Paseo El Camellon - Santa Marta
Colombia,  Destinations,  South America

What To Do In Santa Marta Colombia

Santa Marta Colombia might not seem like the place I would recommend after my last post (Here), but let me explain why I think it is still an essential stop in your adventure through Colombia.

Now getting to Santa Marta might have not been the easiest and most straightforward trip of my life. And there where definitely some very exciting and straight fearful moments along the way, but I am here to tell you it was worth it. On the bright side you hopefully learned from my mistakes and take the easier route to Santa Marta.

We only spent a few days in Santa Marta but like so many of my travels before and after Colombia, sometimes the hardest place to get to is ultimately worth it.

Santa Marta Streets

Using Santa Marta as a Basecamp

I mentioned this in a previous post but Santa Marta is an amazing spot to set up as basecamp for your adventures in this part of northern Colombia. This was the main reason we settled for a hostel in Santa Marta for multiple days instead of moving after our first night.

The few days we spent in Santa Marta where spread out by going to Minca, Taganga Beach and a failed attempt at Tayrona National Park.

There is an argument for why you should just stay at Minca, Taganga Beach or Tayrona National Park but I also have an argument for why not.

See if you would like to do as much as possible in as little time as possible it would be hard to spend a day travelling to the new town, checking in/out of hostels and then doing things at some of these locations. A quick taxi ride for the day honestly seemed like the best option and I still think is the best option for all of these places.

I will be covering each of my trips to Minca and Taganga Beach separately since I think they included some of my favorite time spent in Colombia. From Santa Marta you are also able to head to Tayrona National Park and start the Trek to the Lost City, but we ended up not being able to do either.

Now if you have unlimited time then by all means spend a few days at all the above locations but for us on a time table with mayb 1, 2 or 3 weeks in Colombia I recommend my plan.

Where to stay in Santa Marta

We ended up staying at a small hostel in Santa Marta called Aluna Casa and Cafe, which I couldn’t recommend enough. You can expect an in-depth review soon but while the staff was amazing and room was clean, the lack of A/C was a little hard to live with.

Aluna Casa Hostel - Santa Marta

How to spend your time in Santa Marta

The main place you must know about in Santa Marta is the Parque de los Novios and its a fun square that we enjoyed greatly. This was the main spot to eat and drink during the day and during the night with a plethora of bars and restaurants surrounding it. The best part about the plaza is the amount of police and military making sure nothing happens.

This is definitely the area to find some great local cuisine and if you are a bit homesick some foreign meals as well. At one point we ended up at what seemed a throwback burger bar called Radio Bar, mainly because it was the only place with A/C in the entire plaza.

Radio Bar - Santa Marta

Besides the Parque de los Novios you can enjoy visiting some very nice museums such as Tairona Museo de Oro which while not as big as the Bogota Gold Museum, is a great free attraction in Santa Marta.

Museo de Oro Tairona - Santa Marta

I would highly encourage to just to explore the old town, walk down to the marina and stroll through the Paseo El Camellon which is the main beach in town. If you would like to get more adventurous you can get a small boat to take you to Playa Blanca for a few dollars but we ran out of time.

Paseo de Camellon - Santa Marta
Marina - Santa Marta

Should you visit Santa Marta

I will stick to my original statement and will strongly urge everyone to give Santa Marta a chance. It is an odd little town but gives you so many opportunities to enjoy the surrounding area. Despite the interesting journey to this town, it truly was a very memorable stay and one I would repeat again.

Local Beers - Santa Marta

This small town is what you make of it, with some very fun bars, some amazing restaurants and an overall pleasant atmosphere.

Have you been to Santa Marta? What are your thoughts? Would you recommend it? Any must do things?!

CLICK HERE! If this is your first time in Colombia to check out my other posts and hopefully help plan your first trip!

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