RiohachaLa Guajira. The city with 167,000 inhabitants is on the Caribbean coast and the land behind the town is rather desertic.
Almirante Padilla AirportA taxi to the city centre costs about COP$5000. Avianca flies from Bogotá.
Terminale de Transporteis 1 km south of the city centre at junction Caerera 11 and Avenida El Progreso. A taxi to the centre is COP$5000.
Buses with Expreso Brasilia / Unitransco go:
- from Santa Marta: COP$15,000, 2½ hours (every half hour)
- from Barranquilla: COP$25,000, 5 hours (every half hour)
- from Cartagena: COP$35,000, 7 hours (every hour)
- from Maicao: COP$5,000, 1 hour
- from Bogota: COP$90,000, 18 hours (once a day)
- from Bucaramanga: COP$80,000, 12 hours (8AM, 3:30PM)
- from Valledupar: COP$20,000, 3½ hours (8:15AM, 3:30PM)
- from Uribia: COP$12,000, 1 hour with a colectivo. In Uriba you can change buses for Cabo de la Vela.
Downtown Riohacha is very walkable. There's nothing much to see outside of the ten or so square blocks around the ocean. If you need to take some wheels, it's easy to hail a cab. Most fares in town run from COP$3,000 to 6,000.
BeachRiohacha presents a much less touristy Colombian beach than what you will find in Barranquilla or Cartagena. The beach runs along the coast of the city and tends to be relatively crowded with locals and a smattering of Colombian tourists during the high season.
Colonial churchesThere are a couple of colonial churches in the downtown area.
Cabo de la VelaUse Riohacha as a starting point for a trip to the beautiful beach in the desert.
Punta GallinasTrips to the most northern point of Colombia with beautiful dunes, desert, exotic beaches and sacred indigenous culture can be organized in Riohacha.
On the cheaper end of the scales, rooms can be as little as COP$15,000 at small bunkhouses and guest hostels further away from the beach. Try just east of the bus station. Be warned that many of these places cater to internal refugees displaced from Colombia's long drug wars. You will probably be sharing with some (mostly friendly) long term guests.
phone: +57 314 6370786address: Calle 3 #10-10Bona Vida Hostel opened for business in February 2016. It is one block from the beach and the main plaza, and about 15 minutes walk from the bus station. Run by a great couple, they can tell you how to get to Cabo de la Vela and Punto Gallinas and can call one of the colectivos to pick you up from the door to take you to Uribia. Free breakfast and coffee, kitchen, fast wifi, common room, lockers.
El Castillo del MarGreat German-owned hotel on the west side of the beach. At the hotel there is a branch of Kai Ecotravel, who was the first offering La Guajira tours for the big public.
Casa Patio BonitaOpened in 2013 by a Canadian expat and his Colombian wife. The different rooms are around a nice courtyard, where the breakfast is being served. The owners help you with organizing tours to La Guajira.
Hotel InternationalSingle with a fan and private bathroom (COP$20,000). Wifi available in reception. Opposite the market, 3 blocks east of the bus terminal, take a left just after the park. The hotel is tucked between a few jewelry stores, it might be easier to find at night as the shops that flank the entrance are closed.