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Santa Marta's Must Visit Areas

When planning your vacation to Santa Marta, a general understanding of the distinct tourism areas is needed.  

The area can be broken done into five specific areas: 

  • Santa Marta
  • Taganga
  • Parque Tayrona
  • Minca
  • El Rodadero

In addition, two outlying locations of interest are nearby:

  • Aracataca
  • East of Parque Tayrona (Beaches and Palomino)

Santa Marta

Santa Marta is a bustling city that is popular with both foreigners and Colombians. Fine hostels, hotels, restaurants, nightlife, a beach and a vibrant energy can be found in this dynamic city. Santa Marta is also used as a transition point to Parque Tayrona and other areas.

Santa Marta’s downtown beach


Taganga is a small fishing village that is very popular with backpackers. It also fills up with Colombian tourists during holidays and weekends. Many backpackers use Taganga as a place to learn how to dive or to find a guide for the Lost City, or as a jump off point to Parque Tayrona.

A stunning Taganga sunset

Parque Tayrona

Many visitors view a visit to Parque Tayrona as the highlight of their Colombian vacation. Tayrona is blessed with stunning beaches that are accessed by gorgeous hikes. Visitors can find accommodations from hammocks to plush cabins.

A calm and inviting Parque Tayrona beach


A small mountain town 45 minutes above Santa Marta, Minca is perfect for those looking for a temperature change and a very peaceful environment.

Tienda Café is the perfect place for breakfast, information and bike rentals

El Rodadero

El Rodadero is located a few minutes outside of Santa Marta. El Rodadero is home to luxurious high rises, restaurants, hotels, and discos that cater mainly to Colombian tourists.

View from the restaurant Burukuku


Aracataca is a nice destination for a day or overnight trip for those looking to visit this small, quiet Colombian town, which has the distinction of being the childhood home of famed author Gabriel García Márquez.

Perfect way to explore Aracataca

East of Tayrona  -  Palomino

Between Parque Tayrona and Riohana there are stunning beaches with simple amenities that offer a more secluded feeling for visitors.

Playa Grande - 15 minutes East of the main gate of Tayrona


When many travelers come to the Santa Marta area they find they have to skip certain locations due to their traveling time restrictions. Many travelers have reported to having to double or triple the time they planned to stay in the area.

Do yourself the favor and research your trip to the Santa Marta carefully, you want to be able to experience as many of these destinations within the area as possible.  

Over the next few months our blog will feature more in-depth photos and coverage of each area around Santa Marta.

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