The beach in Taganga is not very big. Half of it is full of fishing boats and on the other half there is a lot of tourists, both foreign backpackers and Colombian tourists. It can be a bit noisy as some of the restaurants along the beach are playing music very loud. People selling jewellery or ice-cream are walking up and down the beach.
Turcol is the only company organising treks to Ciudad Perdida (but I have heard there might be other tour companies soon). The first morning in Taganga I went to Turcol’s office in Santa Marta to hear which days they would have a trek. I wanted to go in two days, but they just had a trek the day after or in four days. I decided to take the trek in four days. I went to an ATM to withdraw money and went back to Turcol to pay. For the six-day trek I paid 460 000 pesos (July 2007). In Taganga later that day I heard they now had a trek in two days (other people had signed up after I had been to the office), so I changed day as it suited my schedule better.
In Taganga you can also book the Ciudad Perdida trek through Magic Tours.
The trek to Ciudad Perdida is a six day trek, but many groups also do it in five days (I’m glad we didn’t). It takes three days to arrive to Ciudad Perdida and then there is one day for exploring Ciudad Perdida, and then two days for walking back. It is the forth day that many people skip. They see Ciudad Perdida in the afternoon they arrive and then leave early the morning after. But why rush when you have come all the way.
The Ciudad Perdida Trek can be booked in Taganga. When I was last there, the 6-7 day tour cost about 250USD. It's supposed to be a fabulous trek. Be sure to bring mosquito repellent and water shoes as you have to walk through three rivers at one point in the trek.
In 2003 one of the tours were stopped by guerrillas and sequestered (3 people were left behind, th tour leader and a couple people playing broken). They were released later. Since then there have been no problems though and the trek is considered to be very safe.
Taganga is cleaner than Santa Marta ... but sometimes it may not be all you expect. You'll see there is a trail going up the hill right next to the last hotel. Well, if you follow it ... you'll end up in Playa Grande, a gorgeous place!!
Playa Grande is usually less crowded ... cleaner ... you have lots of little restaurants ... and if you feel like hiking, you can keep on hiking towards next tiny and desolated beaches.
If you can't walk ... there are some motor-boats going that way from Taganga.
If you are in Taganga or St. Marta, you should definately take a walk across the mountains to this nice beach. Actually it's not so much the beach that is worth visiting, but more the walk across the mountains. The beach is nice, with white sand and clear water, but it's a bit too inhabited and full of tourists who come there by boat from St. Marta. But the half-hour walk from Taganga ta Playa Grande offers you an amazing view on the coastline and the village, and the nature up there is breathtaking as well.
The Ser Buzo dive shop here in Taganga offers Open Water to Dive Master courses from just 300,000 pesos (USD1.00 = 2,800 Pesos) . This includes free accomodation in their hostal, lunches when diving and a great atmosphere.
Fun dives are 60,000 pesos for 2 dives.
Head down to the main street adjacent to the beach and you will find several juice and coffee stands there serving up fresh blends the way you pick 'em.