Cabo de la Vela: La Guajira Colombia

This is not like any other trip … the one that you are going to find scrolling down. 1117 kilometers indicates our old map located on the wall of our bedroom. This map showed us and it is going to show you as well, how to get to Riohacha in La Guajira, Colombia from our start point Pereira, Risaralda. It is there where our feet meet the hot sand, salty water, peaceful wind and magical sun. Our trip starts in Pereira, Risaralda nevertheless we are going to give you more details on how to get to this spectacular place from different cities.

By Plane

If you decide to take a plane to the Caribbean coast of Colombia you have two options. One is to get to Cartagena and from this city to el cabo de la vela is approximately 6 hours by bus or car. The other option is to arrive in Santa Marta which is closer and then you will need to take a bus that will take you to el cabo de la vela in approximately 3 hours (with some stops of course).

By Car/bus

From Cartagena or Santa Marta to el cabo de la vela there are some stops that you need to make and we are going to explain them in detail.

Route 1

Bogotá (the capital of Colombia) – Riohacha, la guajira –Uribia – cabo de la vela From Bogota you can take the route to the coast and in this way you can avoid entering to Santa Marta. You can take a shortcut and get to Riohacha (16 hours approximately), once you are in Riohacha follow the steps that you are going to find bellow.

Route 2

Medellín – Cartagena – Barranquilla – Santa Marta – Riohacha – Uribia – Cabo de la vela From Medellin you can get to Cartagena passing by tolu, cobeñas and many other cities like barrancabermeja and Valledupar. You will notice that this trip is also very long (16 hours approximately). Once you are in Cartagena follow the steps that we are going to mention next. Continue reading …

Route 3 – The details

Cartagena – Barranquilla – Santa Marta – Riohacha – Uribia – Cabo de la vela From Cartagena you will need to take public transportation to santa marta passing by Barranquilla. Once you are in Santa Marta you will need to get to Riohacha, the capital of La guajira. From Riohacha, where we recommend you to buy some water and snacks for the trip or any other personal items that you might need in el cabo de la vela because up there everything is more expensive, you can take a vehicle from the terminal that will take you to the town of Uribia which is cataloged as the indigenous capital of Colombia; this trip will cost you around $17.000 per person which in American dollars is $6.00 approximately and it will last 2 hours or so; once you are there you will need to take a 4×4 sub which is the only car that can cross the desert of sand dunes. This little trip will also cost you around $17.000 colombian pesos or $6.00 per person and it will last around one hour and a half. There are also some trucks that transport groceries that will take you to el cabo de la vela for less money, maybe $13.000 or $12.000 (around $4.00) and in this way save some cash.

Horsemen in la guajira

Picture taken between Uribia and el cabo de la vela So far so good, right? Let’s continue. Finally, we have arrived to el cabo de la vela, our final destination. After this long trip the only thing you will probably want is to rest and let me tell you, this is the perfect place to do so.

Cabo de la vela

You can rent a room in some of the little houses for $30.000 per night (1 person) which is around US $10.00 not bad, huh? You can also sleep in hammocks which are very cheap and you will be able to enjoy the breeze and the view. The hammocks will cost you between $12.000 and $15.000 per night, US $4.00 – $5.00. Due to this is a desert place the water is minimum so you will need to pay some extra money to have some water to shower, however it is not very expensive, you will get it for US $2.00 or so.

Chinchorros and hammocks in a really hot day

Things to do in el cabo de la vela

Besides resting and relaxing in front of the ocean and having the time of your life, there are some must-do in el cabo.

El Faro

If you are in la guajira, you need to visit this place. It is the most popular and visited place in el cabo. Why? Because there you will have the opportunity to experience the most beautiful sunsets and enjoy a 360° view.

Pilon de azucar

This place is really worth it. You can go for a walk and have a great time at this beach, you can also climb a little hill to enjoy a nice view but be aware to wear proper shoes, sandals are not a very good option due to the terrain is a little bit slippery.

Pilon de azucar


Beautiful sunsets in el cabo

What to eat

If you are a seafood lover, this is your place! Here you will find a variety of seafood; from common dishes such as coconut rice, fried fish and plantains (around $15.000) to most exotics dishes like lobster ($25.000), not bad for a plate of lobster. However, there are more food options if seafood is not your favorite. You can find dishes with beef, chicken or goat (which is very popular) for $10.000 more or less. You can enjoy your meal with a cool beer of course because the hot weather can be intense.

What to buy/souvenirs

There are a variety of crafts made by the native people of this region (Los wayuu) who make colorful and unique handbangs commonly known as mochilas. There are many different options so you will actually need time and money to buy from them because one is not going to be enough I assure you.

The famous mochilas

Wayuu indigenous


Backpackers For Life

Photographer, journalist and graphic designer. Big fan of traveling and exploring new places and cultures.