What to do and see in Riohacha, Colombia: The Best Places and Tips

February 24, 2018 Emerita Lamoureux

Riohacha (Spanish pronunciation: [rjoˈa.tʃa]), Rio Hacha or Rio de la Hacha (English: River of the Axe or Axeshore - Wayuu: Süchiimma, "Süchii" means river, and "mma" means land, Riverland), is a city in the Riohacha Municipality in the northern Caribbean Region of Colombia by the mouth of the Ranchería River and the Caribbean sea, capital city of the La Guajira Department. Founded by conquistador Nikolaus Federmann in 1535, Riohacha was named after a local legend "The legend of the Axe". Owing to the powerful rain shadow of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the area is mostly desertic and inhabited by Amerindians, predominantly by members of the Wayuu ethnic group. During colonial times Riohacha was a very important port due to the discovery of vast numbers of pearls. In the second half of the 20th Century, the city became one of Colombia's medium important, maritime commercial ports as well as a multicultural center for La Guajira Department. The city is mentioned several times in One Hundred Years of Solitude, Love in the Time of Cholera, and Chronicle of a Death Foretold, novels written by Gabriel García Márquez.
Restaurants in Riohacha

1. Punta Gallinas

Carrera 5 3a 02, Uribia, Colombia +57 312 7806960
Excellent
76%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 213 reviews

Punta Gallinas

Reviewed By TimCEHV - Eindhoven, The Netherlands

I've booked the 3-day tour from Santa Marta with Turcol.
The tour itself was a little disorganized (see my review of Turcol Travel).
During this tour, the first stop was Cabo de la Vela. Since it was low-season, the place was deserted and looked like an old western movie. After having a lunch, you get to visit some other deserted places with breath-taking views and end the day with watching the sunset on a rock. After dinner and some beers, called it a night in a hammock on the beach.
The second day we left at 5 AM for the trip to Punta Gallinas and the Taroa Dunes. After dropping my bags at the "hospedaje", we visited these locations. In the afternoon a boat takes you out to view some flamingos and go to another deserted beach to watch the sunset.
The third day is only travel, so be prepared :)

2. Camellon de Riohacha

Riohacha, Colombia +57 312 6548448
Excellent
44%
Good
46%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 122 reviews

Camellon de Riohacha

Reviewed By Barkervillegirl - South America

This is the place to be! Highlights include a long pier, a big beach, a walkway where the locals sell their beautiful handicrafts and some interesting bars and restaurants. I don't recommend walking here midday because you will end up baking. Early evening is a good time. That's also when the locals come out and enjoy the cooler temperature. I found a nice restaurant to eat at, and I lingered over a beer whilst enjoying the view.

3. Catedral Nuestra Senora de los Remedios

Carrera 8, Riohacha, Colombia +57 7272333
Excellent
60%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
15%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 58 reviews

Catedral Nuestra Senora de los Remedios

Reviewed By dsittler - Walnutport

We went to mass while visiting and it is such a beautiful small Cathedral, decorated with fresh floors.

4. Playas de Mayapo

Riohacha, Colombia
Excellent
70%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
6%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 16 reviews

Playas de Mayapo

Reviewed By Bocas Chuck E - Bocas del Toro Panama

In my opinion some of the prettiest beachs in Colombia. Spend a day relax, enjoy, and eat the fish that is prepared and sold right on the beach.

5. Plaza Padilla

Riohacha, Colombia
Excellent
27%
Good
43%
Satisfactory
27%
Poor
3%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 29 reviews

Plaza Padilla

Reviewed By RICARIZA - MIAMI, FL

It is a nice plaza, the sculpture of Padilla is very nice and it has a nice ambience at night, but nothing stands out really.

6. Playa de Palomino

Riohacha, Colombia
Excellent
30%
Good
47%
Satisfactory
23%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 13 reviews

Playa de Palomino

Reviewed By TomaszKozakowski - Warsaw, Poland

There are a few possibilities to enjoy your time at the Beaches of Palomino. The one in the city is crowded and full of locals trying to sell you everything you need. The one close to military area by the river at the end of the village is more relaxing and allows swimming both in the sea and in the river.

7. Centro Comercial Suchiimma

Calle 15b 8 - 56, Riohacha 440002, Colombia +57 5 7273454
Excellent
28%
Good
51%
Satisfactory
21%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 14 reviews

Centro Comercial Suchiimma

Reviewed By pitsab599 - Valledupar, Colombia

Not many stores. Has ATMs. Its right across from the bus terminal and so you can hang out there instead of the bus terminal.

8. El Mercado Nuevo

Riohacha, Colombia
Excellent
28%
Good
37%
Satisfactory
35%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 14 reviews

El Mercado Nuevo

Reviewed By Gwen721 - San Salvador, El Salvador

Si quieren adquirir productos Wayuu a buenos precios y garantizar que su dinero ayude directamente a sus fabricantes pues este es el lugar. Estuve en varios lugares en la Guajira y este fue el lugar donde mejor precios ofrecen. Las mochilas pequeñas van desde los 10mil pesos y las grandes valen 30mil pesos (muy barato) y de paso lo mas satisfactorio es poder ayudar a los artesanos del lugar que se sustentan de la venta de estos productos. Es seguro y céntrico poder llegar. Recomendado.

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