Santa Marta Vacations

Formerly as much of a vital ciy as Cartagena, Santa Marta is currently a port, both for tourists on the way to Tayrona National Park, and goods being shipped 'round the world. The stretch along the beach is lined with restaurants and there are a number of backpacker lodgings in town.
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Santa Marta places to stay and top hotels

Santa Marta things to do and experiences

  • Parque de los novios
    9.210 reviews
    Sights and Museums, Outdoors, Landmark, Park
    Popular withGreenHistory
  • Ciudad Perdida
    9.77 reviews
    Sights and Museums, Outdoors, Hiking and Nature, Historic Site
    Popular withAdventureOutdoorsy
  • Cabo San Juan del Guía
    9.47 reviews
    Outdoors, Hiking and Nature, Beach
    Popular withOutdoorsyBackpackers
  • Playa Blanca
    8.85 reviews
    Outdoors, Beaches and Watersports, Hiking and Nature, Scenic Lookout, Trekking
    Popular withAdventureOutdoorsy

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Santa Marta

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Santa Marta

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Santa Marta reviews & trip reports

  • 9.8
    Adventure Travelers
  • 9.2
    History Buffs
  • 9.0
    Backpackers
  • 7.7
    Green Travelers
  • 7.2
    Family Travelers

Member Reviews(29)

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New York City, New York State, USA

While not as visited as Cartagena, Santa Marta is a laidback city with a lot of heart. Many visitors pass it on their way to Tayrona National Park or other parts of the coast, but the city has a true locals feel that shouldn't be missed given its historical importance. Founded in 1525, it was the first Spanish settlement in Colombia and the oldest surviving city in the country. Stroll through the lovely Parque de los Novios, but beware: it gets insanely hot during the day.

Recommended for:Budget TravelersBackpackersAdventure Travelers
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Brisbane, Australia

Colombia's oldest European settlement. It is located on a wide bay. Near some excellent beaches and close to Tayrona national park.

Recommended for:History Buffs
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Stuttgart, Germany

frindly city with a lot of baars and restaurantes in all categories, the reputation is not the best bacouse of prostitution but at daytimes and evening we had no problems

Recommended for:Backpackers
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Wasaga Beach, Canada

Beautiful Island with delicious simple, local cuisine combined with many activities to lose yourself in.

Recommended for:Outdoor EnthusiastsBudget TravelersBusiness TravelersFamily TravelersFoodiesWellnessLGBTQVegetarianGreen TravelersStudentsBackpackersLuxury TravelersHistory BuffsAdventure TravelersNightlife LoversSpiritual SeekersTrendstersArt & Design Lovers
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New York City, New York State, USA

Up-and-Coming Cruise Port: Santa Marta, Colombia
Excursion: In Colombia’s oldest city, you’ll see artifacts of the Kogi and Arhuaco peoples in the Gold Museum—and tour the final home of 19th-century liberator Simón Bolívar.
Voyage: Oceania’s Regatta, from Miami to Los Angeles. December 5; 15 nights from $3,499. —Jane Wooldridge

Recommended for:History BuffsLuxury Travelers
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The city of Santa Marta is located about 7 miles from my property, facing the Atlantic Ocean also. It's the more northern area of South America with a Bay Area
well known as "El Balcón de América" (The Balcony of America), fitted with an international marina. This city deserves a visit to enjoy the beach, the sea food and spend some time in the historical "La Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino" the last home of Simon Bolivar, the Liberator of 5 south american countries, under the government of Spain, back in the 19th century.

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United States

First of all: just call it #Samaria. The oldest colonial town in Colombia, the beauty of it doesn't reside with what the Spaniards brought with them, but instead in what was already there.

That is, mainly, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, which was the center of the world for some of its indigenous cultures. It is the highest coastal mountain in the world, the only one that has permanent snow (yes its peaks too are melting :( and it plunges into the Caribbean forming the most beautiful landscapes in the Colombian North Coast.

During the country's independence war, Santa Marta proved to be one of the cities most faithful to the Mother Land, but destiny provided that it became the last resting place for Simón Bolívar, the revolutionary giant.

The story says he was on his way to exile when he fell ill and was ordered by his care takers to rest. No one would take him but a Spanish local plantation owner, and so Bolívar spent his last days at his Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino. The local guides will tell you that El Libertador used to pass the afternoons laying in his hammock, tied to those same Tamarindo trees that are still standing there. Those trees alone are well worth the trip to Samaria.

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New York City, New York State, USA

Santa Marta...what can I say about Santa Marta other than when I went I flew in from Cali, Colombia with my girlfriend. It is a small island surrounded by beautiful warm shallow water. There was plenty to do considering you sign up for the excursion like snorkeling, tours, museums, etc. They had a few discotecs there but most were closed because we visited during an election time and in Colombia they shut a lot of things down when it is election time. Also, Santa Marta is very close to the equator so it was extremely hot. As far as the island, I was not really impressed with its beauty. I have been to beaches in Phuket, Australia, and off the coast of Spain, but Santa Marta couldn't compare. This was just a fun get away to bond with my girlfriend.

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Great little pedestrian strip situated in the historic district between Parque de Los Novios, which is the hot spot for drinking and dancing, and the main cathedral. Stroll along the cobble stone street and pier into the vintage buildings that have been rejuvenated by new restaurants with a young, energetic feel.

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Bogota, Colombia

Beautiful place....quiet sea, the highest world mountain near the sea (the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta), an outstanding national park with marvelous vegetation (Tayrona Park)

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