Santa Marta

Santa Marta is the second oldest surviving city in South America – and the oldest in Colombia -, having been founded by Spanish conquistadors back in 1525. Situated on a beautiful Caribbean bay, Santa Marta is ideally located to explore the wonders of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (Minca, Tayrona National Park, Palomino), the wild, windswept deserts of La Guajira, and local historical towns like Cienaga and Aracataca. However, there’s more to Santa Marta than just a good base: the old town is still remarkably intact, and sipping a cocktail by the rooftop pool of your hotel while the sun sets into the Caribbean is a quintessentially Colombian travel experience. Santa Marta might not get the plaudits normally reserved for Cartagena, but the city has its own unique charm and its mixture of European, Indigenous, and African influences makes for a fascinating destination.