A Walk Through Taganga, Santa Marta, Magdalena, Colombia
Come take a walk through Taganga, a beautiful little fishing village surrounded by lush green hills just outside Santa Marta in Colombia.
Taganga is small. You could walk along the beach from one end to the other in ten minutes if you wanted to. However, if you wander a little further out on either side of the main village area, and stop along the way to smell the roses, you could easily spend a few days or more there.
A Walk through Taganga
A kilometer or so before getting to Taganga from Santa Marta there is a mirador (lookout point) that offers a fantastic view overlooking the village. You can ask the bus driver to drop you there if you want, or walk up from the beach. It’s not very far.
About halfway down the hill from the mirador to the village you can take a left at Hostel Azules Techos (blue roofs). This takes you to a spot where you can swim and, although it isn’t fantastic, you can snorkel there too (the water is clearer to the left, away from the beach).
From here you could easily swim to the main beach area. Alternatively, continue walking down the hill. You can take the stairs on your left just before The Mirador bar straight to the main beach. The other option is to take the road all the way into the village and then turn left.
The beach is basically two parts. The first is a swimming area and the other is for all the small boats.
The road in front of Taganga beach is lined with small shops, street food, bars, and restaurants. There are even a couple of small supermarkets.
You can get all the basic necessities without leaving Taganga, but it is cheaper and fresher in town (centro), especially from the fresh market.
Towards the end of the beach you can buy the day’s catch straight from the fisherman.
At the very end of the beach is a path leading up the hills.
I especially enjoyed all the cactuses in the area. There’s just something about cactuses near the ocean. I feel like they should only be in the desert… haha.
There are a couple of turns that go off that path which will lead you to the ocean. I didn’t go down any of them yet, but I will check them out for snorkeling one day.
Eventually, you will arrive at Playa Grande. It’s actually not that far – maybe a 15-minute walk from the start of the path.
Playa Grande is a similar setup to Taganga Beach, only smaller.
Behind the restaurants is a small residencial area and a path which I may try hiking along one day.
Walk along Playa Grande to the end of the beach and there is another path. It may be possible to walk all the way into Tayrona National Park on it.
You can hike back to Taganga the same way you came, or take a boat. You could take a boat either way, and I think all the way to Tayrona and other places if you want.
Once back in Taganga, take a stroll through the back streets. There you will find more small (cheaper) restaurants, a drug store, a church, a football field, small hardware stores, and more.
Getting to Taganga
The bus to Taganga starts at the bus terminal in Santa Marta, goes through some neighborhoods before going through the center of Santa Marta (Carrera 5). It continues past the fresh market, and then onto Taganga. The whole journey takes over an hour. It is a blue bus with the words Taganga on the front. Just wave it down when you see it and give the driver your money on the way in. It costs 1,600cop, 1,800 on Sundays and holidays.
During the day the buses are quite frequent (less than every ten minutes) but after about 7 or 8 pm they hardly ever come. One night I was near the transport terminal around 7:30 pm and waited for about 40 minutes. I would have had to wait more but I asked the drivers and they said they would ask for permission to go to Taganga. I think if I hadn’t have asked they just would have stopped the service.
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Have you taken a walk in Taganga before? Let me know all about it in the comments 😀 .