Using Taganga as a jumping off point, we decided to hike into Tayrona on the caribbean coast for a day and take advantage of the beautiful beaches. Tayrona is a great place to kick back and relax away from the pull of modern life. The Tayrona hike starts off in jungle (and blessed shade), but soon turns into a beach slog (see my feelings about beach slogs in the sun). Our plan was to spend the day at Cabo San Juan, one of the further beaches from the entrance. There are plenty of camping options in the park including Cabo San Juan. The gotcha is that you need to haul in your own food and water (or pay park prices). You can hire a horse to do the hard work for you (a highly recommended option).
Before we set out, I was pleased to hear the park had a no-plastic bag policy. G and I are constantly reminded what a plague on humanity plastic bags are (and bottles for that matter). They stand out, they cling and they linger. Disappointingly, many visitors were hauling in plastic bags. The park authority does manage to keep the park clean despite this.
We were rewarded for our hiking efforts with some beautiful beaches and refreshing coconuts prepared by a indigenous woman. The coconut preparation was a funny scene. The woman prepared coconut after coconut with her machete while an indigenous man (husband? brother?) sat by and watched. In retrospect, she looked like the more capable one, and I was convinced she could crush those same coconuts with her bare hands. In any case, when you’re sunbaked, fresh coconut water is like a dream.