Introduction: Taganga is a small fishing village located just 5km north of Santa Marta, in the department of Magdalena.  Located on Colombia's Caribbean coast, it has recently emerged as a tourism hot spot. It's a great place to enjoy a laid back couple of days or week, soak in the sun, and treat yourself to some nice hostels and restaurants. The real beauty of Taganga lies in the picturesque hills and cliffs that surround the village, making for some unforgettable sunsets. This is Colombian backpacking heaven, and expect to find that reflected (for good and for bad) in the local economy, which heavily revolves around catering to the dining, drinking, entertainment, and ecotourism needs of a youthful, international crowd.


Orientation and Location: Taganga lies in the northeastern region of Colombia, not far from the Venezuelan border. It's a typical base camp for trips to la Ciudad Perdida, la Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, and legendary Parque Tairona, which is only a mile away.

How to Get There: If you are traveling by bus, head to Santa Marta's Terminal de Transporte. From here it's just a 15 minute taxi ride to Taganga, and it should cost you around $10.000. Taganga is about 4 hours from Cartagena and 2 hours from Barranquilla by bus.

It's a very long bus ride from Bogota (20 hours), Medellin (14 hours), and Cali (22 hours). You're better off looking for a promotion with Avianca, LAN, or Viva Colombia and flying. A flight is a little over an hour, and you may be able to find something as cheap as $100.000 one way.

If you're flying into Santa Marta, Simon Bolivar Airport (SMR) is located just 16.5km south of the city. airline), Numerous airlines fly into Simon Bolivar, including Viva Colombia, which offers inexpensive domestic flights throughout the country.


What to See: Taganga is built onto a hillside, and in just the past five years has become an impressive tourism and backpacking destination in its own right. The village is situated around a small cove which has a beach, and a vast array of fishing boats. A much better option for a swim is Playa Grande, just a fifteen minute walk to the north through a beautiful cactus-lined path built into the cliffside.

Taganga is crawling with tourists during high season, both Colombian and foreign. 

Parque Tairona is just an hour away by bus. First, you'll need to take a van to downtown Santa Marta. From Calle Primera (Santa Marta's main drag), take a bus on the highway heading towards Riohacha/Venezuela, and ask the bus driver to let you off at the park entrance.



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