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Once a tiny fishing village, Taganga seemed to have hit the jackpot when it became a big backpacker destination in the early 2000s. It drew a diverse crowd of locals and travelers, and quietly boomed. Hostels and restaurants prospered with the endless stream of visitors.

Taganga today is something of a cautionary tale about the overdevelopment of small towns, though, and in the past few years the village has gone from a near-obligatory backpacker stop to a rather depressing place where poverty is rife and much of what originally attracted visitors has disappeared. That said, some travelers still come here for cheap accommodation, partying and diving; there are also those who love being so close to PNN Tayrona, just a short boat ride away. The town's hostel owners are a determined bunch and are doggedly fighting to restore Taganga to its former glory.