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Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta

Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta

Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta: Our most recommended tours and activities

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

1. 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: Multi-Day Trek to The Lost City

2. 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.

Palomino: Palomino River Tubing and Hiking Tour

3. 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.

From Santa Marta: 4-Day Lost City Discovery Tour

4. From Santa Marta: 4-Day Lost City Discovery Tour

Day 1: After being picked up from your Santa Marta hotel at 9:30AM, you will travel by car for approximately 2.5 hours to the region of Mamey, where lunch will take place. After lunch, you will begin walking at approximately 3:00PM until you reach the first station, known in the region with the names of "Cabañas de Adam". Here you can enjoy the Honduras Creek, which is a beautiful natural pool. Dinner will be served later on at 6:30PM, and your bedrooms for the first day will consist of hammocks with mosquito nets. Day 2: After breakfast at 7:00AM, you will depart at 8:00AM and begin a hike which will last for approximately 14.7 kilometers before you arrive at the second station: "Cabaña de Romualdo", home of the respected Mamo Indígina. In this same place you can enjoy the fabulous waters of the Buritaca River, with dinner being served at 6:00PM. Whilst here your guide will provide information regarding the indigenous culture, and your bedrooms for this day will be in beds or hammocks with mosquito nets. Day 3: This morning, you will leave from the "Cabaña de Rumualdo" and depart to the lost city, where an explanation tour and photographs will made over a period of 3 hours. From the lost city you will return to the "Cabaña de Gabriel" over a 7.6-kilometer journey. Once having arrived, you will partake in recreational activities, before dinner will be served before spending the night. Day 4: You will leave from the "Cabaña de Gabriel" to the town of Mamey over a route of 15.6 kilometers, which will take approximately 6 hours. Once having arrived at the town of Mamey, you will return to Santa Marta with an arrival time of around 5:00PM.

Sierra Minca Day Tour

5. Sierra Minca Day Tour

Join us on a tour and enjoy a complimentary coffee and chocolate bread at the start of the journey. If you want to experience the best of Minca, join our guided tour and discover the stunning rivers, waterfalls, and scenic views that the area has to offer. Our tour will take you to the heart of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, where you can enjoy refreshing swims in two beautiful waterfalls of Marinka. EXPLORE SIERRA MINCA FOR LUNCH AND REST After a refreshing swim in the waterfalls, we will head to Sierra Minca, an eco-friendly hostel, where you can relax and enjoy a delicious lunch, cold beer, and the famous hammocks. Sit back and admire the stunning views of the Bay of Santa Marta and the surrounding mountains.

Palomino: Private Tour of Tungueka Indigenous Village

6. Palomino: Private Tour of Tungueka Indigenous Village

Much more than a tour: A unique experience to discover the fascinating Tungueka indigenous village in one of the most beautiful places in the Colombian Caribbean. Enjoy an ecological walk through the surrounding mountains of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta followed by a refreshing river swim in the middle of the nature reserve. Upon arrival, you can interact with one of the oldest indigenous tribes in the area (the Kogi). The Kogi are descendants of the Tairona culture that flourished before the Spanish conquest. They didn't live much differently than today's Kogi. The Kogi base their lifestyle on their belief in "Aluna" or "The Great Mother," their creator figure, who they believe is the force behind nature. The Kogi understand the earth as a living thing and see humanity as their "children". On the way to the indigenous village of Tungueka you can see the majesty of the Santa Marta Sierra Nevada mountains. The peaks are only 45 km from the Caribbean coast. This makes the mountain range the highest coastal mountain range in the world.

Avistamiento de aves en Minca Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta

7. Avistamiento de aves en Minca Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta

We'll pick you up at your hotel between 5 and 5:30 am to go to the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, a mountain range in northern Colombia. After a 45-minute drive, we'll arrive in Minca, where we'll give you an overview of the route and distribute the binoculars. After introductions, we'll start a three-hour walk along a trail while we soak up the nature that surrounds us. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled! Toucans, hummingbirds, owls... We'll be able to see up to 40 different types of birds during our route! Ever seen a flycatcher? Or a Santa Marta parakeet? We'll tell you all about the characteristics of these endemic birds of Minca and teach you how to distinguish between them. After three hours of bird watching, we'll get back in the vehicle to return to your hotel. We'll arrive back in Santa Marta between 9 and 9:30 am.

