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Cabo de la Vela La Guajira
Guajira Tours Colombia

About La Guajira

Majestic at the top of the map, like a pedestal representing a kingdom, that's how Hernando Marín describes La Guajira (in Wayuunaiki: Wajiira), one of the 32 departments that make up Colombia. It reigns in culture, ecosystems, and mythologies that span across its 14 municipalities.

Riohacha (Suchiimma), its capital, is one of the oldest cities in South America and is known as the phoenix of America. This nickname comes from the many times the city was destroyed by pirates in search of pearls and then rebuilt.

The department is currently home to five indigenous peoples and a large Muslim community who immigrated to this territory in the 1970s.

Climate and Ecosystem

The department has the privilege of having all the thermal floors of the intertropical zone with average temperatures ranging from 30 to 40°C. It boasts diverse ecosystems, with the most predominant being the desert, dry jungle, and oases in the middle of the desert in La Alta Guajira.

It has two main rivers: the Ranchería (which flows into Riohacha) and the Cesar, as well as smaller ones like the Jerez, Ancho, and Palomino.

Culture and Economy

La Guajira harbors different indigenous cultures, including the Wayuu, Koguis, Arhuacos, Wiwas, and Kankuanos. It also has a significant Arab-Lebanese community in the town of Maicao.

It is the birthplace of vallenato music, home to singers, composers, and legends like the great Francisco el Hombre, the one who defeated the devil. In terms of tourism, it stands out for its exotic places, unique in the country, which are suitable for various types of tourism: ecological, adventure, and more. Economically, it is a department rich in minerals (such as salt and coal) and has great energy potential in terms of electricity production, solar energy, wind energy, and hydropower, as well as natural gas extraction.

It has the Paraguachón border, which connects the country with Venezuela.

How to Get There

You can access La Guajira by land or air. By land, it takes about 3 hours from Santa Marta and Valledupar to Riohacha, while it takes 5 hours from Barranquilla. If you're coming from Bogotá, it's approximately a 16-hour drive.

By air, Avianca offers two direct flights from Bogotá to Riohacha: the first at 10:30 am and the second at 03:00 pm, with a duration of an hour and a half.

Things to Keep in Mind

When visiting La Guajira, especially if you plan to go to La Alta Guajira, consider the following recommendations:

• Wet wipes

• Hand sanitizer

• Artificial tears (eye drops)

• Sunscreen

• Comfortable clothing (shorts, sneakers, sandals, caps, etc.)

Cellular signal: In La Alta Guajira (Cabo de la Vela, Punta Gallinas), only Claro's cellular signal works.

Electricity: In La Alta Guajira (Cabo de la Vela, Punta Gallinas), electricity is not always available; the power goes out from 9 pm onwards.

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