Park Hotel

Carrera 1 18-67 Centro Historico, Santa Marta, 0000, Colombia
Park Hotel
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Good For Families
  • Families87
  • Couples31
  • Solo33
  • Business25

More about Santa Marta


sometimes the trek is better than the destinationsometimes the trek is better than the destination

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view from minca to santa martaview from minca to santa marta

Forum Posts

Recommendations for a Day in Santa Marta

by grandmaR

We will be in Santa Marta on a small ship from 10 am to 5 pm on about the 14th of November. I would really like to visit friends in Cartegena, but I gather that would be difficult to do.

I would like to see local historic type places, including lighthouses and cemeteries and museums. Is Santa Marta a good place to do that? The only tour mentioned from the ship is the Santa Marta City Tour and Folkloric Show which apparently includes:

"The cathedral, built in four years later by the Dominicans, was named the Church of Santa Ana, and historians described the walls of the cathedral as "built with the barril boards carried by the river when it swelled." The Customs House is an architectural monument, beautifully restored and preserved as the Bank of the Republic's Gold Museum. It exhibits pre-Columbian artifacts and includes a small yet priceless collection of Tayrona gold and pottery pieces. San Pedro de Alejandrino Village dates back to the 17th century. It is a country estate outside the city limits and has been the setting for many significant events in Colombian history. In 1830, don Joaquin Mier y Benitez offered his home to the Great Liberator Simon Bolivar—a refuge for this last days. It was later declared a National Monument by the Colombian Government. Not only has the interior of the house been preserved, but the many gardens have also been restored to their former glory by National Tourism Corporation. El Rodadero is a lively strip of hotel and apartments built around the Gaira Bay, where the beaches are particularly lovely. You will stop at a local hotel for a special folkloric show, soft drinks and beer, with a chance to shop for handicrafts before returning to the ship."

Could we perhaps do this on our own? Could we hire a taxi to take us around? (I don't walk terribly well.)

I hear that the fishing village is a good place to scuba from. I don't know if a scuba excursion here would be possible within that time frame. We are certified, but have not dived in awhile, so would need a short refresher.

Re: Recommendations for a Day in Santa Marta

by teatom

Your best bet is to go straight to TAGANGA, just beside Sta marta. It is a quiet bay. Diving is difficult as there are very strong currents. Also go for Buritaca (50km to the north) there is a river flowing into the sea. Good Luck.

Travel Tips for Santa Marta

The town itself

by darthmilmo

The town itself offers an excellent point to re-supply yourself from the off-the-beaten path destinations nearby. Internet access is dirt cheap, you can buy pretty much any normal item you're looking for, etc...

I trekked up, up up and flew down like a bird!

by Katzky

I went on a trek that was initiated in Santa Marta, Colombia for 6 days to the Lost City
(la cuidad perdida) remnants of a city dating 500 B.C. of the Tryrona Indians discovered only in 1976. I have to say it was harder than I expected! It is three days up, and three days down. The first day I fought so hard to make it through the day! The next day, I found when it was really hard on me, I would stop, breath deep, and ask those beautiful mountains and jungles for her energy, and it worked! I kept a better pace and felt great. But alas, after I reached the city, I was pooped! Then a torrential rain came and I prayed to get off that mountain in one piece. I had a feeling I'd slip, fall and break something... Now if I was an animal, I would be a Hawk. The morning of day 4, I saw a beautiful helicopter land on the largest terrace, (built as the foundation of the largest home in the lost city). The guide knew I was going to have a rough time of it going down, so he secured me a spot on that copter (a Huey, probably purchased from good ol’ U.S. of A.) Thank you Great Spirit! I waved good bye to 22 other trekkers! (I did miss them and made great friends from all over the world!!) But it would have been very hard for me to make it down...
Now, here is my TIP--
I purchased my trip through Alestur Tours in the Rodadero, and I was the only trekker to pay 600,000 pesos. But every one who went direct to Turcol, the planners, payed only 440,000 pesos. Also, the whole country is required to take a yellow fever vaccine because of a recent epidemic. But we as tourist (though I’m Colombian who’s lived in the U.S. all my life) are not required. I didn't. But had I known, I would have taken it. It’s 10 days after the shot is administered for effectiveness.
Have fun in Santa Marta, the oldest European city in South America, and home to the highest coastal mountain range in the world.

El Rodadero

by whycolombia

Only 3 km. Away from Santa Marta we have ''El Rodadero'' town. A beautiful place with peaceful sea and many things to do.

We can find a hundred meters of white beach, many kinds of restaurants, a sea aquarium with dolphins show and an exiting night life full of fun and latin party.

You must take a round to ''El Rodadero'' if you go to Santa Marta. You have won't forget it.


by mtncorg

You find a statue inside the front door dedicated to Rodrigo de Bastidas, the ‘Noblest Conquistador’ of Spain who didn’t follow the lead of Cortes and Pizarro in maltreating the local natives in the quest for gold. The Cathedral was the last resting spot for South America’s greatest hero, Simon Bolivar, for twelve years, from December 1830 until 1842 when his remains were removed to the city of his birth, Caracas, where he now rests in the Pantheon of Heroes. Plaques on the cathedral floor tell the story.

the regions jewel: Tayrona National Park

by richiecdisc

Rightfully one of Colombia's most popular destinations, Tayrona National Park is most closely associated with breathtaking coastal scenery but the park encompasses 12 hectares of land with some of it rainforest close to 1000 meters and lowlands of brown desert-like hills. Most who visit only see the park's hallmark beaches shaded by towering coconut palms and perhaps a brief climb to indigenous Tayrona ruins in the most accessible highlands so the misconception of the park is easy to understand. To be fair, these areas are more than enough to warrant a visit to this stunning piece of paradise and it is easy enough to get lost doing just that for a number of days.

The park is a bit of a mishmash of developmental styles. While it is perhaps less than pristine when it comes to the properties built to cater to tourist needs and the only transportation mode is by horse, it is happily vehicle-free. This makes it perfect for hikers and even more so backpackers who truly can take advantage of the park's incredible beauty at more affordable prices than those at the mercy of the less than stellar accommodation choices.

It is easily reached from Santa Marta on buses leaving from the market at Carerra 11 & Calle 11. We paid 5000 COP ($2.50) for the one hour trip. From the road you are dropped off at it is about an hour walk to the first accommodation option. You could certainly do the park as a long day trip and see a fair amount but with a 34000 COP ($17) entrance fee why not stay a few days and enjoy the amazing scenery a bit longer.

For more details, check out my Tayrona National Park.


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