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Where to stay in Santa Marta: The best places

Santa Marta is one of the main tourist destinations in Colombia, its historical heritage, its beaches, and the Tayrona Park are some of its main attractions.The city is a tourist reception center par excellence.

Not in vain, each year receives an average of 500 thousand visitors who live memorable experiences, marked by the beauty of its beaches, the extent of its marine ecosystem and the sublime of its snowy peaks.

Santa Marta holds a relevance historical because en headquarters of the famous fifth Saint Peter Alexandria, where spent his last days the Liberator of America, Simon Bolivar. In addition this is a of the cities more old of America. Su foundation data from 1525. from its centuries from history has remained a legacy architectural colonial well worth the penalty visit.

It is easy to find a variety of options for accommodation Santa Marta for any budget.The most important thing is to know how to decide on a specific area where to stay in Santa Marta since it has both modern urban areas, other more historical areas and also beach areas.

The best areas where to stay in Santa Marta

For choose a good place where sleep in Santa Marta the plus advisable is know the characteristics than define each zone in the city and in their adjacencies. A continuation te we propose the plus recommended and te we explain which you can find in each one from them.


It is undoubtedly the preferred place for many to stay in Santa Marta.Over the years, Rodadero has dominated the taste of visitors for its modern and growing tourist infrastructure, which for its high commercial development is valued as a “city” in Santa Marta itself.

In Rodadero is located the beach of the same name.In addition to its calm turquoise waters, the beach has a wide strip of sand, and in the background, almost at the edge of the road, you can see a thick row of coconut trees that shade a row of benches on the seafront, and if you walk along the beach, be sure to take a drink for posterity.During the day you can run, dive, snorkel or rent the services of a sailboat, while at night you can walk along the beach and enjoy the festive atmosphere that emanates from its bars, restaurants and kiosks with typical food and alcoholic beverages served in coconuts.

The area also has an aquarium where you can swim and interact with dolphins, take pictures with sea lions or meet some of the 900 marine animals that live in 13 pools, some of them with glass walls.

The aquarium shares space with a museum that displays marine equipment, dried specimens and an exhibition of pre-Columbian nautical pieces.

Being the main tourist point of Santa Marta, its hotel offer is very wide with hotels of all types and for all budgets.


2.Historical Center of Santa Marta

The center is the closest competition of Rodadero to stay in Santa Marta because it evokes the colonial era of 1525, year of its foundation, through old large houses of which stand out wooden balconies.

It was here where the city was founded and although for some time the area looked abandoned, a few years ago it was the object of a complete rehabilitation of all the facades and structures by the authorities, and now it shows its best face.

The tourist can appreciate in the center several restored architectural jewels such as the Santa Marta Cathedral or the Simon Bolivar Park, a neuralgic site of the city located near government offices.

A separate point deserves the square of Los Enamorados, also known as Plaza de los Novios, where there are many couples eating and enjoying bars and restaurants of colonial aspect at affordable prices.The square is also a space highly frequented by families and groups of friends.

In the center you will also find the cloister of San Juan de Dios, the old Casa de la Aduana, the Bolivarian Museum of Contemporary Art, the Ethnographic Museum and the House of Culture.

The tour ends at the seafront or on the way to the beach, an area surrounded by kiosks that serve whatever you like at outdoor tables, which are in great demand at the end of each afternoon to see how the sun sets on the infinite depth of the Santa Marta bay, while you taste a typical coffee or a homemade beer.


3.Bello Horizonte

This residential area is considered to be an exclusive place to stay in Santa Marta and spend an unforgettable vacation.It has three kilometres of clean and calm waters, ideal for visiting with family, friends or work groups.

It is a beach whose front does not have a public avenue, such as Rodadero, which distinguishes it from the rest because it is far from the noise and crowds.

If you are not staying in the area, we recommend that you bring everything you need, as food and drink services are not abundant, as in other areas of Santa Marta.


4.Pozo Colorado

It is the tourist free zone of Santa Marta, located 10 minutes from the international airport Simon Bolivar.It is a quiet area, with no crowds of tourists and several small beaches with strong waves that start from the airport area and extends to the sector of Punta de Gloria.

Near the beaches will be difficult to find a variety of shops, bars and restaurants, the few that are open after 9:00 am and close after 6:00 pm.

The public roads in this area are not very busy at night with buses and public transport, so it is recommended to use a rented car or a private vehicle.

In recent years, Pozo Colorado has regained popularity in Santa Marta for its famous ‘All Inclusive’ plans, which attract many visitors from all corners of the world, and from Colombia itself.

