to also leave any questions for us to try and help you out with!

If you found this blog helpful, be sure to check out the rest of our informative Colombia travel blogs. We also have a few favorites listed below for you to check out:

Guide to visiting Cartagena

Things to do in Minca

12 BEST Tours in Cartagena, Colombia

Taganga, Colombia guide to visiting

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michel

Sunday 21st of April 2024

Very helpful article, thanks a lot, I just had a question about entering at the Calabalzo to sleep at Playa Brava Teyumakke and the next day hike to Cabo San Juan and spend the night there

Is it possible to book a hammock at Cabo san Juan from Playa Brava ? Because if I hike from Playa brava to cabo san juan I'm guessing I will arrive after the people that takes the el zaino entrance

Thank !

Destinationless Travel

Tuesday 23rd of April 2024

Hey Michel,

Good questions but unfortunately I don't know the answer. You should contact a hotel near the park or where you are staying before or after.

Sorry

Traveler

Wednesday 28th of February 2024

Excellent article. Thanks.

I read something online about a Yellow Fever vaccination entry requirement for Tayrona National Park. Is that a recommendation or a requirement?

Thank you.

Destinationless Travel

Friday 1st of March 2024

Hey,

It is not required just recommended.

Thanks Daniel

Sofie

Friday 16th of February 2024

Is it possible to leave your backpack (not daybag) in a locker by the entrance?

Maddi Mulla

Saturday 17th of February 2024

@Destinationless Travel, hey! Sorry now I’m confused haha, I have a 40L backpack. I am not allowed to bring that into the park?

Destinationless Travel

Friday 16th of February 2024

Hey Sofie,

You must leave your big bag at the hotel you are staying at before OR after visiting the park.

Thanks Daniel

Sina

Saturday 6th of January 2024

Hi, thanks for sharing all the informations, 1 question is still open if you overnight in the park, do yiu need to oay the park entrance one time or 3 times with 2 overnights

Destinationless Travel

Sunday 7th of January 2024

Hey Sina,

You only pay the entrance fee once. If you stay in the park for a week, it's the same price.

Thanks Daniel

Danna

Monday 14th of August 2023

Hey,

This was really helpful!! It gave me kind of an idea of what to expect once I’m there. Something I’m really wondering is, in average, how much money (cash) should I bring?

destinationlesstravel

Monday 14th of August 2023

Hey Danna,

That's so great to hear! I would take at least $100 USD in Colombian Peso per person. You just never know what you'll need and things like water are expensive.

Hope this helps Thanks Daniel