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Tubing the Palomino River

January 10, 2019

We couldn't help but share a quick story about our experience tubing the Palomino River in Colombia, but before we get in to that adventure let's set the scene. Palomino is a beautiful mountain town just outside of Tayrona National Park in Colombia. It is about a 4-5 hour drive (by car or cab) from Cartagena or a bit longer by bus. It is one of those beautiful destinations where you can see the mountains run straight onto the beach. Quite literally you can moto or hike into the mountains, drop a tube in the water and float your way relaxingly to the beach. Bring some bug spray, sun screen (or UV protected clothing), and of course some floating shades!

We first visited Tayrona National Park after flying into Cartagena, and we stayed directly in the park at the EcoHabs towards the entrance (we have a separate post and video for this hike). If the EcoHab is outside your destination, you can camp on the cheap at a variety of sites throughout the park. One of the more popular destinations allows you to string up a hammock and camp right on the beach. Can't really top that view.

After our Tayrona adventure, we grabbed a ride from the park to Palomino and enjoyed a beautifully scenic drive along the ocean. We passed miles of banana farms and oceanfront roadway to roll right into the town of Palomino. Immediately you can recognize it as a one of the larger towns you pass along the way, and as we were coming in around dinner time, already visitors and locals alike were in the streets checking for dinner. Don't be fooled, however... Palomino is still a small and quaint town! Nothing close to Cartagena or the other big cities in Colombia.

Our ride took us down a long dirt road to the entrance of our hostel (The Dreamer Hostel). Such a beautiful place! After a quick check in, we grabbed lunch on the beach and got to our room just in time to escape the oncoming rain storm. The weather didn't seem to surprise or slow down any of the other guests who continued their pool volleyball game well into the downpour.

We sought out a night place to grab a drink and some food while we plotted our course for the next day. We asked around and found two awesome locals to help us rent a motorbike, and we took off with our guides towards the entrance. After about a 2 mile moto ride, we hopped off, grabbed our things, our tubes, and finished the rest of the trek by foot. It didn't take long before we were gasping for air at the top of the mountain with just enough energy to snap a selfie before gliding down towards the Palomino River tube drop in. Or at least where our guide liked to start the trek (read: no official drop in here!).

It was a gentle drift down the river with beautiful bird watching and some Spanish chatter. Admittedly we were a bit rusty, so when our guide yelled "Mira! Cocodrillo!" we were a little slow to realize what we'd just missed sliding into the water beneath us. 

We continued the float right up to the beach, where we popped out just in time for a local lunch with fresh caught fish. Enjoy the video and let us know if you're headed down there some time!




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