Have you ever seen videos of beaches with crystal clear waters and impeccable scenes where palm trees sway in the wind and think: This must be a dream! Places as beautiful don’t seem real, but I promise you, they are! I had the privilege of visiting one. I spent one night in the beach Cabo San Juan, inside of Parque Tayrona in Santa Marta, Colombia. It was everything I had ever dreamed of and more!
I entered the park around 1:00pm at the El Zaino entrance and went with a few others to watch the safety and regulations video; informing us of which beaches were safe to swim in, what we could and couldn’t bring into the park, and instructing us to take care of our trash and not litter. It was very quick, and before I knew it, I paid my entrance (luckily I have dual citizenship so I didn’t have to pay the gringo tax) and was in the park. From the entrance, I took a short bus ride to the parking lot, which was very close to one of the first beaches.
There are three main beaches that people talk about in Parque Tayrona. The first is called Arrecifes, the second is La Piscina, and the third is Cabo San Juan del Guia. It’s about a 30 minute walk in the forest from the parking lot to Arrecifes, then another 30 minutes to La Piscina, and then about 40 minutes to Cabo San Juan. That is, if you walk straight through, without breaks, and at a steady pace.
I arrived into Cabo San Juan around 3:00pm, and went straight for the food! After a hike like that it was time to eat. There was a small restaurant right on the beach. I ordered steak with a special sauce and fresh strawberry juice that tasted divine. Afterwards I went to the tent I rented for the night to relax and change into my bathing suit.
By the time I made it into the water, the sun was just starting to set. The temperature was absolutely incredible; inside and outside the water. The waves had become gentler than when I had first arrived, and gently rocked me back and forth while I watched the hues of orange and purple in the sky. One by one, stars appeared as day turned to night. Before I knew it, hundreds of stars speckled the black sky. It was more than I was ever able to see in my small town in the states; simply incredible!
At the end of the night, I ended up sitting in a circle with a few friends I had made that day. We had a phone in the center playing music and emitting just a little bit of light, and we each sipped on a beer and chatted, sharing stories and jokes. I went to sleep with a peaceful heart.
The next day I woke up, had some delicious breakfast, and took a walk down the beach before swimming again. This time, in the clear day with the sun at its peak, I could see how crystal clear the water was. In between waves I could see the rocks at the bottom of the ocean, and all the fish swimming through the rocks. It was breathtakingly beautiful. I climbed a rock that lay in the ocean, and sat there admiring the view in all directions. Around 3:00pm, although I headed back for the hike back into the city, I’ll never forget the happiness and tranquility I felt on that miraculous beach.
Until next time, adios Cabo San Juan!