Santa Marta is one of the destinations most desired by tourists for its pleasant climate and beautiful beaches. Santa Marta is historically known for being the first city where the Spanish entered South America at the time of discovery. The capital of Magdalena not only stands out for the joy of its people but for being the cradle of several of Colombia's most famous musicians and athletes such as Carlos Vives or Pibe Valderrama. The pearl of America, as Santa Marta is known, stands out in large part because it is home to around 30 thousand indigenous people, mainly from the Kogi, Arhuaco, Kankuamo and Wiwa ethnic groups, many of them inhabitants of the Sierra Nevada, a spectacle that combines snow and beach in the same space.
Climate in Santa Marta
● Santa Marta has a temperature that exceeds 30°C on a daily basis, which makes it perfect for relaxing on the beach or in a swimming pool. This temperature is maintained throughout the year, so the clothes doesn’t vary much.
Hotels in Santa Marta
- Address: Vía Ciénaga km 14
- Price: From 421.162 COP
- Services: Irotama is the most exclusive and traditional hotel in Santa Marta. It is a fabulous resort with multiple buildings, cabins and bungalows that allow not only to have a very pleasant rest, but an incomparable experience. Swimming pools, Jacuzzis and a gigantic beach, makes family vacations much more pleasant. The variety of restaurants allows you to find places specializing in fish and seafood, international cuisine, buffet of local food, an attractive Italian restaurant and a curious aquarium to meet different marine species while you are having dinner. The hotel allows horse riding on the beach, water sports and golf, both on a traditional green and a floating green in the sea. There is a wide variety of activities for children, as well as spaces for adults at night.
● Del Mar Hotel
- Address: Calle 8 # 2-78, El Rodadero
- Price: From COP 180,180
- Services: Guests of this hotel can enjoy a swimming pool and an open-air restaurant where they can enjoy a buffet breakfast. The hotel includes laundry service, wireless internet and housekeeper.
● Hotel Coral
- Address: Carrera 4 # 21D-31, Rodadero
- Price: From COP 84,000
- Services: Services: Coral Santa Marta Hotel is located in El Rodadero, a privileged location close to several restaurants, bars, shops and supermarkets, having an attractive nightlife. The hotel has rooms equipped with air conditioning, cable TV, Wi-Fi and bathroom. Santa Marta’s airport is only 10 minutes away, which is another great advantage.
● Hotel Tayrona del Mar
- Address: Carrera 3 # 5 - 98, El Rodadero
- Price: From COP 277.200
- Services: Tayrona de Mar is a hotel focused on business. It has 52 rooms with air conditioning, private bathroom, cable TV, work desk and view of Santa Marta or the Caribbean Sea. The hotel has a swimming pool for children and another for adults, as well as a restaurant focused on offering Caribbean dishes and an attractive bar. Additionally, the hotel offers laundry services, room service and airport transfers.
● Hostal Techos Azules
- Address: Dunkarinka Cabaña 1-100
- Price: From COP 76,000
- Services: This hostel is located in the Bay of Taganga, one of the most visited sites in Santa Marta. This is an ideal place for those traveling as a couple because the hostel offers services of romantic decorations, tours, transfers and massages. Among the services of the hostel are rooms with air conditioning, ceiling fan, wifi, television and private bathroom, plus the possibility that pets can also stay. For backpackers there is the option to rent a shared bedroom. The beach is across the street, which makes it a very comfortable option.
Restaurantes & Bars in Santa Marta
● Indian Maharaja
- Address: Carrera 4 # 14-34 Historic Center
- Price: $ 10,169 - $ 30,508
- Services: This attractive restaurant is focused on offering Indian and Asian food in general at very good prices, combining local products with sauces and oriental preparations. This place offers very healthy food and an extensive menu of options for vegans and people who want to suppress gluten.
● Senses Restaurant - Garden - Bar
- Address: Calle 20 # 3-53
- Price: From COP 15,000
- Services: This is a great option to consider at dinner time. The dishes are focused on pasta and seafood, offering a very complete Mediterranean diet. There are also some varieties of loins and attractive and innovative preparations with cheese. The place is perfect for dinner and for staying the rest of the night, with a glass of wine and enjoying the spectacular view over the garden that surrounds this restaurant.
