What to do in Santa Marta?

beach of Santa Marta in Colombia

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Full of charming corners, the city of Santa Marta should be a mandatory stop on your travel in Colombia. Its atmosphere, its colour and its people make it a special and unique city in the whole country. But you may be wondering what to do in Santa Marta.

Santa Marta is the starting point of the tours to Ciudad Perdida one of the main plans that you can do from there, but not only that, in Santa Marta there are many other things to do and visit.

We tell you what to do in Santa Marta so you can add all your plans to your Colombia travel guide.

What to do in the city of Santa Marta

Visit the historic center

The city of Santa Marta is one of the 5 ancient cities in Colombia, so just by taking a stroll through its historic centre you will be amazed by its colonial architecture.

Among it stands out the Cathedral of Santa Marta which is the oldest on the continent, the low white houses and the narrow alleys of the surroundings. Although you can also stroll through the Simon Bolivar Park and Carrera 3 street which is one of the liveliest in the city.

colorful houses in Santa Marta

Walk around Rodadero

Rodadero is the most touristy and trendy neighbourhood of the city and where you will find most restaurants, bars and hotels.

When you’re there you can stroll along the boardwalk to the rhythm of local music, try some street food and enjoy the sunset.

Rodadero beach with skyscraper views

Santa Marta Public Market

If you fancy a different plan you can visit the market of Santa Marta, a colourful and above all very lively place.

Take your time to enjoy the Colombian culture and gastronomy because there you will find meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, herbs … and even clothes and shoes, come on, everything you need!

men selling fish in Santa Marta public market

Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino

Another original plan is to visit the Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino, a former colonial estate and sugar cane refinery where Simon Bolivar, “the liberator of America”, spent his last days.

Today it stands out for housing the Bolivarian Museum of Contemporary Art and for its gardens and beautiful architecture.

Statue of San Pedro Alejandrino in the Quinta

Partying at the Parque de los Novios

Parque de Los Novios (bride and groom park) comes alive during the evenings when people gather in the restaurants for dinner and drinks before going out to party.

There you can listen to music in the bars and if you’re lucky you can even watch a live performance in the square. No doubt it is the perfect plan to end the day.

central pavilion in parque de los novios

Tours from Santa Marta

Visit Ciudad Perdida (Lost city)

One of the plans that you can not miss if you are in Santa Marta is the tour to Ciudad Perdida know as well as Lost City for 4 days. A guided trekking through the middle of the jungle in which you will discover incredible landscapes and the legacy of the indigenous communities that still live there.

An authentic adventure in the mythical El Dorado that if you prefer you can make longer with the Lost City 5 days tour.

views of the lost city of santa marta marta in sunny weather

Visit Punta Gallinas

If you feel like disconnecting from the world… Take the tour to Punta Gallinas, a paradise away from society, is a very good option.

During 3 days in the northernmost tip of South America, you will discover the Pilon de Azucar, the Auyama Desert, the Taroa Dunes or the Punta Gallinas Lighthouse. Surely its landscapes and the culture of the Wayuu people will surprise you.
sugar pylon in punta gallinas

Tayrona National Park

In Tayrona National Park the jungle meets the Caribbean Sea and its crystalline waters.

Visit Cabo de San Juan for a hike or bathe at one of the best beaches such as Playa Cristal.

palm trees at Tayrona Park

Now that you know what to do in Santa Marta we are sure you do not want to miss any plan. Prepare your suitcases and go for adventure… can you think of any more plans?


Celia loves animals and traveling, and if she can combine both and escape anywhere with her dog, her happiness is assured.

She loves nature in general, and the mountains in particular, so it is normal to find her on her days off with her trekking poles on her back. In Howlanders blog he gives us tips and recommendations that he has learned in each of his trips.

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