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Introducing Santa Marta

Santa Marta is South America's oldest surviving city and the second most important colonial city on Colombia's Caribbean coast.

It's always been a convenient base to explore the outstanding nearby attractions, including Ciudad Perdida and Parque Nacional Natural (PNN) Tayrona, but a complete overhaul of Parque de los Novios (also known as Parque Santander) and the pedestrianization of a number of neighboring streets has given the city some desperately needed public space. Evenings here are now filled with friends meeting, drinking and enjoying some of the area's great new restaurants.

Santa Marta attracts throngs of holidaymaking Colombians in search of the simple pleasures of rum, fun and sun. It's packed with revelers on weekends, sucking down snow cones, burying themselves in sand, and gathering along the rocky piers for glistening sunsets. The climate is hot, but the heat here is drier than Cartagena, and the evening sea breeze cools the city and makes it pleasant to wander about.