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Tayrona National Park Extension
4 days
Colombia - Trip code TY

Tayrona National Park Extension

Explore one of the lesser known National Parks in South America. Tayrona National Park is located in the north of Colombia, along the Caribbean coast at the foot of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. We discover the area by trekking through the national park, visiting prehistoric sites, spotting colourful birds and relaxing on the white sands of the beach, hidden in the park itself.

Trip highlights

  • Tayrona National Park - Discover its sandy beaches and forested walking trails
  • Pueblito - Explore these pre-Hispanic ruins
  • Cabo San Juan Beach - Spend time on this undeveloped tropical paradise
Accommodation grade:
Standard
Our standard, mid-range accommodation offers a good level of service, often with other amenities such as a restaurant, bar, garden or swimming pool. Generally rooms will be comfortable with en suite facilities.
Trip pace:
Moderate
Moderate pace tours are ideal if you want a holiday which combines exciting activities and experiences with plenty of time to relax and unwind. Typically you’ll be active and busy for part of the day but then also have time to rest and recharge your batteries.

Itinerary

Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

Day 1 - Join trip in Cartagena, drive to Tayrona; Visit Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino

Our four-day extension starts by driving from Cartagena to our hotel in Magdalena, which is located to the east of the Tayrona national park, on Colombia's Caribbean coast. En route we will visit Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino, a small hacienda built in the 17th century, famously the death place of Simon Bolivar, the famous liberator of much of South America. This extension is not accompanied by an Explore Leader, and local guides will accompany us on this drive, as well as within the national park. We will continue on to Magdalena, and on arrival, you'll have time to relax at the hotel and explore the surrounding areas. In the area you'll be staying there can be strong currents in the sea, making it unsuitable for swimming, but a short walk along the beach to Buritaca will take you to calmer waters where you can swim and snorkel.

Accommodation: Hotel Merecumbe(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: None
Day 2 - Full day hiking in Tayrona National Park

It's a short drive to Calabazo, where we enter Tayrona National Park and start our trek to the archaeological site of Pueblito, known as Chairama in the indigenous language. To get to the site we have a hike of about 3 hours, in predominantly dense jungle, with long sections of uphill on dirt paths, occasionally clambering over big stones and tree trunks. This hike is a true adventure and if we're lucky we'll spot tamarins, monkeys and birds within the forest. The area was once inhabited by the Tayrona people, believed to be one of the most advanced pre-Colombian cultures, occupying Pueblito for hundreds of years. The community disappeared without leaving any records of their knowledge or social organisation. However, their paths, roads and paved terraces remain, covered in dense jungle, which we can now walk along and explore. The remnants of the canals and bridges at the Pueblito ruins are in impressive condition considering the surrounding environment, and the stunning setting under the jungle canopy makes this an experience to remember. After visiting Pueblito, we will take a short but steep downhill, containing many of the old stone bridges and steps built by the Tayrona people, towards Cabo San Juan de Guia. The golden sands of this beach come closer into view as we come out of the vast forest, and we'll have the afternoon to spend relaxing and swimming here before heading back. We don't retrace our steps, but head back into the overgrowth for a two hour gently undulating hike to your vehicle.

Accommodation: Hotel Merecumbe(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Day 3 - Free Day; optional beach and trekking excursions

Today is a free day to spend as you wish. For the more active you may wish to take advantage of the incredible hiking on offer here, visiting Canaveral and Arrecife, which include a visit to a calm stretch of the beach within the national park ideal for swimming and snorkelling. Alternatively you may wish to relax on the beach.

Accommodation: Hotel Merecumbe(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Day 4 - Trip ends Santa Marta Airport

After breakfast, we drive for 1.5 hours to Santa Marta Airport, where the trip ends.

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Why book this trip

This trip is a great way to extend a number of South America trips, offering the perfect combination of trekking and beach in this lesser-known area of Colombia.

What's included?

