La Guajira, Colombia

The region La Guajira is located in the northeast corner of Colombia and mainly consist of a desert alike landscape- sand, cactuses and high temperatures, but also mountains in the southern part. The majority of the habitants in this region consist of different indigenous tribes, the Wayuu being the majority tribe in the area we visited. We had booked a three day tour and got picked up by the tour company (Alta Guajira Tours) in Palomino early in the morning and were taken to Riohacha where we met with the rest of our group; two Colombian women, one guy from Chile and one from England before we set of on the dusty, sometimes non existing roads to the salt fields in Manaure.

We continued to Cabo de la Vela where we had lunch and unpacked our things since we were going to spend the night there. As we approached the coastline the clouds that had made us company in the early hours finally let the sun out and reflected the turquoise waters. During the afternoon we set out to discover a few beaches in the area and unfortunately I did not bring neither my phone nor my camera. But the landscape was more than magnificent nevertheless.  After a tasty dinner we headed out to our hammocks by the sea to get a night’s sleep.

After an early breakfast we drove north. The final destination for the day was Punta Gallinas but we made a few stops along the way, one of the highlights being Dunas de Taroa- a huge yellow sand dune with steep slopes down to the turquoise water. We had a late lunch at Punta Gallinas (including an entire sea bass each) and explored the surroundings before we headed to another beach to see the sunset. The dinner consisted of garlic-prawns or fish and was as big as the lunch before we headed out to our hammocks. At 05.10am we were woken by the four parrots living in a neighbouring tree and they did not stop talking and laughing until everyone had got up.

We left Punta Gallinas and Bahía Honda around 08.00am and drove to the northern most point of South America before we headed back to Uribia for lunch and later Riohacha where the tour ended. Both Josch and I agree that this was one of our best experiences since we left Europe in October last year. The nature and the landscape were out of this world and we saw things that we could never imagine. Poverty beyond this world and desperate people, a region full of corruption and contraband (the majority of the cars in the region have Venezuelan plates since they are stolen in Venezuela, all the gasoline as well, which is sold in Coca-Cola bottles along the road etc. And of course- we had a good guide and driver who provided good information and perspective of the region.

This was our last Colombian adventure and to summarise our 6 months in Colombia I think that the word diverse is the only word that we can use. The nature, the people, the social classes, the costs, the food. I am not sure what I expected of Colombia but I can say that it has given me more than I ever wished for. Thanks to Rich and Luisa who have showed us Bogotá and offered us a lot of help on how to live in some form of balance with the chaotic Bogotá. Now we look forward to explore Peru and get to know another nuisance of this continent.

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