The Alta Guajira has many impressive sites. On the road to Nazareth is Puerto LÃ³pez, which was once an important port but is now a ghost town abandoned to the desert. Petroglyphs decorate Piedra de Alas at Siapana, a holy spring. There is also Punta Espada, or Piedra del Destino, is a mythical rock that reveals the future of the visitor.
Along the north coast are other places of interest, such as Puerto BolÃvar, the port where the El CerrÃ³n mine railway arrives; BahÃa Portete, another important port with beaches, mangroves and the only sea crocodiles in the world; BahÃa Honda, with fortress ruins; and Punta Gallina, the northernmost point of South America, where golden dunes tumble to a deep-blue sea.
Be prepared to spend time and money if traveling on your own, due to infrequent transportation. The most important thing to take is plenty of water. Also pack emergency food supplies, sun block, a hat or other items to protect you from the sun, and a tent or hammock. Along the way, you should be able to find shelter and food. In Punta Gallinas, one of the only inns where you can spend the night and eat is Hospedaje and Comidas Luzmila (Tel: 521-5005/312-647-9881/626-8121). Another option in Punta Gallinas is Hospedaje Alexandra (Tel/Cel: 316-644-4050/315-538-2718.
Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...