With wi-fi available again it’s time to write about Santa Marta, the tourist hub to Rodadero, Taganga, Minca and Tayrona National Park. While there is admittedly not a ton to do or see in Santa Marta it is however nicely situated for bus rides to neighboring cities and locations that might pique a traveler’s interest.Rodadero
We stayed first in Rodadero which has a smaller city feel and definitely nicer beaches but found out later that all the buses to neighboring points of interest leave from Santa Marta. Rodadero – which means ‘rolling’ or ‘wheeling’ and also “precipice” – or as we were told roughly ‘slide’ – is named after a large sand dune along the beach on which people can slide down to the water.
Taking a bus from Rodadero we headed to Santa Marta, a larger city with more lodging options. While one shouldn’t come to Santa Marta to hang out exclusively in Santa Marta, it is worth a walk around the downtown areas. There are several nice plazas and a multitude of shops and banks to get everything you need done before you head to your next destination. Bring a cold drink to walk around town as we would come to learn Santa Marta is always hot! It was 97 degrees out and humid, too hot even for the local dogs.
Hopping on a bus – which stops along street Carrera 5 – we headed 15 minutes north to Taganga. This small beach town was once strictly a fishing village but tourism has since discovered this picturesque little bay and turned the sleepy fishing village into a popular stop for many tourists. The town has quickly grown a reputation for hosting the ‘western party scene.’ Here one can find tourists partying or stumbling around in various stages of soberness, along with petty theft and a lot of foreign languages being spoken. Illegal drugs apparently are easy to find here, we were offered some within 15 minutes of stopping to sit along the boardwalk to enjoy the views.
It was hot so we stopped at Donde Mera for a fresh fruit smoothie.
We came just for a few hours to check out the town and watch the sunset, before heading back to Santa Marta to catch a bus to Rodadero. The view from Baba Ganoosh restaurant during happy hour was amazing, and it made for a great place to watch the sunset.