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Things to do in
Santa Marta

Our most recommended things to do in Santa Marta

From Santa Marta: Tayrona National Park Guided Tour

1. From Santa Marta: Tayrona National Park Guided Tour

Hike through the tropical forest, admiring the local flora and fauna. Rest by a beach, swimming, and taking photos with the views behind you. Leave from Santa Marta early in the morning by bus. Travel to the entrance of Tayrona and wait for the doors to open at the box office. Watch a short informative video of 20 minutes with recommendations for the care of the park during your visit. Once the video is finished, begin the ecological walk-through trails that cross the tropical forest. Walk alongside trees that are over 25 meters high and pass beaches on the route through Cañaveral, Arrecifes, Arenilla, and Piscina Natural. Take a break at Cabo San Juan, a beach with transparent waters. Relax under the sun, enjoy a refreshing swim, and buy a delicious lunch made by the locals. Rest here for 3 hours and go up to the viewpoint to enjoy a unique view of this fantastic place. Return along the same trail until you reach the bus and head back to Santa Marta where the driver will drop you off at the same meeting points.

A Pearl In The Caribbean-walking tour in English (Tip based)

2. A Pearl In The Caribbean-walking tour in English (Tip based)

The first place we visit on the tour is known as Casa de la Aduana or Tayrona del Oro Museum, the museum allows us to observe different pieces of pre-Hispanic and modern indigenous art. In this wonderful place we will talk about who the Taironas were and why they became extinct. On the other hand, as its name indicates, we will be able to appreciate gold pieces. The second place we visit on the tour is related to the independence of Colombia, its name is Plaza Bolivar, In every place and corner of Colombia there is some place related to the same name "Simon Bolivar", and here we explain a little of everything; pre-Hispanic history, history of independence, architecture, sculptures, etc. It almost feels like traveling back in time! Continuing, we visit the San Francisco square which is a very old place in Santa Marta, here you can appreciate the daily life and the local economy or well known as "rebusque" in the popular Colombian slang. In this place they talk about the pirate attacks related to the catholic religion in the Caribbean. After San Francisco square we head to the Cathedral square, this church is called the mother of all churches in Colombia, it is here where you will learn about the religious customs in Santa Marta and the spooky superstitions of the city. It's also the perfect place to appreciate the Arab, colonial and Renaissance influences - don't forget your camera! If you are a big fan of gastronomy, in this place we make you some recommendations about the typical dishes of the city and the restaurants you should visit in case you want to try them, it is a mix between colors and gastronomy, very interesting. After a delicious meal maybe you want to do a night activity, then you should go to "", here we talk about the nightlife of the city of Santa Marta, it is an ideal place to spend a night of romance or with friends, its name is not original "Parque de los Novios" and we will talk about it there. And finally, the juice place is the perfect place to talk about the typical fruits found in the Colombian Caribbean coast. Here we will give some explanations as a "fruit class" and we will taste one, remember that part of traveling is to try weird things by yourself. At the end you will be able to buy a 100% natural juice if you wish.

Minca: Full-Day Coffee and Cocoa Tour from Santa Marta

3. Minca: Full-Day Coffee and Cocoa Tour from Santa Marta

From Santa Marta, embark on a 45-minute drive through the foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta to find the small town of Minca. In the company of a local guide, take a 2.5-hour nature walk passing waterfalls, natural swimming pools, and scenic views of the surrounding mountains.  The walk ends at a coffee farm, where you will learn about the coffee production process and it’s importance to Colombia’s culture. Enter a bamboo house where you will enjoy a gourmet lunch before learning about cocoa, its production, and derivatives.   At the end of the tour, return transfers will be provided to your hotel in Santa Marta.

Santa Marta: Sunset Cruise Around the Bay

4. Santa Marta: Sunset Cruise Around the Bay

Meet your guide and the other participants at the meeting point and head to the marina. Hop on board the boat and get comfortable while the guide gives the safety instructions. Sail around the bay of Santa Marta for about an hour and connect to the speaker if you want music during the cruise. Put your drink in the cooler to keep it cold and enjoy the food you brought with you. Anchor in the bay for another hour to enjoy the sunset from the water. Admire the views as nighttime falls over the city, and capture photos of the incredible sight. Afterward, return to the marina where the tour will end after an exciting evening.

