Santa Marta & Tayrona National Park

Great birdwatching
Trek Ciudad Perdida
Top snorkeling and diving
Sanctuary of nature

See them for Yourself


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One of Colombia’s most popular national parks, Tayrona National Park stretches along the coast from the Bahía de Taganga near Santa Marta to the mouth of the Río Piedras, 35km to the east, and covers some 12,000 hectares of land and 3000 hectares of sea. The scenery varies from sandy beaches along the coast in the north to rainforest at an altitude of 900m on the southern limits of the park. The extreme western part is arid, with light-brown hills and xerophytic plant species, such as cacti. The central and eastern parts of the park are wetter and more verdant, largely covered by rainforest. May and June and September to November are the wettest periods. At least 56 endangered species call the park home, but most stay out of sight, deep in the forest.

The region was once the territory of the Tayrona people, and some archeological remains have been found in the park. The most famous archeological ruins are the ones found in Ciudad Perdida (The Lost City), an ancient abandoned town, that has lived up to its name for four centuries. Known by its indigenous name of Teyuna, it was built by the Tayrona people on the northern slopes of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, and was most probably their biggest urban center. Today, it’s one of the largest pre-Columbian towns discovered in the Americas. The city was built between the 11th and 14th centuries, though its origins are much older, going back to perhaps the 7th century. Spread over an area of about 2 sq km, it is the largest Tayrona city found so far, and it appears it was their major political and economic center.


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