La Guajira: Trip through the desert

Having lived half of my life outside Colombia, in 2012 I returned to this stunning country, my goal is to travel around the country and get to know its beautiful landscapes. Last year I had the opportunity to travel to la Guajira, in my opinion one of the most gorgeous places on earth. On that trip it was a great adventure we went to el Cabo de la Vela and Punta Gallina.

Ana Sofia Martinez & Javier Cadena © Solkes

How the trip began

One of the things that I was worried about were the high temperatures and how we would sleep in the Rancherias a type of hostels from the indigenous. Our trip was 4 days long, I went with one of my best friends Ana Sofia and a friend of hers. The funny thing is that the guy Javier that was going, we didn’t know each other.

At first in my mind it was a little weird, but I said if he is a friend of my friend then he must be a good guy. I could probably say this trip was one of the great adventures, and the most important part was that we all got a long great. As if you have travelled a lot you know the most important part is the company.

And so the trip begins, I picked up Ana Sofia at her house and we arrived at the Airport Puente Aereo, were there we meet with Javier, to our luck the trip starts as a 5 stars as he had pass for the VIP boarding area. Our flight was to Riohacha, Guajira located in the northern part of Colombia. La Guajira borders with Venezuela and Riohacha is on the border with the Caribbean Sea. As it is better to be prepared for the trip we had booked guides with the agency Emel Camargo and they even offered to pick us up and drop us off at the airport.


In Riohacha

So as soon as we arrived to Riohacha, the guides were waiting for us and they took us to our hotel Taroa which is the 4 star hotel from Riohacha.

Ana Sofia Martinez & Javier Cadena © Solkes

After settling in, we were quite hungry so to our surprise and fortune there was a restaurant at the terrace of the hotel where it overlooked the Malecom of Riohacha, you could see the beach and the craftsmen selling sunglasses, wayu bags and bracelets, necklaces, rings and other crafts.

So we unpacked and as I always live something behind, this time there was my sunglasses, so we went and walked and bought the sunglasses since they were essential for the trip since there average weather is 38-42C. During this time it was nice and windy so we couldn’t feel the heat. So as typical tourist we went through the Malecon and the places where people would go for a beer or party. But definitely the one that had the best ambient was the terrace at our hotel, after walking a couple hours we went back to get ready for our trip the next day, were they would pick us up at 8am. Our first stop was going to el Cabo de la Vela which is about 4 hours and pure desert. In the early morning a Dutch couple joined us.

Our first stop was the production of salt, and there was a school class who explained to us the process of making salt.

Ana Sofia Martinez & Javier Cadena © Solkes

It was adorable how they explained it, and until the tour guide then told us they also did that for money, but it wasn’t recommend to give them money instead something to eat or bottled water, as if you are not from Colombia, you might not know it is a rich department with mineral resources although it lacks food, water and some of the basic needs.

That day we continued our adventure in route to el Cabo de la Vela. In the afternoon we made it to our Rancheria were on the way we passed a kitesurf school and to our surprise there were a lot of national and international tourist taking part in this activity.


After the Cabo de la Vela

Now I remember we got the Rancheria at lunch time were we all ordered the fish of the day, and the funny part to most of us except for Javier was that he was starving and his plate was the last one to arrive. In the afternoon we went to a beach close by, and what I remember was climbing up some rocks and when we got to the top it was so windy I could feel the wind lifting me up, for those who don’t know me I am petite, then Ana had to hold on to me but the wind was strong so the three of us held hands in a straight line so we wouldn’t fly.

Ana Sofia Martinez & Javier Cadena © Solkes

After going down from those rocks, I was really scared and of course that was one aspect to laugh about. Then there was a second set of rocks higher than the other so I told my friends I’ll just wait here and enjoy the scenery, which was amazing and very peaceful and it seemed as if you could see the whole Caribbean Sea. That night we slept our Rancheria it was a room with 3 futons and a small bathroom with a shower.

Ana Sofia Martinez & Javier Cadena © Solkes

Our third day started with and abundant and healthy breakfast were we would travel to Punta Gallina, on our way we stopped to stretch out our legs were we met up with other tourist cars, pertaining to the same travel agency. Then we stopped somewhere to have lunch, after lunch we arrived at Punta Gallina with amazing beaches.

Although to get to the beach we had to climb up the dunes and then roll in the sand to the bottom, this reminded me of my childhood years.


A very happy ending

Ana Sofia Martinez & Javier Cadena © Solkes

That day was so much fun and while going to our other Rancheria we met a couple of crazy tourist, they had rented a car in the US and had gone all the way south to Colombia, where they had a lot of stories to tell but in the dessert they were quite lost.

We helped them arrive to Rancheria and in this one there were only 2 futons and one hammock so Javier slept outside in a hammock, were at 3 in the morning he would be awakened by a goat.

The last day of our trip we just went back through the long desert without forgetting to stop were there are a lot of wind mills that produce energy. Very tired but filled with joy of getting to know a part of our country that have a total different culture than the ones in Bogotá we had culminated our trip when we once again arrived in Riohacha and the next morning we would take our flights back to Bogotá and continue our routine.

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