Visit Santa Marta, one of the most popular cities on Colombia's Caribbean coast. While the city itself doesn't have as many places of interest as nearby Cartagena, Santa Marta is a hub for eco-tourism due to its spectacular natural surroundings. To help you plan your travels in Colombia, here are our top picks for the 10 best things to do in Santa Marta.

9601846223_223e056855_k-2The unspoilt beauty of Tayrona Park makes it the region's top attraction / Image Source

1. Visit Tayrona National Park

Tayrona National Park (Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona) is undoubtedly Santa Marta's biggest attraction. This protected region encompasses the biodiversity of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, pristine beaches, rainforests and archaeological remains of ancient human settlements. Visit Tayrona Park with a tour, or camp in the park and spend time trekking and exploring the beaches and forests.

2. Try Scuba Diving in Taganga

Taganga, a small fishing village a few minutes from Santa Marta and on the border with Tayrona National Park, is a popular scuba diving spot. This is one of the cheapest places in the world to get a scuba diving certification, whether you're a beginner or advanced. Most open water diving courses will take you to Tayrona National Park, which has a great diversity of marine life.

3. Catch some sun at Playa Blanca

Take a relaxing day trip out to Playa Blanca - a beautiful beach only accessible by boat. A tour to Playa Blanca also includes a stop at the Rodadero Aquarium where you can learn more about the marine wildlife on the Colombian coast.

013_playa_blanca_2_from_the_boat-2Clear blue skies meet turquoise tinted seas at Playa Blanca / Image Source

4. Grab dinner and a drink at Parque de los Novios

This central plaza in the city centre is close to Santa Marta's historical monuments. Around the plaza, you can find many restaurants, bars and clubs. By day, it is a good place for lunch after exploring the old city centre, and by night this is a great spot to eat, get a drink and do some people watching.

5. Party in El Rodadero

The suburb of El Rodadero is not just known for its laid-back beach, popular with locals, but also for its nightlife. The beach comes alive at night, with live music, vendors and parties right on the beach. There are also a number of bars and nightclubs.

6. Eat Street Food in Santa Marta

Santa Marta has plenty of delicious street food. Whether you're on a budget or just want to sample the local cuisine, be sure to indulge in ceviche, lobster and fresh fish on the beach, tropical fruit and juices, arroz con coco (coconut rice) and fried plantain. Avenida Bastidas is a good place to pick up dinner from a street stall or a restaurant.

2Indulge in a tropical fruit drink beachside / Image Source

7. Bird Watching at El Dorado

El Dorado Reserve is a bird watcher's paradise. It is part of a project to conserve the ecosystem and a number of threatened bird species. The reserve has accommodation and offers guided tours.

8. Minca in the Sierra Nevada

Located above Santa Marta in the Sierra Nevada mountains is the little town of Minca. Here you can find La Victoria organic coffee farm, great hikes, waterfalls to swim in, and beautiful views. Go for the day, or spend more time here in one of the picturesque hostels.

9. Visit Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino

Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino is a quinta or hacienda which is famous for being the place where Simón Bolívar died. Today, the beautiful estate is a museum and a historical landmark.

4026045623_9cb283439f_bThe stunning Ciudad Perdida / Image Source

10. Trek into the jungle to find The Lost City

Ciudad Perdida, or the Lost City is a site of ancient ruins, dating back further than Machu Picchu. Located deep in the Sierra Nevada mountains near Santa Marta, the only way to reach the ruins is with a 5-day trek through the jungle. There are only four operators who run these treks. It is not possible to go without an operator.

. . .

Don't leave this breathtaking natural paradise, off your Colombia itinerary. Book your tours in Santa Marta with Colombia4u today. 

By: Daytours4u Content Team