5-Day Solo Exploration of La Guajira: Food, Wine, and Local Sightseeing

La Guajira, Colombia

5 days

Hammock guest house in Cabo de La Vela
Cabo de la Vela
Three women with colorful capes dancing typical Wayuu dance. Indigenous culture of La Guajira
The desert of La Guajira
Kogi Village in Colombia's La Guajira Department

About La Guajira, Colombia

Discover the untouched beauty of La Guajira, Colombia, a hidden gem offering a unique blend of indigenous culture, stunning landscapes, and pristine beaches. Experience the vast desert of Cabo de la Vela, where sand dunes meet the Caribbean Sea, and visit the flamingo-filled sanctuary of Los Flamencos. Explore the Wayuu indigenous communities, known for their vibrant handicrafts and traditional music. Enjoy fresh seafood in the coastal town of Riohacha, and don't miss the breathtaking sunrise over Punta Gallinas, the northernmost point of South America. La Guajira is a destination for adventurous travelers seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience filled with natural wonders and rich cultural heritage.

5-Day Itinerary

Day 1

Exploring Riohacha


Start your day with a visit to the vibrant local market in Riohacha. Enjoy the bustling atmosphere and try some local fruits and snacks.


Enjoy a traditional Colombian lunch at a local eatery. Try the local specialty, goat meat, and fresh seafood.


Take a tour of the city's colonial architecture and visit the Cathedral of Our Lady of Remedies.


Have dinner at a local restaurant serving Colombian cuisine. Try the local wine and enjoy the evening atmosphere.


Take a leisurely stroll along the beach promenade, enjoying the cool evening breeze and the sound of the waves.


Visit the Flamingos Sanctuary in Camarones, a natural reserve where you can see these beautiful birds in their natural habitat.


Enjoy a picnic lunch at the sanctuary, with food packed from a local deli.


Take a boat tour of the sanctuary, getting a closer look at the flamingos and other wildlife.


Have dinner at a local restaurant, trying more local dishes and wines.


Relax at your accommodation, enjoying the quiet and tranquility of the area.


Travel to the desert region of La Guajira, visiting the indigenous Wayuu communities.


Have lunch at a local Wayuu community, trying their traditional food and learning about their culture.


Explore the stunning desert landscapes, taking in the unique flora and fauna.


Enjoy a traditional Wayuu dinner under the stars, with local music and storytelling.


Spend the night in a traditional Wayuu hammock, experiencing their way of life.


Visit the Salt mines of Manaure, learning about the salt production process and its importance to the local economy.


Have lunch at a local restaurant, trying the fresh seafood and local dishes.


Take a tour of the salt flats, taking in the stunning landscapes and taking some amazing photos.


Have dinner at a local restaurant, enjoying the local cuisine and wines.


Relax at your accommodation, reflecting on the day's experiences.


Visit the stunning beaches of Cabo de la Vela, enjoying the sun, sand, and sea.


Have lunch at a beachside eatery, enjoying the fresh seafood and stunning views.


Take a boat tour of the area, visiting the Pilon de Azucar and other landmarks.


Have your final dinner at a local restaurant, enjoying the local cuisine and wines.


Take a final stroll along the beach, taking in the stunning sunset and reflecting on your trip.

Attractions in Itinerary (5)

Cathedral of Our Lady of Remedies

Cathedral of Our Lady of Remedies

The Cathedral of Our Lady of Remedies is a beautiful colonial-era church that serves as the main Catholic place of worship in Riohacha. It is known for its stunning architecture and historical significance.

Religious Sites
Flamingos Sanctuary in Camarones

Flamingos Sanctuary in Camarones

A sanctuary dedicated to the protection of flamingos. Visitors can observe these beautiful birds in their natural habitat and learn about their behaviors and the conservation efforts in place to protect them.


Wayuu communities

Indigenous communities known for their rich culture, traditional crafts, and unique way of life.

Cultural Experiences
Salt mines of Manaure

Salt mines of Manaure

The Salt Mines of Manaure are a significant economic resource for the region and a popular tourist attraction. Visitors can observe the traditional process of salt extraction.

