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Founded in 1525 by Don Rodrigo de Bastidas over a beautiful bay, Santa Marta is the oldest town in Colombia and enjoys a privileged location wedged between the Caribbean and the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Crumbling buildings of Santa MartaThis is a popular destination for holidaying Colombians who flock to the clean, wide beaches and resorts of the area, but the modern outskirts belie the charming colonial center and a stop in Santa Marta can make for a diverse few days exploring Magdalena department.

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who's been there
Audley Travel specialist Tamatha

Start planning your tailor-made trip to Santa Marta by contacting one of our Colombia specialists

Suggested itineraries featuring Santa Marta

Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Santa Marta, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Santa Marta

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near Santa Marta

    Our expert guides to exploring Santa Marta

    Written by our specialists from their own experiences of visiting Santa Marta, these guides will help you make the most of your time there. We share both our practical recommendations and the best ways to appreciate Santa Marta at its best.

    • What to do in Colombia: our highlights guide
      Colorful façades, Bogotá

      What to do in Colombia: our highlights guide

      What to do in Colombia: our highlights guide

      From cultured Cartagena to youthful Medellín, you can witness how Colombia is reinventing itself on a tailor-made Audley trip.

      11 min read

      Read this guide

    Accommodation choices for Santa Marta

    We've selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Santa Marta. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.

    Ideas for experiencing Santa Marta

    Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Santa Marta, and which use the best local guides.

    • Tayrona National Park
      Tayrona National Park, Colombia

      Tayrona National Park

      Tayrona National Park

      Head east from Santa Marta into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, the highest coastal mountain range in the world.

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    • Santa Marta Half Day City Tour
      Santa Marta, Colombia

      Santa Marta Half Day City Tour

      Santa Marta Half Day City Tour

      A good introduction to Santa Marta, the oldest Spanish colonial city in the Americas.

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    • Minca Tour
      Minca church

      Minca Tour

      Minca Tour

      Traveling west from Santa Marta you will head up into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, soon noticing the cool fresh climate as you leave the humid coast behind and wind up into the peaceful countryside.

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