● Tsuki Sushi Bar
- Address: Carrera 7 # 116A-94
- Price: $ 20,000 - $ 35,000
- Services: A good Sushi site was needed in Santa Marta. It is very easy to find places with fried fish very well prepared but this was a need. The place is pleasant and the options for eating are several, beyond the traditional Japanese rolls. The prices are good and the service is timely, which is a good idea for a light lunch or dinner before going to an event.
Touristic places in Santa Marta
● Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino: This tourist attraction in Santa Marta is a 17th-century hacienda where Simon Bolivar died on December 17, 1830. In this place, dedicated to the production of rum, honey and panela, the liberator lived the last part of his life. Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino consists of an altar to the Fatherland, a museum of contemporary art and a botanical garden.
● Tayrona Park: This heavenly place is the point where the Sierra Nevada sinks in the Caribbean Sea. White sand, crystal clear waters, gigantic waves and even a nudist beach, make this natural park, that frequently attracts the attention of countless visitors from all over the world. However, the great attraction of Tayrona Park is the journey to Lost City, ancient ruins built in the middle of 700 AD by the Tayronas Indians.
● The Aquarium: This maritime museum is located in the Inca Inca cove on Rodadero beach, one of the most visited places in Santa Marta. In this place, inaugurated in 1965, you can find 13 swimming pools that have a direct connection to the sea, 15 glass aquariums in which you can see more than 800 animals including sharks, sea turtles, dolphins, sea lions, crustaceans, fish and seabirds, the vast majority being native. In this museum you can also see dissected animals and a sample of nautical equipment and elements of the Tayrona culture.
Important dates in Santa Marta
● July 29 - Santa Marta’s Parties: This day is dedicated to honor and venerate Santa Marta, patron saint of the city.
● July 16 - Celebration of the Virgin of Carmen: This holiday takes place to a greater extent in Taganga, as fishermen venerate the Virgin by decorating their boats.
● End of July - Fiestas del Mar: To commemorate the anniversary of the city, different nautical competitions and tests of marine bicycles, regattas, ramp jumping, skiing and swimming are carried out. To this are added parades, concerts and the National Reign of the Sea.
● Early January - Cayman Festival: In Cienaga there is a celebration that refers to a popular legend where a woman was kidnapped by the mythical alligator man on the eve of her birthday.
How to move around Santa Marta?
● Public bus: The variety of buses is high, with routes to and from the airport to some of the main tourist sites, which allows for a good mobilization.
● Taxi: Santa Marta has a significant number of taxis, many of them at the exit of the airport for easy travel within the city. They are not very cheap but prices are usually agreed with the driver.
How to reach Santa Marta?
● Santa Marta by bus: Santa Marta is one of the most important tourist attractions in Colombia, as well as one of the most visited cities on the coast. There are direct routes from cities such as Bogota, Medellin and Bucaramanga, as well as several routes in the destinations such as Cartagena, Barranquilla, Riohacha, Monteria and Valledupar. The main companies that travel to Santa Marta are Expreso Brasilia, Copetran, Berlinas del Fonce, Rapido Ochoa and Unitransco. The prices and schedules are very varied, all depending on the route.
● Santa Marta by train: There was a railroad in Santa Marta that operated from the end of the 19th century until the middle of the 20th century. There is currently a train that connects Santa Marta with La Dorada but only provides the cargo service where products such as crockery, coffee and ceramics are mainly transported and then sent to Panama, the United States and Finland.
● Santa Marta by plane: Simon Bolivar International Airport operates in Santa Marta. A not very wide building that receives flights from several of Colombia's capitals, as well as some cities in the nearby Latin American countries.
Terminals in Santa Marta
Santa Marta´s Terminal receives and dispatches a large number of buses to the main cities of Colombia since 1993. It is located in the southwest of the city where it has 3 accesses, parking for 250 taxis and more than 25 platforms. buses