What to do in Santa Marta Colombia: 20 things to see and do in Santa Marta

👤 Katerine Ramos
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📅 September 14, 2023

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What to do in Santa Marta Colombia?

Rodrigo Bastidas was the conquistador who gave his name to Santa Marta by founding it on July 29, 1525, making it the first city established by the Spaniards in what we know today as Colombia. This city full of History and Beauty Natural, is a truly paradisiacal place to carry out a tour or a visit.

If you are thinking of making a plan for your vacations in Santa Marta and don't know where to start exploring, don't worry! Santa Marta is a city full of exciting adventures. If you don't know what to do in Santa Marta Colombia, I will give you some useful information so that you can get the most out of your travel.


This charming coastal town is a true hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. Santa Marta offers a wide range of experiences that will captivate any visitor.

The center of Santa Marta is one of the most popular places for visit. You will find a wide variety of restaurants, stores and historical sites. You can also choose to make a CITY TOUR to learn more about its fascinating history and culture.

If you like nature, you cannot miss the surroundings of Santa Marta. There are many parks national, beaches y nature reserves to explore. The Tayrona National Natural Park is one of the most popular and offers a unique hiking and beach experience.

For those interested in culture, Santa Marta has many historical sitesas the Cathedral. You can also visit the Gold Museum to learn more about the pre-Columbian culture that inhabited the region.

In terms of price, Santa Marta has options for all budgets. You can find even high-end hotels and restaurants, and more economical options, such as a hostel.

Santa Marta is one of the places you can't miss if you are in Colombia. With so many things what to do and seeThere is a visit plan for every type of traveler.

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In addition, Santa Marta is a vibrant and lively city. Its colorful and energetic streets reflect the diversity and joy of its people. Strolling through the narrow cobblestone streets is like stepping back in time, as Santa Marta's historic center has retained its colonial charm. Every corner tells a story, and exploring its streets will immerse you in its rich past.

One of the main attractions of Santa Marta are its paradisiacal beaches. With crystal clear waters and white sands, these beaches are true paradises on earth. Relax under the warm Caribbean sun or just enjoy a leisurely stroll along the shore. Here you will find the perfect getaway for disconnect and rejuvenate your spirit.

But Santa Marta it's not just about beaches, there is a wide range of things to do in this city. From excursions hiking in the majestic Sierra Nevada To explore the lively Carrera 3, one of the most emblematic streets of the city, there are activities for all tastes. Visiting the historic Parque de los Novios will give you a unique experience, as this charming spot is a meeting point for locals and tourists alike. Enjoy a cup of Colombian coffee in one of the cozy cafes while observing the daily life of the city.

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Don't miss the opportunity to discover the lesser-known places of Santa Marta. Explore the small villages nearby, immerse yourself in their culture and meet the people who make this place special, where you will find an authenticity that will make you feel at home.

Here's a little more detail on everything you need to know about this wonderful city, including places to visit in Santa Martathings to do, places to see in Santa Marta and surroundings.

Where is the city of Santa Marta located?

The city of Santa Marta is located on the north coast of Colombia, in the department of Magdalena, in the Caribbean region. Santa Marta is bordered to the north by the sea, to the east by the municipality of Aracataca, to the south by the municipalities of Ciénaga and Zona Bananera, and to the west by the department of La Guajira. It is considered the oldest city in Colombia and is located approximately 800 kilometers north of Bogotá, the country's capital.


How to get to Santa Marta Colombia?

To reach Santa Marta, Colombia, from Spain, you have several flight options. Below, I detail the steps and possibilities you can consider:

Direct flight

Some airlines offer direct flights for travelers from Spain to the Simón Bolívar International Airport, located at Santa Marta. You can check with airlines such as Avianca, Iberia o Air Europaas they usually have direct flights from cities such as Madrid or Barcelona. Direct flights are usually the most convenient and fastest option.

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Stopover in Bogota

Another option is to fly from Spain to El Dorado International Airport in Bogota, the capital of Colombia. From there, you can take a domestic flight to Simon Bolivar International Airport in Santa Marta. There are several national airlines, such as Avianca or LATAMwhich offer frequent flights between Bogota and Santa Marta.

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Stopovers in other Colombian cities

Depending on the availability of flights and the airlines, you can also consider making stopovers in other Colombian cities, such as Medellin or Cartagena, and then take a domestic flight to Santa Marta. This may be an option if you wish to explore other cities before reaching your final destination.

Colombia from Spain

It is important to keep in mind that schedules and flight options may vary depending on the season and the airline. Therefore, I recommend you check the airlines' websites and use online flight search engines to find the best options and a good price.

Once you reach the Simón Bolívar International Airport in Santa Marta, you can take a cab or use public transportation services to get to the city center or to your place of accommodation.