Pilon de Azucar

Pilon de Azucar

A stunning hill with a panoramic view of the surrounding desert and sea.


Local Food and Drinks (12)

Chivo en Coco

A popular dish in La Guajira, Colombia, Chivo en Coco is a goat meat stew cooked in coconut milk, giving it a unique, rich flavor.

Arepa de Huevo

Arepa de Huevo

A traditional Colombian breakfast item, Arepa de Huevo is a deep-fried cornmeal dough filled with an egg. It's a common street food in La Guajira.

Arroz con Coco

Arroz con Coco

Arroz con Coco is a sweet and savory side dish made from rice cooked in coconut milk. It's a staple in the coastal regions of Colombia, including La Guajira.

Guandú con Queso

Guandú con Queso is a traditional dish in La Guajira, made with pigeon peas and cheese. It's a hearty and comforting meal.

Pargo Rojo Frito

Pargo Rojo Frito

Pargo Rojo Frito is a popular dish in La Guajira, featuring fried red snapper served with coconut rice and plantains.



Carimañolas are deep-fried yucca fritters filled with cheese or meat. They are a popular snack in La Guajira.

Chicha de Maíz

Chicha de Maíz is a traditional Colombian beverage made from fermented corn. It's a common drink in La Guajira.

Chicharrón de Pescado

Chicharrón de Pescado

Chicharrón de Pescado is a popular snack in La Guajira, made from deep-fried fish skin. It's crispy and flavorful.


Enyucado is a traditional dessert in La Guajira, made from yucca, cheese, and coconut. It's sweet and rich in flavor.

Limón Mandarino

Limón Mandarino

Limón Mandarino is a refreshing beverage made from a local citrus fruit that's a cross between a lime and a mandarin. It's popular in La Guajira.

Chicha de Piña

Chicha de Piña

Chicha de Piña is a traditional Colombian beverage made from fermented pineapple. It's a common drink in La Guajira.

Suero Atollabuey

Suero Atollabuey is a traditional condiment in La Guajira, made from fermented milk. It's often used as a dip for arepas or as a topping for various dishes.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit La Guajira, Colombia is during the dry season, which runs from December to March. During these months, you can expect less rainfall and more sunshine, making it ideal for exploring the beautiful beaches, desert landscapes, and indigenous Wayuu culture. The temperatures during this time are also more comfortable, typically ranging between 25°C and 35°C.

National holidays

Here you can find the national calendar of all public holidays for the year. These dates are subject to change as official changes are announced, so check back regularly for updates.

DateDayHoliday Name

January 1


New Year's Day

January 8



March 25


Saint Joseph's Day

March 28


Maundy Thursday

March 29


Good Friday

May 1


Labor Day / May Day

May 13


Ascension Day

June 3


Corpus Christi

June 10


Sacred Heart

July 1


Feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul

July 20


Independence Day

August 7


Battle of Boyacá Day

August 19


Assumption of Mary

October 14


Columbus Day

November 4


All Saints' Day

November 11


Independence of Cartagena

December 8


Feast of the Immaculate Conception

December 25


Christmas Day

Please note that during national and public holidays, opening hours for establishments, museums, etc. may vary. Don't forget to check in advance!

How to get around

Renting a car is a popular option for getting around La Guajira. It gives you the freedom to explore at your own pace. However, it's important to note that some areas of La Guajira have rough terrain, so a 4x4 vehicle is recommended.

There are several bus companies that operate in La Guajira, providing services between major towns and cities. Buses are a cost-effective way to travel, but they can be crowded and the journey times can be long.

Taxis are readily available in the larger towns and cities of La Guajira. They are a convenient way to get around, especially if you're not comfortable driving in unfamiliar territory. Always negotiate the fare before getting in.

Motorcycle taxis, or 'mototaxis', are a common form of transport in La Guajira. They are a quick and cheap way to get around, especially in traffic. However, they may not be the safest option, especially for long distances.

Ridesharing services like Uber are available in some parts of La Guajira. They can be a convenient and cost-effective way to get around. However, availability can be limited in more remote areas.

Boat travel is an essential part of getting around in some coastal areas of La Guajira. It's a unique way to see the region's stunning coastline and visit remote beaches.

