How to get from Cartagena to Tayrona National Park?
Tayrona National Park offers some of the best beaches, breath-taking hikes and unparalleled sights in Colombia and according to many, even South America.
Here you’ll find activities like snorkelling, horse riding, camping, bird and animal watching, visiting archeological sites and why not, nude bathing.
Tayrona National Park covers 225km² and has many access points. Most visitors enter via El Zaino or Taganga, since they are relatively easy to reach from other major destinations in Colombia.
Given its proximity to Santa Marta, most visitors chose to hop on a bus from here, but other popular choices are to leave from Barranquilla and Cartagena too.
Minivan or Bus?
|Minivan||5h||88,000 COP ($22)||Check van tickets|
|Bus||5h 30m excl. transfer time||37,000 ($9.20)||Read article for info|
When travelling the 240 km from Cartagena to Tayrona National Park, you have 2 options: a 5-hour minivan ride to Tayrona Park entrance El Zaino or a 5.5-hour bus journey, but you may have to transfer in Santa Marta. Rates range from 37,000 COP ($9.20) to 88,000 COP ($22).
The minivan is the easiest way to reach Tayrona National Park from Cartagena.
Entrance into Tayrona
Tayrona is a protected area and access is restricted during some holidays. These periods fall in February, June and October. Dates vary each year, so we recommend checking in advance whether your planned visiting dates fall on a popular holiday.
A ticket for Tayrona can be bought with either cash or card (card is accepted at only El Zaino and Palangana). The price for foreigners during low season is 56,000 COP ($13) or 66,000 COP ($16) in high season, which is from December to January, during Easter holiday and mid-June to July.
Booking online used to be possible but is not available at the moment. It’s worth checking the website to see if this changes.
Also take into consideration that insurance is mandatory, which is sold at the park entrance, for 2,500 COP ($0.60) per day.
Like many places in South America, it is also highly recommended to have a yellow fever vaccine certificate to enter.
Cartagena to Tayrona National Park by Minivan
Duration: 5 to 5.5 hours
Cost: 88,000 COP ($22)
From Cartagena to Tayrona, minivans take 4.5 to 5 hours depending on traffic and stops along the way. Travelers prefer this option because the agency provides door-to-door service.
Tickets for Marsol Transportes, the company who run the minivans, can be booked online or via whatsapp (+57 3008285807 – 3017901553).
We recommend avoiding the minivan that stops in Barranquilla, as this will add time onto your journey.
Cartagena to Tayrona National Park by Bus
Duration: 5.5 hours
Cost: 37,000 COP ($10)
You’ll first need to head to Cartagena’s bus terminal, found outside the city and catch the daily bus from Cartagena to Riohacha, asking the driver to stop at Tayrona’s entrance.
If you miss the previous option, you can easily take a bus to Santa Marta which runs more frequently, and from the bus terminal there find another bus that heads to Palomino or Riohacha and ask the driver to stop at the park entrance.
You can find out more about the bus from Santa Marta to Tayrona here.
Cartagena to Tayrona National Park by Taxi
Since the trip can be made with a cheaper shared minivan, not many people take taxis, but depending on season and operator, you can expect to pay from 550,000 to 730,000 COP ($135 – $180).
Getting around inside Tayrona
Once inside the park, getting around is mainly done by walking, but horse riding and a small bus exist in El Zaino entrance if you want to get closer to some of the main attractions and camping/lodging sites available.
The bus from El Zaino to the Cañaveral area, a 10-minute ride, will cost 3,000 COP ($0.80). This area is the starting point for most trekking routes in the park.
More routes to Tayrona National Park
More routes from Cartagena
Most popular routes in Colombia