Santa Marta: Tayrona Park Private Hike to Cabo San Juan

5. Santa Marta: Tayrona Park Private Hike to Cabo San Juan

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Tayrona National Natural Park during this full-day walking trip. Discover lush forests, stroll along pristine beaches, admire Playa Cabo de San Juan, and savor a traditional Caribbean meal (not included). Explore Tayrona National Natural Park during this private full-day hiking tour. Inhale the fragrance of sun-drenched nature as you observe fauna which have made this paradise their home. Experience one of the world's most beautiful beaches and enjoy authentic Caribbean cuisine. Wander about this natural haven on the Caribbean coast, northeast of Santa Marta, one of South America’s oldest cities. Luxuriate in the golden sunshine as you take in lush flora set against the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Hike along the coast from Cañaveral, pause at the boulder-strewn Playa Arrecife known for its powerful currents, and continue on to La Piscina. Enclosed with rocks, and mild and shallow, this pool is ideal for swimmers of varying skill levels. Playa Brava sits off the beaten path, a secluded beach nestled amid lush vegetation. Tranquil and serene, it is quieter compared to the highly popular Cabo de San Juan beach. To sunbathe on white sands and snorkel in clear water, walk to Playa Cristal and nibble on grilled seafood as well. Playa Cabo de San Juan, a verdant paradise, is the park’s main attraction. Giant palms wave along the shore and massive boulders rise out of the water. Swim and settle down to a traditional Caribbean lunch afterwards. Sunbathe in the golden sunshine and end your day on a glittering high.

