Rocks, palms and beach in Cabo
Cabo Beach Tayrona

Cabo beach is the best area of the park. All the best beaches in Tayrona are within thirty minutes of Cabo. From Cabo beach directly south into the jungle, there is a rocky trail that parallels a stream and leads to an old indigenous pueblo, which is at 800 feet elevation. The climb can take one to four hours, depending on how much time you spend looking and exploring. You most likely will be soaked in sweat when you get to the top, and in our case, soaked by rain on the way down. The trail is slippery when wet, and I do not suggest climbing up in sandals like we did. The destination brings you to some stone steps and a few huts. The pueblo was believed to be home to about 2000 Indians a couple thousand years ago. Now only one Indian family remains and they did not look very happy. Strangely, when you get to the top they want you to sign in with about ten pieces of information including your ID number and profession. When I asked why they needed this, the lone man said for, “control purposes.” That’s Indian talk for I am going to use this information one day to pay you an unexpected visit. There are coconut trees along the trails, beaches and campgrounds in Tayrona. You need to be careful that you don’t get hit by a falling coconut, which would probably split your head, because the trees are over fifty feet tall. During the evening, while trying to sleep, I heard many large thumps from coconuts hitting the ground. When I asked the guy who registered me into the campground how many people get hurt from falling coconuts he said, “Oh, not many.” “Two a month” I asked. “No, very few,” he said. “One a month” I asked. He gave me a forced smile and said, “Not many,” and started writing in a black notepad while looking at my name on the register. Let me tell you, if you get hit by a coconut, you are not going to be a coconut accident statistic. They are just going to bury you in the jungle so no one knows about it. You are going to be reported as a wayward gringo who didn’t stay on the designated trail and got lost. I am the only one who is going to know you were really a coconut causality. When I was at the beach entrance to the park reading the welcome information a coconut slammed down fifteen feet from us. Even if that coconut just hit my toes it would have buried my foot two feet into the ground. Always keep your eyes to the sky to avoid walking under coconut trees, except at night when you need to keep your eyes to the ground so you don’t step on the many frog and squirt frog guts on your girlfriend’s leg. For some reason, that makes them shriek… the girl not the frog. The campsite at Cabo has hammocks and tents you can use that cost five to twenty dollars. Or you can rent space to sleep on the second floor of the hut (photo below) for about forty dollars or use a hammock on the for less than five dollars; however, the wind will make it chilly at night. A small stream at times empties into the sea at Cabo, which you may have to cross to reach the hut. On the grounds are four showers, six toilets, one sink, one large sink for laundry, a small store, one cat, four dogs, seven gooses, twenty-two chickens, eleven burros, nine horses, hundreds of small crabs, toads and coconut trees, and a conservative estimate of about a billion mosquitoes. Only one restaurant serves typical Colombian food (they will cook for order) for less than ten dollars a dish, and if you are lucky, they may have fresh lobster. I was only lucky enough to watch someone eat one. On a weekend there may be over two hundred people using the campsite, most of whom are in their twenties and roughly twenty percent are foreigners. The campsite has a small soccer field and enough room to play Frisbee. Three families, live on-site and care for the facility, which is kept reasonably clean. A gas generator provides the electricity, which is somewhat noisy. I suggest you set up camp on the opposite side of the generator to avoid the noise. There is an electrical outlet in the restaurant. Except for a flashlight and cover for your tent mattress, almost any other necessity can be bought at the store.

Small inlet at Cabo Beach
View of Cabo beach from the sleeping hut
The beach curving toward the sleeping hut
Palms, clear water, sand and rocks at the Cabo campsite in Tayrona
Cabo campsite and restaurant
Sand, rocks and blue water against clean white sand
Clear blue water and a hill in the background
Small boat launching off Cabo beach
Vista of Cabo beach and mountains
View of the beach, sea, mountains and jungle in Cabo
Rocks, blue water, beach and sunbathers
ock outcrop and ocean
A sleeping hut on a small rock island at Cabo beach