And so it was, we rested on Manaure with Juan and his family for 3 days and we feel enormously flattered to be able to live with them, proud Wayuu in their own land. In the afternoons we help prepare the food that was sold in the garage in a makeshift restaurant, rice with shrimp, meat and arepas. Jesper dedicated himself to the production of arepas and since then he has not abandoned it (he loves them!) And we enjoyed the calm and quiet beach of a non-touristy town like Manaure. What more could we ask for?
We said goodbye to Juan to continue our way even further north, the northernmost point of our journey. Cape of the candle.
How to get from Santa Marta to Cabo de la Vela
Most likely, you are making your way from Santa Marta, in that case you will have to visit the bus terminal and take one of the buses that goes to Maicao and / or passes through “Cuatro Vías” for about 25,000-30,000 pesos per person. Keep in mind that the price will dictate the number of stops the bus makes on the route.
If you don’t know where you are going, contact the driver and tell him that your intention is to get to Cabo. If by chance you come from Tayrona Park you can take this same route (once on the road) at the exit. Always remember to ask if they go through “Four ways”.
The bus from Santa Marta to Cuatro Vías takes approximately 4 hours without stops or up to 5 hours with them. Once in Cuatro Vias (the name comes from the intersection) it is possible to take the bus that goes from Rioacha to Uribia but the times are not very “marked” so it is best to take a small jeep-type truck to Uribia for about 8,000 – 10,000 pesos per person.
If like us you travel from another point of the coast you will have to undo your steps, in our case Manaure a Uribia for 10,000 pesos each. If you look at a map of the area, you will notice the few roads that run through La Guajira at its northernmost point.
Once in Uribia you take a jeep-type truck that will take you to Cabo de la Vela, you just have to ask for the starting point, everyone knows it. The prices of the van tend to vary and especially go up in high season, which is to be understood, it is the only way to get to Cabo de la Vela and they are also loaded to the top of everything they can carry to take advantage of the trip by what do not expect a quiet trip.
The price usually varies between 13,000 and 20,000 pesos per person.
In any case it is a memorable part of the trip, you will cross the unmarked paths of the desert and enjoy the best landscapes.
The total trip, if you come from Santa Marta will be about 8 hours.
Tips for traveling to Cabo de la Vela
For the trip to Cabo de la Vela, you have to be clear about many things. The first is that there is no drinking water in the town nor electricity so if you don’t bring your own food don’t be scared by the prices, imagine what it costs to take EVERYTHING there when half of the trip is through the middle of uncovered roads. made only of sand and dry earth. Be reasonable and negotiate with what you have but not beyond the possibilities of the inhabitants of the Cape, as there are not many. We recommend going loaded with water, as much as you can, if you are not going to use it you can always leave it and water in La Guajira is one of the best gifts.
On the way to Cabo de la Vela you will pass a large part of the arid guajira and you will wonder how there are people who live and survive there. There are lines that connect the collection of coal from the mines a little further north … Coal from which its inhabitants do not take a single peso and which only hurts the fragile land they have. You can also witness how the truck stops in some remote villages to leave ice or water, or food, or people, or whatever they may have come up on the way. You will swallow the dust and the earth, you will dry your mouth and you will smell the sea in the distance.
The van to Cabo cost us 13,000 Colombian pesos each, but we traveled in the middle of the low season and it was not very difficult to find transportation. I do not remember the distance of the trip but it was enough to see a reality that many Colombians are unaware of and of which, in fact, we should be proud. There is nothing in Colombia like La Guajira.
When we finished we looked for accommodation, the town was totally empty so it was not difficult either, for only 8,000 pesos each we could sleep in hammocks on the seashore with the sound of the waves accompanying us. We have been told that the price can double and triple with the influx of tourists but it is still well worth it. We were completely alone.
What cost us the most was the food because we barely brought anything and we only had a can of tuna and a little bread for the second day, we negotiated with the owners of the hostel so that they would make us white rice, the cheapest and with the least resources and with him and our can of tuna we stayed for two days.
At the lodge we met Carlos, a young man who spent a few months helping, preparing food and talking to tourists. Carlos was barely 19 years old, he was telling us a couple of funny stories about his shit in the kitchen, he made it clear that the town has a medical center – just 4 blocks away – and he entertained us with laughter and good stories during our stay.
It was Carlos that we were able to ask why does a town with utility poles not have electricity? When he heard the question he laughed as if the thing was so obvious that it escaped my eyes. “Look, there is the cable screwed up” we looked up and there we saw it. They put the poles, yeah yeah, all along the main street, and they never connected them to the houses. Can you believe it? and so they had already been at least 3 years. However, it seems that there is a wind power plant a little further north and that cable is long enough to bring electricity to Medellín but not to Cabo … Colombia and its wonders.
What to bring to Cabo de la Vela?
- WATER, as we said, as much as you can
- If you want to live off your supplies, take food, but simply get used to the idea of higher prices, they are a way of survival for the locals.
- Sunscreen (what a surprise, right?)
- PowerBank (if you want to stay connected)
Cabo is a paradise, calm and beautiful, at least in the low season. We enjoy it in every second, in every wave, in every grain of sand.