Punta Gallinas. As soon as we decided we weren’t going to go to Brazil, a place we’d never heard of suddenly became a focus for our South American travels. We decided that our new mission was to travel to the most southern point in South America.
And to round it out?
We’d start at the most northern point in South America. And that point happens to be Punta Gallinas, Colombia.
Getting there would be a mission. A 2 day through the desert kind of mission to be exact. And of course, we’d need one day to get back.
It’s possible to get to Punta Gallinas independently. You can find the directions on Trip Advisor. A guy at a tour company in Santa Marta told us exactly how to do it and let us know the transportation costs.
If we DIYed the trip, it would cost us each roughly 320.000 COP to get to Punta Gallinas. That’s strictly for transportation and thus didn’t include accommodation or food or water.
(a) we need to survive
(b) is scarce in a desert
(c) would be extremely expensive to buy because of point b.
We’d needed to bring water with us. And I don’t know about you, but we couldn’t carry enough water for 3-5 days.
We started shopping around for a tour company that could take us. One that we went to said 650.000 COP per person (nearly $250 USD) — and they needed a minimum of 8 people. Insane! Currently they had a whooping zero people signed up to go. No wonder, eh?
Ultimately we found Expotur, a tour company in Santa Marta that would take us to Punta Gallinas for 450.000 COP. And if we booked the Lost City trek with them (something we were going to do anyway), they’d give us a discount on the Punta Gallinas trip. We negotiated a little more and ended up with a price we were really happy with.
Honestly, we probably saved money or at the minimum broke even compared to if we DIYed the trip.
We decided to go with Expotur to do the tour to Punta Gallinas because:
- they gave us a great deal
- the woman we were dealing with (Heidi, if I remember correctly) was really professional and nice to us
- the group would be small (only 6 people including Matt and I)
Plus, having 24/7 access to a jeep meant that we could bring water from Santa Marta – running out of water was a huge worry for me.
Was it worth doing a tour?
As we watched independent travellers laying in their hammocks for hours on end to escape the blistering desert sun while willing the day away so they could leave the next day, we piled into our jeep and headed out to a salt water lake and played desert football with a little kid. We wouldn’t have had that experience otherwise. So for us, the tour was worth every peso – there was never a dull moment!
Punta Gallinas, the most northern point in South America, is definitely as much about the journey as it is about the destination. We had an amazing time and are so glad that we chose to go with Expotur.