Introducing Caribbean Coast
Ticking off a list 'must sees' along the coast could take several weeks, so be sure to budget accordingly. Mud volcanoes, lost cities, desert isles, impregnable fortresses and steamy nightlife can hold you captive longer than expected. Throw in superb tourist facil-ities, welcoming locals and dazzling festivals and you may end up a permanent resident.
The crown jewel along the coast is Cartagena, a colonial city with a beauty and romance unrivaled anywhere else in the country. Santa Marta, the last stop for the legendary liberator Simón Bolívar, also offers a sense of history, but the real reason to visit is nearby Parque Nacional Tayrona, a spectacular stretch of deserted beach and virgin rainforest.
By contrast, Ciudad Perdida (Lost City) is no picnic to reach, but the exhausting three-day trek has become a rite of passage for many travelers. Recovery from the long haul into the jungle is easy - just wander into tranquil Taganga and enjoy the sea, sand and fruit drinks.
Local inhabitants, the costenos, are easy-going folks of mainly African descent. Their quiet lifestyle is interrupted by raucous festivals, including the most colorful and wild of Colombian feasts, the Carnaval de Barranquilla; the Carnaval de Cartagena is only marginally less mad.
Caribbean Coast destination guides
Unesco World Heritage site perfect for romantic meandering and dining.
Colombian Cultural Adventure
Colonial towns, the coffee corner 'Eje Cafetero', the Cocora Valley, the Tairona Coastal Park and vibrant Cartagena
Venezuela - The Lost World and Angel Falls
Trek the mysterious Tepui Mountains and journey to the Angel Falls
Sights in Caribbean Coast
Activities in Caribbean Coast
Tours in Caribbean Coast
Restaurants in Caribbean Coast
Budget hotels & hostels
Guesthouses and B&Bs
Santa Marta's grace as a colonial city has faded under newer concrete buildings, but its proximity to the sea still makes it an attractive destination.