Camarones – experience flamingos up close

Santuario de Fauna y Flora los Flamencos in Camarones

Camarones is located pretty much at the northern end of Colombia near the city of Riohacha in the Departmento “La Guajira”. The Santuario de Fauna y Flora los Flamencos is a natural park founded in 1977 for the protection of flora and fauna and especially of the indigenous Wayúu tribe. The highlight are the two lagoons at sea level with their countless bird species. The most prominent inhabitants here are of course the Cuban flamingos. The nice thing about the place is that there are relatively few tourists. We were a total of 5 people, divided between 2 canoes. You can either do the tour as a day trip or just stay overnight on site. We arrived around noon, enjoyed the peace and quiet on site at the beach and then left early the next morning for our boat tour with a local guide. For us Camarones was a real highlight because it is a quiet and peaceful place that offers so many opportunities to discover things. The beach is not one of the most beautiful but we had it completely to ourselves.

Bootstour mit Local Guide in Camarones

flora and fauna Santuario de Fauna y Flora los Flamencos

The main reason why people go to Camarones is of course to meet wild flamingos. Besides flamingos, pelicans, herons, lowland tapirs, white-bearded peccaries and various (marine) turtle species can also be found in the area. Especially for birdwatchers this place should be a paradise. In addition to the fauna, four of the five mangrove species found in Colombia also grow in the natural park.

Kubaflamingo beim "Take-Off"
Cuban flamingos at take off
Kubaflamingo-Kolonie
A colony of Cuban flamingos
Braunpelikan (Pelecanus occidentalis)
Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis)
Schneesichler (Eudocimus albus)
American white ibis (Eudocimus albus)
Karibikkarakara in Camarones
Caribbean Caracara (Caracara plancus cheriway)
Krabbenreiher (Nyctanassa violacea)
Yellow-crowned night heron (Nyctanassa violacea)
Chick has everything in view
Braunpelikan im Flug
Brown pelican in flight
Amerikascherenschnabel (Rynchops niger)
Black skimmer (Rynchops niger)

Safari in Camarones

The safari is undertaken by locals in their boats carved from one piece of wood and starts in the morning around 5:00 am. The safari lasts about 2-3 hours and costs 30,000 COP (~ 6 €) per person. You paddle in the canoe through the lagoons in search of the flamingo colonies. We especially liked that it is super quiet in the lagoons. No disturbing engine noises or the like. We were three in a boat with our guide, who told us everything about the local bird and plant species.

Auf dem Rückweg zum El Remanso del Santuario

Accommodation in Camarones

In Camarones there are different accommodations. We stayed at “El Remanso del Santuario”. The spacious accommodation has direct access to the beach and seemed to us like a kind of youth hostel with a certain educational mission. The accommodation is definitely not one of the most comfortable and you could complain about the price-performance ratio, but the immediate location on the beach and the proximity to the lagoon have convinced us very much.

El Remanso del Santuario

Directions to Camarones

Camarones is relatively easy to reach, as it is located along the main road between Santa Marta and Riohacha. We took a colectivo from Palomino and got off at Camarones. From there you take a motorcycle cab for about 2,000 COP to the lagoon.

Tips for Camarones

  • Pack sunscreen
  • If available have a telephoto lens or binoculars with you, the animals are relatively far away.
  • Arrive the day before and enjoy the peace and quiet on site
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We are Julian & Naomi and we love to travel the world and immerse ourselves in other cultures. We have an adventurous, spartan, sustainable and reflective travel style. In our opinion, the greatest adventures are experienced when you do things on your own and try to live like a local. The taste of a country is best captured on the road
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