“The secret to Santa Marta is to use it for what it does well: hotels, restaurants and bars, and then get out to the slew of superb nearby destinations during the daytime.” – Lonely Planet
Almost everyone comes from Cartagena but there is also an airport with direct flights to and from Medellín, Bogotá, Cali and Pereira.
The public bus from the airport costs roughly $.30 USD and takes around 30 minutes to get to the city center. There will be someone collecting money as you exit the bus. Let them know you want to go to the center and they will advise you when to get off.
Otherwise you can take a taxi from an official company at the airport.
The Lost City Trek: A huge reason travelers come up to Santa Marta and the big trek of Colombia is La Ciudad Perdida Trek. My budget only allowed for a few big treks in South America and this one didn’t make the cut. It is a tough one with a lot of heat and mosquitos but many say it’s incredible!
Tayrona 2-3 Days (2 days 1 night was good for me)
Minca can be a day trip or up to a few days
Lost Trek is 4-5 days plus at least a day before departure and probably at least a night back in town afterwards
Plus however much of the city and the beaches you want to see
Photo by Datingjungle on Unsplash
If you haven’t just come from there then continue your coastal journey to Barranquilla (coming soon!) or Cartagena. You’ve got the desert in the other direction and direct flights to Medellín, Salento or Bogotá (both coming soon!).
For more general information on traveling Colombia such as visas, money, Covid updates and more, visit my Colombia travel page.