Next year our first South America Exploratory overland trips will travel to Colombia so Ceris from Oasis HQ went to check out a few places, just to make sure they were good enough for our first truck group!
Most people thought I was mad to travel to Colombia – it hasn’t got the best reputation after all. Friends and family told me to check my bags before getting on the plane home and kept reminding me of those programmes on telly, ‘Banged Up Abroad’ and the like. But the only souvenir of my trip to Colombia was a small packet of 100% Colombian coffee which I’d put in my bag myself!
The Colombian tourist office’s logo is ‘the only risk is wanting to stay’ and after a few days, I absolutely agreed!
My first port of call was Tayrona National Park in the north of the country, on the Caribbean coast, also one of the first stops in Colombia on the Oasis exploratory overland trip. Here, the tropical forest reaches right to the beaches – it’s absolutely beautiful and you can trek through the forest, explore ancient Tayrona sites or just chill out on the beach. My group was dropped off at the park entrance from where it was an hour’s walk through the forest to the nearest beach. It was so humid, we were glad to reach a campsite where we cooled off with a coconut lemonade, mmm….
Our guide Carlos promised us a swim in the sea but when we reached the actual beach we saw pounding surf and a sign saying how dangerous it was to swim there. Thankfully this wasn’t the beach Carlos had in mind! We strolled down the coast for about a kilometre, walking along the sand, through palm groves, across small stream inlets full of white egrets and arrived at La Piscina (The Swimming Pool), a calm piece of shoreline protected from the surf by rocks.
We all dived in and although the water wasn’t that warm, the sun was shining, the view of jungle and forested hills behind the beach wasn’t too bad and I still had another few days of the Colombia trip to enjoy. What’s more, it was Monday morning and all my friends were at work – and they thought I was mad to travel to Colombia?!
You can visit Tayrona National Park on our exploratory overland trips to Colombia: