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* '''Casa Holanda / Restaurant''', new restaurant in the heart of Taganga, opposite of the church. Great food for a good price. Local and international dishes, fresh vegetables, great whole wheat sandwiches, natural juices and nice homemade cakes. Friendly staff and great terrace.  
 
* '''Casa Holanda / Restaurant''', new restaurant in the heart of Taganga, opposite of the church. Great food for a good price. Local and international dishes, fresh vegetables, great whole wheat sandwiches, natural juices and nice homemade cakes. Friendly staff and great terrace.  
  
* '''Che Luis''',  usually very crowded with locals/Islaelis, they have more than 100 different plates but the food is not very popular. Mostly an Israli place, very loud as well, they have some local tourist information about Santa Marta and it's a meeting place with onother tourist
+
* '''Che Luis''',  usually very crowded with locals/Israelis, they have more than 100 different plates but the food is not very good. Mostly an Israeli place and very loud as well. They have some local tourist information about Santa Marta. The place serves as a meeting place with other tourists.
  
 
* '''Casa de Felipe''' (March 2009) Patrick, a Dutch chef, serves amazing dinners which cost between C$13.000 - C$17.000.
 
* '''Casa de Felipe''' (March 2009) Patrick, a Dutch chef, serves amazing dinners which cost between C$13.000 - C$17.000.

Revision as of 23:05, 14 August 2009

Taganga is a small fishing village 5km north of Santa Marta at the Caribbean coast in Colombia. With a dirty beach and noisy restaurants it is not the idyllic fishing village you expect. But has its charm and might be a nicer place to explore the surrounding attractions or do some diving than Santa Marta.

Contents

Get in

  • Frequent minibuses(collectivos) go from Carrera 5 in Santa Marta to Carrera 2 o 3 Taganga for C$ 1,200 per person (April 2009). It's about 15 minutes. Beautiful ride. You can get off at the Mirador and walk down to town.
  • TAXI fare from bus terminal of Santa Marta to Taganga starts from $8,000, 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 $5,000.
  • 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. On April 23rd, despite numerous warnings from fellow passengers, 10 Americans from the cruise ship Enchantment of the Seas ventured into Taganga. They loved the beach, lunch, and the $2 cerveza's. They felt a certain smugness after their trip that comes with knowing they had one of the best tours out of all 2100 passengers on board.

See

Do

  • Main beach is shared with the harbor of Taganga. It's tiny and simple but good for swimming. It will be very crowded in weekends by Colombian tourists. Be careful for thieving - never put something valuable on the beach.
  • A 40 minute walk north of town lies Playa Grande, beautiful and less crowded. It is also possible to take a boat to get there (2500 COP) or one of the more remote beaches like Concha, Chengue, Neguanje - real unspoiled paradise. There are no people but just some fishermen.
  • a longer walk goes to Bonito Gordo and from there to Bahia Concha. Reserve a full day for this and ask around to decide if you need to contract a local guide. You can spend the night at Bahia Concha, but you may need to take your own hammock.

Scuba diving

  • Calipso, good experience with tour in tayrona park called Safari. only center doing this trip. spend one night on a wild beach and good diving. Kind people. info robertdive@calipsodivecenter.com or in town 421 91 46 calle 12 31-40 taganga
  • Taganga turned in to a popular scuba diving center with one of the lowest prices in the world. Diving spots are usually near the small island "Aguja", a part of national park Tayrona. 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 travellers doing their courses, paying and never receiving any certificate. Be careful for your safety - Some diving centers have pretty old equipments, never follow safety rules such as Safety-Stop, even skip important skills/exams during the course.
  • Oceano Scuba Dive Center, Cra 2a, No 17-46 Esquina, (57-5)-421-9004 (oceano@oceanoscuba.com.co) [1]. The first diving center in Taganga, working for more than 20 years. Experienced and friendly staff. C$ 550.000 for PADI courses, Two fundives C$ 120.000, Snorkeling C$ 40.000. Prices are including lunch and boat transportation. Has bigger and faster boat, so can go to isla Aguja in any water condition. Offers more diving than other shops - 8 dives for Open water, 7 dives for Advanced Course. They have a cabin in the taroyna park, where you can have a lunch and relax. It's free of charge to stay there for a night.
  • Centro de Buceo Poseidon, Calle 18 No 1-69, (57-5)-421-9224 (poseidon@atgc.net.com) [2]. Well recommended, German-owned diving center. Could be the most professional diving center in TAGANGA. Has a swimming pool inside and well-maintained equipments. PADI open-water C$ 580.000, PADI advance C$ 550.000 +, two fundives C$ 130.000 (probably more)
  • Aquantis Bed Breakfast & Diving, Calle 18 No1-39. Highly recommended, Best equipments, very organized, airco classroom,long dives. Includes coffee, towels, books and warm shower after diving — and you do not have to carry or wash your equipment. C$ 550.000 for OW course, two fundives C$100.000 and underwater pictures for free. Also deal packages including diving and accommodation are available in low season. Great people, amazing service, you can stay in the dive center for hours meet each other before and after the dives.[3]. divecenteraquantis@gmail.com


