El Rodadero was our chill stop to relax for a day and do some trip planning. We stayed at Casa de Ritmo which had excellent wifi, a computer, and a printer too! They also had some simple but good vegetarian meals, and a little pool to relax in. The receptionists were very friendly and helpful, and there were a lot of tour options you could book. There were many buses that stopped at the main road just 5 minutes away, and they ran very frequently both to the airport as well as to Santa Marta main town. The hostel also helped to arrange a pick up service to Cartagena when we returned from Minca, which arrived 30 minutes later than planned.
The beach was disappointing, especially since it was supposedly one of the best in Santa Marta area. The sand was grey and it was not very wide, with the water was also very murky. There were a lot of touts on the beach, selling boat trips and food. The hostel receptionist recommended Playa Grande at Tanganga, where snorkelling is supposedly great. However after reading online reviews about the robberies that frequently occur in that area, we decided against it. If anyone has comments about the safety there, please let us know!
Isola Sarda was the place we chose for dinner, and the chef was delightfully earnest. Despite not speaking English, he repeatedly referred to his Italian-English dictionary and tried his best to have a conversation. The tagliatelle pasta was handmade on the spot, and cut to the thickness that you liked. Texture was great but the bolognese sauce was not to my liking. Nevertheless, we had a wonderful experience due to the amiable chef who was also very generous as to provide a complimentary dessert for my birthday.