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GUAJIRA PENINUNSULA DESERT TOUR [COLOMBIA 2020]

 

Guajira Peninsula Desert Tour Colombia

The Guajira Peninsula Desert tour Colombia is part of the Colombia National Parks Tour, where it covers the northern-most desert of Colombia. Most of the desert belongs to Colombia. Guajira us the most northern point of South American, Punto Gallinas being the northernmost outcrop.  The first European to mention the area was the Spanish sailor Alonso de Ojeda in 1498, but he never landed.

 

The peninsula is mainly inhabited by the Wayuus tribe, who mostly raise livestock. English and Dutch pirates and Spanish pearl fishers have all tried to conquer the Guajira Peninsula but none were able to overcome the indigenous Wayuu people. As the Spanish conquerors discovered that the Indians fished for pearls the town became frequently raided by pirates as they are called by the hispanics - navies by the British and Dutch. After the original town was destroyed by the so-called pirates it was relocated to the mouth of the Ranchería River, but attacks soon resumed. The next major attack, led by Francis Drake, took place in 1569, when Drake pillaged the city searching for gold and pearls.

 

Why consider booking our Colombia National Parks Tour? Because for the same price, our tour gets you to ALL places for which Colombia is famous, and on top of that, you get to see 7 National Parks/Reserves accompanied by a naturalist guide. There is nothing similar on the market. As Colombia can be combined with other countries, we organize tours in modules: Bogota and surrounding Andes, Caribbean Coast and the Amazon of Ecuador; the latter for the Colombian Amazon still not being recommended for foreign visitors. Colombia is a very large country, so you need to fly. To do so at hardly any additional costs, you need to book both Bogota and Cartagena - and Quito if you want to include the Amazon module - in your international ticket.

Destinations Overview:  Bogota old town, Cartagena, Villa de Leyva Zipaguira Salt Mine Church, Chingaza Reserve, Iguaque National Park, Flamencos Reserve, Cienega Mangroves Reserve, Lake Fuquene, Tayrona National Park, Manaure Salt Flats.

 

Guajira remains a rather lawless region where smuggling reins. The Wayuu, being a border tribe, have both Venezuelan and Colombian citizenship. They bring in cheap gasoline from Venezuela and whiskey from Panama, selling it openly on the peninsula, in spite of police controls. Next to a police barricade the Wayuu Indians sell contraband gasoline at $.70 a gallon whereas the Colombian price $2.50 a gallon. In the southwest, the roadsides are littered with plastic and garbage, which, as you travel deeper into the peninsula fades away towards the dunes of Punta Gallinas.

 

GUAJIRA PENINUNSULA DESERT TOUR [COLOMBIA 2020]:

Regretfully, the road between Riohacha and Uribia is lined with trash. After Uribia, it gets better.

 

The desert lowlands are quite hot, as can be seen from the climate data of Uribia:

 

Climate data for Uribia, Guajira, Colombia

Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Year

Average high °C (°F)

32.4
(90.3)

32.8
(91.0)

33.4
(92.1)

33.9
(93.0)

34.6
(94.3)

34.8
(94.6)

35.6
(96.1)

35.0
(95.0)

34.6
(94.3)

33.4
(92.1)

32.8
(91.0)

32.6
(90.7)

33.83
(92.89)

Average low °C (°F)

23.4
(74.1)

23.6
(74.5)

23.9
(75.0)

24.4
(75.9)

25.2
(77.4)

25.7
(78.3)

25.6
(78.1)

25.5
(77.9)

25.1
(77.2)

24.7
(76.5)

24.4
(75.9)

23.8
(74.8)

24.61
(76.30)

Average rainfall mm (inches)

2
(0.1)

1
(0.0)

11
(0.4)

15
(0.6)

51
(2.0)

26
(1.0)

5
(0.2)

21
(0.8)

51
(2.0)

105
(4.1)

59
(2.3)

14
(0.6)

361
(14.1)

Average relative humidity (%)

59

58

56

58

61

60

54

56

61

70

71

64

61

 

GUAJIRA PENINUNSULA DESERT TOUR [COLOMBIA: The town square of Uribia is lined with a semi-circular pagoda line with souvenir sellers.

Uribia, a quiet town on the way to the coast.

 

North of Uribia the climate gets still considerable drier with an annual rainfall of less than 300 mm.

