Do you like being surrounded by nature and birds? Then you want to spend the night in Awatawaa Ecolodge in La Guajira, located on the Caribbean Sea, in the heart of the La Guajira desert. An interesting province with three national parks and many indigenous communities. But especially the location of Awatawaa Ecolodge makes your visit unique. From your bungalow you can walk straight into the sea, while you are surrounded by countless pelicans, herons, ibises and crabs that walk on the beach. In this article I will tell you everything you want to know about Awatawaa Ecolodge in La Guajira and why you should definitely include this lodge in your trip through Colombia.
Welcome to Awatawaa Ecolodge in Colombia
Awatawaa Ecolodge is located on a small peninsula with the Caribbean Sea on one side and the Cienaga de Mababita on the other, a lagoon where numerous bird species gather due to the large amount of fish.
There are a few bungalows on the beach, there are hammocks, tables and sunbeds. It is the best place to relax, take a dip in the sea, go for walks, watch birds flying around and enjoy perfect sunsets. Believe me, you won’t anyhing more pieceful and beautiful than this.
The bungalows at Awatawaa Ecolodge
Awatawaa Ecolodge has 6 bungalows, all located directly on the beach. The houses are made of wood and have a nice terrace where you can relax in one of the beanbags or chairs. From your bed you run straight onto the beach and into the sea. Inside it is simply furnished, but what else do you need on the beach, besides a comfortable bed and bathroom?
The beds are great and the bathroom in spacious, nice and in the open-air. Just keep in mind that there is no light (but there is electricity), meaning you have to work with candles and flashlights in the evening. Something that adds to the experience in my opinion.
The lovely team of Awatawaa Ecolodge prepares three tasty meals for you every day: Breakfast, lunch and dinner. And with every meal comes a new fresh juice. The menu consists maninly of fish: grilled fish, fish teriyaki, steaks. Of course you can ask for meat, but for a pescetarian like me, it is just perfect. All meals are served at tables on the beach. And in the evening everything is beautifully lit with torches.
Activities around Awatawaa Ecolodge in La Guajira Colombia
You don’t have to make much effort for this, because Awatawaa is a true bird paradise. In the laguna Cienaga de Mababita, located next to the lodge, you will find countless pelicans, herons, ibises and often flamingos, who enjoy the low water and the many fish here. But also on the beach you will be amazed by the parading herons and pelicans flying around. I couldn’t stop watching and taking pictures.
Visit the flamingo reserve – Santuario de Fauna y Flora Los Flamencos
A nice trip from Awatawaa Ecolodge is a visit to Santuario de Fauna y Flora Los Flamencos, where you are able to admire hundreds of flamingos up close. Because the water is low and full of tasty fish, this is a heaven for birds such as flamingos. From the village of Camarones you board a small local sailing boat, made of wood and sail into the lagoon. The boat ride takes a long time but is very pieceful and worth it. Along the way you will come across fishing boats and enjoy the many species of birds around you.
The flamingos are located in different places, but usually the guides know very well where to go. And it is incredible to observe these elegant birds that step very slowly through the water and then suddenly fly all together a few hundred meters further.
Meet a Wayuu indigenous family
When you are in La Guajira you should take the opportunity and visit a Wayuu family. The Wayuu are indigenous people who live in La Guajira in Colombia, on the border with Venezuela. The Wayuu are the largest indigenous population in Venezuela. In La Guajira, around 48% of the residents are Wayuu. Wayuu settlements consist of 4 to 6 houses with large herds of goats. They live closely with nature and music and dance play a major role during their ceremonies. Most Wayuu live in isolation and far from each other to avoid mixing of their goat herds.
I myself visited the Wayuu family of the guide who came with us to the flamingo reserve. It was interesting to learn about the traditions and customs of this culture. After an explanation, my face was painted and an extensive dance and music performance followed. It was about the Majayura, a ritual mating dance of the young virgin, beautifully dressed in a red dress with her head covered with a scarf. The dance was shown to us by a young girl and boy. And this accompanied by local instruments.
Since we were the only visitors, it didn’t feel touristy at all. If you are even slightly interested in indigenous peoples and their traditions, this visit is an absolute must.
Relax in the spa
You can book a wonderful massage at Awatawaa Ecolodge in Guajira in Colombia. No luxurious indoor spa, but a lovely bed, located on the beach with the sound of the waves in the background.
Ga for a hike in the surroundings
In the area you can take beautiful hikes to waterfalls and get to know the Sierra Nevada mountains. Ask the Awatawaa team for advice and they will map out a tailor-made hike for you. It is recommended to head out with a local guide. Not only because of the trail, but that way you can also meet and learn more about indigenous communities such as the Wayuu, Arhuacos, Kogis, Wiwas and Kankuamos along the way.
How long to stay at Awatawaa Ecolodge in La Guajira Colombia
This depends very much on your plans and interests. But you want to stay for a minimum of 2 nights and ideally 3 nights at Awatawaa Ecolodge. It’s quite a drive to get there. Moreover, you definitely want to enjoy the lodge and the surroundings for one full day. If you also want to go for some sightseeing and activities in the La Guajira area, your time will be over before you know.
How to reach Awatawaa Ecolodge in La Guajira Colombia
Awatawaa Ecolodge is a 1-hour drive from Palomino and 2.5-hours from Santa Marta in Colombia. Your first stop is Punta de los Remedios, the last village before you reach the lodge. Here you have to check whether the road to Awatawaa Ecolodge is accessible. As the lodge is located on a small stretch of beach surrounded by water, the water may be too high and the road not accessible. You can then leave your car behind and continue by scooter or boat. By boat is perhaps the best option. Then you realize even more what a unique place you are in.
More about Awatawaa Ecolodge in La Guajira Colombia
More hotels in Colombia
Like any other country, Colombia has so many beautiful hotels. For both work and personal trips, I visited Colombia dozens of times. When I travel by myself, I always look out smaller scale hotels with beautiful interiors, a nice atmosphere and a convenient location. I always spend a lot of time researching, before I book my stay. In this article I will tell you more about my favorite places to stay in Colombia: The best boutique hotels, sorted by city and region in Colombia.
More about Colombia
Intererested in reading more about Colombia? This is an article with the most beautiful places to visit in Colombia, including the best time to visit. Or check out the Colombia blog page with city guides and things to do in Bogotá, Medellín and Santa Marta. Tips for lovely towns such as Salento, Mompox and Villa de Leyva. But also the Tatacoa desert and Valle de Cocora. Interested in archaeology? Read more about the mysterious San Agustín statues.
Disclaimer: I was invited to stay at Awatawaa Ecolodge in La Guajira Colombia but this review is based on my personal view and is independent from the invitation.
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