Included meals
  • Breakfast: 3
Transport
  • Bus
Trip staff
  • Driver(s)
  • Local Guide(s)
Accommodation
  • 3 nights standard hotel
Award Winning Explore Leaders
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Price Guarantee Promise
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Airport Transfers
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FairFX currency card
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Trip information

Country information

Colombia Trips

Climate

The dry season in Colombia roughly runs from December to March/April and also a slightly 'dryer' period from July to September. These are among the best times to travel, although visits outside of these months are very manageable. The Caribbean coast is very hot and humid all year round (always around or above 30°C), although the offshore breeze between December and March makes this a more popular time to visit. Due to the high altitude locations of places like Bogota, Manizales and Armenia temperatures here can be quite cool during 'winter' months (Nov to Mar/ Apr) and the nights are cool to cold at anytime of the year. The coffee harvest seasons are March to May and September to November; it is during these periods that it is possible to see the red coffee beans and watch the whole process of coffee production.

Time difference to GMT

-5

Plugs

2 Pin Flat

Religion

Roman Catholic.

Language

Spanish.

Budgeting and packing

Optional activities

Full day trekking and beach excursion to Canaveral and Arrecifes - US$ 137 (2 pers)

Clothing

Lightweight clothing is essential though a warmer sweater is advisable for cooler evenings. A waterproof is essential. Long trousers and long-sleeved shirts are recommended on jungle walks.

Footwear

Comfortable hiking boots/trekking shoes, shoes and/or sandals.

Luggage

20kg

Luggage: On tour

One main piece of luggage and a day bag. Remember, you are expected to carry your own luggage - don't overload yourself.

Equipment

A torch, water bottle, good quality sunglasses, sun hat, insect repellent and high factor sunscreen are all essential.

Tipping

Explore leader
Tour Leader: At your discretion you might also consider tipping your Tour Leader in appreciation of the efficiency and service you receive.
Local crew
Local Crew: Although entirely voluntary, tipping is a recognized part of life in this region of the world. Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. Accordingly you should allow approx. US$20 for gratuities for local staff. 10% is expected in restaurants.
International Departure Taxes
None for UK citizens, Canadian citizens have an entry tax of 68US$.
Country Information

Colombia Trips

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Lunch price
£5
Dinner price
£10
Beer price
£1.6
Water price
£0.4
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Colombian Peso (COP).
Recommended Currency For Exchange
Carry all your funds in US cash NOT Sterling or Travellers Cheques which are more difficult to exchange. We recommend to take a minimum of US$400-$500 of your total spending money in cash, in mixed denominations. Notes should be in good condition otherwise they might be difficult to exchange.
Where To Exchange
Your tour leader can also advise you on arrival.
ATM Availability
Available in Major towns. Always have some cash as back-up as they are not always reliable
Credit Card Acceptance
Most major hotels, restaurants and stores accept credit cards.
Travellers Cheques
Travellers Cheques can be awkward or expensive to change

Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information

Bus

Accommodation notes

Booking a Single Room

All of our group tours are planned and operated on a twin-share basis, meaning that the standard cost is based either on individual travellers sharing accommodation with another group member of the same sex, or people who book together sharing accommodation. Please refer to the tour notes where the single room option availability is detailed on a night by night basis for this tour, and the price for the available nights is detailed on the dates & prices tab by departure date. For Self-Guided trips the Single Room supplement offers the option of a single room each and is charged per person. The Single Room supplement also applies to the third person in a party of three that will be accommodated in a single room.


Merecumbe Lodge is a small boutique hotel set at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain, close to the entrance to Tayrona National Park. The lodge has 10 simple but comfortable cabins in tropical gardens, surrounded by fruit trees and coconut palms, and close to the deserted beaches of the Caribbean. All cabins have private jungle bathrooms, overlooked only by large palm trees and tropical flowers, as well as small wooden decks to sit and relax. The lodge is an eco-lodge, so be prepared for limited hot water and no TV or Wi-Fi.

