(Day 108 – 115)
08.03.2010 - 15.03.2010 37 °C
Taganga & Tayrona Park Beaches
It was a shock returning to the noise of hooting cars and sirens within Santa Marta, which saw us make a hasty exit to the quiet peaceful fishing village of nearby Taganga. Only 15 minutes away, the 2 are worlds apart.
Built on the side of a mountain overlooking the sea, with unpaved dirt streets, dry vegetation and intense heat; the scenery around Taganga reminds us of the dry hills on a Greek Island. The village itself is very small, with a short strip of restaurants along the seafront and delicious fruit juice sellers every few metres. The bay is full of lovely fishing boats of all sizes and colours as this is essentially what Taganga is – a fishing village – albeit one that has been taken over by us Gringos.
So here we are and we are relieved to have some time to recover from the hike to unwind, relax and do NOTHING.
We visited the local beaches, watched the beautiful sunsets over the bay with a fresh local fruit juice. Our favourite was the fruit called Lulo, perfectly balanced sweet and acid, something between a granadilla and guava with a hint of lime, really delicious.
After a few days we ventured to Parque Nacional Tayrona, Colombia’s most unspoilt tropical area. Its only 45-1 hour away from Tanganga and part of the same area and jungle we visited for the Lost City Hike.
It’s a wilderness with beautiful jungle-fringed beaches, tall palms with falling coconuts. Ever since we started planning this part of the trip back in the UK I’ve (Martin) had two places high on my list of visiting in Colombia, one was the Lost City, the other the Tayrona park and beaches. So I was really happy to finally make it here and enjoy 3 lazy days and 2 relaxing nights on Cabo beach, renamed by us as “Paradise”.
Cabo San Juan, one of the campsites on the beach was our destination within the park. It offers beautiful beaches, warm clear water (where you can swim, the others are too dangerous) and a few campsites including one in a small gazebo perched atop a rocky outcrop where our hammocks for the night would be strung.
It was a simple space with hammocks, but an amazing view and falling asleep with the waves crashing beneath us was really priceless. To top it off, waking up at 6am to watch the sunrise over the waves from our private (us and another 15 people!) balcony was amazing. (Especially more enjoyable because our first night was spent on the land, and was insect ridden, this was a fantastic upgrade).
During our transfer to the park we met some great people who would end up being our companions during our beach stay. Lucy & Bruce, from UK & Zim respectively, (who just got married & were like us on their honeymoon backpacking) and lovely Shevaughn from Oz.
Days were spent chilling on the beach, swimming, eating and playing cards and games. At some point I tried my luck as a Robinson Crusoe wannabe and climbed a Coconut tree, grabbed a coconut, cracked it open against a rock for Steph to enjoy the juice and flesh inside, good fun but hard work
This place has a strange magnetic pull which makes getting on with your journey really hard. We almost stayed another night but time and money got the better of us and we all decided to get back to the real world.
We returned to Taganga by speedboat and spent a further 2 nights there before heading to the Coffee region in the centre of the country (via a stop in Bogota), to finally taste some good strong Colombian coffee.
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