From Santa Marta: Marinka Waterfalls 4x4 Tour with Transfer

8. From Santa Marta: Marinka Waterfalls 4x4 Tour with Transfer

From Santa Marta, take a taxi for about 45 minutes through the foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta to find the small town of Minca. In the company of a local guide/driver. From there we will transfer to a 4x4 truck, we will take a trail for 30 minutes, in the middle of the journey you will be able to appreciate the exotic landscape surrounded by fauna and flora, with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. When we get off the truck we must walk approximately 15 minutes to reach the Marinka waterfalls. Being in Marinka waterfalls you will have space and free time to enjoy the spa, where you can bathe in the waterfalls, rest in the famous giant hammocks, take photos and of course enjoy a delicious armuerzo included. You can choose the return with prior notice between 02:00 and 04:00 pm, this will be along the same road to Minca, to transfer again to the taxi that leads us to Santa Marta.

Palomino: Hiking Tour of Valencia Waterfalls with Transfers

9. Palomino: Hiking Tour of Valencia Waterfalls with Transfers

Give yourself a day to leave your worries behind and have a nature therapy session! From the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, many rivers and creeks emerge. One of those take the form of this Valencia waterfall. A water stream with natural pools that ends in the river. And a place to come with friends, family or fellow travelers that, just like you, want to immerse in lush nature. In this tour, the guide will meet you in Palomino and take you to the forest in a 25-minute ecologic hike. In less than half an hour you will get to Valencia waterfall. Once there, you will have time enough to rest, swim, eat some snacks, share with the local guide. Just to be present with nature. This tour is not about doing much, but the opposite: don’t do, just be. So it can be a revitalizing experience of connecting with people and forget about any worries. After you spend quality time here, you and the guide will hike the way back to Palomino and then to your hotel or inn. Trust us! Every once in a while, you deserve an experience like this!

Paso Del Mango. Cacao Experience.

10. Paso Del Mango. Cacao Experience.

Embark on a guided tour of the Paso del Mango, a natural space in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Learn about chocolate farming and processing, indulge in chocolate treatments, and have a full cacao experience. Explore the area of Paso del Mango, located next to a river, with breathtaking views surrounded by the majestic jungle of Colombia's highest mountains. Meet your guide and set off on a hike along the ancient indigenous trail that borders the Manzanares River. Walk to different lagoons and waterfalls that the Sierra Nevada offers. Interact with endangered species, and plant life and have an experience designed around cacao. Learn about chocolate farming and processing from start to finish, indulge in chocolate treatments, and have a full cacao experience. Get to know different aspects of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, visiting ancestral stones carved by indigenous communities, cacao fields, waterfalls, and an animal sanctuary. Finish the day with a visit to Indio waterfall located on the top of the mountain.

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What people are saying about Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta

Overall rating

4.8
(16 reviews)

The tour was amazing. Although it started so early, we were motivated to see as many birds as possible and were lucky: we ended up seeing more than 40 different species, including owls, hawks and a toucan. Our guide knew a lot about the birds and was using an App to call them and showing us their name. We also had hot chocolate and coffee at the observatory. Would recommend the tour to everyone.

Loved the experience of Ciudad perdida! It was my first trek this size and it was a great first experience with very comfortable camps with beds and all the meals made for you. Food was delicious! Very well paced with lots of stops with stands to buy food and cold drinks. The views on the trip were amazing the whole time and our guides Javier and Enrique were very fun!

We really enjoyed the tour. We did and saw a lot, communication and transportation was good and the hike wasn’t too easy or too hard. The lunch was included and delicious. 10/10

The guide was very nice and informed on Palomino. I felt very relaxed and was communicated with every step of the way making the process easy.

the uncontaminated nature and the very pleasant climate. a true earthly paradise! helpful, courteous and precise guide! highly recommended!