Top things to do

Top Choice Mediterranean in Santa Marta

Ouzo

Ouzo offers a stripped-back, classic Greek and Italian menu that includes superb pizza from a wood-fired oven and a good wine list. The octopus is slow-cooked for two hours in a garlicky broth, then slammed on the c…
Museum in Santa Marta

Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino

This hacienda on the outskirts of town is where Simón Bolívar spent his last days and died. At the time the hacienda was owned by a Spanish supporter of Colombia's independence cause. He invited Bolívar to stay and …
in Santa Marta

Donde Chucho

Serving the best seafood on the coast, and sitting on prime real estate on the newly renovated Parque Santander. Start with the signature salad (shrimp, octopus, calamari and manta smoked in olive oil) and move on t…
Church in Santa Marta

Catedral

This massive whitewashed cathedral claims to be Colombia's oldest church, but work wasn't actually completed until the end of the 18th century, and thus reflects the influences of various architectural styles. It ho…
Museum in Santa Marta

Museo del Oro

The Gold Museum is in the fine colonial mansion known as the Casa de la Aduana (Customs House) and was fully renovated in 2014. It has an interesting collection of Tayrona objects, mainly pottery and gold, as well a…
Bay in Santa Marta

Bahía de Taganga

Taganga is a beautiful horseshoe-shaped bay and small fishing village just north of Santa Marta. It's fast developing into a backpacker hang-out and scuba-diving center, where you can sign up for cheap dive courses,…
Colombian in Santa Marta

Tierra Negra

You have to know about this gorgeous place, tucked away up an unassuming staircase on Santa Marta's main square. Inside you'll find a beautiful dining space, both indoor and out, and a sumptuously inventive menu tha…
Club in Santa Marta

La Puerta

Students and gringos eye each other up and get happily trashed in a beautifully benign Colombian style. Soca, salsa, house, hip-hop and reggae warm up the packed dancefloor. The gusting fans surrounding it will make…
Mexican in Santa Marta

Agave Azul

OK, so you're not in Mexico. But bite into a perfect tostada that totters with toppings including the town's most tender meat; the sweetest, most buttery avocados; and a tart, crispy salad; and you might be forgiven…
in Santa Marta

Delicentro Bavara

In a country where a good sandwich is scarce, this hole-in-the-wall counter serves up ones worth writing home about. The excellent toasted Cubans and chicken sandwiches are meticulously prepared (20 minutes) and are…