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Santa Marta

Photo of Santa Marta

About Santa Marta

Sitting on Columbia’s North coast, Santa Marta was the site of the first Spanish settlement in Colombia so its no surprise that it has as much history as it does natural beauty. The town has a Miami like quality with wide beaches stretching along its length and a number of trendy bars to keep you entertained at night. Our recommendations for the best places to stay in Santa Marta are all centrally located and have easy access to both the city's sights and beach.

For the driest period aim to visit between December and April, You can expect temperatures in the early thirties year-round so don’t forget your sun cream!

Here's our pick of things to do that really should not to be missed:

  • Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona - A short taxi ride out of town (it should take around 30 mins), this national park is an absolute must. Boasting some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, the park is also large enough to feel secluded.

  • The Lost City - Trek to visit some of the most spectacular ancient ruins anywhere in world. Built over 600 years before Machu Picchu, this site is not only breathtakingly beautiful but also fascinating. It also has far fewer visitors than Machu Picchu, largely thanks to its inaccessibility. Although there are ‘luxurious’ ways to get there, these generally involve sitting on donkeys for extended periods of time and so we would recommend getting the walking boots out (and the sun hat!).

  • Scuba Diving and Snorkeling - Check out the Caribbean sea life with a host of Scuba and Snorkeling tours available right from the Santa Marta beach.

And now for the best places to stay in Santa Marta:

For the beach

  • Hotel Boutique Don Pepe offers modern design, large rooms and all the creature comforts you can imagine including a fabulous spa. Plus you're just a short walk from the beach.

For the historic centre of town

  • Casa Verde enjoys a superb location right in Santa Marta's historic centre, yet also not far from the beach. The nine rooms are arranged around a beautiful central courtyard adorned with hammocks and featuring a plunge pool for cooling off.

  • Set in quiet location in the historic centre, Casa Carolina is both stylish and comfortable with a full spa to relax in after a day in the sun. Rooms are spacious with smart modern bathrooms, plus there's a charming courtyard with pool and restaurant.

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in Santa Marta

  • Casa Carolina 25 rooms from $89

    Santa Marta

    A boutique hotel boasting a quiet location in the historic centre and just a short walk from the beach. Characterful rooms feature exposed stone, beamed ceilings and brightly dressed beds. A fabulous spa will fulfil all pampering needs. The perfect jump off point to explore this wonderful region.

    Local exploring  -  Boasting a fabulous location next to San Francisco Monastery in Santa Marta's historic center.
    Diving  -  Take a scuba diving course at nearby Taganga.
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool.
    Full of character
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  • Hotel Boutique Don Pepe 12 rooms from $175

    Santa Marta

    A luxury boutique hotel in the heart of Santa Marta. Well proportioned rooms are elegantly styled with exposed brick work, minimalist furniture and high ceilings. Unwind by the courtyard pool or over a massage in the fabulous spa. Just a short walk from the beach. Very chic.

    Local exploring  -  A well positioned hotel with easy access to both the beach and the commercial centre.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the beautiful Cathderal of Santa Marta thought to be one the oldest cathedrals in South America.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Spa
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  • Casa Verde 9 rooms from $184

    Santa Marta

    Casa Verde hotel is located in the heart of Santa Marta a short walk from the beach. It features spacious white rooms with snaps of bright colour in the tiles and fabrics. A shady central courtyard creates a laid back vibe. Be it cooling off in the pool, nightlife or beach, this is a great choice.

    Beach Life  -  With the beach only 5 minutes away you can easily roll out of bed and wander over to spend your day by the seaside
    City Style  -  The hotel enjoys a fabulous central location in Santa Marta and is the perfect base from which to explore the city
    Local markets  -  Head over to the Santa Marta Market which includes more than 500 vendors and features an array of foodstuffs and gifts
    Sights nearby  -  Go visit the Santa Marta Cathedral, Bolivar Park or Santa Marta Marina which are all just a short walk away
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