 

GUAJIRA PENINUNSULA DESERT TOUR [COLOMBIA: GUAJIRA PENINUNSULA DESERT TOUR [COLOMBIA:

The predominant vegetation is Guajira-Barranquilla xeric scrub.

More to the North-west, the desert becomes drier and the vegetation lower and scarcer.

 

Guajira is dominated by the trade winds from the north and is covered by the Guajira-Barranquilla xeric scrub. The Trade winds cause the deep littoral waters to surge making the coastal sea richer in fish, similarly to the Humboldt current along the coast of Peru.

 

The first European to set foot on wall was Juan de la Cosa, a Spanish explorer, who landed on what is today called Cabo de la Vela end of the 15th century. In 1535, the German explorer Nikolaus Federmann founded a city with the name Nuestra Señora Santa Maria de los Remedios del Cabo de la Vela where de la Cosa had landed.

 

Now, Cabo de la Vela is becoming a popular tourism destination, as visitors walk up the hill with a little light house. Another popular destination are the Manaure salt flats where sea salt is being produced and where a colony of up to 1500 flamingos spend a part of the year and the Manaure beach, particularly known for its kite surfing.

 

GUAJIRA PENINUNSULA DESERT TOUR [COLOMBIA: GUAJIRA PENINUNSULA DESERT TOUR [COLOMBIA:

Cabo de Vela is a triangular hill along the coast which reminds of a primitive sail.

Hiking up and down the Cabo de Vela is a popular activity.

 

GUAJIRA PENINUNSULA DESERT TOUR [COLOMBIA: GUAJIRA PENINUNSULA DESERT TOUR [COLOMBIA:  Including sporting events.

The beach at Cabo de Vela is becoming increasingly popular.

Surfing is also becoming more popular as a fair wind creates a constant surf.

 

GUAJIRA PENINUNSULA DESERT TOUR [COLOMBIA: GUAJIRA PENINUNSULA DESERT TOUR [COLOMBIA:

The Manaure beach has many palmleaf-covered beach restaurants and hammocks.

Restaurants serve delicious freshly caught fish.

 

Increasingly popular are the salt flats of Manaure, where one can see both industrial and traditional salt winning.

 

SALINAS DE MANAURE SALT FLATS, GUARIJA, COLOMBIA [2020]:

Industrial salt winning in large man-made evaporation basins.

Traditional small-scale salt-winning still exists, although the Wayuu Indian community is co-owner of the industrial operation.

 

An interesting tourist attraction of the salt basins are the Flamingos that spend part of the year in the flats, feeding on small crustaceans that grow in the highly saline water.

 

GUAJIRA PENINUNSULA DESERT TOUR [COLOMBIA: SALINAS DE MANAURE SALT FLATS, GUARIJA, COLOMBIA [2020]:

Part of the year, Flamingos flock together in the evaporation basins, feeding on crustaceans that grow in the salty water. Not being very shy, of course, they are a popular scene for tourists.

The salt basins turn pink from the Artemia, or brine shrimp, small crusteaceans that grow in extremely salty environments.

 

In the north the Macuira  mountain range - Macuira National Natural Park - which  reaches 900 msl. In the park dominate misty conditions similar to those of the Peruvian desert.

 

GUAJIRA PENINUNSULA DESERT TOUR [COLOMBIA 2020]

What makes us different from so many other tour operators?

Just look at the quality of our high resolution pictures. We took them all ourselves. We have thousands of high resolution pictures on this website, that you can see enlarged by clicking on them. These pictures show that we have been everywhere in the country of your interest and really know the details. We are professional explorers and biologists with MSc and PhD.

 

National Parks Tours Worldwide, a social responsibility and conservation company, is a brand name of the World Institute for Conservation & Environment, registered in the Netherlands with headquarters in the USA.

 

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Email:

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Skype: ecotravelworldwide

 

Parks Man Dr. Daan Vreugdenhil is author of this website. He dedicated his life to the conservation of nature. https://www.facebook.com/DrDaanVreugdenhil, https://www.linkedin.com/in/drdaanvreugdenhil/. He was part of the team that selected the first 39 protected areas of Ecuador in the 1970s and he initiated the Cuyabeno Lodge in Ecuador's Amazon in 1985, making him one of the world's eco tourism pioneers. A speaker of 8 languages and having traveled to 80+ countries, Dr. Daan Vreugdenhil has is one of the world's greatest connoisseurs of nature and national parks in the world. 

This website and its programs have been created by the renowned conservation biologist "Parks Man" Dr. Daan Vreugdenhil