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The Caribbean coast: from Palomino to Tayrona to Minca

Adventures on the Caribbean coast! It was a busy week this week, with a lot of traveling. From Palomino to Los Naranjos, to Tayrona and back to Los Naranjos, and eventually to Minca. All of these places were really nice, and worth the visit.

Haven’t read my travel diary from last week yet? Click here.

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Monday: meeting people on the Caribbean coast

On Monday, I would be meeting two people on the Caribbean coast. The first one was the guy whom I spoke to yesterday. He invited me to go to the river. I texted him in the morning and he was still up for it, so I made my way to his resort.

I met him there, we walked to the river, chilled there for a bit, and then walked back. He also cut me a fresh coconut to taste. I don’t really like the taste of coconut, but it was cool to try to some time.

Afterwards, I worked for a little bit and then I met up with another Dutch girl. I met her earlier in Cartagena, and she was now also in Palomino, in a hostel very close to me. We went out for lunch and talked a lot about our adventures.

At the end of the afternoon, we both went to our hostels to rest (and in my case, work), but we agreed to meet up in the evening for dinner. However, it started to rain a lot that night. Therefore, we both had dinner at our own hostels.

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Tuesday: new location on the Caribbean coast!

On Tuesday, it was time to leave Palomino. In the morning, I ate my breakfast and I tried to work, but the wifi was very, very slow. Therefore, I decided to just relax in the sun for a little bit.

The Dutch girl from yesterday was also heading in the same direction, and so we took the bus together in the afternoon. I got off at my stop – at Los Naranjos – and she stayed in the bus a little longer. I walked a short walk to my next hostel: The Journey Hostel.

I booked a small dorm with four beds, and relaxed in my room until dinner started. This hostel organises a “family dinner” every night, where you all eat dinner together. I talked to some other Dutch people in the hostel, and then I went to my room.

I was the only person in my dorm, until three British girls joined me in the evening. They were very nice and social, and we instantly started talking. We have the same plans for the next day, which was great!

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Wednesday: visiting Tayrona National Park

On Wednesday, the British girls and I got up early to visit the nearby National Park: Tayrona. I had specifically chosen this hostel because it was very close to the entrance of the park. All of us enjoyed our breakfast, packed our things, and went on our way.

I had heard horror-stories about long queues before the entrance of the park, but we did not experience that. It was really quiet! We bought our entrance ticket and mandatory “health insurance”. Because I also stayed in the park for one night (and the girls didn’t), I also bought my spot on the camping site. And then the hike began.

The hike through the park was wonderful, but also quite hard at some points. We had to climb quite some rocks and stairs in order to follow the path. It was all worth it though: we saw a lot of monkeys on our way to the beach in the park!

Eventually, we arrived at the final spot, where we ate lunch and enjoyed the beach. Then, the girls began on their hike back while I stayed behind on the camping. I had booked a hammock for the night, and decided to just chill and read my book. I ate dinner, read some more, and then I tried to sleep.

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Thursday: the hike back in Tayrona National Park

The night in the hammock in the park was not the best night of sleep I’d ever had. Someone was snoring really loudly, and I couldn’t find a comfortable position. All in all, I did sleep for a few hours. The next morning, I ate breakfast and then began on my hike back.

I didn’t have the British girls to hike with anymore, and I expected to meet some people here to hike with. I didn’t though – most people on the camping site were either French or Colombian, and they weren’t very easy to mingle with.

Luckily, the hike was pretty straight forward. The path was clear and so I had no worries about getting lost. Also, there were rarely moments that I would not encounter other people, going to the camping site where I had came from. This confirmed that I was on the right path.

I walked back to the entrance and then to the Journey Hostel, where I had another night booked. I met up with the British girls who were still there, and we chilled by the pool for a bit. Then, we ate lunch together before they left to go to Minca.

There was now another Dutch girl in my dorm, and we were the only ones there. She was nice and we talked for a little bit. However, I was tired from the hiking and the broken night, and she would do the hike the next day, so we both went to bed early.

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Friday: next stop on the Caribbean coast, Minca

On Friday, it was time to leave – again – and go to my next destination. This time, I was leaving for Minca. I first had to catch the bus to Santa Marta, and then another bus to Minca, which is located in the mountains.

I was only about 80% sure I was in the right bus the whole time, but I made it 🙂 I checked into my hostel in Minca and rested from the travel a little bit. Then, I met up with the British girls, who were in the same town! We had some drinks and dinner together, and it was very nice to see them again.

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Saturday: work and ice cream

On Saturday, I slept in and then I went for breakfast. The breakfast was included in my stay in the hostel, and it was really nice. I got some scrambled eggs and two pancakes with fruit on top. And an orange juice.

In the morning, I did some work. Then in the afternoon, I met up with two girls that I had met in Ecuador. They knew a really good cafe where we went to get some ice cream. We talked about everything that had happened since we last saw each other, and about our travel plans.

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Sunday: coffee and cacao tour in Minca

On Sunday, I did a coffee and cacao tour in Minca. I met up with the group, that consisted of a German girl, a Chilean couple, an older American man and a younger American guy. Our guide was Sam, a guy from Venezuela who moved to Colombia.

We walked through the woods of Minca and listened to Sams explanation on how coffee beans are grown and how coffee is made. At the coffee farm, we all got to taste some coffee too.

Then did a hike through the nature of Minca and visited some waterfalls. We had lunch together at a hostel in Minca. There, Sam also told us about the nature and wildlife in Colombia. The tour ended with a demonstration on how cacao beans are made into chocolate. Of course, we also got to taste again.

It was one of the best tours I have ever done. I really enjoyed it: so much information, but it was not too much, too long or too boring.

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