Lodging in Santa Marta

When it comes to housing, Santa Marta has a wide variety of optionsfrom a cozy hostel to a hotels of luxury. You can choose the type of accommodation that best suits your needs, price or quotation. Regardless of where you choose to stay, you will be greeted with the warm hospitality of the locals, who will be happy to provide recommendations and advice to help you make the most of your stay.

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What to see and do in Santa Marta?

Santa Marta, Colombiais a town full of charm and tourismThe country offers a wide range of sites for travelers to visit and explore. Here is a list of some of them things to do and of the highlights of places to visit in Santa Marta, which you cannot miss during your tour of this city:

Explore the Lost City

If you are an enthusiast of the trekking and archeologyyou can't miss the opportunity to visit the famous Lost City. Located in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, this ancient indigenous city is one of the most precious treasures of Colombia. Dare to venture into the jungle and discover the secrets of this incredible jewel.

The Lost City is a mystical place that transports you back in time and allows you to imagine what life was like in this ancient civilization. It is one of the must-see places for those who love the history, adventure and exploration. Undoubtedly, it is one of the most outstanding destinations in Santa Marta and a treasure that deserves to be discovered and appreciated.

Plan in the Lost City

Enjoy the Rodadero

Located just 10 minutes from downtown Santa Marta, El Rodadero is a beach very popular with both locals and tourists. Its crystal clear waters and soft white sands make it a perfect swimming destination, playing sports aquatic and enjoy the sun. Apart from this, you will find a wide variety of restaurants, bars and stores.

In addition to relaxing on the beach, tourists can also explore the surroundings of El Rodadero. There is excursions by boat available to visit the Tayrona Park, Taganga Bay and the famous beach of Playa Blanca. These nearby places offer an incredible natural beauty with pristine beaches, coral reefs and lush tropical vegetation.


Get to know Playa Blanca

Located in the Tayrona Park, with its evocative and accurate name, this beach stands out for its natural beauty and sugar-white sand. Its turquoise waters are ideal for swimming and relaxing. You can get to Playa Blanca by hiking for approximately 1 hour from the park entrance or taking a boat from Taganga.

Playa Blanca is a tropical paradise, its surroundings are full of lush vegetation, it is a region that captivates those who visit it. Undoubtedly, it is a hidden treasure that invites travelers to immerse themselves in its peace of mind and enjoy the wonderful Caribbean atmosphere.


Admire Taganga

Another of the things to do in Santa Marta is to visit Tagangaa charming seaside town located just a few kilometers from the city. It is one of the perfect places for those who love the diving and snorkelingIts coral reefs are home to an impressive variety of marine life.

In addition to enjoying the beachesIn addition, visitors can explore the trails surrounding the village, the panoramic views of the bay and the surrounding mountains. This is a coastal paradise that combines exciting water activities, breathtaking scenery and a relaxed atmosphere that invites you to disconnect and enjoy the region.


Dive in Playa Grande

Located in the Tayrona Park, Playa Grande is an impressive beach with an extension of golden sand. It is another of the ideal places for enjoy the sol, and carry out activities such as boating, swimming and relaxation.

Surrounded by lush vegetation and mountains This stunning beach invites you to explore scenic trails and discover the rich biodiversity of the Tayrona Park. Strolling through the surrounding area allows you to admire the beauty of the flora and fauna and maybe even spot some native species.


Take an excursion around Cabo San Juan del Guía

The Cape San Juan del Guía is one of those magical places that you can't miss when you're in Santa Marta. Located in the beautiful Tayrona Park, this paradisiacal corner invites you to immerse yourself in a unique experience. From the imposing view of its beaches from the white sand to the refreshing breeze that caresses your face, every moment in Cabo San Juan is a true delight for the senses.

You can make a hiking on the trails explore the rich marine life while snorkeling or just let yourself be carried away by the tranquility of its crystal clear waters. Undoubtedly, this is one of the places that offers Santa Martawhere the nature and serenity merge into one unique experience.


Take a trip to Minca

Another of the wonderful plans is to make a Minca toura place located at outskirts of Santa Marta. It is located approximately 15 kilometers southeast of the city, in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada. It is a fascinating experience that combines nature, adventure and culture.

Minca is known for its exuberant vegetation, waterfalls, crystal-clear rivers and a great diversity of birds and wildlife. Once in this place, you can visit several attractions, such as the Marinka waterfall, where you can swim. You can also enjoy a relaxing swim in the Pozo Azul, a natural pool surrounded by lush vegetation.

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Visit to the Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino

San Pedro Alejandrino is an important historic site located on the outskirts of the city of Santa Martain Colombia. It is known for being the place where Simon Bolivar, the liberator of several South American countries, died.

