Riohacha, La Guajira: the sea and the desert in one place

I will always remember Riohacha (capital of La Guajira, Colombia) because I visited it while pregnant. It is a coastal city with a pleasant atmosphere and a high tourist potential.

Like other cities of the Colombian coast, it has a Malecon (also called Paseo de la Marina) very frequented by domestic and foreign tourists where a lot of artisans expose their handicrafts for sale daily. It is in this linear park where you will find the famous backpacks, blankets, and turbans of the Wayuu culture.

The Malecon beach is suitable for swimmers, however, its waters are not as clean nor as calm as those of Mayapo (a 45-minute drive), a beach not so crowded perhaps because of its location. You will need to cross a wide desert area in order to get access to this beach. Fortunately, the road is paved although totally isolated.

When you get to Mayapo beach, do not be surprised if you are greeted at the entrance by Wayuu children asking you for money. You'll also see adults who offer you parking, food, and carp (rustic) with table and chairs. The specialty of Mayapo restaurants is fish. They bring you different types of fresh fish so you can choose the one that you like the most. Then, while you wait for your fish dish with coconut rice, patacones, salad, and soup, it is possible that several local vendors will come offering you their crafts, blankets, key chains, wayuu backpacks, and other products from the region. You can go swimming in the meantime or take photos with your companions. The beach is clean, quiet, and little surf.

Other places you can visit in Riohacha:

  • I love Riohacha (sculpture)

  • tourist dock (located in the Malecon, from here you can watch the sunset)

  • Parque de los Cañones (Cannons Park)

  • Camellon de Riohacha

  • Monumento a los Embarradores (Monument to the Embarradores)

  • El Palabrero sculpture (The babbler)

  • Santuario de Flora y Fauna Los Flamencos (Corregimiento Camarones)

  • Pozo García (Corregimiento de Tomarrazon)

  • Delta of the Rancheria River (Casco Urbano. Comuna # 9)

  • Valle de los Cangrejos (Valley of the Crabs) (northeast of the city, located in the Delta of the Rancheria River)

  • Historical Center

  • La Laguna Salada (The Salty Lagoon)

  • Tomb of Francisco El Hombre (Corregimiento Villa Martin or Machobayo)

  • Capilla de los Capuchinos

  • Balcones de la Calle Tercera

  • House of Emilio Vence

  • Casa de las Fuentes

  • House of Vladimiro Pérez

  • Municipal Hall

  • Monument to Almirante Padilla

  • Catedral Nuestra Señora de los Remedios

  • Casa de la Aduana

  • Teatro Aurora (Aurora Theater)

  • Shi Mukshi (La Línea Negra)


  • Playa Marbella

  • Playa del Guapo

  • Playa del Muelle

  • Playa Gimaura "La Boca"

  • Playa Valle de los Cangrejos

  • Playa La Raya

Another nearby destination that is imperative that you visit is Cabo de la Vela where you can practice kitesurfing. Its main attractions are:

  • Playa Arcoiris (Rainbow Beach)

  • Pilon de Azucar

  • Playa Dorada (Golden Beach)

  • Ojo de Agua (waterhole)

  • Rancherías

In order to go to Cabo de la Vela, it's necessary to hire a tour operator with knowledge of the area and adequate transportation because its access is through the desert of La Guajira, and traveling in a private car would be very risky. But if you are an adventurous tourist you can choose to travel in a jeep or 4x4 that will take you first to Uribia and thence to Cabo de la Vela.

In short, if you want to know Riohacha thoroughly, I recommend going for one or two weeks. After all, it is an excellent option to consider for your next vacation.

#riohacha #guajira #wayuu #mayapo #paseodelamarina #maleconriohacha #cabodelavela #colombia #travelcolombia


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