parks fees are high
Coming from the United States, I have a very high standard when it comes to National Parks. The US might get a lot of things wrong but when it comes to National Parks, it seems to have it down better than any other country. We visited a few National Parks in Colombia and generally speaking, there was very little infrastructure. Now, this does not have to be a bad thing but when it is the case, you should not have to pay much to get in and this is not the case with any of the parks in Colombia, and Tayrona was no exception. It was 34,000 COP ($17) per person to enter the park which is a lot of money by local standards and you don't really get much of anything for that. It seems private parties are making a lot of money. If you only go for a day, it is particular expensive. Since we spent three nights in the park we felt we got our money's worth but it still seems like a high price to pay for so few amenities.
- Budget Travel
- National/State Park
Organic Coffee - Café Anei
The Asociación de Cabildos Indigenas is the result of an agreement between some indigenous groups in the north of Colombia from 1998. This agreement looks for share efforts in order to obtain better conditions of life for these people. The most important aspects of attention are health and economy. The cooperative work joints organic coffee producers of the Yeurua region in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Their mission is to produce excellent coffee to obtain the development of social programs and to preserve their native indigenous traditions of respect for mother earth.
Café Aneí is 100% organic coffee that grows at 1400-1800 metres above sea level. It's premium quality coffee, the aroma is intense, with tones of caramel, chocolate and mocha. In Cañaveral, where you take a jeep to El Zaino (the entrance to the park), you find a little hut/shop where you can try their coffee. And if it is to your taste, there are packages of 125g and 500g on sale. I bought some to take with me. Its aroma has spread in my kitchen for a long time, always reminded me of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta :)
- Arts and Culture
getting food in - and garbage out
Getting food in - and garbage out is a very simple thing in Tayrona... occasionally it comes by boat, but normally it comes (and leaves) by donkey. As you'll walk through the park you're most likely to bump into a few donkeys transporting food and dirnks in... you'll also see the same donkeys transporting garage out.
Despite the great number of people that visit the park each day, the management succeeds in keeping the park spotlessly clean. Most visitors do help in this, with a few exceptions... some wanna-be hippy backpackers that show no respect whatsoever to the envirnment.
I don't know why but Taganga and Tayrona attract the sort of unecological (read: dirty) backpackers that the world could really do without.