Cabo de La Vela remains off the beaten path for travelers who visit Colombia. This desert paradise is located in the La Guajira peninsula of Northern Colombia and requires a two hour drive on dirt roads after exiting the main highway. There are many reasons why this emerging eco-tourism destination is not on the priority list for most tourists who visit Colombia, but for those who seek adventure and don’t mind a little extra work in getting there, the rewards of Cabo de La Vela are well worth the effort.
I have been living in Colombia off and on now for almost five years and I have seen many photos of this spectacular region and Cabo de La Vela, but have never made the time to visit. All that ended in June of 2010 when I took a trip to Santa Marta to visit friends who are constructing a boutique hotel along the boardwalk of the old downtown sector. After walking back and forth to Rodadero Beach for a few days, I noticed the National Car Rental and decided to stop by and check out their rates. Within two days, I had secured one of the handful of vehicles that they offered, a four door Hyundai. The lady behind the counter looked a little puzzled when I told her I was going to take the car to Cabo de La Vela. I would soon find out why she looked at me like El Gringo Loco.
I will leave the details to this story in my trip report that I left on the Discover Colombia website, but not without first giving a few details of an amazing place to visit if you get a chance to take the trip.
La Guajira is home to the indigenous community known as the Wayuu
One of the first reasons why many foreigners do not make it out to Cabo de La Vela is the fact that it is remote and really requires a truck or jeep to make it the last two hours of the journey on dirt roads and sand dunes. As a matter of fact, during my trip there in June, I was the only one in town sporting a car. The rest of the experienced tourists visiting Cabo de La Vela were all equipped with four wheel drive trucks and jeeps. There were a few occasions when I thought we would get stuck in the deep sand as I floored the Hyundai through areas that were much better suited for higher clearance vehicles. It is not a good idea to get stuck in the Guajira region as it is hot and extremely dry. There are tourism companies in Santa Marta that will sell you a vacation package to the region, but the mini-buses they use are cramped for the five hour journey and you do not get the option of staying multiple days in the awesome vacation spot.
Here are a few photos to look at. You can read my entire travel report to Cabo de La Vela here.
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Video of Cabo de La Vela, Colombia
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