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Things to do in Santa Marta

210 contributors

The top 75 attractions in Santa Marta

Nature Reserves in Santa Marta
Tayrona Natural Park
If you want to experience a truly natural place, the Tayrona National Park is ideal. It's set between the mountains and the sea and the wildlife is tremendous. The park rangers give good advice and make sure to bring extra batteries for your camera! After sweating it out in the jungle hikes, you can cool off on the beach! :)
Beaches in Santa Marta
Cape San Juan de Guia
The beach known as Cabo San Juan del Guía is the fourth beach in Tayrona Park in Santa Marta - Costa Colombia, and here you will find tourists from around the world, a perfect blue sea, a special multicultural environment that´s perfect for relaxing and getting up early to watch the ocean. It´s perfect. It´s Colombia!
Beaches in Santa Marta
Cathedrals in Santa Marta
Catedral de Santa Marta
Like [poi = 125135] Santa Marta [/ poi], the Cathedral is very old. Some say it is the oldest cathedral in Colombia, however it was completed at the end of the 18th century. The Cathedral is a very white monument that stands out against the other low buildings. It holds the preserved ashes of Rodrigo de Bastidas, the founder of Santa Marta. Until 1842 it also held the remains of Simon Bolivar, which were later transferred to Caracas.
Beaches in Santa Marta
Rodadero beach
I am a travel agent and of all the places I have visited the one that has really caught my attention is the one I have mentioned, for its beaches, environment, the way the locals treat visitors, the beaches the best climate , the coolest ... Make this place unique.
Beaches in Santa Marta
Playa de Arrecifes
Walking from the entrance of Zaino in Tayrona National Park (45 minutes by road, the trip can be done by bus but we did walking and it took 45 minutes by jungle tracks) you, arrive at the first beach that is the Reef. A wild beach, if such a thing exists, and very nice, but it is impossible to go into the water, more than 200 people have drowned in it. A beauty in which it is possible to camp and which has very close one more beautiful beach where you can swim. Also back from the beach there is a kind Reef lagoon which is ideal for bird watching. I hope the pictures show this even though the Colombian ocean is a little stormy in the picture.
Beaches in Santa Marta
Historical Monuments in Santa Marta
Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino
La Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino was the place where the historical character, Simon Bolivar spent his last days In addition to its historical interest and memorial, it is a way to learn about the history of Colombia, especially through the Bolivarian museum. The complex is a beautiful botanical park, which is also worth walking through. There are 70 year-old trees and many are gifts from around the world.
Beaches in Santa Marta
Cristal Beach
When you arrive you do not want to leave. Crystal Beach, or Beach of the Dead was an indiginous cemetery, today it is a nicer place to rest and be in tranquility.
Beaches in Santa Marta
Tayrona National Park Nude Beach
Tayrona Park is amazing, I've gone twice and would go a thousand times more, mostly for the biodiversity that one finds in terms of animals, nature, etc..I was able to go to the nude beach Cabo San Juan after, and I found more than 15 people entirely naked, and quiet enjoying the spectacular beach
Beaches in Santa Marta
Playa del Muerto
A heavenly place nestled on the beaches of Tayrona National Park, a perfect location to find yourself in the splendor of nature and the good energy of its inhabitants without forgetting it is food made the old fashioned way. YOu will find a mixture of colors scattered all around in the ocean, something so nice to enjoy.
Cities in Santa Marta
Ciudad Perdida (Lost City)
Ciudad Perdidad sits high in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta on Colombia's northern coast. The story goes that back in the 70's someone was flying a helicopter in the area and saw circular stone rings that when he asked the locals about, no one new what he was talking about. In the 30 years between it's first sighting and my visit a small but dedicated team of locals and indigenous tribespeople have reclaimed from the jungle dozens of terraced stone ringed platforms that at one time were the home of a thriving city. People believe that at the time of the conquistadors the indigenous folk (the Tayronans) split into two camps, those who embraced the European newcomers, and those that feared them. The latter retreated to the mountains and hid, and this city was their sanctuary. The clandestine nature of the settlement is only really experienced when you visit. After a 4X4 drive as far up the mountain as the track goes you arrive at the town of Machete (allegedly named after the habit of previous inhabitants involved in the drugs trade executing thieves on the spot with machetes), we spent 2 days hard hiking to an unassuming river bed. Into the bank an equally unassuming lump of stone is set, a little higher is another, and then another, little more than a foot across you climb a dozen or so of these stones before you realize they are a rudimentary staircase. Climb a little higher and the steps get a little wider, a little more uniform, and before you know it half an hour has passed and your ascending a grand staircase into the city. A carved rock depicts the scale of the site, only a third of which has been taken back from the encroaching vines, trees and other assorted jungle flora. To keep the area free of "special interest horticulturalists" the army patrol the area, and nothing has ever struck me as more Indiana Jones then seeing the Colombian military re supply helicopter come into land on the highest terrace; previously the site of the tribal leaders hut. No one knows what happened to the indigenous who built their home in the clouds- maybe they returned to the coast and the conquistadors, maybe they simply faded into the mist that hangs in the mornings around their lost city. For me the biggest mystery was how this place had evaded the prying eyes of the world for hundreds of years.
Hiking in Santa Marta
Lost City Trek
Trekking to the Lost City along the river Buritaca, with tropical landscapes ranging from sea level to 1100 meters, and where there is a total of about 200 indigenous settlements. The trail can be very hard in the rainy season, because the humidity is above 100% and mosquitoes and other insects can be very annoying. The Lost City dates back to 700, and although its wooden buildings have been lost, there's still the ruins of hundreds of stone buildings.
Beaches in Santa Marta
Museums in Santa Marta
Gardens in Santa Marta
Of Cultural Interest in Santa Marta
Unusual Places in Santa Marta

The best things to do in Santa Marta

The things to do in Santa Marta are truly spectacular. The mix of sea and nature make it a delight for all tourists. On its beautiful beaches and unspoiled spaces you'll find local flora and fauna.

The main things to see in Santa Maria are the old town and the bay and beaches with turquoise water, however, there are other valuable places to visit in Santa Marta, such as the Lost City. It's one of the most and spectacular ancient Indian villages in the country.

Quebrada Valencia is a small river that has forms a series of waterfalls of great height along its route into the jungle. One of the many Santa Marta activities includes enjoying the landscape and enjoying a refreshing dip in the river. And speaking of bathing, visiting El Rodadero should definitely be on the list of stuff to do in Santa Maria. It's the most visited beach in the city. In terms of buildings, the first of the many attractions in Santa Marta to visit is its cathedral. It was the first basilica built in Latin America and legend has it that somewhere in the building is the hidden heart of Simon Bolivar. The legends and history are the strong points of this building.

Other important Santa Maria attractions are the Cloister of San Juan Nepomuceno and the Customs House. For more on what to do in Santa Marta, browse through the firsthand descriptions shared by users to learn about the varied attractions and the many types of tourism that the city has to offer.