Essential information

FCO Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here
 

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Essential Information

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa Information

Columbia: Visas are not required for UK, New Zealand, Australian, US and Canadian citizens. Other nationalities should consult the relevant consulate. All visa information is subject to change. You should confirm all visa related issues with the relevant Embassy prior to departure. USA: (including those in transit) Citizens of the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and passport holders from several EU countries can enter the United States without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) - where you apply for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation), which applies if you enter the country by sea or by air. This must be done on line - https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov no later than 72 hours prior to travel. Travellers who have not registered before their trip are likely be refused boarding. You must have an electronic passport with a digital chip containing biometric information about the passport owner. UK passports which are biometric feature a small gold symbol (camera) at the bottom of the front cover. If you have visited Iraq, Syria, Iran or Sudan since 2011 or are dual nationals of these countries, you cannot travel with an ESTA and instead you will need to apply for a visa from the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. If you are unable to provide a valid visa before boarding flights to the US, or entering via another method, you may not be permitted to travel. Please note for your ESTA application you will be required to supply Point of Contact information. Explore' s USA contact information will be listed on your final documentation which you will receive approximately 3-4 weeks before departure. If you are leaving for the USA before this, please call the Explore team to get this information.(Not necessary if in transit) For further information please check out the US embassy website. Visa applications - http://london.usembassy.gov/niv/apply.html Canada: An electronic travel authorisation (ETA) is required by British citizens transiting via Canada. For more information see the official Canadian government website: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta.asp Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.


If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may consider applying through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

Transfers

Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The transfers will be from the Explore designated airport or train station to the joining point of your tour, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  


For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

  

Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

Non refundable permits

Colombia Trips

Vaccinations

We recommend protection against malaria, Tetanus, Infectious Hepatitis, Typhoid and Polio. Please consult your travel clinic for the latest advice on Malaria, Dengue and Zika Virus. Please take preventative measures to avoid mosquito bites - these include mosquito repellent as well as long trousers and long sleeve shirts to cover up when necessary. Please note many countries in Central America, South America and the Caribbean require a yellow fever vaccination certificates if travelling from infected areas. A detailed list of these countries can be found on the NaTHNaC website - http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries. Also on the NaTHNaC site there is a list of Countries (and specific areas within a country) which are at risk of infection and a vaccination is therefore recommended.. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at http://www.explore.co.uk/Travelhealth/ and from your local healthcare provider.

Dates, prices and booking

Date
Price from
Single room option
Monday 1 January 2018 - Wednesday 31 January 2018
TY_2018
From £999
Single room option +£256
Show full details for this departure, including trip notes
All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
Joining Point
Town
Cartagena
Time and place
09:00 at Hotel Reception - Hotel Don Pedro de Heredia
Ending Point
Town
Santa Marta airport
Time
10:00
If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
Download Trip Notes
Thursday 1 February 2018 - Thursday 22 March 2018
TY_2018
From £780
Single room option +£180
Show full details for this departure, including trip notes
All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
Joining Point
Town
Cartagena
Time and place
09:00 at Hotel Reception - Hotel Don Pedro de Heredia
Ending Point
Town
Santa Marta airport
Time
10:00
If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
Download Trip Notes
Friday 23 March 2018 - Sunday 1 April 2018
TY_2018
From £999
Single room option +£256
Show full details for this departure, including trip notes
All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
Joining Point
Town
Cartagena
Time and place
09:00 at Hotel Reception - Hotel Don Pedro de Heredia
Ending Point
Town
Santa Marta airport
Time
10:00
If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
Download Trip Notes
Monday 2 April 2018 - Saturday 15 December 2018
TY_2018
From £780
Single room option +£180
Show full details for this departure, including trip notes
All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
Joining Point
Town
Cartagena
Time and place
09:00 at Hotel Reception - Hotel Don Pedro de Heredia
Ending Point
Town
Santa Marta airport
Time
10:00
If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
Download Trip Notes
Sunday 16 December 2018 - Monday 31 December 2018
TY_2018
From £999
Single room option +£256
Show full details for this departure, including trip notes
All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
Joining Point
Town
Cartagena
Time and place
09:00 at Hotel Reception - Hotel Don Pedro de Heredia
Ending Point
Town
Santa Marta airport
Time
10:00
If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
Download Trip Notes

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