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Santa Marta

America's Pearl

Many visitors begin their Santa Marta holiday, surrounded by urban clutter and heavy traffic, expecting little from the city in terms of historical importance. Most are surprised to find out that Santa Marta is arguably the oldest surviving colonial city in South America, founded in 1525. The historical center remains largely intact, and a combination of tropical climate and pleasant beaches attract crowds throughout the summer. On a clear day, you can enjoy the uncanny sight of the snowcapped peaks behind the city, while you swelter on the beach. Santa Marta is in Santa Marta District. Use our Colombia trip planner to arrange the hows, wheres, and whens of your trip to Santa Marta.
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Where to stay in Santa Marta

No matter where you stay in Santa Marta's historical center, you'll never be more than a few minutes' walk from the beach. The old town offers countless accommodations, ranging from energetic youth hostels to cozy, family-run inns. Look to the seafront just outside of the historical center for luxury hotels and beach resorts. For a quieter experience, stay in the nearby beach town of Taganga, just north of Santa Marta.
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