Santa Marta: Multi-Day Trek to The Lost City

6. Santa Marta: Multi-Day Trek to The Lost City

Embrace your inner explorer with a multi-day trek through the jungle from Santa Marta to the Lost City. Follow an experienced professional guide through the Colombian jungle, learning about the flora and fauna as you go. Encounter the archaeological site of an ancient city in Santa Marta's Sierra Nevada, believed to have been founded around 800 CE, some 650 years earlier than Machu Picchu. Choose between a 4,5 or 6-day trek. See a series of 169 terraces carved into the mountainside, a network of tiled roads, and several small circular plazas. Access the entrance by climbing up 1,200 stone steps through dense jungle. 4 or 5-Day Trek Day 1 - The adventure to the Lost City starts around 9:30 AM with a 3-hour drive by 4WD to El Mamey, a place where you will have lunch and begin the trek in search for the sacred place of the Tayronas. The first day will consist of a smooth walk of about 4 hours (approximately 7.6 km). Stop at the Lookout Las Tres Cruces for a snack and taste delicious fruits. Relax at some natural pools and waterfalls to refresh before arriving at the first camp in the end of the afternoon. Dinner and overnight stay. Day 2 - The day begins with a nice breakfast early in the morning, before you start to walk towards the Wiwa camp. This is located by the riverside of Buritaca River, where you can enjoy a refreshing bath, rest and have lunch. From there, follow the adventure into the jungle where you will find plenty of houses that form part of a Kogui indigenous village called Mutanyi. Continue the trek until reaching the camp where you will rest for the second day. The whole trek consists of about 7 hours or 14.7 KM, mostly uphill with some downhill while enjoying the rich biodiversity of the place. Dinner and overnight. Day 3 - Very early in the day you will be served breakfast before starting the trek towards the highlight of the trip. Climb up 1,200 steps in a trail constructed by Tayrona people to reach the stunning Lost City, surrounded by a deep, vast and mythical jungle. Your guide will show you everything related to this magical place full of relics and ancestral stories and you can spend the morning enjoying the landscapes & taking pictures. Finally, you will start trekking back to the same camp that you left in the morning. Have lunch before continuing towards the Wiwa camp where you will spend the night. Again, this will be around a 7 hours day trek but only with 6 KM of uphill and downhill tracks. Dinner and overnight. Day 4 - You will have an early breakfast before beginning the 2-hour walk towards the camp where you spent the first night. When arriving, the group will be divided between the people who are doing the 4 or 5-day tour. For the people who are on the last day, you will have a short rest accompanied by fruit and water before continuing the trekking for another 4-hours until reaching El Mamey where you will have lunch and hop in a 4 WD jeep that will take you back to Santa Marta. For the people who decided on the 5-day tour, you will be served lunch and spend the rest of the day relaxing at the camp where you can observe the views, relax and interact with others before spending the night. Dinner and overnight. Day 5 - The last day begins with the breakfast before walking to El Mamey, place where you will have lunch and the 4 WD jeep will take you back to Santa Marta. 6-Day Trek Day 1 - The adventure to the Lost City starts around 9:30 where a 4 WD jeep will take you on a 3-hour drive to El Mamey, a place where you will have lunch and begin the trek in search for the sacred place of the Tayronas. The first day will consist of a smooth walk of about 4 hours walking for 7.6 KM where we will stop at the Lookout Las Tres Cruces to have a snack and taste delicious fruits and at some natural pools & waterfalls to relax and refresh before arriving at the first camp in the end of the afternoon. Dinner and overnight. Day 2 - The day begins with a nice breakfast early in the morning, before you start to walk towards a indigenous reserve where you will have the opportunity to learn about the Wiwas & Koguis cultures. You will spend the day in the second camp enjoying the river and the cultural exchange. The whole trek consists of only 3 hours in relatively smooth terrain. Dinner and overnight. Day 3 - You will begin the descent towards the Buritaca river valley after breakfast, where during the tour, you will find some indigenous housing that forms a small community known as the Mutanyi. From there, you will continue on the path to the next camp. In that journey, enjoy a bath in one of the rivers, learn about the flora and fauna and have some breaks to rest up. The whole trek consists of 5 hours, with some ups and downs. At night enjoy stories and adventures narrated by the guides in the camp. Dinner and overnight. Day 4 - Very early in the day, you will be served breakfast before starting the trek towards the highlight of the trip. You will climb up 1,200 steps in a trail constructed by Tayrona people to reach the stunning Lost City, surrounded by a deep, vast and mythical jungle. Your guide will show you everything related to this magical place full of relics and ancestral stories and you can spend the morning enjoying the landscapes & taking pictures. Finally, you will start trekking back to the same camp left in the morning to have lunch to continue towards the camp where you will spend the night. This will be around a 7 hours day trek but only with 6 KM of uphill and downhill tracks. Dinner and overnight.  Day 5 - After breakfast, begin the journey towards Santa Marta. This will be a 2-hour trek to the camp where you will be served lunch and spend the rest of the day chilling at the as you observe the views, relax and interact with others before spending the night. Dinner and overnight.  Day 6 - The last day begins with the breakfast before walking to El Mamey, place where we will have lunch and the 4 WD jeep will take you back to Santa Marta.

Santa Marta: Guided Walking Food Experience

7. Santa Marta: Guided Walking Food Experience

In this experience, discover the unique flavors of the Caribbean region of Colombia with a local guide. Visit 7 places in the historical center of Santa Marta and sample a variety of traditional food and drinks. Next, visit multiple family-owned businesses and try arepas de huevo, cayeye, and other special dishes. Meet some of the most professional baristas in the region. In a single afternoon, learn about Caribbean Colombian culture through its food and history.