Cycling can be a great way to get around in La Guajira, especially in the more rural areas. It's environmentally friendly and gives you the opportunity to see the region at a slower pace. However, be prepared for hot weather and bring plenty of water.

In some rural areas of La Guajira, horseback is still a common mode of transport. It's a unique and traditional way to explore the region, but it may not be suitable for everyone.

Walking is a viable option in the towns and cities of La Guajira. It's free, environmentally friendly, and allows you to take in the sights at your own pace. However, distances between attractions can be large, so it's not always the most practical option.

While we strive for accuracy in our "How to get around" section, the information may not always be up-to-date or 100% accurate; we highly recommend cross-checking with local resources before your travel.

Important information

Currency$ COP

Time zoneUTC-5

Driving sideRight

Emergency phone119

Drinking waterOpt for bottled water

Power sockets

Power socket type APower socket type B

Voltage110 V

Things to know about La Guajira, Colombia as a first time visitor


La Guajira is located in the northernmost part of Colombia and South America.


The official language is Spanish, but the indigenous Wayuu language is also widely spoken.


The currency used is the Colombian Peso (COP). Credit cards are accepted in most places, but it's advisable to carry some cash for smaller establishments or remote areas.


La Guajira has a desert climate. It's hot during the day (around 90°F/32°C) and cooler at night (around 70°F/21°C).


It's advisable to wear light, breathable clothing due to the hot climate. Don't forget your hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.


Tap water is not safe to drink. Always drink bottled water.


La Guajira is a remote area with limited medical facilities. It's advisable to have travel insurance that covers medical evacuation.


The region is home to the Wayuu people, an indigenous group. Respect their customs and traditions.


Public transportation is limited. Renting a car or hiring a driver is the best way to get around.


The region is generally safe, but like anywhere, it's important to take precautions. Avoid displaying expensive items and keep your belongings secure.


La Guajira is not a typical tourist destination. English is not widely spoken, so learning some basic Spanish phrases can be helpful.


The region is known for its beautiful handicrafts, particularly Wayuu bags. These make great souvenirs.


La Guajira is a great place for bird watching, with over 270 species recorded.


The region is famous for its music, particularly vallenato and cumbia. Don't miss the opportunity to experience a live performance.


The local cuisine is heavily based on seafood, goat meat, and indigenous fruits. Try the traditional dish 'Friche', a goat stew.


The region has limited internet and cell phone coverage, especially in remote areas.


The best time to visit is during the dry season, from December to April.


Always ask permission before taking photos of locals, especially the indigenous Wayuu people.


La Guajira operates on Colombia Time (COT), which is 5 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-5).


Remember to respect the environment. The region is home to unique flora and fauna, and it's important to leave no trace.

Basic Spanish to know as a first time visitor

English phrase

Native phrase


When to use it




Greeting someone




Leaving someone


Por favor

Por fa-vor

Making a request

Thank you



Expressing gratitude



Agreeing with someone




Disagreeing with someone

Excuse me



Getting someone's attention

I'm sorry

Lo siento

Lo see-en-to


Do you speak English?

¿Hablas inglés?

Ha-blas in-gles

Asking if someone speaks English

I don't understand

No entiendo

No en-tee-en-do

When you don't understand what is being said

Where is the bathroom?

¿Dónde está el baño?

Don-de es-ta el ban-yo

Asking for the bathroom

How much does this cost?

¿Cuánto cuesta esto?

Kwan-to kwes-ta es-to

Asking the price of something

I would like...

Me gustaría...

Me gus-ta-ree-a

Expressing a desire for something




In case of emergency

Can I have the menu, please?

¿Puedo tener el menú, por favor?

Pwe-do te-ner el me-nu, por fa-vor

At a restaurant




Asking for water




Ordering a beer




Making a toast

Where is...?

¿Dónde está...?

