Gabriel García Márquez’s brand of magical realism was inspired partly by Ciénaga, a town in the department of Magdalena, which is part of the Colombian Network of People’s Heritage. Located on the Caribbean Sea, near the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Ciénaga is notable for the diversity of its landscapes and its well-preserved architecture.


What to do in Ciénaga

Ciénaga was an indigenous village when it was catechized by Fray Tomás Ortiz in 1529. Since then it has been instrumental in the development of the Colombian Caribbean, as evidenced in is its historic center, which was declared a National Cultural Heritage Site in 1996. Here you can learn about banana cultivation, bathe in hot springs, and participate in a festival honoring the caimán (a small crocodile).

Vista aérea de Kankawarua, Pueblo indígena del Magdalena que hace parte de la historia de Ciénaga - Vista desde el aire de uno de los asentamientos Kankawarua
Kankawarua pueblo indígena Magdalena Photo: ProColombia


Unique Experiences

Walk through the historic center of Ciénaga and you’ll notice the town’s splendor, owed in part to the extensive surrounding banana plantations. You can also visit nearby stilt villages in the area.

Reserva Natural Ciénaga, Magdalena
Photo: Lorena Velasco, ProColombia

Can´t-Miss Activities

At Cienaga one can find activities for each person. What will make your trip an unforgettable experience.