The San Pedro Alejandrino farm is a colonial hacienda that dates back to the 17th century and witnessed key moments in Bolivar's life. In 1830, Bolivar arrived at the hacienda seeking rest and recovery from his illness. However, his health deteriorated rapidly and he died there on December 17, 1830.

Today, the Quinta de San Pedro has become a museum and a place of historical interest, where you can explore the hacienda and learn about the life and last days of Bolivar through exhibits and historical artifacts. You can also visit the room where Bolivar spent his last days and the chapel where his funeral was held.

San Pedro Alejandrino

Tour the Historic Center of Santa Marta

Another of the wonderful things to see in Santa Marta is its charming Historical Center. Walking through its cobblestone streets, one is immersed in a past full of history and culture. The colorful colonial buildings with ornate balconies seem to tell stories of ancient navigators and adventurers who once roamed these very places.

Its narrow, picturesque streets are lined with handicraft stores, small architectural gems and charming squares that invite you to get lost and explore. The Historic Center is a window into the past, a place where the colonial charm combines with the vibrant modern life, creating a magical atmosphere that captivates all who visit it.

historic center of santa marta

Explore the Tayrona National Natural Park

The Tayrona Parklocated at Santa Martais one of the natural treasures that seems to have been carefully carved by divine hands. Its beaches are surrounded by lush tropical vegetationcreating a dreamlike setting where palm trees sway gently in the sea breeze.

As you enter the park, a wide variety of landscapes unfold before your eyes. magic jungle full of life, where you can hear the whispers of the trees and the melodious singing of exotic birds. Every corner of this natural paradise is an invitation to connect with the essence of the earth and to marvel at the untamed beauty of the nature.

tayrona park, scenery, beach

Discover the Wonders of the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta

The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is a mountain range unique in that it is home to a great diversity of flora and fauna. Embark on an excursion and explore its impressive waterfalls, lagand panoramic viewpoints. You can enjoy exciting hikes, spot exotic birds and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of this majestic mountain range.

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Tour the Parque de Los Novios

If you're looking for a lively, energetic atmosphere, head to the Parque de los Novios (Bride and Groom Park) in the center of Santa Marta. This place is known for its nightlife, restaurants and bars. Enjoy a delicious dinner, dance to the rhythm of the live music and live the joy of the night in Santa Marta.

As for the plans and visitsthe Parque de los Novios (Bride and Groom Park) is a perfect starting point for exploring the rest of the historic center of the city. From here, you can easily access the main places of interest, such as the Cathedral Basilica of Santa Marta and the Casa de la Aduana.

What to do in Santa Marta Colombia

The Malecon de Bastidas

Here you can give a promenadeThis extends along the Bastidas beach and is a popular tourist attraction in the city. The boardwalk offers panoramic views and is an ideal place for walking, jogging or just relaxing and relaxing and enjoy the sea breeze.

In addition, the colorful fishing boats swaying gently on the horizon give a picturesque and authentic touch to this place, reminding us of the cultural and maritime wealth of Santa Marta.

colombia, santa marta

Discover Santa Marta Bay

A unique way to explore the coastal beauty of Santa Marta is by taking a boat tour of the bay. Enjoy the panoramic views, visit the nearby beaches and islands and dive into the crystal clear waters while snorkeling or scuba diving. This experience will allow you to appreciate the beauty of the Caribbean Sea and its rich marine life.

The Santa Marta Bay is also a starting point for exploring natural wonders nearby. A few kilometers from the coast, you will find the Tayrona Parkwith its lush jungles, breathtaking cliffs and dream beaches. In addition, the proximity to the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta offers the opportunity to enter this imposing mountain and discover its rich biodiversity.

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Visit the Gold Museum or the Customs House.

If you are a lover of history and culture, you can't miss the Gold Museum of Santa Marta. Here you can learn about the rich indigenous heritage of the region and discover an impressive collection of gold pieces and pre-Columbian artifacts.

The Gold Museum offers a fascinating insight into the ancient history of the area, has informative panels, interactive exhibits and audiovisuals that help to contextualize the exhibits and enrich the visitor's experience.

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The Cathedral Basilica of Santa Marta

Also known as the Primada de Colombia Cathedralis located in the heart of the historical center of the city. It is considered the oldest cathedral in South America, since its construction dates back to 1525.

The cathedral is an impressive example of colonial architecture and combines Renaissance and neoclassical elements. Its facade is decorated with columns, reliefs and ornamental details. Inside, you can appreciate beautiful works of religious art, such as paintings, sculptures and altars.

colombia, santa marta

The Simon Bolivar Monument

It is an important tourism attraction which pays tribute to the liberator of several South American countries, Simón Bolívar. This monument is located in the Plaza de Bolivar, in the heart of the historic center.

