Cheapest dive school in Americas
Too hot, too hot, too hot!!
I gotta buy me a house in Taganga
The small 20 minute hike to Play Grande from the main beaches of Taganga is not to be missed though we nearly did just that. I had neglected to read anything about the town aside from a review of its deservedly famous baguette sandwich shop on arrival and it was only by seeing the Hotel Bahia Taganga up on a hill that we were drawn in that...more
The beaches of Taganga are nicer than Santa Marta but mostly due to their gorgeous setting and of course, you don't have to see the port from where you're taking a dip. They are not exactly pristine on closer inspection and talk about crowded, that they are. Packed and packed only with backpackers. You could completely forget that you are in...more
This is the city of half a million people just around the mountain 15 minutes from Taganga. Many find the city seedy, slightly dangerous, and not as hospitable as Taganga. It certainly doesn't have its small town vibe or its gorgeous beaches, but Santa Marta can be beautiful too! And if you are spending a bit of time in Taganga, you may very well...more
After your boat ride or 15 minute hike from Taganga, you will arrive at the nice, wide though small beach of Playa Grande. The water is clear and calm and very cool and refreshing. Bring your own snacks and drinks or sit at one of the stands that line the beach. Massages are often on offer by touts on the beach. Otherwise just enjoy your time!more
We met Capi on Playa Grande one day and after he told us he was a fisherman (hence the CAPItan), he asked him about the possibility to hire us a boat ride for some early morning oceanic fishing. He agreed and set us a price of 30,000 pesos per hour for the whole boat, not matter the number of people. He charged us for 2 hours of fishing but he...more
We stayed at the Casa Divanga which is one block away from Divanga Bed Breakfast. Believe it is...more
On the hill facing the beach of Taganga there is a great hotel. It's a set of clever designed...more
We chose this hotel because we knew we would be getting to taganga late-ish in the afternoonand did...more
On the main coastal street Bitacora is a nice bar and restaurant with very good music and good quality food. Sitting on the breezy tables outside you can relax watching passers by while eating your healthy meal or drinking fresh fruit juice. There is a wide choice of fruits. It is very popular with tourists especially in the evening when the bar...more
Backpacker comfort food ranges from the banana pancakes of Southeast Asia to pizza just about anywhere you wouldn't have expected it 20 years ago and while I'm not a big proponent of it, when you travel for a few months and are in a country where the local foods are not the most varied, it does draw you in. We had been traveling for over a month...more
There are a few street food sellers in Taganga, and some of them are grilling arepas on coals. We stopped by a few times to buy more arepas that we could eat, not only because they were delicious but because we had spotted a small child looking very hungry, who happily accepted the extra arepas we bought for him. The perfect arepa.. grilled on...more
Taganga has its share of beachfront cafes and bars to enjoy a drink while watching the sunset but they are on the other side of the street and walkway so not quite as good as actually sitting on the beach. We did not stop in but I would imagine they are pricey as we did what most people seemed to be doing and that was buying our beers at the small...more
There's plenty of nightlife in Taganga... lous music is played all night and there seem to be regular party on the beach - though the crowd is always very drunk AND very intoxicated with illegal substances. We happily gave it a miss.What we could not give a miss to were the wonderful sunsets that could be admired from the beach... perfect sunsets...more
There is just one bar/nightclub in Taganga - El Garage (yes, the name comes from its location as a former garage). The drinks are cheap, there is not admission fee, the music is great, there's plenty of room for dancing and the atmosphare is cool. This is the place to go to, if you want to experience local culture at its best. It's just a regular...more
This journey happens in several steps:1. You first need to get to the bus terminal: From Catalina la india (Carrera 11 con Calle 36 where the pocahonta-like statue is), take a bus where it's written on it "Metrocar" (double check with the driver if it goes to the Terminal). Price was 1700 pesos I believe. journey is about 45min so if you take a...more
We did not stay here as most gringos do but chose to day trip from Santa Marta. This is easy to do as frequent mini-buses ply the route for a mere 1200 COP (60 cents) and take only 15 minutes. Head to Carerra 1C or 5 in Santa Marta and look for Taganga signs on passing mini-buses. Drivers will likely seek you out as if you are a gringo, they will...more
It is very easy to travel between Taganga and Santa Marta with the freequent minibuses. They cost 1000 peso (July 2007) and it takes about 15 minutes from Taganga to Plaza Bolivar in Santa Marta. Sometimes the minibuses goes up the road past Casa Felipe, but sometimes they don´t.When I arrived to Santa Marta bus terminal I took a minibus from there...more
Along the beach and on the main street next to the pizza shop you'll find a number of artisans selling their crafts. Stop by and see what jewelery, art, and paintings are available and make a one of a kind purchase.
Others make their living playing music or performing circus acts like spinning fire, so if you like what you see please show your love.
And please don't be stingey! ;-)
What to buy: My favorittes are always te necklaces and braclets. Some of the best hammocks are from the region. Also, you can also get really great shoulder bags that are made by some of the indigenous peoples living in the Sierras. I believe the bags are made by the Arhuaco.
What to pay: Anywhere from 4,000 to 60,000 depending on what you are looking at
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.
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.
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. :)
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.
I made eight dives with Poseidon, which is a PADI dive centre. Two dives cost 130 000 pesos (July 2007) and in that price all the equipment is included. The dives are made by boat and in-between them there is a short break at a shore were you will get some snacks (small sandwich, biscuits and coke). There is no toilet anywhere. Three days we used...more
The place is perfect for many things. Especially diving. I got my first PADI diving licence uin Taganga. There are several dive shops with friendly and helpful instructors and nice people. Most of the dive shops are located along the main street which runs along the beach. One of the cheapes places is Ser Buzo, which also has an amazingly nice and...more
There are several providers in the area. Felipe recommends one of them (forgot their name, but it's ran by 3 assosiates, one of them, Roberto, is French). The prices are dirt cheap. The courses cost you around $140 USD and typically include a couple of free dives after the mandatory ones or accomodation in Sta. Marta. Best to rent equipment here....more
Not doubt about it, Taganga's calling card is its beach but the best way to photograph it is via the trail to Playa Granda. We had debated on staying in Taganga. Everyone else we met was. But we just didn't like the sound of it; packed with backpackers, a paradise lost. Great spots like this have a habit of turning into such. A scenic fishing...more
check out these guys' youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/GetUpAndGoFilms they have several videos outlining where you can stay and what you can do. Diving, the lost city treck and where to stay. Also do check out La Finca la lorita. It's an amazing place just one our bus from taganga. There you can trek, surf, kayak, swim in waterfalls...more
Taganga is heaven... a little fishing village with a perfect moon-shaped bay, two actually.. and the Sierra Nevada mountains as a backdrop. The water is clear and calm and there are no high-rise buildings, just simple construction and houses... the highest being two floors high.The village has just under 1500 inhabitants and it is slow paced....more