Sooner or later everyone who travels along the Caribbean coast of Colombia ends up in Santa Marta. The city doesn’t have much to offer but it is well suited as a starting point for various trips and is therefore worth visiting. We deposited our luggage in one of the hostels and explored different destinations only with our small backpacks. Here are three trips from Santa Marta you shouldn’t miss:
Tayrona National Park
Tyrona National Park is north of Santa Marta. It is supposed to be one of the highlights of Colombia and even made it on the cover of Lonely Planet. After a short hike we arrived at Cabo de San Juan, where we spent two nights in hammocks. During the day we stayed at the beach or walked through the jungle. Unfortunately we chose the least spectacular tour around this park and it felt like we were on a gringo-trail. There are definitely more exciting options for people who want to dive deeper into the nature of Tyrona, with less tourists. Overall it was an ok trip but it wasn’t the highlight of our time in Colombia.
Costeño Surf Camp
We spent the next three days at Playa Costeño, the only more or less acceptable place to surf at the Colombian Caribbean Coast. There is a surfcamp run by two Canadians, with different dorms and double rooms in small huts on the beach. There are a lot of hammocks and a volleyball field and games for entertainment. The surf wasn’t too good, but the food at the hostel was awesome and we met our friends from South Africa again who were on the San Blas tour with us. We had a blast and would definitely go back!
After a short party stop in Santa Marta, we went to Minca in the mountains. Minca is famous for hiking and coffee, but we were mainly interested in the world’s largest hammock at Casa Elemento. It’s supposed to be a two-hour hike there but we got lost and it took us three hours of pretty much hiking straight uphill through the jungle. The location is breath taking and so is the view from the hammock! One night was enough though, it was very chilled and very “hippie”.