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Santa Marta

Travel Guide
Taganga Beach showing a bay or harbor, a coastal town and a sandy beach

Caribbean fishing town Santa Marta has exploded into a traveler’s nirvana with white-sand beaches, a lost city and a forested national park.

The provincial capital of Santa Marta has rapidly developed into a traveler’s treasure on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. The country’s oldest colonial city has white-sand beaches and pleasant warm weather. Nearby, Tayrona National Park attracts visitors throughout the year. The pervasive salsa and vallenato music keeps the town alive with the sounds of the Caribbean.

Spend several hours at Rodadero Sea Aquarium and Museum southwest of Santa Marta to see its majestic sharks and dolphins. Swim in the warm seawater at nearby Playa Blanca (White Beach) or work on your tan against a backdrop of coastal cliffs. Dine at local beachside restaurants and stay overnight in a cabin. Head to the Quinta of Saint Peter of Alexandria, a 17th-century house and garden, now a museum dedicated to military leader Simón Bolívar, who led many South American countries to independence.

Hike to Ciudad Perdida (Lost City), formally Teyuna Archaeological Park. The ancient Indian city was founded over 700 years earlier than Peru’s Machu Picchu. Plan for about three days each way for the 27-mile (44-kilometer) walk. Cross rivers, streams and waterfalls and pass small Indian communities as you cover the remote terrain. You may see jungle animals too: jaguars, tapirs or condors. Climb 1,200 stone steps to reach the entrance to the city where an indigenous tribe once lived.

See natural wonders in Tayrona National Park via a tour or taxi from Santa Marta. Rent gear in the city and then scuba dive or snorkel at the beach. Hike to Cabo San Juan and rent a tent or hammock in a cliff-top cabin overlooking the ocean.

Fly to Santa Marta from Bogotá. The airport, just south of the city, is easily reached by public bus. To the east of Santa Marta, visit the mountain range known as Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Natural Park. Discover remnants of the Tayrona culture and other indigenous tribes. Enjoy views of snow-capped mountains for a dramatic change of scenery from the Caribbean coast.

Where to stay in Santa Marta

Hilton Garden Inn Santa Marta
Hilton Garden Inn Santa Marta
3.5 out of 5
Carrera 1C No. 24-04, Santa Marta
The price is $59 per night from Sep 1 to Sep 1
Situated near the beach, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Magdalena River and Parque de Los Novios. Marina Santa Marta and Old San Juan de Dios Hospital ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (353 reviews)
"Good service"

Reviewed on Jul 28, 2021

Hilton Garden Inn Santa Marta
Santa Marta Marriott Resort Playa Dormida
Santa Marta Marriott Resort Playa Dormida
4.5 out of 5
Carrera 3 No 142-60, Bello Horizonte, Santa Marta, Magdalena
The price is $84 per night from Sep 1 to Sep 1
Situated on the beach, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Magdalena River and Bello Horizonte Beach. Zazue is 1.2 mi (2 km) away.
4.5/5Wonderful! (216 reviews)
"Nice and clean place!"

Reviewed on Jul 31, 2021

Santa Marta Marriott Resort Playa Dormida
Irotama Resort
Irotama Resort
4 out of 5
Km 14 Via Cienaga, Santa Marta, Magdalena
The price is $117 per night from Sep 3 to Sep 3
Located in Santa Marta, this beachfront resort is connected to the convention center, just steps from Magdalena River and Bello Horizonte Beach. Zazue is 0.5 ...
4.2/5Very Good! (422 reviews)
"Beautiful setting"

Reviewed on Jul 30, 2021

Irotama Resort
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Terrazas Tayrona Travelers Apartamentos y Suites
Terrazas Tayrona Travelers Apartamentos y Suites
3.5 out of 5
Carrera 3 # 24 - 63, El Rodadero, Santa Marta, Magdalena
The price is $71 per night from Aug 16 to Aug 16
Located in El Rodadero, this aparthotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Magdalena River and Rodadero Beach. Mundo Marino Aquarium is 1.6 mi (2.6 km) away.
4.2/5Very Good! (69 reviews)
"The breakfast, it's was Bad...they don't know Abou ir, the people it's not qualify for Tha kitchen"

Reviewed on Feb 25, 2020

Terrazas Tayrona Travelers Apartamentos y Suites
Grand Marina Santa Marta
Grand Marina Santa Marta
3 out of 5
carrera 1 22- 79, Santa Marta
The price is $88 per night from Sep 2 to Sep 2
Located in Historic Center, this aparthotel is within a 5-minute walk of Marina Santa Marta and Santa Marta Beach. Parque de Los Novios and Simon Bolivar Park ...
4.6/5Exceptional! (22 reviews)
"The apartment was well designed and had everything I needed. The best part was the view from the balcony. The staff were friendly and helpful."

Reviewed on Jul 27, 2021

Grand Marina Santa Marta
Apartamento Two Towers Santa Marta
Apartamento Two Towers Santa Marta
Santa Marta, Magdalena
The price is $325 per night from Aug 6 to Aug 6
Situated in Santa Marta, this apartment building is steps from Magdalena River and Bello Horizonte Beach. Zazue is 0.9 mi (1.4 km) away.
Apartamento Two Towers Santa Marta
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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