The 10 Best Places To Visit In Santa Marta

Imagine a place where the mountains meet the sea, where the sun kisses the horizon, and where every step leads to a new adventure. Santa Marta, a gem on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, is just that—a treasure trove of natural beauty, history, and culture. It’s a spot that’s captured my heart, and I’m pretty sure it’ll snag a piece of yours too. So, let’s dive into the 10 best places to visit in this coastal paradise.

Tayrona National Natural Park

First up, Tayrona National Natural Park is an absolute must-see. With its lush jungle that spills onto pristine beaches, it’s like stepping into a postcard. Picture yourself hiking through the tropical forest, spotting monkeys and colorful birds, and then emerging onto a beach that’s so beautiful, it almost feels surreal. Cabo San Juan is a favorite among visitors, and once you dip your toes into its crystal-clear waters, you’ll understand why.

Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino

History buffs, you’re in for a treat at Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino. This historic estate is where Simón Bolívar spent his last days. Strolling through the lush gardens and colonial buildings, you’ll feel the weight of history and the sense of reverence that permeates the air. It’s a poignant reminder of the region’s past and the legacy of El Libertador.

Lost City Trek (Ciudad Perdida)

For the adventurers out there, the Lost City Trek is a journey back in time. It’s a challenging hike, no doubt about it, but the reward is unparalleled. The ancient ruins of Ciudad Perdida, hidden deep in the Sierra Nevada, are Colombia’s own Machu Picchu. Reaching this archaeological wonder will give you bragging rights for years to come.


Taganga, a quaint fishing village turned backpacker haven, is just around the Bend from Santa Marta. It’s the go-to spot for scuba diving, with underwater worlds that are teeming with life. After a day in the deep blue, kick back with a cold drink and watch one of the most stunning sunsets you’ll ever see.

Playa Cristal

Playa Cristal is one of those beaches that you won’t want to leave. It’s a slice of paradise within Tayrona Park, but with fewer crowds. The snorkeling here is top-notch, with coral reefs just a stone’s throw from the shore. Bring a picnic, slap on some sunscreen, and enjoy a day in this tranquil haven.


Head up into the mountains to the sleepy village of Minca. It’s a breath of fresh air—literally. The cooler climate is a welcome respite from the coast’s heat. coffee plantations, waterfalls, and hummingbirds await you here. Don’t miss a visit to La Victoria, an old coffee farm where you can learn all about Colombia’s famous beans.

El Rodadero

El Rodadero is Santa Marta’s lively neighbor, known for its bustling beach and vibrant nightlife. It’s the perfect place to mix with locals and tourists alike. The water sports are endless—jet skiing, banana boating, you name it. As the sun sets, the party starts, so be ready to dance the night away.

Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta

The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta isn’t just any mountain range—it’s the world’s highest coastal range. Indigenous communities call this place home, living in harmony with the land. Treks here offer a unique insight into the local way of life and stunning views that stretch all the way to the Caribbean Sea.

Bahía Concha

Bahía Concha’s calm waters make it an ideal spot for families or anyone looking to relax. It’s less developed than other beaches, giving it a more secluded feel. Rent a kayak, explore the bay, or simply soak up the sun. Just remember to bring your own snacks and drinks, as amenities here are limited.

Museo del Oro Tairona – Casa de la Aduana

Back in the heart of Santa Marta, the Museo del Oro Tairona is a cultural gem. This museum houses an impressive collection of indigenous artifacts, including gold pieces that will leave you in awe. It’s housed in the Casa de la Aduana, the oldest building in town, adding to the historical experience.

Now, let’s tackle some FAQs that might be on your mind:

  • What’s the best time of year to visit Santa Marta?

    The dry season, from December to April, is ideal for sunny days and clear skies. But honestly, Santa Marta’s charm shines year-round.

  • Is Santa Marta safe for tourists?

    Like any destination, it’s wise to stay alert. But overall, Santa Marta is welcoming to tourists, and locals are friendly and helpful.

  • Can I visit the indigenous communities in the Sierra Nevada?

    Visits are possible but must be done respectfully and usually through guided tours that support the local communities.

In conclusion, Santa Marta is a destination that offers something for everyone. From the lush trails of Tayrona Park to the historic streets of the city center, each spot has its own unique flavor. Whether you’re looking to unwind on a secluded beach or trek to ancient ruins, Santa Marta’s diverse attractions are sure to impress. So pack your bags, bring your sense of adventure, and get ready to create memories that will last a lifetime in this Colombian coastal wonderland.

Remember, these aren’t just any places; they’re experiences that will enrich your soul and leave you yearning for more. Santa Marta is waiting for you, and trust me, it’s a trip you won’t regret. Safe travels!

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.