Mendihauca Clearwater Pool
We arranged to have a guide take us to the Mendihauca Clearwater pool. It is located not far from Tayrona National Park. Our Spanish-speaking guide Rinaldo picked us up from the hotel and drove us as close to the trail as we could get. Then, we walked for 30 minutes to get to the pool. Along the way, Rinaldo asked us to teach him English words and Andrew was able to use his basic Spanish to talk to our guide. Rinaldo was a great guide; stopping to pick fruit and vegetables along the way. Rinaldo let us know that we were walking on the exact path that the drug cartels had used to transport drugs in the forest. It felt so eerie to imagine how dangerous this trail was not too long ago.
We only saw 2 other groups on the trail and they were both being guided by someone from Colombia. We asked Rinaldo about this and he explained that only indigenous people have access to the Mendihauca Clearwater Pool. He was correct about this because before you can enter the pool area, there is a gate that is locked. Rinaldo had the key! He told us that only certain people are given the key to the pools. When we passed through the gate, we were completely alone. It was just the 3 of us, a waterfall and lots of fish. After changing into our bathing suits, we followed Rinaldo into the pools. It was the most refreshing water I have ever swam in. If you are afraid of fish, I wouldn’t recommend this pool because there were plenty of fish. They left us alone though and swam away when we were near them. We swam all the way to a waterfall and we sat underneath it. Rinaldo showed us up by climbing high up on the rocks and jumping off. We spent about an hour here. As we were leaving, another guided group was entering the area.
The hike back wasn’t too bad after swimming in the cool water. If you can find a guide, I recommend this 30 minute hike to the pools. The water is a nice reward for hiking in the humid weather. Rinaldo dropped us off at our hotel and thanked us for his “English lesson.” Thank you to Rinaldo for helping me get to the waterfall even though I am not that great of a swimmer!