Riohacha is the capital of the department of La Guajira. The city with 167.000 inhabitants is located on the caribbean coast and the land behind the town is rather desertic.
- Avianca offers 2 daily flight to/from Bogota (from 120.000 COP / 1.5 h)
- Tiara Air has 2 flights a week to/from Aruba (from 180 US$ / 1.15 h)
- ADA will start soon on the route to/from Barranquilla
- to/from Santa Marta : 15,000 COP / 2.5 hours (every half hour)
- to/from Barranquilla : 25,000 COP / 5 hours (every half hour)
- to/from Cartagena : 35,000 COP / 7 hours (every hour)
- to/from Maicao : 5,000 COP / 1 hour
- to/from Bogota : 90,000 COP / 18 hours (once a day)
Buses with COPetram go:
- to/from Bucaramanga : 80,000 COP / 12 hours (8AM, 3.30PM)
- to/from Valledupar : 20,000 COP / 3.5 hours (8.15AM, 3.30PM)
- to/from Uribia : 12,000 COP / 1 hour with a colectivo. In Uriba you can change buses for Cabo de la Vela.
Downtown Riohacha is very walkable. There's nothing much to see outside of the ten or so square blocks around the ocean. If you need to take some wheels, it's easy to hail a cab. Most fares in town run from 3,000 to 6,000 pesos.
- Beach. Riohacha presents a much less touristy Colombian beach than what you will find in Barranquilla or Cartagena. The beach runs along the coast of the city and tends to be relatively crowded with locals and a smattering of Colombian tourists during the high season.
- Colonial churches. There are a couple of colonial churches in the downtown area.
- Cabo de la Vela. Use Riohacha as a starting point for a trip to the beautiful beach in the desert.
- Punta Gallinas. Trips to the most northern point of Colombia with beautiful dunes, desert, exotic beaches and sacred indigenous culture can be organized in Riohacha.
A very good place to buy Wayu artesany, mochilas in particular.
There are a string of bars and small clubs along the ocean which serve Aguila on tap and a few imports.
There is a surprisingly wide variety of accommodation in Riohacha. The most expensive places tend to be located on the ocean, which a series of slightly dated mega-hotels. Rooms here can run up to 200,000 pesos in the high season. Expect discounts of up to 60% in the off season or for rooms that do not face the ocean.
On the cheaper end of the scales, rooms get be had for as little as 15,000 pesos at small bunkhouses and guest hostels further away from the ocean. Try just east of the bus station. Be warned that many of these places cater to internal refugees displaced from Colombia's long drug wars. You will probably be sharing with some (mostly friendly) long term guests.
- El Castillo del Mar. Great German-owned hotel on the west side of the beach. At the hotel there is a branch of Kai Ecotravel, who was the first offering La Guajira tours for the big public. D: 90,000 COP.
- Casa Patio Bonita. Newly opened in 2013 from a Canadian expat and his Colombian wife. Like the name already says the different rooms are all located around a nice courtyard, where the breakfast is being served. The owners help you with organizing tours to La Guajira. Double from 100,000 COP.
- Hotel International. Single with a fan and private bathroom (20.000 COP). Wifi available in reception. Opposite the market, 3 blocks east of the bus terminal, take a left just after the park. The hotel is tucked between a few jewlery stores, it might be easier to find at night as the shops that flank the entrance are closed.