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Casa Gypsy

Casa Gypsy
Calle 19 #5-40, Taganga, San Tropel, Santa Marta
+57 300.694.9107 (whatsapp/celular), (035) 421.9027
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Overview: Casa Gypsy is a delightful three story medium-sized hostel located on the southern end of Taganga, a few blocks up the hill from the beach. It features a great view of the village, tours of Magdalena and la Guajira, a friendly staff, and a third floor rooftop bar and terrace area.

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Neighborhood: Casa Gypsy is located on the southern side of the village of Taganga, in a neighborhood called San Tropel. Taganga is small (only about 1km wide north to south). A good point of reference is the large soccer field. The hostel is just three blocks east (up the hill) from the field.

In the San Tropel neighborhood you are just a few minutes walk from several restaurants, other hostels, bars, and small shops.

If you are interested in nightlife, you will enjoy the "Mirador de abajo" on the beach, also known as the "Mirador Viejo", and the "Mirador Nuevo." The Mirador Viejo is more traditional and laid back, while the Mirado Nuevo features a pool, and two dance floors, one featuring "crossover" music and another with electronic music. Cover is $10.000. You can walk to the Mirador Nuevo, but you must climb a long staircase with more than 100 steps.

There is also "La Brisa Loca," a favorite "discoteca" of the locals.

The favorite hangout for the Casa Gypsy staff is Taco, which is a hotel, restaurant, and bar in one. It features delicious tacos and quesadillas, hamburgers, pizzas, beef, fried fish, and from 5pm to 8pm there is a 2 for 1 happy hour. Taco is run by American/Colombian couple Tony and Carolina.

How to Get There: If you are arriving at Santa Marta's Simon Bolivar International Airport (SMR) you can arrive at the hostel by either taxi or bus, depending on your budget and time frame. A taxi from the airport directly to the hostel costs around $40.000, and will take around 50 minutes. From the airport, you can also take a blue "buseta" (smaller bus) to downtown Santa Marta which will leave you near the "bahia" (the bay), which costs $2.000. You can then take a bus from downtown Santa Marta to the hostel for $1.400, which will take about 20 minutes. In total you should budget around an hour and 15 minutes for this route.

If you are arriving at the bus terminal in downtown Santa Marta, a taxi should be around 15 minutes to the hostel, and cost around $10.000. Of course, make sure you confirm the price before you get into the taxi. The best way to cut down costs is to share a taxi with other travelers.

Management/Staff:  Casa Gypsy was opened in July of 2016, by Frenchman Julian Pernil. The manager is Colombian and "samaria" (someone from Santa Marta) Angelica Henriquez.

Rooms: The hostel has a capacity for around 50 guests, in both private and shared accommodations

Shared Rooms: There are 5 dormitories, with space for 18 people: there are 2 dorms with 4 beds, 1 dorm with 6 beds, and 1 dorm with 8 beds. There is also a family room, with one double bed and one bunkbed. The prices range from $20.000 to $30.000 per night, per person.

Private Rooms: There are five private rooms, each with their own private bath. Three have fan, and two come with air conditioning. The ones with fans cost $60.000 per night and the ones with air conditioning cost $80.000.

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Amenities: 

Breakfast: Yes. There is breakfast served daily for $10.000, which includes eggs, toast, fruit, and coffee. There is also often a breakfast option which includes yogurt and granola.

Kitchen: There is a kitchen available for guest use on the second floor. It is open 24 hours a day. 

Supermarket:  The nearest supermarket is two blocks away, and is called El Esquinazo.

Restaurant: Yes. The hostel can prepare dinner for its guests on request. There are also barbecues at 8pm from time to time.

Bar: Yes. There is beer available for purchase: Club Colombia, Aguila, Aguila Light, and from time to time BBC.

Terrace/Patio: There is a terrace on the third floor with hammocks.

TV Lounge: Yes

Computers: Yes. There is a computer for guest use in the reception.

Wifi: Yes. Both in the common areas and bedrooms. 

Lockers: There are lockers in the dormitories. Guests must bring their own locks.

Bicycles: No

Credit Cards: Yes. Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Diner's Club

Luggage Storage: Yes. This is a free service.

Check-in Time: 3pm

Check-out Time: 12pm

Restaurants: There is a wealth of great dining options around Taganga, which have blossomed as tourism has really taken off in the village.

Pachamama comes highly recommended by the staff at Casa Gypsy: it features an innovative and delicious menu prepared by a French chef. Particularly recommended are the seafood options.

Cafe Bonsai is owned by a German/Dutch couple, and features juices and smoothies and their signature sandwiches. Try the shrimp salad sandwich with pesto dressing.

El Bonito right by the beach serves up delicious mojitos and a wide-ranging menu.

Casita del Mar is a beachfront restaurant which also offers cocktails...a great place to enjoy a sunset.

La Baguettes de Maria is run by a South African who serves up delicious baguette sandwiches. There are a variety of meat and vegetarian options. Particularly recommended is the steak baguette, which comes with mayonaisse, barbecue sauce, lettuce, tomatoe, and capers.

Tourism in the City:  One of the most interesting activities you can try is the flyboard, a jet-powered hover-craft that can fly through the air or water. For just $100.000 you can have a 15 minutes lesson followed by 15 minutes of flyboarding.

If diving is your interest, the hostel has a relationship with local instructor Michael.

If you would like to try your hand at fishing, local fishing guide "Toti" offers "El Dia del la Pesca." For $170.000, including breakfast and lunch, you can head out to try your luck at catching red snapper, tuna, grouper, swordfish, or local favorite "cojinoa." The tour leaves at 6am, and returns at 3pm or 4pm in the afternoon.

Tourism Outside the City: Casa Gypsy offers complete package tours to the legendary Ciudad Perdida: they cost $850.000 for 4 or 5 day tours, including all meals, bilingual guide, and transportation to and from the hostel.

Parque Tayrona: Now all tickets to Parque Tayrona are purchased online. Casa Gypsy can help you with planning your trip, and offering you complete information. They also work with a local boat captain who can transport you by boat to the Cabo de San Juan for $90.000 roundtrip.

If you are interested in heading to la Guajira, Colombia's wild northeastern department, the Cabo de la Vela tour costs $280.000 for two days and one night. This includes transportation, guide, and three meals a day. It is 4 hours away from Taganga.

They also offer 5 day 4 night tours to remote Punto Gallinas, located in the nothern part of la Guajira, close to the Venezuelan border.

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Conclusion: With a friendly staff, great options for local tourism, Ciudad Perdida, and la Guajira, and a great location just 5 minutes from the beach, Casa Gypsy is a great place to stay for experiencing the natural beauty of beautiful Taganga.

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