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At the heart of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Nabusimake—the spiritual home of the Arhuaco people—is a secluded indigenous village which few outsiders get to experience. Known for virgin landscapes and wattle-and-daub homes, this sacred settlement is mostly closed off to the outside world.

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The Basics

Located 6500 feet (2000 meters) above sea level, deep in the Colombian mountains, Nabusimake—which means "birthplace of the sun" in the Chibchan language—is not easy to reach, but those who do make the trip will be rewarded with an inimitable experience. While some visitors make the long return trip in just a day from Pueblo Bello, you can stay overnight in Nabusimake in order to spend more time hiking into the surrounding mountains.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • The Arhuaco people may well deny entry or camping permissions to visitors arriving from Pueblo Bello; access to the village is never guaranteed.

  • There is a daily fee to enter Nabusimake.

  • There’s only one road from Pueblo Bello to Nabusimake and it’s incredibly rough; be prepared if you suffer from carsickness.

  • Nabusimake is not wheelchair or stroller accessible.

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How to Get There

Nabusimake is situated within the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and is not easily accessible. Travelers must first travel 35 miles (56 kilometers) from Valledupar to Pueblo Bello. Once in Pueblo Bello, a once-daily bus runs the 24 miles (38 kilometers) into Nabusimake. It leaves in the morning and returns in the mid-afternoon. If you miss the bus, the only way back is on foot.

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When to Get There

Nabusimake can be visited throughout the year, although access to the village is never a guarantee. Be prepared to turn back if the indigenous residents refuse entry.

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Who are the Arhuacos?

Descendants of the Tairona people, Arhuacos—sometimes called Arawak, Bintuk, or Ijka–are indigenous to the country now called Colombia. Most Arhuaco people live in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, with Nabusimake serving as their nation’s capital, as well as the peoples’ spiritual home.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the nearest attractions to Nabusimake?