The Caribbean Coast: Taganga

Some of the best advice I’ve gotten so far was to go to the Caribbean coast of Colombia. The variety of scenery I saw and activities I did combined for a fantastic week that made me quickly love this country. More than once I thought: “This is it, I found paradise on the Colombian coast.” I was tempted to stay everywhere I went for longer.

It was also a relaxing week where I was able to disconnect and really just travel alone. As much as I’ve loved having friends for most of this journey so far, I was looking forward to some me time, and I definitely got it and enjoyed it.

It started with Taganga. Taganga itself is not much to write home about; it’s a small village that doesn’t have too much to offer, but it’s a great launching point for everything else. I spent my one full day in Taganga doing the one thing it does have to offer: scuba diving.

I played with the idea of getting scuba certified, but it doesn’t make sense to spend the money and days doing the full certification during this trip. Still, I’d never been scuba diving, and Taganga is one of the cheapest places to try it, so I did just a half day “Discover Scuba Diving” course with Aquarius to see how I liked it. Of course, I thought it was great.

The day started with an instructional video before going out on the boat and into open water. Our first dive was short, only ~25 minutes and 6m, and we learned the basics of breathing under water, swimming with the gear, how to clear our masks and recover our breathing devices if they fall out, how to equalize, etc. Then we had lunch on a beach before our second dive. This dive was the fun one: we went down 12m for ~40 minutes and were able to freely swim and take in the scenery while our guide pointed out wildlife and took pictures. Once I really had the chance to swim around, the potentially scary fact that I was breathing through this device in an environment that could drown me faded away; it started to feel normal and I was able to just enjoy my surroundings. I’m hooked, and will definitely be diving again on this trip. One day I’ll get ceritified.

The rest of my time in Taganga was mostly spent hanging out at the excellent hostel Casa de Felipe. With hammocks and outdoor tables everywhere, including a roof deck, it’s a great place to decompress and read, write, or just watch the sun set. And when the French chef is there, it’s a great place to splurge on a filet mignon (and by splurge I mean about US$11).

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