Tayrona national park is one of the most fascinating destinations along Colombia's Caribbean coast due to its diverse ecosystem( mountains plunge into the sea here). This makes it double up as a premium beach and hiking/nature destination.
The nearest town from Taryona national park: Santa Marta.
There are several flights into Santa Marta's Simón Bolívar international airport from most Colombian cities (Bogota, Medellin, Cali, San Andres). Check out viva air, they have the most flights into the airport.
If you are traveling by bus I recommend connecting to Santa Marta from Cartagena. It only takes 3 hours including the one-hour stopover at Barranquilla bus terminal. Some of the most reliable shuttles operating on Cartagena- Santa Marta route include:
Bus Fare: Between COP$ 28000- 50000.
No need for reservations. Shuttles run from Cartagena to Santa Marta run hourly.
Santa Marta to Tayrona national park
No need to book tours. You can take a taxi or bus from Santa Marta to Tayrona.
You can board buses headed to the park from either the bus terminal along the main highway outside the city or from Calle 11 in the city. Board buses headed to Palomino. Ask the driver to drop you off at El Zaino which is of the entrances into Tayrona.
The fare from Santa Marta to Tayrona is COP 7000 and to Palomino is COP 10000.
It takes about an hour to get from Santa Marta to Tayrona.
Boat to Tayrona.
If you are not seasick a more adventurous way of getting to Tayrona is by boat ride from Taganga. Taganga is a small fishing village just 15 minutes away from Santa Marta. You can get to Taganga by taxi or by taking the bus from Santa Marta bus terminal.
Boats leave for Tayrona quite early between 9.30 am and 11.00 am and return back to Taganga at 4.00 pm. Boat rides from Taganga to Tayrona take 40 minutes. Boats drop you off at Cabo San Juan, the most famous beach at Tayrona.
Boat fare is COP 25000.
Tayrona entrance fees
The entry time is 8.00 am and the exit is at 5.00 pm for people whose accommodation is outside the park.
Entry fees COP 56000 for foreigners, COP 16000 for locals, and COP 8000 for Students and kids between 5-12 years. Bring your passport and student ID if you are a student.
There's also a COP 2500 fee for insurance. You can try to negotiate this fee if you'll be visiting for a short period since it's unnecessary.