The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is a magical tourist destination in Colombia where the wisdom of nature converges with the indigenous people of the country. With each step towards its interior you’ll encounter a beauty and exuberance unseen elsewhere in the world. It's the highest elevation recorded near the sea, aside from the Andes mountain range.

Where is the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta located?

Located in northern Colombia on the Caribbean Coast, this land lies just 42 kilometres from the the beaches of Santa Marta where tourists luxuriate beside the sound of the waves. In the background, the snowcapped summits of Mt. Colón and Mt. Bolivar rise to 5,775 and 5560 meters above sea level, making the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta the highest coastal mountain in the world. The Lost City, hidden in Teyuna archaeological park, was the heart of the Tayrona civilization.

The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is part of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Natural Park and the Tayrona National Natural Park.

Ecosystem of the world's highest coastal mountain

It has every type of thermal floor, from the hot-dry to the perpetual snows from which lagoons and rivers are born, all at 3,000 meters above sea level. Around the 29 main rivers live countless birds and howler monkeys that compose the soundtrack of the Sierra.

Below 2800 meters the soil is more fertile, and tropical forests dominate the horizon across certain thermal floors. Between 2800 and 4000 meters, the soil supports growth of exotic plants such as frailejones and pajonales. Above 5000 meters in the mountain moor, the northernmost enclave of moorland in South America permanent snow covers the landscape.

UNESCO declared it a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site in 1979, given the network of ecosystems that countless forms of life and several indigenous communities call home. This imposing mountain is located in northern Colombia and occupies the departments of Magdalena, La Guajira and Cesar.