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Craving beautiful beaches after all our high mountain travel, we finally arrived at Taganga, on the edge of the spectacular coast line in the North of the country. This small fishing town, nestled in a quiet bay fifteen minutes drive from the large city of Santa Marta, has been gringofied in the past few years. Luckily we arrived in low season, so although the promenade is lined with little bars and restaurants, there was still a quiet small town atmosphere, with some added tourist luxuries.

We spent our days swimming at the little beach next to the fishing dock, and exploring the beaches a short walk away, along little tracks surrounded by cacti and leafy tropical plants. We made the most of the fresh catch of the day, eating whole fried fish with fried banana, and attempting to cook our own version in our lovely hostel.

After a few days we ventured into the magnificent Parque Nacional Tayrona, about an hour further north; one of the most popular parks in Colombia due to the dense jungle meeting the extraordinarily beautiful beaches along this stretch of coast. Loaded with water and supplies we trudged through the steaming midday heat along the muddy jungle track. Dripping with sweat, we past by numerous pristine beaches and nice camp areas, finally arriving at our chosen spot (Cabo de San Juan), surrounded by picturesque palm fringed beaches.

What started out to be a short walk the next morning, turned into a full day affair. We headed off into the lush jungle foliage in the heavy heat, scrambling over huge rocks, through muddy paths and cool streams, past the pre Hispanic town ruins of Pueblito. After a few hours of walking (and after digging numerous splinters from Adam’s feet, as he had decided that shoes of any kind were unnecessary in the jungle), we arrived at the beautifully deserted Playa Brava.  A hidden paradise – Playa Brava is a perfect cove with crystal clear water, palm trees for shade, gentle rolling waves, and the dense jungle meeting the beach. The place was run by an indigenous family and consisted of a few bungalows on the beach side, melding easily with the scenery. We delighted in this perfect beach, reading and swimming for a few hours and after we convinced the owners of the eco-lodge to cook us a cheap lunch (eggs and white bread) we headed back into the jungle towards home. Taking a slightly different route after meeting some Colombians on the way, we went via two more stunning empty beaches, and arrived back at camp on dusk.

We had the morning to chill on the beaches close to camp, and then a little sadly, took the convenient (though pricy) boat from our camp back to Taganga.


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