This beachside city – situated on the Caribbean and beneath the staggering mountains of the Sierra Nevada – has been a popular tourist destination for both Colombians and foreigners for many years and is the gateway to two of Colombia’s most famous attractions, the Ciudad Perdida (the Lost City) and Tayrona National Park.
But don’t let the beach blindside you completely as there is much more to Santa Marta than just its position as an access point to picture postcard strips of unspoiled white sands and palm fringed shore lines. Santa Marta, founded in 1525, was the first permanent Spanish settlement Colombia and in this is reflected in the beautifully restored colonial center. Now you can enjoy fine dining options and effervescent nightlife in the attractive and impressive environs of the Plaza de Bolivar.
Santa Marta is the perfect place to spend a few days exploring local beaches, immersing yourself in Bolivarian history, dining out of fresh seafood and preparing for future adventures along the Caribbean coast. See if you can organize your visit to Santa Marta during the chaotically fun Fiesta del Mar in July and in addition to the revelry you may catch a glimpse of the city’s most famous son, Carlos “El Pibe” Valderrama. Just keep an eye out for the infamous footballer’s mop of tousled blond hair!
- The beaches of Bahia Concha, Rodadero and Pleno Mar
- The historically important Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino
- The nightlife around the Parque Santander