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Located just five kilometers (3 miles) from Santa Marta, this once-upon-a-time small fishing village has now become a backpacker's haven. Desert hills steeply drape down to a palm-tree fringed horseshoe bay. On one side the fishing boats bob in the sunset, on the other bathers enjoy the cool waters. Taganga has become a premier center for scuba diving in the region, including excursions to reefs off neighboring Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona. Tranquility punctuated by laid-back partying reigns here, something that many travelers—both foreign and Colombian—find appealing. It's an escape from the bustling ports and tourist towns of this Caribbean coast, a place where increasing numbers of ex-pats find a home.

But Taganga isn't just for mochileros (backpackers). There are inns and restaurants catering to the more-well-heeled tripper. The town is rapidly growing, with foreigners now owning almost half of the businesses. Increasingly it is able to provide its visitors with the services they want. By the same token, it is starting to become less peaceful, especially on holidays when all accommodations fill up, and losing its appeal to some travelers. The scarcity of water in the area may help to deter unrestrained growth.

(Altitude: sea level, Population: approximately 5000, City Code: 5)


Other places nearby Taganga: Valledupar, Barranquilla, Tolú, Aracataca, San Andres, Minca, San Andres Isla, Providencia and Santa Catalina, Coveñas and San Andres Isla.

By Lorraine Caputo

Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...

07 Jul 2011

VIVA Colombia

Things to do in Taganga

Scuba Diving

121154Coral reefs that fringe the coast or old Spanish galleon shipwrecks out in the wider bay, which piques your curiosity? This part of Colombia’s Caribbean hides many wonders under its sea. Taganga ...
Taganga, Colombia


121156 Every morning and every afternoon local men head out to go fishing, the traditional trade of Taganga. To try your hand at catching some bonito pargo rojo (red snapper), albacore, barracuda or ...
Other Activity
Taganga, Colombia

Playa Grande and Playa Cristal

121157If the beach in town gets too familiar, try one of the other stretches of sand nearby. The knoll on the right-hand-side of Taganga Bay shelters Playa Grande, an expanse of pale golden arena. From the ...
Taganga, Colombia
View Taganga Map

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