From Cartagena: City Tour Barranquilla Santa Marta

8. From Cartagena: City Tour Barranquilla Santa Marta

Our service has an air-conditioned bus and bilingual guide to start at 4:00am at the first meeting point located in the Clock Tower monument, where passengers staying in the Historic Center Zone and Getsemani neighborhood are picked up, and then pick up the passengers. located in the Bocagrande and Laguito areas directly at their hotels at 4:30am, continuing in the Marbella and Crespo areas starting at 5:00am and ending in the North area. The bus tour takes an hour and a half to reach the first point of interest, Barranquilla lettles 7:00am, where we will take photos and the guide will tell the history of this city. Our second point of interest is the La Venta del Mundo monument, 7:30am, a site where we will learn about the cultural importance of the monument and the city. The third point is the famous Malecón del Río or Malecón del Caimán 8:00am, a favorite place to learn about the industrial importance of the city. We stop at the shark's fin at 8:30am, a tribute to Junior de Barranquilla and also to Colombian soccer. We finish our tour of the wonderful city of Barranquilla with a panoramic explanation of the Pumarejo Bridge 9:00am. After a tour on our bus of approximately two hours we will arrive at Santa Marta, also known as the pearl of America 11:00am, where we will begin our tour visiting the Pibe Valderrama monument 11:15am, where we will explain its historical importance for the Colombian soccer. From there we leave for the historic center at 11:30am, where we will walk through the colonial streets of the city, La Bahia de Santa Marta, Parque de los Novios, Cathedral, Gold Museum, accompanied by a local guide who is an expert in his field. history. At the end of the walk we will arrive at the beautiful beaches of Rodadero 12:30mm, where we will have lunch with 5 different options (chicken, fish, meat, pork or vegetarian) After lunch we will have time to swim on the beaches, shop or go to the Quinta de San Pedro de Alejandria where the entrance is optional and has a value of (23,000.COP) per person not included in the tour. Our return to Cartagena would begin at 4:00pm and we will arrive in the city at approximately 8:30pm.

Palomino: Palomino River Tubing and Hiking Tour

9. Palomino: Palomino River Tubing and Hiking Tour

Part of the joyful energy you easily find in Palomino is due to the great amount of adventure and nature-ish activities and plans that you can do there. By being near the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta and with the Caribbean Sea just in front, most of the must-do things here will include adrenaline and contact with nature. If you enjoy living the best out of every place, trust us: this tour is perfect for you. In this tour a guide will pick you up in a motorbike, which will be your transport for a part of the tour. Then, you will do a hike of 40 minutes across the surrounding forest of Palomino. There, the guide will give you a short lesson of flora and fauna of the area. And if you are lucky, and the sky is clear enough you’ll be able to see the two most important peaks of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta: Simon Bolivar and Colon peaks. Once ready you will take your floating tires and life jackets downstream the Palomino River. There will be a part of rapids in this route, but you will also enjoy going down the river among nature. Finally, you will get to the Palomino River mouth, the exact place where it meets the Caribbean Sea. Give yourself the chance of doing something new and try this.

Santa Marta: Sailboat day tour to Tayrona Park

10. Santa Marta: Sailboat day tour to Tayrona Park

We will meet at Charter dock in Marina Internacional de Santa marta 9:30 am Cant wait past 9:50 for passenger as other boats use same dock. 10am we will motor upwind arriving approximately 11:30 am to Bahia Concha. You will experience stunning views from on board passing from a distance Taganga Bay, Granate Bay, Aguja Island. At Bahia Concha the boat will anchor. Yo can hang out on board, swim to beach or we can take you with our auxiliary boat. You can use the paddle boards and snorkel equipment available. Lunch will be served approximately 90 minute after arriving. You will enjoy the day at one of the biggest beaches in Tayrona Park. By 3:30 pm everyone should be back on board to begin our return doing some motor sailing and only sailing wind permitting and returning to the marina between 4:30pm - 5:00pm where you can enjoy the beautiful sunset Santa Marta is famous for.

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Frequently asked questions about Santa Marta

What are the best day trips and excursions from Santa Marta?

The best day trips and excursions from Santa Marta are:

Minca

Other Sightseeing Options in Santa Marta

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What people are saying about Santa Marta

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 42 reviews

I loved the activity. The established pick-up and drop-off times were respected. The guides are incredible, super attentive to the group and provide a lot of information. They also organize lunch in the park which allows you to enjoy much more.

A very nice tour with a guide, who found a good mix of culture, history, sight seeing and local things. Even got an unexpected lesson about local fruits. thanks for that. #highlyrecommended

Very impressive, adventurous and beautiful! ... a little tough on the kids when it comes to hiking, but the reward from tubing is even better🤩

Nice way to discover Minca with coffee & cacao experience

Very good, the attention of the guides was very good