Are you looking for the best things to do in Santa Marta, Colombia? This incredible spot that is just 2 hours away from Barranquilla has a lot to offer, from cute towns to beautiful nature. Go waterfall chasing, soak up the quaint village vibes, or trek to a remote beach. We promise you'll love everything that this Colombian city has to offer.
Not only you can enjoy its lovely city center and night life, but there's a lot to be done around it. Let's jump right in and help you explore the best things to do in Santa Marta, Colombia.
Things to Do in Santa Marta, Colombia #1:
Visit Parque de Los Novios
This is one of the central parks in Santa Marta Colombia (the name means "Park of the lovers"). You can find it in the historic center of Santa Marta. It houses several buildings of heritage value and is one of the gastronomic and tourist centers of the city.
During the day you may notice that it's pretty quiet, but when the sun goes down the place becomes alive! Since it's surrounded by restaurants, everyone walks through it to get there. You will find music in the street, people hanging and many more just passing by.
Things to Do in Santa Marta, Colombia #2: Explore El Rodadero
El Rodadero is one of the most popular beach areas of Santa Marta Colombia. It's name (rough translation means "the roller") comes from its nature of a pile of sand between two little hills. People used to go through here to "roll" down to the beach.
In here you can enjoy the best of the Caribbean Sea waters, while getting some vitamin D from the sun.
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Things to Do in Santa Marta, Colombia #3: Watch the Sunset in Taganga
Only a 15-minutes bus away from Santa Marta, Colombia, you will find Taganga, a beach town located in a small bay. This lovely spot is host for numerous restaurants, souvenir shops and water activities, but the best part of it is that you can see breathtaking sunsets in here.
If you are into sunsets, you should definitely consider visiting this place. Watching the sun melt into the ocean is on of the best things to do in Santa Marta, Colombia and its surroundings.
Taxis will charge you 12.000 cop (around $4 USD), but the bus is equally fast and only charges 2,000 cop (60 cents USD), and they run from as early as 6 am until 7 pm.
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Things to Do in Santa Marta, Colombia #4: Check Out the Taganga Viewpoint
Being only 15 minutes away from Santa Marta, Colombia, we can't stop recommending Taganga. If you are an early bird, then sunrise is something you can really enjoy in here.
Even though you won't see the sun actually coming out of the water, the first beams will tint the sky very colorful, as the city lights start to fade. The viewpoint to enjoy the whole town is up in the mountains, right before going down to the beach. From here, sunrise is an experience that you probably won't forget easily.
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Things to Do in Santa Marta, Colombia #5: Take a Dip at Cascada de Marinka
If you like chasing waterfalls like we do, then you will love this. Just one hour outside of Santa Marta, Colombia, you will find a set of two waterfalls with great views of nature. Once you get here, you will be guided through stairs that will let you choose between a higher or lower waterfall.
The higher one will give you incredible views (and it even has a small zipline across it!). The lower one also leads to a natural pool where you can chill with the sounds of nature. Lastly, there's a cool restaurant in between them, with nets where you can relax after eating.
To get here, you will have to take a bus from Santa Marta's center market into Minca. Once in there, you can walk for around 1 hour, or take a motorcycle that will drop you off in 10 minutes. Don't worry, they know you want to get there fast, so they will be waiting for you at the bus stop.
Minca is a true hidden gem of Colombia! Originally just a backpacker destination, This tiny village is just starting to become more popular, due to its lush greenery, cascading falls, and rolling hills. Here is everything you need to know about visiting Minca, Colombia.*Please note that this blog post may
We found this place when we went to cascada de Marinka. Locals recommended this hostel-resort, which is a whole experience in itself. Not only you can sleep here, and enjoy the breathtaking views of Santa Marta, Colombia, from the distance up in the mountains, but also have a relaxed day.
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Sierra Minca offers a heated pool, several swings, and nets when you can just hang while enjoying a typical cup of Colombian coffee. They also have a construction of two huge hands facing up, where you can lay down for a very instagrammable picture.
If you want to enjoy all its amenities but aren't planning on staying overnight, you can get a day pass for 15,000 cop ($4,50 USD). To learn more about this gorgeous place, you can click here and check out the guide we wrote about it!
Things to Do in Santa Marta, Colombia #7: Discover Parque Tayrona
Parque Tayrona is one of the most important parks in all Colombia, and one of the reasons is because it's full of beautiful landscapes in it. Tayrona mixes beaches and jungles in one huge trail that will take you through several spots that will blow your mind.
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Upon entrance you will find a few options for your adventure, depending on what your final destination is. There's an initial 4 km trail (which will take you around 1 hour to complete) that can be done by taking a van ride for a 5,000 cop ($1,40 USD) in just 5 minutes. We highly recommend to take this ride, since what comes after is a long hike.
After this, you will find an important fork; the right side will take you to a gorgeous viewpoint up in the mountains with views of the sea crushing into the jungle. On the left, you will start your way into the park. Important notice: if you go to the viewpoint first, you can then connect back into the main trail.
Meet a true hidden gem of Colombia- the beach of Cabo San Juan del Guia. This isn't an ordinary beach, as it is tucked away from it all! The swaying palms trees and turquoise waters make up a true paradise that only those who ready for the challenge can truly
Santa Marta, Colombia, is one of the places we love the most. Not only because of its friendly vibe and incredible night life, but because of its surroundings. There are so many things you can do from here, and the memories you will get are priceless.
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