La Guajira: A truly off the beaten track destination in Colombia Uncover Colombia


March 5, 2024, 6:11 pm

If you are planning to visit the Colombian Caribbean coast, you are most likely considering visiting Cartagena and/or Tayrona Park. However, if you have a bit more time and want to explore a different landscape and have an adventure where you will be truly disconnected from modern life, La Guajira is the perfect destination to include in your Colombia tour.

La Guajira with its desert and almost alien landscapes and the proud heritage and traditions of its indigenous inhabitants (the 'Wayuu') is one of the most amazing and remote places you can visit in Colombia. La Guajira is a peninsula full of contrasts provided by the sea, sand, cactuses, and a green oasis the "Macuira National Natural Park". It is a truly remote place where you can be one with the sea and have the tranquillity to just contemplate the world around you.

Your journey around this region of Colombia will start in Riohacha, the capital of La Guajira, where you will probably stay overnight before starting your trip to Cabo de la Vela and other areas in the region. Riohacha is a small city that can be explored in a few hours. You can start with a walk along the beachfront "Paseo de la Marina" and then continue with a visit to the Plaza Colonial and the Cathedral "Nuestra Senora de los Remedios"

The most popular destination in la Guajira is Cabo de la Vela, documented as the first point in the South American continent where a European laid foot (the credit goes to Alonso de Ojeda back in 1499). Cabo de la Vela is a truly off-the-beaten-track destination where you will get stunning views of the coast and the Alta (high) Guajira. The most beautiful places at Cabo de la Vela are The "Pilon de Azucar, a small peak, from where you will see the stunning views of the region, and the beach "Ojo de agua" a very nice beach to relax, enjoy the spectacular landscape and take a refreshing bath in the Caribbean sea.

At Cabo de la Vela, you will spend the night in one of the Rancherias managed by the local community, where you will have plenty of time to relax and learn a little bit about the Wayuu culture.

La Guajira, Colombia

Depending on how many days you want to spend in this region, from Cabo de la Vela you can carry on the journey towards Punta Gallinas, the northernmost point in South America. It is located approximately 75km north of Cabo de la Vela and it is one of the most dazzling landscapes in South America. Punta Gallinas is accessed via Bahia Hondita, a beautiful bay with translucent waters that stretch kilometres out to sea. There is absolutely nothing there except a large colony of pink flamingos. You will be amazed by the unique beauty of this place.

Other places to visit in La Guajira are:

  • The Sanctuary of flora and fauna of "Los Flamencos" ("The Flamingos"), 20km west of Riohacha, is a natural reserve of marshes, lagoons and dry forest where you will see a high concentration of West Indian Flamingos and many other bird species.
  • The salt mines in Manaure. You can go there on your way to Cabo de la Vela.  Manaure is famous for its salt flats and salt production. Here, you can tour a salt production plant as well as see the salt drying out in the salt flats. You can also swim in some of the saltiest water in Colombia—in fact, the water is almost white due to the high salt concentration.
  • Serrania de Macuira National Natural Park

La Guajira, Colombia

As you can see from this article, La Guajira is a truly unique place where you can see the immaculate collision of desert and sea, and get in contact with nature.

If you have any questions or wish to plan a tour in La Guajira just get in touch, we are here to help you. You can also check one of our tours including La Guajira, if you like it we can also customise it according to your requirements.

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Nidia Penagos

Nidia Penagos

Nidia started Uncover Colombia after feeling the tug to promote her native country through a positive perspective. What better way to do that than showing visitors the beauty and diversity of her homeland? She was well-aware Colombia didn’t have the best reputation and she wanted to change that. So in 2012, with the help of her Colombian husband and close group of friends, she laid the foundation to build a Colombian tour operator that offers unique adventures, safe experiences and utilises local knowledge on each and every tour. 

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