  • Centro de Buceo Nautilus, Primera Calle Taganga, Tel: 0057 5 4219007, PADI open-water C$ 530.000, PADI advance C$ 520.000 +, two fundives C$ 120.000, nice people to hang out with, they've got a cabana where you can stay for a night for free, the sunset over there is incredible, very calm.
  • Centro de Buceo Octupus, Calle 15 No1B-14, turn up by Supermercado Taganga. Very friendly staff, family atmosphere and very professional at their job. Cheap prices for a fun and safe experience. C$ 550.000 for PADI courses, bit cheaper for NAUI, two fundives C$120.000, Discover Scuba Experience also available.

Spanish course

  • Academia Latina, the only professional language school in Taganga. Learn Spanish with excellent skilled teachers in a inspiring environment. Good prices for private classes! Volunteering programs available (free of charge) and family stay. Free grammar list and after school activities, like salsa lessons. See [4]
  • Casa Divanga Language Center, Spanish courses, had basic course for one week with a really professional teacher. she built up her own method, helps you to learn fast, also got special rate for acccomodation in Casa Divanga, a very nice homely place.

Oso Perezoso arranges private tutor lesons for $10 mil hour. My tutor was excellent, went to right where I needed to learn, we studied on their rooftop, on the beach, and at cafe's making it more interesting. Ask them.

Volunteering

  • Fundación Más, the place to be when you're interested in volunteering programs (short term, medium term or long term). Help the children in Taganga and Santa Marta. [5]

Buy

Eat, restaurants in Taganga

Overpriced, mid-quality restaurants are clustered on the beach. Mainly specialized in fish dishes. But it's worthful to go up straight two blocks.

  • Divanga's French Restaurant/Bar/Swimming pool: young Colombian skilled cook trained by a French Chef prepares a delicious typical local food with a French touch and original snack of her specialities with affordables prices from 6.000 to 15.000 pesos. Located in DIVANGA nice hostel with swimmingpool 2 blocks straight from Delfin Hostel on the beach. good value in Taganga eat and drink for 15.000 pesos and you get access to the pool (splash is highly appreciated considering the heat in the village), spend the afternoon playing around. good vibes. discount for Hostelling Internationalmembers
  • Hotel Oso Perezoso, Calle 17 (between 2nd and 3rd one-half block up from Pelikan Hotel), (57-5)421-8041. Ocean-view restaurants emphasizes fresh local ingredients. Local fish, seafood and steaks along with cream soups, coconut rice and other Creole dishes.
  • Casa Holanda / Restaurant, new restaurant in the heart of Taganga, opposite of the church. Great food for a good price. Local and international dishes, fresh vegetables, great whole wheat sandwiches, natural juices and nice homemade cakes. Friendly staff and great terrace.
  • Che Luis, usually very crowded with locals/Israelis, they have more than 100 different plates but the food is not very good. Mostly an Israeli place and very loud as well. They have some local tourist information about Santa Marta. The place serves as a meeting place with other tourists.
  • Casa de Felipe (March 2009) Patrick, a Dutch chef, serves amazing dinners which cost between C$13.000 - C$17.000.

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.

  • Divanga Bar rooftop nice view to the sea, chill out bar, local guy great attention!! they make good cocktail, this place is really cool
  • El Garaje is a popular gringo Saturday night hang-out. Meet everybody in town from Wednesday crazy night possible with unforgettable Angela at the garage bar...
  • Casa Holanda / Bar, nice little bar. Check out their cocktails. The best in Taganga! So many to try....! Happy hour daily from 9-10 PM. Closed on Tuesdays. Free salsa lessons on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 7.30 PM.
  • Madame Tagangué, (On the right hand side as you walk up to Casa de Felipe, green restaurant opposite the mercadito). not Sundays. Amazing new Argentinian style Parilla restaurant, serves mouth watering steaks for 18000, incredible seafood salad for 12, hamburgers, thai wok style veg and things. Pricey but amazingly good food, and the guy that runs it is really nice. Seriously incredibly nice food.
  • A La Vista, calle 15 (at the corner of the beach road and caclle 15). best pizza in south america!! A La Vista is only open in the evenings, and hosts a menu that includes pizza, lasagna, crepes, etc. el mejor!!
  • Tsunami Bar (at Oso Perezoso), Calle 17 (up from Pelican) (1.2 blocks from beach on second street after entering the town), 301-421-8041. usually until midnight. Awesome SUNSET!!! Cold beers served wih 'coozies', big juices, awesome music, great friendly place cheap.

