Departamento de La Guajira Things to Do
wall mural along the Malecón
wall mural along the Malecón
the market street of Uribia
Things to Do
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Cabo de la Vela
Cabo de la Vela (Spanish for 'cape of sails') is a beautiful bay with a remote and tranquil fishing village, located 180 km northwest of Riohacha. It is a popular ecotourism destination of the Caribbean region of Colombia. The village itself is little more than a dusty rural community of Wayuu, living in traditional houses made of wood and cactus. A sandy road edges the waterfront. On the right side are primitive restaurants, shops and hostels. On the seaside of the strip are enramadas (palm-thatched, open-sided shelters) where people can spend the night in hammocks listening to the sound of the sea and watching the stars. This is part of the magic of Cabo de la Vela. The beach road follows the curve of the bay and ends at El Faro, the Lighthouse (a 45-60 minute walk from the main part of the village). Here the most glorious sunsets can be seen. Cabo de la Vela's beaches are pretty and...
Ranchería - Wayuu Community
Visiting a ranchería, Wayuu community, to learn about their everyday life, culture, beliefs and legends, was one of those things that we really wanted to experience while exploring La Guajira. We talked to Maily again and she arranged it with her husband to take us there. He picked us up at Playa del Pilón. After we left other passengers in Cabo de la Vela, we continued the journey to the interior. It was a very remote and deserted area where we visited two rancherias, both of them properties of Maily's relatives. A traditional ranchería consists of five or six houses and has a name after a plant, animal or geographical place. A territory that contains many rancherías is named after the mother's last name (for example, the land of the Uriana) because of the matriarchal structure of the Wayuu culture. Rancherías are usually isolated and far from each other. The typical house is a small...
Camarones (meaning shrimp) is a lovely fishing village, 20 minutes south of Riohacha. Only a short drive from here is Boca de Camarones, the entry to Santuario de Fauna y Flora Los Flamencos. There is a long and almost deserted beach, La Playa, visited by locals, one day visitors and guests of the restaurant Mira Mar. As the name suggests, the area is famous for shrimp which you can get in every little kiosk and restaurant in Camarones. Santuario de Fauna y Flora Los Flamencos is a huge area of saline vegetation including some mangroves and lagoons. There are several small and two large saline lagoons (Laguna Grande and Laguna de Navío Quebrado), separated from the Caribbean by sand bars. The two large lagoons are fed by several intermittent streams which form deltas and are home to a large number of pink flamingos and other waterbirds. The concentration of flamingos varies by season....
Pilón de Azúcar
The jewel of the area is Playa del Pilón, the most beautiful beach in Cabo. It is rust-orange sandy beach backed by craggy cliffs and spectacular greenish-blue colour of the sea. At sunrise and sunset it looks especially magic. Wayuu families sell drinks and handicrafts under a palm-thatched shelter at the parking lot. On the beach there was a man selling oysters and another with cocada (delicious coconut dessert). Adding a cold beer, this made a very nice lunch. But to deserve all this pleasure we first climbed up the Pilón de Azucar, an odd triangular-shaped hill (100m), that looms over the beach. A loose-gravel path zig-zags to the top which provides the area's most spectacular viewpoint. From here you can see windmills twirling in the far distance and the coastline stretches as far as the eye can see. It can be quite windy on the summit. Pilón de Azucar has always been a sacred...
The capital city of the Department of La Guajira, Riohacha is a laid back little town that serves as a getaway for those few visitors who head out to the desert-like La Guajira Peninsula. Considered one of the most mysterious corners of Colombia, it's only one hour from the Venezuelan border, so it makes a convenient resting point before heading to or coming from the neighbour country. We did not expect much, but were pleasantly surprised to discover a town with a pretty seafront promenade Malecón lined with seafront restaurants and Wayuu women selling mochilas (the colourful hand-woven bags) and hammocks. There is rather nice palm-scattered beach and the 1,2 km-long walking pier, an impressive piece of maritime architecture built in 1937, which makes for a lovely stroll out to sea. Strolling down the streets of Riohacha we came across some really nice wall murals, one of my favourite...
From Cuatro Vías the road leads north to Uribia where we had to organize a transportation to take us on to Cabo de la Vela. Here is the heart of La Guajira. All roads lead to Uribia, it's the hub of transportation to Guajira Alta. Uribia is a colourful place with a large indigenous population pertaining to the Wayuu ethnic group and is known as the Indigenous capital of Colombia. There is a daily indigenous market, a good place to buy local handicrafts and clothing. Bicycle rickshaws ply the streets of Uribia. Transportation leaves from Avenida Fundador, the street on which the market is. Take a moment in between transport negotiations to have a little look around. You'll soon find that the town is full of smuggled goods, especially gasoline. It is not surprising since Uribia is only an hour's drive from the Venezuelan border. If you visit Uribia sometime between May and June, the most...
Short walks in Wososopo -- on the border of Venezuela -- in the Serranía de la Macuira to the waterfalls, and different beaches including: Puerto lópez, Bahía Hondita, Bahía Honda, Neimao, Puerto Lodo, Portete and Cabo de la Vela. We offer longer walks in the Serranía de Cosinas and passing through the Serranía de Macuira from Siapana a Nazareth; Camping, bicycle tours, water sports, cultural exchanges in Wayuu camps, weaving workshops, typical dances and festivals in the region like the Yonna and playing the tambor (Kasha). Tours in a speed boat to Bahía Hondita, Bahía Honda and Cabo de la Vela. Adventure crossing in truck or campers to visiting places from two to five hours where you can enjoy the exquisite beauty of the region's flora and fauna. During all excursions, you will be able to buy the beautiful typical crafts of the region including bags, backpacks, hammocks (chinchorros),...
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