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Taganga: Quite Nice for a Place Known for Being a “Backpacker Ghetto”

Taganga is a place with a bad reputation for drugs, prostitutes and frequent muggings. For us it was only the gateway to get from Tayrona over to Santa Marta, the city we would fly from a few days after. Since we had already been to Santa Marta we decided to give it a chance and spent our last days here in this small fishing village on Colombia’s Carribbean coast.

The place was small, with only one ATM and just a tiny beach that did not exactly look like a tropical paradise beach, but the promenade behind it had some good juice bars, plus the view of the hills on both sides were quite nice to look at when eating breakfast by the beach. Except for being the base for day tours to Minca in Sierra Nevada and multiday tours to the Lost City and some of the cheapest diving I have ever come across (200-300US to get a PADI Open Water License) the city had not much to offer.

We strolled the few streets a couple of times in search for some good local food, but ended up eating at our hostel (Casa de Felipe) instead which actually had some of the best tasting food we have had on this trip so far! The hostel restaurant was run by a French chef, Dominique, where people from all over the town came to enjoy his reasonable and excellent steaks. Our favorite was the Filet de Mignon with redwine sauce that cost 23 000 pesos/12US, but the cheaper Lomo Arbol beef dish with mushroom and blue cheese sauce cost 14 000/7$ and was still some really good meat. If you ever go to Taganga, and even though you might not get a room at Casa de Felipe, eating at Dominiques Restaurant should be the number one thing you should do while being there.