Sleep

  • Divanga: Lonely Planet Colombia guide book Pick 2009. Amazing backpackers bed and breakfast, calle 12 with 4 +5754219092. Includes a beautiful swimming pool that creates a great social area. The staff is so friendly , they make you really feel home. Comfortable and clean rooms with shower/toilet at only C$31.000 per person, in dorm 25.000 pesos including internet and a generous breaky (best eaten so far in south america). The view from the roof is fantastic, especially at sunset and a roof top bar plays excellent music. There is also a comfy TV room with cable tv and dvd player, an internet room with free high speed internet and WiFi access and a restaurant inside (excellent food). Divanga web site. they keep you luggage in a safe storage when you go to tayrona or elsewhere, after it's so nice to come back ¨home¨. better book with anticipation divangacolombia@yahoo.fr Discount for Hostelling International Hostelling International-members.
  • "Hotel Oso Perezoso" [6] or find them on facebook: "Oso Perezoso." (57-5)421-8041. email for reservations at hotelosoperezoso@yahoo.com. wireless internet available. Hotel Oso Perezoso is a three-story structure, perfectly designed to catch the cool breezes of Taganga, but high enough to avoid the sometimes dusty streets below. The first floor has three rooms and a travelers store, bag storage, and a book exchange. The second floor has four guest rooms with views of the ocean that open onto a breezy open-air corridor. The third floor is a gorgeous rooftop Tsumani bar and cafe. Hosting a 80GB jukebox, plenty of room for hammock chillin', and a sassy parrot, the third floor is truly the shining glory of Hotel Oso Perezoso. From here you can watch the sun rise over the mountains, watch the sun melt into the caribbean, sip on a cold beer, and order something from the full-service restaurant. Even if you choose not to stay, stop by for one of the best breakfasts around, icy bar drinks, and good eats! Room prices range from 14,000COP a night per person (hammocks), to 20,000COP a night per person (first floor), to 28,000COP per person per night (on the second floor). All rooms have private baths, excluding hammocks. Breakfast is included with each room rate; choose between eggs, or a fruit salad topped with yogurt and homemade granola!
  • La Casa de Felipe, Carrera 5A 19-13 (behind the football field), (57-5)-421-9101, info@lacasadefelipe.com [7]. Popular hostel. Several apartments some with kitchen, dormitory and hammocks if everything else is full. There is a communal kitchen, internet facilities, free wifi, laundry service, nice terraces and a friendly staff. Always crowded by backpackers. from the beach - 10 minutes by walking. Discount for Hostelling International-members. Prices between C$15.000 and C$45.000. Breakfast C$6.000.
  • Casa Holanda, charming new Bed & Breakfast in the heart of Taganga. Just a few meters from the beach. Safe and clean. 10 private rooms with private bathroom. Good value! Breakfast (5 options) included. This popular place is full almost every night, so book ahead. For more information: www.micasaholanda.com


  • Casa Divanga is divanga's little sister at one block down you pay only 15.000 pesos for a dorm and get access to divanga's pool. shady patio and communal kitchen. they also give spanish courses. booking at divanga@hotmail.com
  • Techos Azules: nicely placed at the entrance of the town, it has hammocks, private rooms with bathroom, "cabañas" (two rooms, sitting room with kitchen, shower with toilet). calculate about 25000 COP per person, discounts can be contracted if you are in a group or staying for a longer period. beautiful views on Taganga and the bay.
  • ReyMARIn(used to stand for Miramar backwards when it was a Miramar hotel, now, it is the sea king), Manager chichi has 50 years fish experience. Family serves nice food next door.
  • Casa Blanca, (Email:casablanca@hosteltrail.com), [8]. Opened in 1998 by Colombian/Swiss team Carlos Botache and Bernard Gusten, Casa Blanca has become a favorite amongst beach-loving travelers and provides an excellent base for those taking dive courses in town or those wanting to make the most of their time by the sea. Prices are 18,000 Pesos pp with a 2,000Peso single supplement. Double rooms are 40,000 Pesos. Heavy Drug Influence on Beach in Front - be careful at night.
  • Moramar Backpackers International, +5754219202 (email:moramar@telecom.com), [9]. In front of the football field. New. Good atmosphere, great service, prices from C$15.000 pesos for a single room to C$8.000 for a hammock, nice view of the sea and of the Sierra.
  • Another option is to ask around for an apartment to rent. There are gringo shacks and guest houses all over the town. Usually, most places to stay that are geared towards foreign backpackers will have all the creature comforts (read: running water) There is always the option of find a person who's renting a room in their house, or seeing who's out of town and turned thie home into a temporary guest house. It's a great way of meeting people and really getting to know a town as interesting as Taganga. If you do this, be sure you trust where you are staying, and bring your own locks as a precaution. Also, Taganga has no water due to political issues, so there are times where water can be an issue.

Get out

See Santa Marta for activities in the area.



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