Santa Marta & Tayrona NP

Why you should visit Santa Marta & Tayrona National Park

  • Trek to the lost city, high up in the dense jungle of Sierra Nevada
  • Stay at the Ecohabs, the only hotel in the National Park, with its huts perched on the hillside overlooking the jungle and the sea
  • Visit the historic final resting place of Simon Bolivar, the 17th century Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino

Our specialists 'Must Do'

Hike or horse ride through the jungle to La Piscina Beach, a lovely safe spot to swim and relax with only a handful of daily visitors.

A little more about Santa Marta & Tayrona National Park

The world’s highest coastal mountain range, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, trails dramatically through Colombia and unfurls towards the Caribbean Sea where it sets a majestic backdrop to Santa Marta.

Originally founded in 1525 by Spanish conquistador Rodrigo de Bastidas, Santa Marta was used as a base from which to colonise other regions in the area. The city also marks the final days of Simon Bolivar who died penniless at the Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino, a 17th century hacienda southeast of this sheltered harbour.

Serving today as the Caribbean’s third major commercial port, much of the city’s original colonial grandeur is shrouded amongst scores of contemporary structures, many erected on the wealth of its thriving tourist economy. Long sandy beaches and a tropical climate coupled with its charming Caribbean ambience make Santa Marta a popular resort destination.

For a truly memorable experience, trek for five days into the densely forested slopes of the Sierra Nevada and discover the Lost City of Ciudad Perdida. Etched onto the steep slopes of Cerro Corea and overlooking the Rio Buritica, Ciudad Perdita is the largest pre-Colombian citadel discovered in the Americas, providing a remarkable glimpse into early Tayrona culture.

Heading east from Santa Marta, visitors will find the village of Taganga, a good place to organise scuba diving trips. Continue on to the beautiful Tayrona National Park with its jungle clad mountains and palm fringed beaches making this an idyllic spot. Trekkers will be eager to explore the virgin rainforest beyond for chance encounters with its exotic wildlife and the opportunity to discover further remains of ancient Tayrona settlements, such as Pueblito.

When to go

A year round destination with fairly constant average temperatures in the high 20s. April to December is the official rainy season, with June and July the wettest months.

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