Up the coast from Santa Marta lays the northern most territory of South America, La Guajira. Described by Lonely Planet as, “the kind of mystical place you read about in books, but rarely stumble upon in real life”(Lonely Planet, 2010), we couldn’t agree more with this description of one of the most unique places in the world. Head to Cabo de la Vela for some striking views from the “Pilon de Azucar” or take in some world class windsurfing. If you have more time, trek up to Punta Gallinas where the yellow sand dunes plunge into turquoise waters. You’ll be in awe of the vastness of the desert and ocean that is the remote home of the Wayyuu indigenous people. It’s a long way away from Santa Marta (about 6 hours to Cabo de la Vela, and 9 to Punta Gallinas), but we’ve never encountered anyone who’s been disappointed. Escape to this Colombian jewel and treat yourself to some freshly caught lobster and a Polar Ice (Venezuelan beer in abundance) on some of the most secluded beaches in South America.
Cost: Varies according to mode of transportation/accommodations
What to bring: bathing suit, sunscreen, towel, a good book, all travel essentials (there aren’t many places to buy things out in the desert), your own supply of water is recommended, as well