The destination with everything
Santa Marta is pure flavor. The city's diversity is evident in its landscape, people, and each and every aspect of its culture; it is a destination that truly embraces its visitors and makes them feel at home.
What makes this city unique? Santa Marta's beautiful terrain is its most distinguishing feature: its unforgettable landscapes in which the green foliage, blue sea, yellow sun and sand, and the contrast between the beaches and the white-peaked Sierra Nevada, make Santa Marta a must-see destination.
There are also about 30,000 people from the KOGI, ARHUACO, KANKUAMO, and WIWA indigenous ethnic groups that live in Santa Marta. In fact, Unesco declared the area a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site in 1979.
Santa Marta is a captivating city with beaches and cultures that can help anyone disconnect. Santa Marta has activities for everyone, from losing yourself in the waves at a beach fringed with forest, to watching the colorful birds that seem to be trying to say something through their songs. Or, take a historic walk through the city and visit TAYRONA, the cultural heart of the city, and its colonial treasures.
The charm of the locals, with that characteristic touch of the Caribbean, is another factor that makes visiting Santa Marta so memorable.
What is there to do in Santa Marta?
During your stay in Santa Marta, you don't want to miss your chance to learn about the remarkable culture of TAYRONA. To do so, you must visit the Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona. This nature reserve with crystal-clear waters, white sands, and incomparable sunrises is considered one of the most beautiful bays in America. The reserve is a peaceful, ideal place where the sound of the sea and Santa Marta's clean mountain air converge.
The Park has incredible beaches, each with its own unique charm that pulls in visitors to enjoy their weather, sun, and delicious cocktails. Some of the most well-known beaches include Cape San Juan; Bahía Concha, a beautiful resort with cabins and restaurants; Neguanje; and Cañaveral, with its camping area and beautiful beaches in the middle of Santa Marta's flourishing nature.
Only five minutes from the historic center of Santa Marta, you will find El Rodadero, a place with white sand beaches where the sand is slightly coarse and doesn't stick to your skin, and a clean, greenish-blue sea warmed by the heat of the sun.
In addition to its natural wealth, of which El Rodadero is also a part, Santa Marta has an impressive historic legacy represented in its architecture and the streets of downtown Santa Marta, which offer the idea route for visiting the Cathedral, the museums, and the Bastidas Boardwalk, where you can also enjoy a romantic sunset.
Another place you should add to your itinerary is the Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino, which was the last residence of Simón Bolívar and is considered one of Colombia's principal national monuments.
Take advantage of your daily excursions to sample some of Santa Marta's local dishes, such as chipi chipi (clam soup), fried fish, patacones (fried green plantains), arroz con coco (coconut rice), and cocadas (coconut macaroons).
Santa Marta is also the stage for celebrations like the Festivals of the Sea, which take place halfway through the year. The principal activities at these festivals are aquatic sports, accompanied by different cultural and musical activities.
The International Caribbean Theater Festival, which is at the end of August or beginning of September, and brings together national and international theater companies, is also held in Santa Marta.
Activities you won't want to miss out on
If you consider yourself and adventurer, you can't miss out on your opportunity to practice extreme sports with the stunning natural setting of Santa Marta.
You can also visit the Sea Aquarium and Museum, where you can enjoy the marine world and the rich biodiversity of Colombia, as well as participating in entertaining activities like swimming with dolphins.
But one activity you won't want to miss out on for anything is visiting Taganga, where it seems that time stands still. In this town, there are no traces of industrialization, large hotel chains, or restaurant franchises. Everything in the town is artisanal, and the town's beautiful beaches offer a unique view that affirms the area's incredible diversity.
- Santa Marta's weather is warm, with an average temperature of 82.4 °F and a dry climate due to the breezes coming in from the Sierra Nevada.
- The city's Simón Bolívar International Airport is located 10 minutes from the Rodadero and 15 minutes from the Santa Marta's historic center. This airport has national and international connections.
- Within the city, you can use taxis and buses to get to any places of interest.
- We strongly recommend that you get vaccinated for yellow fever 15 days prior to visiting any natural areas. We also recommend that you bring medications, painkillers, sunscreen, and insect repellent. It is also very important that, while you are visiting Santa Marta, you drink only bottled water, not tap water.
- The city is a tourist destination that brings together excellent hotel infrastructure with luxury hotels, apartments, and hostels for more adventurous travelers, where you can meet people from around the world, participate in cultural exchanges, and make your vacation truly unforgettable—so make your booking in advance.
With these recommendations, you're ready to feel the rhythm of Santa Marta. Come soon, and enjoy everything this destination has to offer!
With my wife we took a boat for $Col 12,000 each, arrived to the sea aquarium and bought admission ticket for $Col 35,000 each. The dolphin show at 10:30 was great, then walked around the fish tanks and Tayrona Museum. We took the cable ride to Playa Blanca, great fun.
First off we want to highly recommend 'Machete Jhon' & Jorge who were our guide & translater respectively. If you get a chance to choose, choose them, you won't be disappointed. From start to finish the trip was excellent. It's tough but doable. Well worth the Kodak moment at the end. Won't spoil it with pictures, as they won't do it justice, you just gotta go for it. We did it in 4 days, 3 nights, the perfect time for us, but other options available. Food & camp lodgings were excellent, weather is, well weather is, we welcomed the rain showers at certain points, especially the end of or top a hill.
If you like walking and scenic views, this is the tour for you. Its at least 2 1/2 hour walk each way, they give you the option to return walking, on horse or on a boat, the horse is super fun, if you like adventure try it; the views are beautiful and majestic. Take snacks and plenty of water, there are no eating sites until you reach the beach. There is a restaurant where you can order food and they are really fast at serving, you can do this by yourself not necessarily with the tour guide. The beach water is super cold! be ready!.
"I did the 2 day Palamino coastal tour and really cant sing enough praises about it. I had Felix as my tour guide. He made this already 10 plus tour into one for the books. I had no prior riding experience and was able to manage no problem. The tour itself was a perfect balance of learning how to ride (though an experienced rider would love this just as much), riding for hours,
exploring beautiful places (like tayrona, palomino, taganga), tubing with gorgeous scenery and partying like a rock star at el rio hostel. This really can’t be topped. Thank you!!!"
We visited today as part of out boat trip. It was really great to see the fish under the clear water but to be honest it was my least favourite only because it was more crowded than the others we visited.