Visit Santa Marta: Your Travel Guide

Things to Do in Santa Marta

Tayrona National Natural Park
There’s a reason Tayrona is Colombia’s most popular national park. Within the massive expanse lie beautiful coastline, lush jungle and cactus-covered hills. You’ll find archaeological remains of the Taryona people, as well as sandy beaches lined with coconut palms and set against high mountains – just beware of the strong currents and only swim in selected areas.
Trekking to Colombia's Lost City
You’ll feel like Indiana Jones as you strike out towards Colombia’s Lost City. Hidden in the jungle for over 1,000 years, Ciudad Perdida is only accessible via a 40-km trail. You’ll hike in knee-deep mud and up steep cliffs, battling mosquitoes, bathing in waterfalls and sleeping under the stars – but it’s all worth it once you reach the eerie ruins of this centuries-old city.
Taganga
Taganga is a tiny fishing village on the Colombian coast surrounded by desert mountains. It’s a lovely spot for relaxing on the golden beaches, and sampling fresh seafood and empanadas. The underwater life is robust, with colourful coral and tropical fish, making the town very popular for scuba diving – especially since PADI certification only costs about USD $300!

When to Go to Santa Marta

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Traveler's Reviews & Photos

6
Review score
It has good hostels / hotels and it's good for booking trips but not to spend time in the town itself. I found Santa Marta itself unattractive. Noisy, polluted, dirty. It has some sort of nice atmosphere to it but it's not worth to stay more than a couple of days max.
Claudia
United Kingdom
April 28, 2017
6
Review score
Better in morning and evening. Very hot in day and main beach not that great. Go for a walk and it's much nicer. Good base to explore surroundings however I think we will go to Minca on our return and beach at Palomino is far better. Great places to eat and fresh juices.
Suzanna
United Kingdom
May 6, 2017
10
Exceptional
The coast of Colombia is so beautiful. Santa Marta is a great town with good public transportation, shops and restaurants. Travel to Taganga a short bus ride away for a little fishing village with pretty beaches and small streets to explore. Love Magdalena!
katedana
Colombia
May 4, 2017
8
Very Good
Santa Marta is a very relaxed city with great sights. It is quite disorganized, but it may be part of its beauty when you come for vacations. Some beaches can be a little dirty but in general they are great, it is people's fault, not only the tourists but sadly, the locals too.
Claudia
Colombia
May 19, 2017
6
Review score
For being the oldest city on Colombia , the public needs to learn much more culture . Traffic , motorcycles horrible ...traffic laws not imposed by police ... Streets full of pot holes..Except for some new hi ways....Which seems for ever to finish....😭😭😭😭
Atanasio
United States of America
May 14, 2017

Accommodations and Hotels in Santa Marta

Decameron Galeon - All Inclusive

8.2 Very Good

Score from 164 reviews

$191

Average price per night
Estelar Santamar Hotel & Centro De Convenciones

8.4 Very Good

Score from 884 reviews

$61

Average price per night
  • “great pool area”
    49 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food”
    22 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    17 related reviews
Tamaca Beach Resort Hotel by Sercotel Hotels

8.6 Excellent

Score from 639 reviews

$110

Average price per night
  • “great pool area”
    55 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food”
    27 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    24 related reviews
Casa de Leda, a Kali Hotel

9.3 Wonderful

Score from 616 reviews

$64

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    66 related reviews
  • “beautiful building”
    49 related reviews
  • “location was great”
    38 related reviews
Casa de Isabella, a Kali Hotel

9.3 Wonderful

Score from 352 reviews

$62

Average price per night
Irotama Resort

8.3 Very Good

Score from 390 reviews

$135

Average price per night
  • “great pool area”
    48 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food”
    26 related reviews
  • “beautiful building”
    18 related reviews
Zuana Beach Resort

7.9 Good

Score from 724 reviews

$95

Average price per night
  • “great pool area”
    60 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food”
    16 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    14 related reviews
La Calzada del Santo

9.4 Wonderful

Score from 566 reviews

$54

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    75 related reviews
  • “location was great”
    61 related reviews
  • “great pool area”
    33 related reviews
Hotel Boutique Casa Carolina

9.1 Wonderful

Score from 628 reviews

$53

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    57 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food”
    38 related reviews
  • “beautiful building”
    37 related reviews
Read our FAQs on this destination –>

Recommended in Santa Marta

Beaches near Santa Marta are mostly within Tayrona national park; and there many have strong undercurrents, meaning you cannot swim. You could go to the beach at Taganga, but that's now overrun by Gringos and not very pretty...

The city has a very good history and the buildings at the center are very historical.

Booking.com asked travelers...

Describe the nature in Santa Marta.

Many tours to either the Lost City or Tahona National Park / beaches.

HAT, Sunglasses and plenty of sunblock.

Take a tour of Santa Mata after dark.

Pozos colorados the best for walking

At night in the historical center

Booking.com asked travelers...

Why do you recommend Santa Marta for food?

Best Cooks

PERFECT

Find accommodations in Santa Marta

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