Santa Marta, Columbia

Santa Marta, Columbia

Santa Marta is a city located in the bay of Santa Marta along the Caribbean Sea in the province of Magdalena in Colombia, South America.

As with many places, crime can be a problem and visitors should exercise the usual caution and common sense and stick to tourist and city centre areas.

Museo del Oro (on plaza Bolivar) displays a collection of pre-Columbian pottery, a collection of gold and a scale model of Ciudad Perdida.

Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino is the final home of Simon Bolivar, the Venezuelan military and political leader. It contains a museum housing works of art from countries he helped liberate.

Go bird watching in the world famous El Dorado bird reserve.

Tayrona National Park was created in 1864 and is located 34km from Santa Marta. It offers a variety of flora and fauna and fascinating wildlife including black howler and titi monkeys, red woodpeckers, iguanas, jaguars, lizards and more than 400 species of birds.

Mountain Biking, hiking and canyoning adventures can be arranged in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and or the Tayrona National Park.

The coral reefs in the area provide good views for scuba divers.

Watersport activities such as jet skiing are available on local beaches. Los Angeles and Costeño beaches just to the east of Tayrona are great if you want to escape the masses.

Minca is a small village 650m above Santa Marta. The village center itself is a quaint friendly little mountain town with panoramic vistas to the sea far below.

The disabled cruiser visiting Cartagena 

Where You’re Docked

Cruise ships dock in the Port of Colombia, which is only a short walkable distance from the center of town.

Tourist Information is next to the port. Shopping can also be found close by.

Good to Know

The port is a shipping yard for their coal mining operation and you will have a “lovely” view of a huge pile of coal! You aren’t allowed to walk on the pier at all due to all the industrial operations going on.

Getting Around

On foot: 

By car: 

By bus:

Currency & Best Way to Get Money

The local currency in Santa Marta is the peso, but U.S. dollars and credit cards are accepted everywhere. If you run short, an ATM is located at the port.


Spanish is widely spoken in Santa Marta, but most vendors, store operators and attraction employees will be able to speak enough English to communicate with you. If you catch a taxi in port, it’s likely the driver will know a decent amount of English. That said, it’s a good idea to download a translation app to your phone or bring an English-Spanish phrasebook with you.


Santa Marta is famous for its beach sellers, there are always people wandering up and down the beach selling all sorts of items. Some are fairly aggressive sellers so use the opportunity to haggle.

Fresh fish and seafood, grilled meats, spicy fish and lobster, coconut rice and seafood soup are all common dishes in the area.

Points of Interest

  • Santa Marta – a seven-

Santa Marta Accessible Excursions

Whether your cruise ship stops in 

Santa Marta Accessible Guided Tour

This 4 hour accessible