Palomino – Perfection

beach

Jamaica, the Bahamas, Antigua, Cancún…I’ve been to a few gorgeous beaches touched by Caribbean waters but Palomino is by far my favorite.  A half hour past the entrance to Parque Tayrona, Palomino has everything we loved about Colombia’s most famous national park (see my previous post here), only without the crowds, fees and sweaty hikes.  We spent three fantastically serene days there alternating between walking in the waves and swinging in hammocks.

What makes Palomino so special?  Absolutely nothing—because that’s what you’ll see as you face the water and look in both directions: no mega resorts, no vendors hawking kitschy souvenirs, no pasty tourists being hauled on those inflatable banana boats.

Palomino’s charm lies in the way it has (or actually, hasn’t) been developed.  There are several little spots to stay—a couple of hostels, a few cabanas and a boutique hotel—but all are tucked respectfully behind the tree line and once you walk down the beach, you’ll be the only person in sight.  As you turn past the cluster of dusty shops on the highway and bump 800m towards the sound of crashing waves, you’ll feel like you’re being let in on a secret.

There are only so many ways I can describe relaxing (which is what we did) and my words won’t do this place justice, so just look at a few of Cody’s pics from our visit this past weekend.  (Feel free to shoot me a message using our contact form if you want recommendations on where to stay.)

Friday afternoon we strolled along the shore until we bumped into one of the rivers that make their way down to the beach.  By the way, floating in tubes down one of these rivers is the most excitement you’ll see while here (and I mean that in the best possible way)–so just a little FYI that many of the hostels along the beach have them for hire.

As we walked, the sand grew smaller as the river and sea came together.

river beach pano

crab

Fishing boats were doing their thing in the river, and we saw a house or two tucked away as well.

boat

house

ocean:river
At the end of the beach, where the river and ocean touch.
hammocks
I read two books over the course of the weekend, thanks to these hammocks.

On Sunday, we headed toward the other end of the beach (towards the right as you’re facing the ocean).  We eventually came to the mouth of another river, this one surrounded by verdant jungle.  The surf was much gentler as well and–because I’m a chicken when it comes to the ocean–this was the day I really got to swim.   It felt like we were in another world as we were the only ones there and barely saw another soul all morning.

jungle

jungle 2

ocean view

Being an expat can be a trade off…weekends like this make the growing pains worth it.

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