La Guajira is a region of contrasts: from the vast brilliant white salt flats at Manaure to the glistening lagoons of Los Flamencos Nature Sanctuary where flocks of pink ibis and pink flamingos take flight, among a backdrop of crystalline sea that laps onto beaches of deserted sand. Giant cacti and the long rise of innumerable sand dunes criss-cross this seemingly inhospitable but fascinating landscape.
And among this scenery live the Wayuu, a nomadic people who live autonomously across the Venezuelan / Colombian border, not recognising national borders. The Wayuu is a matriarchal society that places supreme importance on its traditions, including that of the ‘palabrero’, a person designated to resolving conflicts amongst the many clans.
Local communities here dedicate their time to fishing and weaving and are renowned for making handmade hammocks and ‘mochilas’ of astonishing beauty and intricacy. Spend some time here in the local community or ‘rancheria’, listening to their myths and legends or watching their traditional dances, such as the Yonna.