Santa Marta is one of the most popular tourism destinations in Colombia situated in the Caribbean part of the country next to the Sierra Nevada. The city has beautiful beaches, colonial architecture, friendly people and some the most beautiful nature only a few kilometers away. The most visited places are the two suborbs El Rodadero and Taganga. In Rodadero you can find a large choice of hotels, restaurant and bars. Rodadero is a very lively place during day and night and called ‘Colombian Miami’ by the locals. It is about 5 km south of Santa Marta’s city center. On the other side of the Center is Taganga, an old fishing village and a popular place among backpackers. Taganga is surrounded by desert-like hills and has an interesting sea-life. Therefore one of the main attractions in Taganga is scuba diving.
The restaurants in Santa Marta offer lots of dishes with fresh seafood for relatively cheap prices. Other typical dishes include roasted or grilled chicken. One typical snack from the area are Arepas de Huevo: Deep fried Arepas with egg inside. Of course, you can also find some international restaurants as well as fast food. You should try the delicious juices made of exotic fruits. There are many fruits you have probably never experienced before such as sapote, nispero, guanabana and many more.
Going out in Santa Marta can be real fun. Every night on the Rodadero Beach you can enjoy local music played by live bands. In Rodadero you can also find nightclubs such as Burukuku and La Escollera with a good atmosphere and also food is served there. Next to the beach are bars where you can enjoy a cold beer or some fresh cocktails. During the day, a visit to the Rodadero Sea Aquarium and Museum is a good activity for the whole family. This aquarium has a show with dolphins and sea lions.
Besides its beaches and a large variety of local food, Santa Marta is a great place to explore some of the most stunning nature in Colombia. Situated about 30 km from Rodadero, the Tayrona National Park offers some fascinating wildlife including, monkeys, iguanas, jaguars, turtles and more than 400 bird species. Getting there is easy by bus and it is worth staying for a few nights. You can sleep on one of the campsites where you can bring your own tent or even rent a hummock . Tayrona National Park is situated between the coast and some mountain areas of the Sierra Nevada. The National Park has some of the most beautiful and peaceful beaches and paths through tropical forest.
For those who like extreme sports, The Mamanca Natural Reserve is the right place. This wildlife reserve offers rock climbing, canopying, paragliding and more.