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Santa Marta

  • General information

    Official language: Spanish
    Time zone: UTC -5
    Currency: Colombian peso (COP)

  • Party on the beach

    When the evening approaches, musicians gather on the beach. Local bands earn money by playing for tourists, but there is nothing to wonder at, since they do it really well. And who wouldn’t like to dance on the beach?

  • How to greet?

    Colombians, as most Latinos, are not fond of keeping distance. Men shake hands to greet. Whereas women or woman and man kiss each other on right cheeks.

  • The picturesque spot

    What is really attracting tourists to Santa Marta, are marvellous views – on sunny day, lying on the Caribbean beach, we can admire snowy peaks of Sierra Nevada.

What’s worth seeing in Santa Marta?

One of the oldest, founded by Europeans, cities in South America. The town is located at the foot of Sierra Nevada, and was founded in 1525 by Rodrigo de Bastidas. Why in that spot? Locals had a lot of gold, that they didn’t consider as valuable. Spanish were robbing them and sending the haul to Europe. Quite quickly though, the role of the most important colonial town was taken over by Cartagena. 

The huge asset of Santa Marta is the beach. Though it is humble as for Caribbean standards, it requites with numerous attractions. When you get bored with sunbathing or jumping though waves, you will have plenty to choose from. Diving, swimming with dolphins or water sports with a huge dose of adrenaline, will give you entertainment for many hours.  If you prefer more calm relax, we recommend a walk – in the seaside treetops you will see amazing birds. 

Staying in Santa Marta, make sure to visit Lost City – a place built around 700 years before the civilization of Tairona, slain by colonizers. You can walk through ancient squares, roads and channels, see old stairs and foundations of houses, that were built from clay and straw. If you are fascinated by archaeology, you will also like a visit at the nature reservation Taironaka. It has partly restored houses of Indians. Step by a museum, in which there is a collection of artefacts gathered on local areas.

If you are only just planning your trip, book a stay in Santa Marta on the verge of August and September. Since 1989 the International Theatre Festival has been taking place there, during which you can see plays by both Colombian and foreign troupes. These are accompanied by concerts, mainly of folk music.

Splendid local cuisine is something the Caribbean is famous for. No different it is in Santa Marta. The closeness of the sea provides fresh deliveries of amazing fishes. Try swordfish, bream or mackerel. Dishes are served mostly with rice, manioc or green, yellow bananas.

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