Taganga

Taganga is a small fishing village 5km north of Santa Marta at the Caribbean coast in Colombia.

Understand

This is not the idyllic fishing village it once was, but local authorities have realized some tourism implementation on the front beach and tried to improve the infrastructure. It still has charm and might be a nicer place than Santa Marta to explore the surrounding attractions or do some diving.

Get in

By bus

Frequent minibuses (collectivos) go from Carrera Quinta (5th), in Santa Marta to the center of Taganga for COL$ 1,400 per person (Correct as of Oct 2013). It's about 15 minutes and a beautiful ride. You can get off at the Mirador and walk down to town.

Berlinas bus company offers shuttle tickets from Taganga hostels to Cartagena at around 35.000 pesos. DivaExpe (see tour operator) sells tickets.

By taxi

Taxi fare from bus terminal of Santa Marta to Taganga starts from $6,000, but drivers usually charge more for foreigners. Be sure to negotiate before you take. The fare from the main beach of Santa Marta (Carrera 1) to Taganga starts from $8,000 and raises to 10.000 on Sundays, holidays and nights. For cruise ship passengers arriving in Santa Marta there are plenty of taxis and mini-buses waiting in a gated police controlled area to take you.

By boat

There is a daily boat arriving from Cabo in the Tayrona National Park at 4PM. To reach Cabo there is a daily boat leaving early in the morning at about 9:30AM. The 1 hour boat ride can be really rough in the open ocean. Protect your belongings with plactic bags, because especially in the back of the boat you get all wet. There is a fix price of 40,000 COP each way. The entrance fee for the National Park has to be paid at the beach.

See

Taganga is surrounded by beautiful desert mountains covered in natural flora and fauna. There are millions of lovely fish and corals which can be reached by short walks and snorkeling out to corals. People watching and good mellow times are to be had along the beach road and loads of beautiful tourists.

Do

Tour operator

Scuba diving

Brain Coral in Tayrona Park

Taganga turned in to a popular scuba diving spot. Diving spots are usually near the small island "Aguja", a part of Tayrona National Park. The underwater of Taganga has a big diversity of marine life. There are a dozen diving schools in town, but be careful where you do your courses. There are many reports of travelers doing their courses, paying and never receiving any certificate. Be careful for your safety: some diving centers have pretty old equipment, never follow safety rules such as safety-stop and even skip important skills/exams during the course or have dive masters teaching courses, check if you will be with a real instructor. For more information check padi alerts.

A small review of available dive centers:

Volunteering

Buy

Get homemade seasonal sweets and delicious frozen fruit treats at Kelly seasonally.

Eat

Overpriced, mid-quality restaurants that specialize mainly in fish dishes are clustered on the beach. But it's worthwhile to walk up two blocks.

Sunset happy hour 17.00-21.30.

Drink

It would be good idea to take a couple of "Stubbie Coolers" (Australian vernacular for an item which keeps the beer in your bottle cooler or longer) as the heat in Taganga will have you drinking warm beer by the time you are at the end of your drink.

Sleep

Connect

There is a great little internet cafe a block to the west of the police station and ATM, which adds little friendly touches like the occasional cup of water.

Stay safe

Taganga has recently become notorious for mugging and robbery, so regular precautions should be taken. Note that the local police is rather apathetic and mostly busy with dispersing artesanos selling handicrafts along the town beach.

There are quite a few small beaches outside of Taganga, which are connected by walking paths covered by vegetation. These paths are used by local robbers, especially on weekdays when there are not many people walking to and fro. Do not walk there in small groups, even in daylight. If you carry valuables with you and don't feel adventurous, it's better to take a boat.

If you consume illegal/recreational drugs be careful of getting shaken down/searched/harassed by the local police. If they find anything on you be prepared to be taken into custody and threatened with jail unless you pay an on-the-spot fine (in cash, of course). Anyone you are traveling with is also subject to harassment and could be made to contribute to your "fine" as well.

Beware: There were a spate of muggings from March 19th-23rd 2011 along the path the football field using machetes.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, March 01, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.