Visit Santa Marta - Best of Santa Marta
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.
Santa Marta Travel Tips
Essential travel information and Santa Marta tips for your visit
- Take the time to walk the old city center, where the Spanish colonial influences are at its strongest.
- Stay hydrated – the climate is enjoyable but draining and you can quickly get dehydrated while seeing the sights and exploring the city.
- Avoid drinking water from the taps – opt for bottled drinking water.
- Take a Yellow Fever vaccine and tetanus shot at least 15 days before you enter the jungles.
- Taxi’s have no meters! Be sure to decide a price with the driver before you get in to avoid complications.
- Venture into the seedier blocks by yourself after dark.
- Eat food at street-stalls if you have a delicate stomach – you want to be mobile and enjoying your vacation after all!
- Offer your opinion on local politics or religion.
- Discuss Colombia’s history as a cocaine hub. They are not proud of it nor eager to hear what you think.
- Forget your sun-block and insect repellent. The sun is not extremely harsh but you will be burnt with excessive exposure. The insects lean heavily towards feasting on tourists.
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Santa Marta Tourist Information
Santa Marta Itineraries
Santa Marta Tours for you
The best tours and activities in the city, guided by experts to give you a local insight to the best of Santa Marta
Tayrona National Park and Beach Day Trip from Santa Marta1 Reviews
Duration: 8 Hrs
Visit Tayrona National Natural Park and swim in a reef-formed pool in the Caribbean on this day trip from Santa Marta. Parque...Book Now
Crystal Beach and Tayrona National Park Day Trip from Santa Marta1 Reviews
Duration: 6 Hrs
Snorkel at Crystal Beach, a picture-perfect beach on the coastal edge of Tayrona National Natural Park (Parque Nacional Natur...Book Now
Shared Arrival Transfer: Simon Bolivar International Airport to Santa Marta Hotels2 Reviews
For an economical airport arrival transfer, book this shared-ride, door-to-door transportation service! This easy and efficie...Book Now
Santa Marta Sightseeing Tour1 Reviews
Duration: 4 Hrs
View landmarks of Santa Marta and its surroundings on a half-day sightseeing tour by comfortable coach. A knowledgeable guide...Book Now
Popular Hotels in Santa MartaView all Hotels in Santa Marta
More about Santa Marta
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- Bonda Tourism
- Cabo San Juan Del Guia Tourism
- Ciudad Perdida Tourism
- Barranquilla Tourism
- Palomino Tourism
- Aruba Tourism
- La Boquilla Tourism
- San Andres Tourism
- Estados Unidos Tourism
- Chengue Tourism
- Matildario Tourism
- Hawai Tourism
- Medellin Tourism
- Bogota Tourism
- San Gil Tourism
- Barichara Tourism
- Santa Fe De Antioquia Tourism
- Intimo - Bogotá Tourism
- Costarica Tourism
- Pereira Tourism
Facts and Stats for Santa Marta*
Pollution Statistics in Santa Marta
Know the pollution level of Santa Marta before you plan your visit.
Air Pollution 62.5 (High)
Water Pollution 68.75 (High)
Noise and Light Pollution 37.5 (Low)
Unattended dirt and garbage 81.25 (Very High)
Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility 68.75 (High)
Dissatisfaction with Garbage Disposal 93.75 (Very High)
Dissatisfaction to Spend Time in the City 54.17 (Moderate)
Dissatisfaction with Green zones and parks 81.25 (Very High)
Santa Marta: Crime and Safety
How safe is Santa Marta for tourists? Understand risks and safety concerns that can hamper your travel experience in Santa Marta.
Burglary and Theft 56.25 (Moderate)
Mugging and Robbery 43.75 (Moderate)
Assault and Armed Robbery 37.5 (Low)
Corruption and Bribery 75 (High)
Car Stealing 18.75 (Very Low)
Robbery of Car belongings 56.25 (Moderate)
Attacks 25 (Low)
Drug offense 56.25 (Moderate)
Safety walking alone during daylight 75 (High)
Safety walking alone during night 43.75 (Moderate)
Insulting and offensive behaviour 37.5 (Low)
Hate crime due to Racism, Religion, ethnic origin 25 (Low)
Property crimes and Vandalism 37.5 (Low)
Living in Santa Marta - Quality of Life
Safety Index 56.99 (Moderate)
Climate Index 61.06 (High)
Pollution Index 76.87 (High)
Health Care Index 44.44 (Moderate)
Property Price to Income Ratio 19.64 (Very High)
Indices such as Quality of life, Climate & Healthcare index are good to be high whereas others such as Property price, Traffic & Cost of living Index are good to be low.
Cost for Essentials in Santa Marta
Here's how much it will cost to shop in Santa Marta
Local calling per minute on Prepaid mobile 0.03 USD
International Movie per seat 2.78 USD
Summer clothing in a chain store 69.49 USD
Pair of Basic Nike Shoes 69.49 USD
Pair of Basic Levis Jeans 43.43 USD
*Stats and figures mentioned are crowd-sourced and subjected to change without notice.