The Caribbean sea and snow make Santa Marta a difficult place to forget. The city is located on the shores of the Bay of Santa Marta on the Caribbean Sea, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, whose peaks can be seen on clear days from the beach. The capital of the department of Magdalena, which was founded in 1525, is one of the oldest cities in South America.
Its Historic District is worth to walk to enjoy a romantic dinner in any of the great restaurants or to dance and enjoy a good quality rum in any of its bars.
Don Diego River and Taironaka
Out of the 17 rivers that fall from the Sierra Nevada down to the Caribbean, the Don Diego River is the most picturesque. We take our passengers from our anchorage to its mouth and from there locals will take them two miles up above the river to an Eco-hotel called Taironaka.
The ride is spectacular because the old trees, the monkeys and the pristine waters of the river. Taironaka is a great place to learn about the pre-Columbian cultures that inhabited this region of Colombia. From there passengers can take a hike through pathways in the tropical forest and towards the end of the day go down the river on a river rat.
This part of Colombia is magical realism in steroids…
One of Colombia’s most popular national parks, Tayrona grips the Caribbean coast in a jungly bear hug at the foot of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. The park stretches along the coast from the Bahía de Taganga near Santa Marta to the mouth of the Río Piedras, 35km to the east, and covers some 12,000 hectares of land and 3000 hectares of sea.
The scenery varies from sandy beaches along the coast in the north to rainforest at an altitude of 900m on the southern limits of the park. The extreme western part is arid, with light-brown hills and xerophytic plant species such as cacti. The central and eastern parts of the park are wetter and more verdant, largely covered by rainforest. May, June and September to November are the wettest periods. At least 56 endangered species call the park home, but most stay out of sight, deep within the forest.
The region was once the territory of the Tayrona people, and some archeological remains have been found in the park. The most important of these are the ruins of the pre-Hispanic town of Pueblito (called Chairama in the indigenous language), considered to have been one of Tayrona’s major settlements. Here the remains of more than 500 dwellings were discovered, estimated to have been home to 4000 people at one point in history.
For many travelers the park’s biggest attraction is its gorgeous beaches, which are set in deep bays, backed by mountains and shaded by coconut palms.
Cabo de la Vela
Cabo de la Vela is a unique landscape in La Guajira, Colombia where miles of flat, barren, desert land spread vastly across the peninsula, meeting with turquoise green waters of the Caribbean Sea to the North and the borders of Venezuela to the East in one of the most northern region in all of South America.
The remote Wayuu fishing village of Cabo de la Vela, 180km northwest of Riohacha, was until recently little more than a dusty rural community of Wayuu living in traditional huts made from cactus, right up against the sea.
The surrounding area is a highlight of the Upper Guajira and one of the most starkly beautiful spots in Colombia. The cape for which it’s named is full of rocky cliffs above and sandy beaches below, all set against a backdrop of stunning desert ochres and aquamarines.