Don-de es-ta

Asking for directions

Good night

Buenas noches

Bwe-nas no-ches

Saying goodnight

Packing List

  • Clothing

  • Lightweight clothing

  • Underwear

  • Swimwear

  • Sandals

  • Walking shoes

  • Sun hat

  • Sunglasses

  • Light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings

  • Toiletries

  • Travel-size shampoo and conditioner

  • Body wash or soap

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

  • Deodorant

  • Razor and shaving cream

  • Sunscreen

  • Insect repellent

  • First aid kit

  • Prescription medications

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Travel documents and essentials

  • Passport

  • Driver's license or other ID

  • Credit and debit cards

  • Cash (Colombian Pesos)

  • Travel insurance documents

  • Hotel and transportation reservation confirmations

  • Emergency contact information

  • Electronics and gadgets

  • Smartphone

  • Charger for smartphone

  • Power bank

  • Camera

  • Charger for camera

  • Universal power adapter

  • Headphones

  • Miscellaneous items

  • Travel pillow

  • Earplugs

  • Eye mask

  • Snacks

  • Water bottle

  • Books or e-reader for entertainment

  • Travel guidebook for Colombia

  • Spanish-English dictionary or phrasebook

  • Notebook and pen

  • Reusable shopping bag

Weather Conditions

When planning a trip to La Guajira, Colombia, it's important to consider the region's weather patterns to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable visit. La Guajira is a desert region, so it experiences a hot and dry climate throughout the year. Temperatures in La Guajira can range from 80°F to 95°F (27°C to 35°C) during the day, dropping to around 70°F (21°C) at night. It's advisable to pack lightweight, breathable clothing to stay comfortable in the heat. Don't forget your sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the strong sun. The region experiences two main seasons: a dry season from December to April and a wet season from May to November. If you prefer to avoid the rain, plan your visit during the dry season. However, the wet season can also be a great time to visit as the rain can bring a refreshing change to the hot and dry climate, and the landscape becomes more lush and green. Despite being a desert, La Guajira can experience occasional heavy rainfall, especially during the wet season. It's a good idea to check the weather forecast regularly during your visit and plan your activities accordingly. If you're planning to explore the desert areas, be aware that flash floods can occur after heavy rain. Lastly, keep in mind that La Guajira is a coastal region, so it can be windy at times, especially near the coast. If you're planning to spend time on the beach or go sailing, check the wind conditions to ensure it's safe. In conclusion, while La Guajira's weather can be hot and dry, with the right preparation, it can be a unique and enjoyable destination to visit.

MonthHi / Lo (°C)Weather Overview


34° / 24°

January is the start of the dry season in La Guajira, with warm temperatures and little rainfall. It's a great time for beach activities and exploring the desert.


34° / 24°

February continues the dry season with warm, sunny days. It's an excellent time for outdoor activities and wildlife viewing.


35° / 25°

March is the hottest month in La Guajira, with temperatures often reaching 35°C. It's a perfect time for sunbathing and enjoying the beautiful beaches.


36° / 26°

April sees the end of the dry season, with temperatures slightly rising. It's a good time to visit if you enjoy hot weather and want to avoid the crowds.


37° / 27°

May marks the start of the rainy season in La Guajira. Despite the rain, the temperatures remain high, making it a good time for indoor activities and cultural exploration.


37° / 27°

June continues the rainy season, with high humidity and frequent showers. However, the rain brings a unique beauty to the landscape, making it a great time for photography.


36° / 26°

July is a transitional month in La Guajira, with the rainy season ending and the dry season beginning. It's a good time to visit for those who prefer less rain and slightly cooler temperatures.


35° / 25°

August marks the return of the dry season, with less rainfall and warm temperatures. It's a great time for outdoor activities and exploring the natural beauty of La Guajira.


34° / 24°

September is a pleasant month in La Guajira, with moderate temperatures and little rainfall. It's an excellent time for beach activities and desert exploration.


34° / 24°

October continues the dry season, with warm days and cool nights. It's a good time to visit for those who prefer less crowded tourist spots.


34° / 24°

November is a great time to visit La Guajira, with warm temperatures and little rainfall. It's a perfect time for outdoor activities and exploring the local culture.


34° / 24°

December is a popular month for tourism in La Guajira, with warm weather and festive celebrations. It's a great time to experience the local culture and enjoy the beautiful beaches.

Did you know?

Did you know that La Guajira is the northernmost department of Colombia and South America?

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