How to Reach Santa Marta
By Air: Colombia has several international airports, the closest to Santa Marta being the Simon Bolivar International Airport, 16 km away. There are also daily flights to and from Bogota and other Colombian cities which utilize the El Rodadero airport which is en route to Barranquilla.
By Land: There are regular buses running to and from Santa Marta, connecting it with all the major cities in Colombia. These are luxury coaches (Air conditioned and well appointed) which don’t cost too much although the state of the roads does leave much to be desired. For a few extra bucks you can fly to and from most cities in Colombia.
By Sea: Santa Marta has several cruise liners that put into port here to utilize the well-developed marina and beach front resorts. Be aware that it was not called “Pirates of the Caribbean” for fun. While it is much safer than it used to be, it always pays to be alert.
On Foot: The city center is quite small, and the best way to experience it would be by trudging down the road and exploring for yourself. However some of the seedier neighborhoods have a reputation of being riddled with petty crime so try to stay away from the dodgy side of town.
By Taxi: Taxis are a convenient and cheap way of moving around, especially the more developed areas of Rondera, Tangana and around the airport. You can hail one in the street or call a taxi service who will give you a code to ensure that you embark in the right cab. They have no meters; be ready to bargain for the best price and don’t be shy.
By Bus: The intra-city bus network is a sprawling, disorganized but fun experience. The bus routes are printed on the front of the bus and include most of the tourist attractions that are worth seeing. They also don’t cost very much and can be quite the experience.
The “Chivas” (open air buses) are known for their riotous and rowdy nature. There is always a celebration going on and you may or may not remember why you boarded it in the first place or where you were going. A fun experience by any standards!