The Kogui : meet the tribe in the Sierra
Located east of Tayrona Park and west of the border with Venezuela.
In Palomino, you chill out.
There’s not much to do, except going to the beach and drinking cheap cocktails during the never-ending « happy hours ».
Lots of expats visit at the same time and this may sound horrible, but actually, somehow all these factors work out really well together making Palomino a super cool spot to spend a few days and rest.
However, the experience that we enjoyed the most in Palomino was our day in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, walking deep into the jungle and meeting the Kogui tribe, an autonomous indigenous community, living in small settlements spread all over the mountains of the Sierra.
Our local guide, Alvaro, took us to the first Kogui settlement which is a few hours walking from Palomino.
Here we met a Kogui family that are friends with him. After that, we were introduced to everybody and we spent a nice moment meanwhile, sharing food, thoughts, and experiences.
They were really curious about how we had traveled there and how it was the experience to travel from so far away.
We asked them about their lifestyle and their daily activities.
They offered us fruits and veggies as a present and we corresponded the gift offering them cookies and candies.
We carried our drone “Coby” all the way up, so we asked Mr. Alvaro if it was okay to fly it and show them the drone.
He gave us the green light and up!! We flew the little machine to take some pictures and videos and to show them how it worked.
They were amazed and so happy to see a « plane », how they called it, from so close. Mr. Alvaro was quite impressed as well, but more from the reaction of the locals than the drone flying around the jungle. We spent pretty much all day hanging out with our new friends, after that, the time came for us to hike back down to Palomino. We took some pictures together, said our goodbyes, and departed having one of the coolest experiences in all our stay in Colombia.
How to book a tour to La Sierra Nevada?
You can find Mr. Alvaro walking around the main street of Palomino offering the expedition tour himself.
You can also ask your hostel to arrange a tour with any other local guide. Anyway, there are not a lot of people offering this tour.
It is not a cheap activity, we thought it was an expensive day (100 000 COP/person which includes breakfast, lunch, and snacks) but we don’t regret it at all, as it was a fantastic once in a lifetime experience.
Where to sleep in Palomino?
There are a lot, maybe too many good looking hostels around Palomino, but the 2 places where we stayed and that we can recommend: Maja y Mijin hostal and La Casa Colibri.
Where to eat?
There are plenty of options for all the budgets along the Carrera 6, which, is the main street that goes to the beach. We can recommend la Pataconera, with the simplest menu that you will find in the country. Or the Spanish tapas, which have nothing Spanish or tapas about them but they offer a really good formula for 5000 COP per person including a drink and a big plate of veggies served with rice.
Believe us, nobody in Palomino will beat that price.