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Cheapest dive school in Americas
Too hot, too hot, too hot!!
In a nutshell
I gotta buy me a house in Taganga
The only danger is... the lack of hygiene... despite signs all over town that it is not allowed to dump your rubbish in the streets (enlarge the photo to see), rubbish is dumped everywhere... in particular just beside such signs. No one seem to care.
The pack of 14 stray dogs that roam the village don't care either (should they, anyway)?... they pee and poo all over and no one cares to clean. Thinking back now, they were much cleaner than most of the packpackers that visit Taganga.
Updated Aug 7, 2008
I woke up early enough to catch the bus from Santa Marta to Cartagena... I packed and was out carrying my bags to the main road where the bus should pass. No bus. There was no bus ...Locals informed me they had blocked the road complaining about the shortage of water. They were protesting because the town had suffered a lot from the water shortage and nobody cared. There had been three days we had no water. The whole town had to bring water by private means because the local authorities wouldn't care to build a water system so that they could always have their own supply. Or at least bring them some supplies.
I decided to get to the point where they had blocked the road and try to convince them to let me pass. I usually succeed when I am right and logical. I ask a friend to take me as well as some more tourists who were also interested in leaving as soon as possible.
The scene was surprising as the road was not blocked by people only. Huge trunks and barbed wire was put across so that not even a dog would be able to pass. The crowd were shouting for their right shaking their fists “Nobody passes..! Nobody passes!” I tried to explain that it was not my fault and I had to leave. Nobody listened.
Several women took pity on us and recognised we were right so they made a hole through the wires. I couldn't believe my luck. But suddenly a fierce young with a beard rushed on the spot and told me nobody would pass. So we had to go to the beach and pay a boat – we negotiated it to 25$ - to take us to Santa Marta.
Well, they were right to complain, anyway, but it was not our fault, either.
Updated Jun 5, 2008
Luggage and bags: This town is the domain of the backpacker and being without one felt a bit odd for us but when day tripping one of the great advantages is NOT having to carry it, especially by mini-bus!
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: It was warm so we wore our sandals but must say it would have been nice to have our hiking boots for the trail to Playa Grande though not necessary. Most people are barefoot but this is a barefoot kinda town.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Sunblock is a must in sunny Tanganga.
Photo Equipment: A wide angle lens is great for capturing the entire horseshoe-shaped bay that makes Taganga one scenic spot. A zoom comes in handy for getting shots "up coast" of thatched huts and boats.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Our camping gear was left back in Santa Marta but if it is allowed to camp at Playa Grande it would certainly come in handy.
Miscellaneous: Thanks to my wife D for sharing another backpacker trip with me. Very happy her tummy got better in time to enjoy the baguette sandwich and she agreed that Taganga was a day trip and would rather stay in Santa Marta. Hey, I guess married the right one. :)
Updated Nov 29, 2010
The Tayrona National Park lies at the Caribbean coast about 1 hour from Taganga and it's well known for its lovely coastline and beaches, and for its proximity to the pueblito archaeological ruins. You can go there on a day trip, or on a multi-day trip, spending a night or longer in the park.
Tayrona is a great place to visit, and the best part of it is that there's no road that leads you there... these amazing beaches need some effort to get to, from the parking lot at Canaveral, just past the park's entrance: 45 minutes to Arrecife, 65 minutes to la Piscina and 90 minutes to Cabo San Juan.
Moreover the walk there is most enjoyable and there is so much to see: exotic trees and vegetation, colourful birds and lizards, pink and red forest flowers and some funny mushrooms. No matter how long you go there, Tayrona is a real must-see.
Updated Aug 7, 2008