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the caribbean coast
Written by sophie et jeremy   
Saturday, 06 April 2019

When leave Medellin, we drive across the western cordillera, the less high of the 3. As we drive, the vegetation gets more dense, the rivers wider and the temperature rises : we head to the caribbean coast!

antioquia antioquia

After a short break on the sea shore in between the coconut trees, we follow it driving east in a surprising landscape. It is the end of the dry season (for once, the rain did not catch us), the grass is yellow and some trees have lost their leaves... It almost look like an autumn landscape from the inside of our air-conditioned car, but it is more than 30°C outside!

necocli necocli cordoba cordoba

Our first stop is in the coastal city of Carthagena, once glorious city of the spanish empire. Its impressive walls and the San Felipe fortress, built in the XVI th century, circle the old city for 12 km and are doted with canons. At that time, the spanish feared the pirates attracted by the gold taken from the Aztecs and Incas moving through the city. The small colonial houses, with their flowered balconies and bright colors give a good idea of what the city looked like centuries ago when it got its name of “the pearl of the Caribbean”.

cartagene 2 cartagene 2 cartagene 5 cartagene 5

cartagene 1 cartagene 1 cartagene 4 cartagene 4

cartagene 3 cartagene 3

A bit further, we rest on a beach deep in a bay, where after eating grilled fish, Sophie goes for kite surfing and Jeremy enjoys the hammocks.

penol 1 penol 1


The road goes on to the east, in the middle of drying lagunas and swamps.

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Soon, the landscape changes and palm trees appear, along golden sand beaches. We are next to the much visited park Tayrona, which access in controlled and quite expensive in order to protect the indigenous Koguis. We spend a day there, walking in the heat, and bathing in the sea time to time to cool down. Fortunately, there is not too much crowd or mosquitoes. that’s the only place in the caribbean Colombia where the forest goes up to the sea. The beaches are indeed pretty, which is why the park attracts many colombian tourists, but we have enjoyed many more beaches of this kind, and don t spend so much more time around here.

los angeles 2 los angeles 2 tayrona 1 tayrona 1

tayrona 2 tayrona 2 tayrona 5 tayrona 5

tayrona 3 tayrona 3 tayrona 4 tayrona 4

los angeles 1 los angeles 1 villa hermosa villa hermosa

Right behind this park, few kilometers from the sea is the Sierra neveda de santa Marta, the highest coastal mountain at 5775m. The visibility is not great, and even if you can see the foot of the mountains, there is no way to see the glaciers at the top... Instead we visit a cacao farm (and we taste too) and rest next to the river that crosses the camp ground.

minca minca

Our project to continue to the deserted Guajira peninsula at the north east end of the country being aborted for safety reasons, we prepare to turn back south.

 

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