Rodedero is 10 mins from Santa Marta and is a beach town which is really popular with Colombians. It is a bit built up with buildings but is surrounded by mountains which makes it very pretty. Before arriving we had read that it might be a bit tacky and busy, but we did not find this. It felt really friendly and relaxed and more like a genuine place due to no tourists. This was nice as we met and saw only 2 other non Colombians the whole time we were there. We made some really nice Colombian friends and also were joined by Jennifer (Adrianīs girlfriend who showed us around Bogota). We spent the whole first day on the beach sunbathing, watching Mitch and some other guys play Volleyball, watching the sunset with a nice cold beer, which, of course, was brought right to us. It is possible to buy anything on the beach without even moving!
That night, despite having had a very long day with not a lot of bus sleep, we headed out for some Santa Marta nightlife. We went to a bar with a nice outdoor area where we watched (and joined in) with the amazing Colombian partying and dancing! And of course, Rum, it is the Caribbean after all! We had a great night out and felt like it was a proper Colombian experience.
The next day, after 3 hours of sleep, we headed for Tayrona National park. As the ticket price was so much more expensive for foreigners, Jennifer managed to persuade the ticket office that we were all actually from Bogota...we were not allowed to talk for about 30 mins! But we got away with it...wahoo! It has been our dream to be mistaken for a Latino!
Tayrona park was amazing, although we walked for about a million miles through the Colombian jungle to get to the beaches. But these beaches were worth the walk! Stunning.
They looked like they were out of a film. So we spent the day walking from beach to beach, including one called "La Piscina" which was a natural swimming pool with the most clear water! BEAUTIFUL! Jennifer got a blister and had to get a horse back down the hill, while we practically ran (the beaches made us lose track of time and so we were running a little late) in order to do the hour walk in 30 mins. We did it though, go Jev! We then spent a very long time getting home, and when we got home we all collapsed in a heap of mud and pizza.
Spent another day beaching in Rodedero, watching the sunset..you know..the usual things. In the night, still on the beach, we enjoyed the transformation from people sunbathing to people hanging out, eating, drinking and of course dancing. Such an amazing atmosphere. The beach culture (and dancing culture) is so nice.
On the last day we went with an extremely nice Colombian couple to Taganga. This is a small fishing village near Santa Marta. From there we walked over the hills to Playa Grande. Beautiful beach surrounded by mountains and cacti, many many cacti. We beached and snorkelled (using our new friendsī equipment) which was cool...lots of fishies. Back in Taganga we had some Jugo and watched yet another sunset...what can I say...we love it! We then found the baguette lady of Taganga who we had heard (through books and friends) made the most amazing baguettes....it was true. So we made the people on our bus back very jealous by eating the most delicious and full baguette on the bus..mmmmmmmmmm! That night we went out to a Reggae bar for a few farewell beers with Mitch, followed by a farewell arepa con carne. yum.
WE LOVE THE CARIBBEAN!
After a rather long (12 hour) night bus from Bucaramanga to Santa Marta, we arrived at Tika Uraka hostel in Rodedero. This hostel is owned by Giovanny (aka Mitch...baywatch reference) who is a friend of our good friend Adrian who we lived with in Quito. We then began what we had been so looking forward to...beaching on the Caribbean!