Departamento de La Guajira Hotels

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  • Reviews: 1091

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Hammock under a Thatched Roof: Staying with Wayuu Family

Cabo de la Vela is a rural community of Wayuu people living in traditional palm-thatched houses along the beach. There is the main part of the village where you find most of the lodging options and all of them are family-run. However, the nicest places to stay are a few kilometres along the main drag. Lodging is generally in Wayuu huts. They offer private rooms (mostly with hammocks, and some of them also with beds) or sleeping in a hammock in palm-thatched, open-sided shelters right on the beach.

We arrived in Cabo de la Vela in the mid afternoon and immediately decide to walk out of the central area to find a tranquil place, away from everything - though it wasn't much anywhere ;) The heat was inexorable and we carried 10 litres of water with us. At one point I just could not go any further. I had to stop to have a quick bath and then we continued. And the farer we got, the more we liked it.

Finally we came almost to the end of a coastline stretch where we wanted to stay. We found a place to stay with Wayuu family. They offered two types of hammocks: hamacas (regular hammocks) and chinchorros (typical Wayuu hand woven hammocks that are very comfortable to sleep in). Donna brought her own hammock (she had to pay COP 5.000 for the place) and I took a chinchorro which was COP 15.000. The other night Donna also took chinchorro as it was much more comfortable to sleep in than a regular hammock.

Toilet and bathroom were very primitive. There was no running water so we took 'toss-water shower' only. The village has no electricity either. For the food you can arranged with Maily, a freindly owner of the place. We usually had breakfast and dinner.

  • Opinion of Price: least expensive
  • Related to: Desert, Eco-Tourism, Beaches
  • Written October 9, 2009
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  • mircaskirca profile photo mircaskirca
  • Reviews: 1091

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Hotel Panorama: Nice Basic Hotel

Riohacha isn't known for its fine accommodation. Most of the city's hotels are located near the beach on Avenida la Playa or in the streets that lead off it. We spent two nights in Riohacha, one on the arrival to La Guajira and other after we returned from Cabo de la Vela. At the bus terminal we met a guy with whom we were suppose to go on a tour to La Guajira (though later we decided not to go with him but do it on our own). He brought us to a hotel that we did not like. Luckily, just across the street there was another hotel which looked better and the owner lady seemed very nice and friendly.

Hotel Panorama is a family-run hotel in a two-storey building. The rooms are spacious enough and all have private bathroom with cold running water and fan or air conditioning. First night we stayed in a room with a fan. We were sweating in the heat and humidity and hardly had any sleep. Despite we both don't like it, the second night we opted for room with air conditioning and only switch it on from time to time.

La Guajira has serious water shortages - there's plenty of sea water but not enough fresh water. Hotels usually have water tanks to fulfil the needs of guests. When we run out of water we just told the owner. In a short time they delivered a plastic container full of water to our bathroom.

There is a small restaurant in the house where we usually had breakfast (arepa and coffee). A common balcony on the second floor overlooks Carrera 5, a nice place to watch the sun set over the city. Hotel offers parking in a locked lot next door and is convenient for the taxi colectivo to Maicao, Manaure and Uribia.

  • Opinion of Price: less expensive than average
  • Related to: Budget Travel
  • Written October 9, 2009
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the staff and the owner at the reception

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