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Punta Gallinas is South America’s most northern point, located in La Guajira, one of Colombia’s 32 departments. The place is home to the indigenous group the Wayuu. Here’s a rundown of must-see places in and around the region.
Cabo de la Vela is a beautiful, tranquil spot with various hotels, guest houses and family run restaurants. A prime spot for kite surfing, this is a good place to learn this water sport as the area is relatively deserted throughout the year and lessons are the cheapest you’ll find in Latin America. Buy yourself a packet and become a pro after a few classes while you enjoy this laid-back village.
Punta Gallinas itself is the furthest point north of La Guajira province, typically reached by Jeep from Cabo de la Vela. It is not a smooth journey yet the bumps and bruises are worth it for what you will find at the end. Discover a beautifully unspoiled part of the country, where sweeping sand dunes and a sea of many colors define the landscape.
Uribia is the indigenous capital of Colombia and the home of the yearly festival of indigenous culture. A busy commuter town, if you’re passing through the region you should stop here for a glimpse at life in La Guajira center of Wayuu culture. Eat the traditional dish friche, made up of fried goat meat and offal. While the dish doesn’t sound tempting, it has a peculiar taste which is surprisingly pleasant, although for anyone squeamish you may want to ignore what it is you’re actually eating.
Riohacha is the gateway to the desert region of Colombia that is La Guajira. As ecotourism has recently developed, Riohacha has transformed into an interesting town to spend a couple of days in. While it doesn’t offer up a many tourist attractions, the beautiful beach makes for a pleasant evening stroll with a five kilometers pier which is perfect to amble along while you admire the unspoiled beach.
The Santuario de Flora y Fauna Los Flamencos is a stunning 700-hectare nature reserve located 25 kilometers from Riohacha in neighboring Camarones. Beautiful Flamingos abound in this peaceful park, where numbers of the pink, one-legged birds can reach up to 10,000 in the wet season. To see the flamingos you need to catch a boat out onto the waters.