Santa Marta can be described as Colombia's coastal gem. Located on the crystal waters of the Caribbean Colombia coast, in the Department of Magdalena. This city is more than the average tropical paradise and Colombia beach. Yes, it's luxuries are the warm Caribbean surf that rolls onto white sandy beaches. Equally it's also adored for the picturesque Sierra Nevada mountain range that towers above it. Being the oldest city in Colombia and founded in July of 1525, by the Spanish Conqueror Rodrigo de Bastidas, you'll be able to find and explore a fair share of architectural treasures such as the Santa Marta Cathedral.
For Colombians, and one of my wifes favorite, this is one of the most popular destinations in the country. Here you can easily forget about life in the city while enjoying the sun and the surf. The weather is hot, but with the whispering Caribbean sea breeze, especially after the sun begins to set, makes the city more than enjoyable to walk the beaches or enjoy a drink and a Caribbean spicy seafood dish in one of the many open air waterfront cafe's.
Some of the attractions you may want to consider would be The Grand Hacienda, Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino, where the Great Liberator Simon Bolivar passed his last days. The heavily wooded and tranquil Hacienda was founded more than 400 years ago. As you stroll the grounds be on the look out for the iguanas lounging in the trees. At first glance you'll hesitate in beliveing they are real only because they sit so still. Never to worry as iguanas are not the least bit aggressive & really will avoid you if trying to get a closer look.
Schedule to visit the aquarium to see the dolphin and seal shows. At the Aquarium you will be able to observe a variety of marine animals. Also a wealth of information as the Aquarium serves as a marine museum for the Colombian Caribbean. Check out as they have a guided tour, but you're not restricted as you can also walk around on your own. A bonus if you want, allows you to swim with the dolphins, but this has an additional cost of about $50 USD.
Santa Marta is a great jumping-off point for exploring nearby attractions. El Rodadero is just to the south and is a popular beach resort. Going north of Santa Marta is the fishing village of Taganga and further to the northeast, the must see beautiful Parque Nacional Tayrona.