Santa Marta is located in Magdalena department, on the Caribbean coast in the north of Colombia, between Barranquilla and Riohacha.
The city is a good place to stop off if you are doing a tour of the country and you want to go in the Sierra Nevada or to the Guajira Department.
It is one of the most tourist-focused cities on the coast. Its location between the Sierra Nevada and the Caribbean coast makes this city very attractive, especially considering the variety of fauna and flora to be found there.
It is important also for the historical and cultural heritage, Santa Marta, was a colonial city, where you can admire the colonial architecture and monuments such as the Basilica of Santa Marta, which is a one of the biggest tourist destinations on the Caribbean coast.
As a Caribbean city, Santa Marta has suffered from repetitive British, French and Dutch attacks. The city is steeped in history and legends. One of them, says that Santa Marta´s Cathedral contains the heart of the famous Simón Bolívar, hidden somewhere. In fact Bolivar spent his last part of the life here.
A walking tour is the perfect way to orient yourself within the city and learn about its history and culture with your guide: follow your guide along the beach, check out top landmarks such as the Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino, and end your tour with a prime spot for watching the sunset.
I was in Santa Marta as starting point for the “Ciudad perdida” I was by trekking! The Lost City, or Ciudad Perdida, is the archaeological site of an ancient indigenous city in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. It has been a commercial center around 700 A.D., and its population probably ranged between 1,400 and 3,000 inhabitants. Hidden in the jungle for over a thousand years, the Lost City was found in 1972 when treasure hunters followed a series of stone steps leading up to an abandoned city.
From Santa Marta tour operators offer three- to five-day guided treks to the Lost City which include transportation, lodging, food.