Atlantic Ocean - Funky Town

Trip Start Jan 14, 2013
Trip End Apr 15, 2013

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Flag of Colombia  ,
Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Taganga was once a sleepy Colombian fishing village that has recently hit the backpacker map and we feel lucky to see it now while its still relatively pristine. Still only a few hundred people live here but as its only ten minutes from Santa Marta it gets a fair amount of day trippers and lot's of hostels are quickly popping up. Taganga Bay is dotted with fishing boats, beach restaurants and cafes all eager to serve up the fish of the day which is excellent. We are located up the hill a bit in a place called Dijanga where you can cool off in the mini pool or shoot some pool on the terrace enjoying the evening breeze. 

Our day trips here have been great as we explore the surrounding playas and find fisherman working rocky beach sets for tuna, locals enjoying day trips to the beach restaurants and kids lining up for the next thrill on a banana boat. You could walk for miles along the shaled hillside following trails leading to the next playa around the corner. Or you can just hang out on the beach watching the sunset enjoying a cold one with the locals.

We had to take a trip to Tyrona National Park, the Atlantic version of Long Beach and West Coast Trail for hobblers all in one. Beautiful long beaches followed by craggy bays, jungle trails, a few ceviche stands, restaurants and hammock / tenting rentals. You could lay back here for a week and catch up on your afternoon naps, smell the ocean breeze and try not to get hit in the head from a falling coconut. Cold beer that is hauled in with other supplies on a team of donkeys is cheaper than our hostel, go figure. Marg needs to stop for a pee on the trail out and as I'm standing guard shrieks as she's discovered a spider web complete with three inch cutie eyeing a larger meal! We stopped at a market on the way in so our bus full of young South and North American backpackers could load up on water, cans of tuna, oreo cookies, soda crackers and rum. All the essentials needed for beach camping. The process to get a day pass at the gate to this huge beautiful park is a comedy as we pay at the booth, have our tickets and receipts checked by a guy eight feet away, board the bus and have him come on board to do it all over again. 

Saturday night Taganga put on a great celebration and parade. Looked like everyone was involved young and old with some great music, dancing, costumes and dozens of cans of foam sprayed randomly by the kids. 
Our last excursion was an overnighter to Minca, about 2000 feet straight up from Taganga. Famous for it's day's gone by cartel stronghold, coffee and wildlife we find a very laid back town, a little cooler evening temperatures, some excellent fresh water swimming holes, coffee beans drying on the streets and an incredible display of hummingbirds on our Minca hotel balcony. Lunch at the Lazy Cat restaurant overlooking the Sierra mountains and Santa Marta comes with a young beagle and a mutt chewing on each others ears and playing tug of war with branches. The police station is a former guerrilla barracks complete with artillery windows and has a very effective visual presence. If you were so inclined you could arrange a tour of an old cocaine production facility further into the jungle. We opted for an air conditioned bus to Cartegena. Overall highly recommend this area combined with a few days in old town Cartegena would make a great trip. 


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