Guajira Peninsula

How we got there

The Guajira Peninsula: the northernmost region of South America. During our long and beautiful trip to Colombia one of the destinations that we had marked was the The Guajira Peninsula, which is the northernmost place of the entire South American Continent. The incredible La Guajira is a truly unmissable stop in Colombia that offers unexpected and wonderful scenarios: sandy deserts, rocky coasts, crystal clear lagoons, fiery salt pans, villages lost in the middle of nowhere.

We got there from Barichara, which was a middle stop on our journey to the north of the country up to the border with Panama which we crossed by sea (but this is another story). We had read about this magnificent corner of the world and could not absolutely miss it. Reaching it requires a bit of determination and endurance: buses, jeeps, nights in hammocks, infernal heat, wind. In exchange for this you get unbelievable starry nights, gorgeous wild nature, crystal clear emerald seas, soothing silence and endless horizons. Not bad!

Guajira Peninsula
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INFO

FROM/TO CAR/BUS
  • Bogota – Riohacha, 16 h (1,045.7 km)
  • Medellin – Riohacha, 15 (925 km)
  • Riohacha – Punta Gallinas, 9 h (254 km)

COLOMBIA PHOTO GALLERY 

Historical/Geographical Facts

The Department of Guajira is made up of 15 municipalities, 12 of which are part of a government program called “Special Units for Frontier and Department Frontier Zone.” The provincial capital is Riohacha, located on the coast of the Caribbean Sea, on the delta of the rio. Ranchería.

The Guajira Peninsula, a rugged and desert land, is a nature reserve and also a territory inhabited by the Indian population of Wayuu, (Wayu, Wayúu, Guajiro, Wahiro). Here the link Wikipedia for historical info from the Pre-Columbian period to that of the Spanish conquest in the Republican history: La_Guajira_Department

Guajira Peninsula
Guajira Peninsula
Guajira Peninsula

Where it is & how to get there

The Guajira Peninsula is located in the extreme north-east of South America and in the extreme north of Colombia; it borders on Venezuela to the south-east and is, to the north, it is washed by the Caribbean Sea. It can be divided into low Guajira, Guajira and Guajira high, located just north-east: it is a mostly flat area with an arid and desert climate. The most suitable point of departure toward the Guajira Peninsula is Riohacha, which is the ideal place to organizing the tour with local travel companies. We have personally chosen altaguajiratours which were very professional and helpful. On the days of the tour we have travelled by jeep and sleep mainly in hammocks – chinchorro. Breakfasts, lunches and dinners are included. The cost of the tour (three days/two nights) is about 500,000 Colombian pesos per person. It is important carry a good stock of water!

Guajira Peninsula

Guajira Peninsula
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Places not to be missed

  • Salinas de Manaure

  • Uribía
  • Cabo de la Vela

  • Punta Gallinas

  • Deserto di Bahía Hondita e Dunas de Taroa

Guajira Peninsula

Things to See

The trip to the far north of Colombia is simply magnificent: miles of salt marshes, rough and stony land, deserts, sandy dunes, sahara-like seas, crystal clear seas, absolute dark night skies lit by pulsating stars.

In the three days through the Peninsula of Guajira we reached Cabo Vela, Punta Gallinas, whose lighthouse marks the northernmost point of South America, various villages and cliffs overlooking the sea. We swam in crystal clear waters reached by crossing on foot giant dunes battered by the wind under a merciless sun, we woke up with parrots on our shoulders begging for biscuits, we sat in aweness under starry skies in a magical and suggestive silence.

Guajira Peninsula

Where to sleep and eat

The tour that we have chosen, through La Penisola della Guajira, lasted 3 days and two nights with these stops:

Day one. Departure by jeep from Riohacha with destination Cabo de la Vela visiting on the way the salt pans of Manaure, Uribía (the indigenous capital of Colombia), the desert and its cactus forests, the playa Arcoíris, the cerro pilón de azúcar. The views from the tops of the cliffs are magnificent and so the baths in the pristine water.

Day two. Departure by jeep to Punta Gallinas visiting the Puerto Nuevo desert, the Bahía Honda desert, Bahía Honda, the Taroa dunes. Visit to the Punta Gallina lighthouse, the extreme north of South America, and to Punta Aguja beach.

Day three. Departure from Punta Gallinas towards Riohacha, with a stop in Uribía, still crossing the Guajira desert and its incredible unique and extreme scenery, then back to Riiohacha

Guajira Peninsula
Guajira Peninsula

Trekking in the Atlas Mountains

  • Easy —> Difficult 50% 50%
  • Cheap –> Expensive 50% 50%
  • How crowded is it? 30% 30%
During the days of the tour through the magnificent scenery of La Penisola della Guajira, if you have chosen to travel with local agencies, meals and overnight stay are included in the price. Before leaving you will be asked if you prefer to sleep in hammock – chinchorro – or in rooms (small, basic and with a small price difference). We have choosen to always sleep in hammocks, not for economic reasons but to have a more compelling experience. You don’t wanna miss a night under thes starry skies! It is truly one of the highlights of this tour. The hammock, the night breeze, the stars… wow. Bathrooms are shared but clean. Breakfasts, lunches and dinners are simple but abundant. Even for those who are vegetarian the choice is plentyful. Do not expect luxury menus or luxury accomodation cause there aren’t: if you’re looking for this you are in the wrong place. On the way to the most extreme areas, the children of the various villages block the cars with simple wires or ribbons and ask for a toll (candies and chocolate)

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Guajira Peninsula
Guajira Peninsula