The area is known for the frequent visits of executives who attend business meetings organized by Ecopetrol, Colombia’s state oil company, which built a facility in Pozo Colorado, contributing to its tourism boom.



Taganga is a village of more than 2,900 inhabitants, most of whose families are dedicated to fishing, surrounded by a mountain range and an inlet of calm and crystalline waters that summons every year the lovers of diving and water sports.

Taganga is also a reference for its diving schools. It is one of the most popular places in Colombia to practice diving or to take training courses and obtain official qualifications.

The village has a lively nightlife for backpackers: there are bars and restaurants for all budgets, many run by foreigners who stayed to live in the beauty of the place.

Taranga does not have the bustle of the city nor the dynamics of places like Rodadero, but rather is a place to escape and enjoy something different from the traditional hotel chains.


If you are going to visit other cities in Colombia besides knowing the best areas to stay in Santa Marta you may also be interested: Where to stay in Bogota, where to stay in Medellin, where to stay in Cartagena de Indias, where to stay in Cali

Best place to stay in Santa Marta

The best place to stay in Santa Marta is the Historical Center , a colonial area that gathers the emblematic places of the oldest city in South America.In addition, you will have at your disposal all the bars and restaurants, you will be minutes away from the bay, and only 10 km from the Santa Marta International Airport.

An obligatory stop is the Parque de los Novios , the main meeting point for young residents and tourists.Here you can find good restaurants and bars and feel the living energy of Santa Marta and its people. You can also visit on foot the Parque Simón Bolívar which serves as a center for recreational activities. Nearby are the Catedral de Santa Marta and the Plaza San Miguel .

Among the best restaurants in the area are Ouzo, Carambolo, Lamart, La Canoa and the Ikaro Café.the most recommended bars are Crabs and Marley Caffee Bar. To dance you have La Puerta or you can walk 15 minutes to La Escollera.You can walk to all the places in the Historical Center and if you want to move around the city you can use the bus or rent a motorcycle.

If you want to go from shopping to 15 minutes by taxi is the Buenavista Shopping Center, which offers very good and varied options at affordable prices, also has a supermarket, movie theater, food court, and the Juan Valdez cafeteria where they serve an exquisite Colombian coffee.

The map showing the Historic Center of Santa Marta contains a selection of the best hotels to stay in .

If you are interested in knowing where to stay in Santa Marta , you may also be interested in knowing where to sleep in Cartagena or where to sleep in Bogotá.

The Historical Center, the best area to stay in Santa Marta

The Historical Center of the city of Santa Marta is, besides an architectural jewel, an area with colonial airs that is worth knowing for its cultural richness, its pleasant festive and commercial atmosphere.’, ‘The route extends from the first race to Avenida del Ferrocarril and 22nd Street, where you can enjoy a wide range of places to visit and varied seafood.

At the beginning of the route, the visitor finds Plaza Simón Bolívar , whose name honors the Liberator and where a warm summer climate is combined with a view of the bay, with exuberant gardens and monuments.At one side of the Plaza, is the old Casa de la Aduana , with more than 300 years old, which works, at present, as the Museo del Oro Tairona .When leaving the museum, the ideal is to take a break to enjoy a delicious Colombian coffee in the Café del Parque .

The tour continues in the direction of the Catedral Basílica de Santa Marta , a splendid church, recognized because it was the first built in continental America.A few meters from the Cathedral, is located the Art Museum Cloister San Juan Nepomuceno , construction as long as The Park of the Fiancés , located in front of the Palace of Justice , surrounded by restaurants, cafes, bars and active nightlife.

The location of The Historical Center , together with the excellent tourist plans it offers, allows visitors to enjoy a pleasant and welcoming atmosphere just 15 minutes from the International Airport Simon Bolivar .

Lodging in the Historical Center

Other areas to stay in Santa Marta

El Rodadero

Ten minutes from the city of Santa Marta, is the beach El Rodadero , around the Bahia Gaira ; its white sand and calm sea, facilitate the practice of various water sports.Surrounded by hotels, bars, restaurants, discos and a few minutes from the Museum of the Sea , the Aquarium and Taganga , the beach El Rodadero is, without a doubt, an area that must be visited in Santa Marta.

Lodging in El Rodadero

Bello Horizonte

The beach Bello Horizonte is an exclusive tourist area in Santa Marta, located 20 minutes by car from The Historic Center , where some of the most important hotels in the city are located, as well as a variety of restaurants and entertainment venues.More than 3 km of clean beaches, bright sand and blue sea, makes it one of the best Samaritan destinations.

Accommodation in Bello Horizonte

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