Tayrona Park Tourist Guide

The Tayrona National Natural Park, located on the northern coast of Colombia, is one of Santa Marta’s most important and most visited destinations in the country. This natural paradise, which encompasses a wide expanse of white sand beaches, tropical jungles and mountains.
It also offers a wide range of unique experiences for ecotourism, adventure and Tayrona culture lovers.
In this tour guide, we will explore everything you need to know to make the most of your visit to Tayrona Park.

History and Culture of the Tayrona Indians

Tayrona National Park is not only known for its stunning natural beauty, but also for its rich cultural heritage. It was home to the Tayrona civilization, one of the most advanced indigenous cultures of pre-Columbian times.
The Tayrona left a significant archaeological legacy, including stone terraces, roads and irrigation canals that tourists can now observe during ecological hikes. Today, the descendants of this Tayrona civilization are 4 peoples that preserve their traditions and ancestral knowledge, the Kogui, Arhuacos, Wiwa and Kankuamos Indians, who still inhabit the park and the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

How to get to Tayrona Park, Zaino sector

The most common way to get to Tayrona Park is from Santa Marta, the closest city to this destination.

Land Transportation

You can take a bus from the Santa Marta Public Market to the main entrance of the park, known as El Zaino. The trip lasts approximately one hour.

Boat Transportation

From the Bay of Santa Marta: sail by boat from the bay of Santa Marta to the most exclusive destinations of the Tayrona Park. This open sea crossing offers beautiful panoramic views and a trip full of adrenaline and emotions.
From Taganga: another option is to take a boat from Taganga, a small fishing village near Santa Marta. This tour offers spectacular views of the coastline and drops you off at the beaches of the Tayorna Park.

Tayrona Park Entrance and Entrance Hours

Tayrona Park has several entrances, the most popular being the entrance to El Zaino and the entrance to Calabazo. The park is open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and it is important to keep in mind that the park closes during certain months of the year to allow for natural regeneration and spiritual cleansing activities by the indigenous people and maintenance by National Parks.

Temporary closure of Tayrona Park 2024

Tayrona National Natural Park is always open, except for three rest periods per year. During this time, the indigenous people of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta perform spiritual rituals in sacred places, so that nature can renew itself.


  • From February 1 to February 15.
  • From June 1 to June 15.
  • From October 19 to November 2.

Beaches of the Tayrona Park entering through Cañaveral

La Piscinita de Cañaveral

A charming little nook, La Piscinita de Cañaveral is ideal for those looking for an even quieter spot within the park. Its calm and clear waters are perfect for swimming and enjoying a more intimate and relaxed environment.

Arenillas Beach

Arenillas Beach is another hidden treasure within the Tayrona Park. This beach is characterized by its fine sand and picturesque landscape. It is less crowded, which makes it a perfect place to relax and enjoy nature in its purest state.

The Natural Swimming Pool

The Natural Pool is one of the safest swimming beaches in the park, thanks to its natural reef formation that protects it from strong currents. Its calm, crystal-clear waters make it a popular snorkeling site, where visitors can observe the region’s rich marine life.

Cabo San Juan Tayrona

Cabo San Juan is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful beaches in the Tayrona Park, known worldwide for its rock formation and the iconic hut at the top, Cabo San Juan is a must-see destination for any visitor to the park. The beach is divided into two protected bays, creating an ideal environment for swimming and snorkeling.

What to do in Tayrona Park

Hiking: the park has a network of ecological trails that take you through the rainforest to some of Santa Marta’s most beautiful beaches. The trails are well marked, so there are options for all levels of fitness.

Camping and Ecohabs: Tayrona Park offers lodging options for all tastes and budgets. You can camp in outstanding areas such as Arrecifes and Cabo San Juan, or enjoy a more comfortable stay in the Ecohabs, ecological cabins with all the amenities.

Snorkeling and Diving: The park’s crystal clear waters are perfect for snorkeling and diving. Beaches such as La Piscina and Concha Bay are excellent for exploring marine life and colorful coral reefs.

Cultural Visits: don’t miss the opportunity to learn about the culture of the indigenous communities that inhabit the Tayrona Park and the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Some tours offer visits to Wiwas and Koguis indigenous villages where you can learn more about their traditions and way of life.

Recommendations for the visit to Tayrona Park

Carry cash, there are no ATMs in the park and few places accept credit cards.

Bring sun protection as the sun in the Caribbean can be very strong, so be sure to bring sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses.

Although there are places where you can buy food and drinks inside the park, it is advisable to bring enough water and some snacks, especially if you plan to do long hikes.

You cannot bring disposable plastics into Tayrona Park, all garbage generated must be returned to the city.

Respect the environment, follow the park rules, do not leave garbage and respect the flora and fauna. Remember that you are in a protected area.

Tayrona National Natural Park is a destination that offers a perfect combination of natural beauty, history and culture. Whether you’re looking to relax on its paradisiacal beaches, explore the rainforest or learn about indigenous cultures, Tayrona has something for everyone.

Plan your visit in advance, follow our tips and get ready to live an unforgettable experience in one of Colombia’s most impressive natural treasures.

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