Parque Natural Los Flamencos
“Parque Natural Los Flamencos” is mostly marshland, lagoons and dry forest hosting much beautiful wildlife such as the 185 different species of birds but no more so beautiful than the hundreds of bright pink flamingos, a rare sight and one of the special sights Colombia as a nation has to offer. The flamingos cover 7,682 hectares and can be seen beak in the water feeding off ‘artemia saliva’ a type of shrimp that gives the flamingos there bright pink colour. If you are interested in seeing birds around the sanctuary there are guides to help you with that also, enquire with boat guides or the hotels in the area.
Malecon playa refers to the beach boardwalk. This is one of the key features that makes Riohacha so beautiful. For those who like ‘long walks on the beach’ this is especially significant. It is a great way to spend a few hours with friends exploring and taking in many aspects of Riohacha life. If the sun gets too much during your stroll, take a break from the burning sun by finding shade beneath the trees at the main plaza. There is also a tourist pier that’s was built in 1939 and remodelled in 2014 to fully improve the experience of magnificent sunsets, melodies of the waves and laughter of the people using the pier as a springboard to the sea.
Manaure Salt Flats
The salt flats cover 4200 hectares of land. The workers dig the salt from the pond in the early hours of the morning and avoid the heat at all costs. The result is a beautiful landscape of salt hills and neighbouring ponds which creates an almost unearthly atmosphere. It’s very interesting to see also the scale of which the operation is run in which they pump ocean water over desert flats so that the water evaporates and leaves the salt. There is a tour of the salt flats production which gives you a much a better of the working conditions and the process. There is also an opportunity to swim and experience the saltiest water in Colombia on first hand basis. The water is almost white due to the salt concentration and makes for a swim like no other.
The beaches around Riohacha are some of the best in the world none more so than the Mayapo beaches and it is only less than a one hour drive from the capital. Some of the beaches have strong winds but this makes it absolutely perfect for water sports such as kitesurfing and windsurfing which you can partake in. It is also a nice place still to relax on the beach and go for a swim. It is near the indigenous wayuu people so there are handcrafts there to enjoy also.
Catedral de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios
The cathedral is 19th century and colonial style and is located Plaza José Prudencio Padilla which is the main square in Riohacha is named after Admiral José Prudencio Padilla, it is right next to the beachfront. It is absolutely magnificent and the most stunning piece architecture in all of Riohacha also the statue of the admiral is something to behold. It was reformed in the early 1900’s as to preserve the building from collapsing. There is normally regular mass service on during the day but the doors are left open so you can have look to see the interior of the building. There are 4 altars of marble next to the altar major on the inside which makes for nice viewing.
In Mayapo you have some have the world best beaches but there is also a place called Refugio Maliwala, where you can learn about the local gastronomy and cooking techniques. There is opportunity to try local dishes here for lunch and enjoy the rest of the day of the lovely beaches. Restaurante Mar Azul is the restaurant that world renowned chef Anthony Bourdain feasted at during time in Mayapo.
There are cultural centres such as Centro Cultural Municipal where you can find art exhibits, movies, dance performances and classes. It is open from Monday to Friday 08:00 – 12:00 and 14:00 until 20:00. Banco de la República is another one, which provides art exhibits and a library. It is open from Monday-Friday 8:00 until 11:30 and 14:00 until 18:00 on Saturday it is 9:00 until 13:00. Casa de la Cultura also offers art exhibits, concerts, dance, theatre, book readings, library and computers. The Tourist pier was built in 1939 and remodelled in 2014 to fully optimise the experience of magnificent sunsets, melodies of the waves and laughter of the people using the pier as a springboard to the sea.
Parque Natural La Macuira
Parque natural La Macuira is near the most northern point in South America it is a bit far from Riohacha but many of the tours around riohacha will take you to this spot. This is an area of glorious mountains are covered in forest ran by the native wayuu people. There is a chicken kip as well which fun to see is and also many type of birds much like the flamingo sanctuary. It is near the beautiful taro dune beaches and Hondita bay where it is said to be exquisite at sunset.