Sights

There's little to see in Santa Marta itself, though it's worth having a stroll along the seaside boulevard Av Rodrigo de Bastidas (Carrera 1C) and Av Campo Serrano (Carrera 5), the main commercial street. The beach resort of El Rodadero, 5km south of the center, is popular with vacationing Colombians.

Activities

Head to the Sierra Nevada mountains and Parque Nacional Natural (PNN) Tayrona for the best hiking, including the excellent Ciudad Perdida trek. Most dive schools are in nearby Taganga, but there are also some operators in Santa Marta.

Sleeping

Santa Marta's tourism industry is booming, so there's a wide range of hotels and hostels, many of which are some of the best on the coast. There's lots of choice in the town center but also plentiful options outside the center that are worth considering.

Eating

Santa Marta has some of the best food on the coast. An influx of Latin and North American restaurateurs has simplified menus and moved the focus to ambience, classic cooking and stylish presentation. Parque de los Novios is the heart of Santa Marta's eating scene.

Drinking & Nightlife

With a young population, Santa Marta has lots going on after dark. Lively bars and clubs are scattered throughout the center. Parque de los Novios serves as an informal gathering place where young and old can meet before dancing until dawn.

Entertainment

Spectator Sports

El Unión Magdalena is Santa Marta's local soccer team. Games are played at Estadio Eduardo Santos, less than 2km from Centro. Games run throughout the year. Buy tickets at the stadium. A taxi there costs COP$10,000.

Guided Tours

Santa Marta's tour market revolves around Ciudad Perdida treks, but the same agencies that offer these can also arrange various other hiking trips, plus bird-watching, mountain biking and visits to Minca and PNN Tayrona. Highly recommended agencies for local tours include Magic Tours and Expotur.