Midway through the first day of our trip to the peninsula of La Guajira, we were taken down a very bumpy road through the desert. The path would lead us to the small village of Cabo de la Vela. This village made up of mostly simple huts is famous for kitesurfing and can be quite difficult to get to.
While on the road, local Wayúu children would emerge from their homes and pull a rope across the road to stop our truck. They would rush to the window and wouldn’t let us pass until the driver and Pedro would give them candy and coins. This happened at least ten times along the way.
We arrived at a Wayúu ranch about 30 minutes from the actual village of Cabo de la Vela. It was comprised of a few concrete cabanas, a dining hut, and a hut with chinchorros (special hammocks) for sleeping outside. We had a less than desirable lunch and were given the option of sleeping in the chinchorros at no extra cost or in the cabana for COP$20,000 each for the night. We decided on the cabanas for comfort reasons.
After lunch, we went for a quick stop in Cabo de la Vela for a swim. I noticed a lot of cabanas offering places to sleep for the night along with small restaurants, but not many tourists at all. It’s not the nicest beach and the cleanliness left a lot to be desired, but it was refreshing.
We were then taken to El Ojo del Agua, a gorgeous beach and collection of rocky outcrops jutting out to the Caribbean Sea. We were given time to explore the area a bit and walked to the first couple outcrops. It was extremely windy so I made sure I didn’t get too close to the edge! I also had to be very careful with my camera because of the tiny drops of water causing some moisture issues. When we looked down, we were able to see sea turtles and crabs below, along with a great view of the beach and the other outcrops.
Just before sunset, Pedro took us to El Faro. This is where Cabo de la Vela’s lighthouse is located. The scenery was breathtaking but the sunset was not as spectacular as it could have been because of low hanging clouds.
We returned to the ranch for another underwhelming meal and listened to Pedro’s explanations about the differences between the various indigenous groups living in La Guajira and the Sierra Nevadas near Santa Marta. It was quite fascinating and entertaining.