When you think of a vacation on the Caribbean, Colombia does not automatically spring to mind. Yet this small South American nation has taken several steps towards opening itself to tourism and developing into a place with unique charms to attract would-be travelers. If you picture yourself in a place sandwiched between sweeping tropical beaches and snow-capped mountains, Santa Marta is the place for you.
A small port city on the Northern coast of Colombia, Santa Marta is nestled between the majestic Sierra Nevada mountain range and the balmy Caribbean Sea. As one of the first places settled by the Spanish in South America, Santa Marta boasts a versatile, multicultural heritage that is apparent in the cuisine, languages and music that are prevalent in the region.
A brand new marina that looks futuristic in comparison to its surroundings has literally opened the port city up to a throng of travelers, who find themselves pleasantly surprised by the locale, given its troubled history in recent times.
Verdant tropical jungles spread out just a few miles from the city center, making Santa Marta the ideal location for adventure lovers and hiking enthusiasts. “Ciudad Perdida” the “Lost” City (Well… they’ve found it) constitutes one of the major attractions to draw people towards Santa Marta. Most people use Santa Marta merely as a base to explore the surrounding areas of Cartenga (UNESCO world heritage site), Rodadero and the Tayrona National Park, and don’t give the oldest city in Colombia a fair try.
The Spanish-colonial charm is emphasized by the quaint street-lights that give the city a dated yet romantic air that combines well with the warm tropical breeze that comes rolling in off the sea.
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