Tayrona’s beaches and the jungle that edges them are the irrefutable stars of the park. If arriving by boat, you’ll get dropped off at Cabo San Juan, an attractive palm-fringed beach where many budget visitors stay; further west into the park from here are two more beaches, the second being a nudist beach (30min). Twenty minutes’ walk east of Cabo San Juan brings you to La Piscina, a beach good for swimming and snorkelling, with calm, deep water. From there, it’s another twenty-minute stroll east to La Aranilla, a narrow strip of sand framed by huge boulders, fine for swimming, followed almost immediately by the long, beautiful, wave-lashed stretch of Arrecifes where signs warn you that over two hundred tourists have drowned here; swimming is extremely dangerous due to rip tides and strong currents. Another forty minutes or so east along a wooded, muddy trail takes you to Cañaveral and the entrance to the park, where the beach is good for sunbathing but the rip tides make it unsuitable for swimming.

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