The indigenous people that inhabit the peninsula are called Wayuu. They mainly live in little huts throughout the northern part of the department, or in one of the twelve official protected areas. The Wayuu people are dedicated to fishing, goat raising and producing fine handcrafts such as spacious hammocks (in which you will spend a night or two) and mochilas (colorful bags). Their crafts are for sale throughout the whole department, along the road as well as on the beach. When crossing the desert with a 4×4 you will regularly see Wayuu kids playing their ‘candy tax’ game. They span a string and won’t let your car pass before you ‘pay’ them with some fruit, water or cookies.
After having left Riohacha, the capital of La Guajira, it is back to basics for a couple of days. Unwind, relax, read a book in your colorful hammock and gaze at the stars at night. But once the sun rises, get ready for some overwhelming beauty: observe pink flamingos in their natural habitat from a small canoe, kitesurf or swim Cabo de la Vela’s beautifully calm beaches, watch the sun set into the Caribbean ocean from a rocky outlook point, visit the salt mines of Manaure, drop by a Wayuu fishing village and last but not least climb a beautiful stretched out sand dune in Punta Gallinas to oversee the blue ocean and Colombian desert at the same time.
An adventure through La Guajira can be perfectly combined with other destinations along the Caribbean coast such as Santa Marta and Cartagena.