After arriving at the small fishing village of Taganga we settled in at La Masia, our hostel for the next 7 days. It had a nice pool to relax at when the beaches got crowded. It also had a few lounge areas and a bar for evening drinks. It had a nice quiet atmosphere and wasn’t very busy at all through out our whole stay which was perfect for us to just relax after the long days travelling to South America.
We quickly found ourselves lacking the Spanish language but were able to get what we needed and wanted, most of the time, by hand gestures and key words. This is something we have both decided we need to spend a little free time on taking Spanish lessons and using our language app Duolingo! Even though we knew the basics and were able to pick out key words, the hardest part was trying to keep up with how fast people spoke to us. It was almost like we needed a slow motion button every time we were spoken to. Over the 7 days in Taganga we definitely have improved but in no way can we call ourselves anything but beginners at best in the Spanish language.
The weather has been very consistent every day so far. 28-33 degrees Celsius with almost no clouds in the sky. It tends to get a little windy after sunset and throughout the night which is a nice compensation for the scorching heat and humidity all day long. One thing we have come to love is watching sunsets together and Taganga’s is definitely amazing. Every night it seems as though the sunset is different depending on the clouds that are around or how much humidity there was throughout the day. It is almost better to watch the sky 5 minutes after the sunset to see some of the amazing colors that light up the sky.
We noticed a lot of police and army presence the week we were in Taganga. Soldiers were on almost every corner with a rifle in hand. We didn’t know really what to think of it at the time- if that was a really good thing or a bad thing comfort wise. We found out later it was because of some events that happened the week before we arrived and they were showing the locals and people responsible that what happened was not acceptable and will not be tolerated. We wont go into details but the events that occurred happen everywhere in the world, including Canada.
There was no way to hide it, we were the whitest people on the beach at the beginning of the week. We started to fit in after the better part of a week with our tans. Bri turns golden brown super quick and Piet turns bright lobster red super quick so Piet went through probably a bottle of sunscreen in a matter of days. All in all we are definitely not complaining about the weather one bit because we know what February looks like back home in Calgary and the Okanagan. It was nice once again to be able to taste the salt in the water for both of us. There is just something about the feeling it gives you to know you really are in open waters. The beach in Taganga wasn’t all that we imagined because it was fairly small and rocky in most parts but still enjoyable to say the least.
We took a 30 min hike instead of boating to another beach called Playa Blanca one day to get a change of scenery and that beach was definitely a bit nicer. Playa Blanca definitely was more of the tourist beach as it had more restaurants, chairs set up to sit in, and also entertainment. Speaking of the entertainment we both tried our luck in getting a 15 minute coconut oil massage right on the beach from a very friendly African American man! It took a little convincing to get Piet to do it but once he saw another man do it he figured it would be acceptable! By the end of Piets massage he had quite the group of onlookers checking out the massage!! He wanted 50,000 COP($22.50 CAD) but we ended up haggling him down to 30,000 COP($ 13.50 CAD)for the both of us. The coconut oil is supposed to get rid of the red sunburn and also even out your tan. We found it worked great and was very enjoyable although the oil might have ruined one of Bri’s bathing suits. I guess that’s the price you pay for luxury sometimes.
It was amazing to see how many fish the boats would bring in every night to sell in the local markets. Fish is definitely the token food so far in Colombia. This is definitely not the type of nicely cut salmon filet or what not we eat back home but instead it’s literally a whole fish with head and all getting put down in front of you to pick it apart. We have found the food in Colombia to be rather bland and not very flavourful or to have very much variety. For breakfast they usually have eggs, toast, and fruit. The fruit is awesome here and there is so many new fruits we have never tried that you are able to get on almost every street corner. We have found that lunch and dinner is almost always the same meal which consists of rice, beans, a small salad and some kind of meat. The meat is almost always fish unless you can find a place that sells a flat steak or chicken. For dessert it is always almost ice cream which we all know is amazing! If you do find yourself craving a snack at the beach we highly recommend trying out one of the vendors selling freshly made ceviche. It was so yummy!!
We even tested out some street meats and street food which was questionable at best but something we want to continue to do everywhere we go. Our two favorite places to eat because of the food, people, price, and views was Los Baguette De Maria and Babaganoush. Los Baguette is owned by a South African man that was very nice and actually taught us some Spanish and talked with us for a little while, not to mention the food was great and had big portions! Babaganoush was almost a Thai/Asian inspired cuisine. We started with some falafels and hummus and pita bread, followed by the Thai Green Curry entrée. It was definitely the best food we had all week, not to mention the view from this restaurant was stunning. It’s also very hard not to drink a beer or 2 with every meal as beer is actually cheaper then water here (tap water is not drinkable without a filter so you are buying a lot of water to stay hydrated all day). A beer ranges from about 2000-3500 COP ($0.90-$1.60).
After spending 7 days in Taganga it was time to head out. We recommend maybe 2-4 days to spend in Taganga. We were also trying to get some work done so 7 days ended up being just about right for us. We jumped in a cab for 30 min which costs 10,000 COP($4.50 CAD) and off to Santa Marta we went.