The monument is an imposing bronze statue of Simón Bolívar. It was inaugurated in 1842 and is considered one of the first monuments dedicated to Bolivar in the country. The statue is the work of the Italian sculptor Pietro Tenerani and represents Bolivar as the hero of the independence and a symbol of the struggle for freedom in Latin America.

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Statue of Pibe Valderrama

The Statue of El Pibe in the city of Santa Marta is a beautiful tribute to the legendary Colombian soccer player Carlos "El Pibe" Valderrama. Capturing his iconic style and charisma, this bronze statue is a tribute to his brilliant career and love of soccer.

It is a place where admirers can feel the energy and joy of the game, recalling the lasting impact that El Pibe has left in the hearts of Colombians.

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Cape Vela

It is an impressive tourist destination located in the extreme north of Colombia, close to the Santa Marta. It is a peninsula that juts out into the Caribbean Sea and is characterized by its beautiful white sand beachescrystal clear water and desert landscapes.

It has a unique and fascinating landscape. You will find extensive beaches bordered by golden sand dunes, imposing cliffs and rock formations that emerge from the sea. One of the most emblematic places is the Pilón de Azúcar Lighthouse, from where you can get a view of the sea. incredible panoramic views of the coast.

Beach, cape de la vela

Enjoy the gastronomy of Santa Marta

The typical dishes from Santa Marta are much more than just dishes. They are expressions of love, culture and beauty of its surroundings. Every bite is an invitation to enjoy life, to connect with your roots and to savor the diversity the world has to offer.

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Coconut Rice

A gift from the Caribbean coast, the coconut rice is like a soft tropical breeze that caresses your palate. Every bite is an explosion of exotic flavorswhere the sweetness of the coconut blends harmoniously with the freshness of the rice. This dish transports you to the golden beaches and invites you to enjoy life to the relaxed rhythm of the waves.

Seafood Casserole

The seafood casserole is a symphony of colors and textures that invites you to immerse yourself in the rich flavors. Each spoonful is a delight for the senses, with shrimp, octopus, fish and squid dancing in a broth full of spices and aromas. This dish is a showcase of the abundance and freshness of the Caribbean Seaand inspires you to savor life with passion and joy.

Egg Arepa

The egg arepa is a culinary treasure that awakens smiles and joy in every bite. A perfect blend of corn masa and fried egg, this fluffy, golden delight wraps you in a comforting embrace. Every time you try it, you feel the love and warmth of the traditional cuisine of Santa Martareminding you that it is the small pleasures that fill the heart.

Fried Red Snapper

The fried red snapper is a culinary masterpiece that celebrates the beauty and bounty of the sea. With its crispy skin and tender, juicy flesh, this dish invites you to savoring the splendor of the oceans. Every bite is an explosion of freshness and flavor.

Fruit Salpicon

The fruit salpicon is a symphony of vivid colors and refreshing flavors that connects you with the exuberance of nature. A mixture of tropical fruits with mango, pineapple and papaya, this dessert gives you an explosion of sweetness and freshness in every spoonful. Each bite reminds you of the importance of enjoying simple moments and invites you to savor the joy of life.

Yucca Bread Roll

The cassava dumpling is an ancestral treasure that transports you to the indigenous roots of the region. With its smooth texture and slightly sweet tasteThis small bite connects you to the land and reminds you of the importance of honoring and preserving our traditions. Each bite is a caress to the soul, and inspires you to value the cultural heritage that defines us.

Shrimp Ceviche

The shrimp ceviche is a symphony of freshness and vitality in every spoonful. With tender shrimp marinated in lime juice, red onion and fresh cilantro, this dish invites you to awaken your senses and enjoy the lively and vibrant flavors of the coast. Each bite inspires you to embrace life with energy and savor the beauty of fleeting moments.

Posta Negra

The black post is a culinary gem that combines the best of African and Caribbean traditions. With its tender and juicy beef in a dark and aromatic sauce, this dish envelops you in a mixture of intense flavors. Each spoonful is a tribute to the cultural diversity and inspires you to embrace your own roots while immersing yourself in a world of unique culinary experiences.

You are at typical food of Santa Marta are a reflection of its rich history and cultural diversity. Each is an invitation to savor life, to celebrate local identity and to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. gastronomy.

You may also be interested in "Requirements to travel to Colombia from Spain".

Make your perfect plan with Colombiatours

Embark on the thrilling adventure of plan your trip to the charming city of Santa Marta! At Colombiatours, we have a team of experts in designing travel plans who will be happy to assist you as a guide every step of the way. Whether you wish to enjoy a tour of the impressive beachesexplore the richness of the history and culture or delight yourself with the exquisite gastronomywe are here to make your experience is unforgettable.

If you want to know about the requirements to travel to Colombia from Spain, please click here here.

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