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The drive to Cayena Beach

Colombia day fourteen

View Colombia 2023 on ToonSarah's travel map.

On the road to Cayena Beach

It was time to leave Cartagena for the last stop on our trip. I was starting to get that ‘half here, half at home’ feeling, when home-related matters start to surface again after being buried for a while. Booking a gym class, making plans to see friends, and most importantly the excitement of Newcastle United playing in a cup final soon after our return!

But there was still one more Colombian location to enjoy first. So we were picked up after breakfast by friendly guide Christian and driver Nestor and headed east out of the city. It was a four and half hour drive to Tayrona National Park but one full of interest. We left Cartagena on an excellent new road, raised above the mangrove forests so as to protect them. Christian talked about their importance to the environment, second only to the Amazonian rainforest in that respect.


On the road north of Cartagena

We passed through bustling Baranquilo, the country’s one-time capital, where we saw preparations for its imminent Carnival celebrations underway and a few costumed people already getting in the Carnival spirit. On the outskirts of the city we passed the dramatic Monumento Ventana al Mundo. This was built at the end of 2018 to coincide with the XXIII Central American and Caribbean Games which Baranquilo hosted.

Monumento Ventana al Mundo

We crossed an elegant new bridge over a river and soon after stopped briefly at a service station which had a bizarre carnival-themed display with a strange figure seated in a ‘lounge'.

Bridge near Baranquilo

Strange display at the service station

The road wound through more mangrove forest but here, being a much older road, it wasn’t raised. Christian pointed out dead mangrove trunks in the lagoons beside the road, the result of cutting off the flow and interchange between salt and fresh water. Work was underway to create channels under the road, and eventually to build a new raised one.

After busy Santa Marta we reached a more hilly landscape, even mountainous in parts. We passed the entrance to the national park and soon afterwards turned off the road on to a track leading to our hotel, Cayena Beach Villas.

Checking in we found a large, fairly simple room, with a wooden balcony overlooking a great swimming pool.


Our room

Spotted from our room

We settled in a bit, changed into swimwear and went down to the pool area for a drink of coco lemonade and afterwards a swim. It was great to have a pool deep enough to swim in properly and with plenty of room.


The pool

Hibiscus near the pool


Chris at dinner

With Cayena Beach being such a small hotel, dinners have to be pre-booked. Christian had shown us the menu earlier in the day. The starter and dessert were fixed: bruschetta and pecan pie respectively. But there was a choice of three dishes for the main course from which Chris had chosen the steak and I the stuffed eggplant. All three courses were delicious, although I’d have liked my mains served a little hotter.

After dinner we relaxed over a drink before turning in for an early night.

Posted by ToonSarah 10:26 Archived in Colombia Tagged bridges road_trip monument hotel pool colombia

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That pool looks beautiful. Makes me feel like going for a swim right now.

by irenevt

It was by far the best pool we had on this trip Irene :) Well, the one at the Bio Habitat in the coffee region looked fabulous, but it wasn't really swimming weather there!

by ToonSarah

That pool looks so inviting : I could picture your relaxing there with a glass in hand and a hibiscus flower in your hair.

by Yvonne Dumsday

I prefer to leave the hibiscus flowers on the bushes, but you're right about the glass and the relaxing, Yvonne!

by ToonSarah

the pool says enough! :)

by Ils1976

It was a fabulous pool, the best thing about the hotel!

by ToonSarah

Lovely hotel :)

by hennaonthetrek

It was Henna - quite simple but such a great pool and lovely food too :)

by ToonSarah

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