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Thursday, 23 Nov 2017

Santa Marta, Colombia

The nose of Santa Marta The nose of Santa Marta Juan Felipe Vives Calle

Santa Marta, or as its name says Distrito Turistico, Cultural e Historico de Santa Marta (from the Constitution of 1991), is the capital city of the Magdalena department. Founded by the Spanish conquistador Rodrigo de Bastidas on July 29, 1525 it is the oldest city in Colombia and the second oldest city in South America since the first was Cumana, located in Venezuela in 1521.


Our beautiful city is called "America´s Pearl" by Father Antonio Julian in the eighteenth century because of its great tourist attractions like the Santa Marta Bay, Rodadero, Tayrona National Park, Taganga, Lost City and Minca and also by the pearl trade that in it existed. Not only do these magical places claim Santa Marta as one of the main tourist destinations in Colombia, its also the location, exactly between its bays and the Sierra, the distance is less than 50 km, making the city and its surroundings rich in flora and fauna and if we combine this with all the sites of cultural and historical interest, we can say that Santa Marta has "The Magic to have it all” as its slogan says in Spanish. Among these invaluable cultural and historical sites we highlight the Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino, The Cathedral and The Customs House among other important structures and sites in the Colombian and American history. This last two are located in the Historical Downtown of the city, which is the core of business and economic transactions, located between the Carrera Primera (First Avenue), Calle 22 (22nd Street) and enclosed by the Avenida Del Ferrocarril (Railroad Avenue).

Santa Marta is bordered by the Caribbean Sea north and west, on the south by the municipality of Cienaga and on the east by the department of La Guajira. The symbols of Santa Marta are their shield composed of the Virgin Mary, then a rear turret which has the sun in its back and a small boat with four oars all blue lined, this shield of Santa Marta has a very particular history. Our Flag is also blue and white and our anthem is "Dios te salve ciudad dos veces santa" declared the official anthem of Santa Marta on June 21, 1949.


Monumento a Rodrigo de Bastidas


Just over 300 years of our history.

Conquest: The conquerors sword and cross in hand underwent regions and tribes. They were men of various trades and sins, greedy for gold, women and power, who with deceit and destruction ravaged regions and peoples, customs and beliefs. For many of them, an Indian guaca was not a tomb; it was a cave of treasures. The Gold, for conquerors and conquered, some got crazy and others enslaved.


Colony: After regions were subjected began the competition for profit and power. To placate the people lands were divided in jurisdictions where some of the colonies had taxes and perks: the mita, the commended and many more impositions, without neglecting the royal fifth, which was the portion of the monarch.

Independence: The human races that came to Latin America were mixed. Next to the tropics and the Caribbean medley of races was none. The high mountain regions and extreme latitudes are not typical of the black race; they are suitable for Indians and Europeans. In the northern and southern cones, and in the icy mountains, people are fair-skinned, brunettes in the Caribbean. Thus was formed the Creole of America expelled from the New World to Europe. Evacuation by blood and fire. Mixed America was born with violence, grew up in the violence and the violence continued. The rule was overthrown, civil wars, coups ... Our leaders are violent, and they impose with courage.


Geografia de Santa Marta


The geography of Santa Marta is very diverse, almost unique in the world, this is because we can move from the shores of the Santa Marta Bay at the sea level to 5775 masl in the snowy peaks of the Sierra Nevada, more specifically in Colon and Bolivar Peak which are said to have approximately the same height, and form the biggest mountain in Colombia. For the most part of our city that has approximately 24.000 km2, the terrain is flat with delicate inclinations and its exact location is 11 ° 14 '50" north latitude and 74 º 12' 06" west longitude. As for its Hydrography, Santa Marta is crossed by two rivers, the Manzanares River whose mouth is the Santa Marta Bay and the Gaira River which flows into the Gaira Port mostly called Rodadero Bay and in its upper part is the same river that runs through Minca.




The Climate of Santa Marta is predominantly dry due to the winds from the Sierra, with an average temperature of 28 ° C the city is considered to have the greatest biodiversity of the world, as it has all thermal floors. The months that have the most precipitations are July, September and October, and on the other hand Santa Marta is driest from December to April.


Economia de Santa Marta, Bananos Verdes



Santa Marta is one of the major tourist destinations in Colombia, which is why in the economy of the city the most important activity is tourism, followed by trade, port activity and fishing, the last one mostly occurs in the fishing town of Taganga. The main activity is tourism, done throughout the city as Santa Marta is bounded by beaches and tourist attractions.




The last census conducted in Colombia, in 2005, gave us the number of 414,387 people living in Santa Marta, where the majorities are women with 51.8% and 48.2% men. The DANE (National Administrative Department of Statistics) in that census also gave the projection for 2011, the population this year should be around the 454.860 samarios, representing an increase of 40,000 in the last six years.


Cultura de Santa Marta



The most important cultural celebration of the city is the Fiestas del Mar (Festival of the Sea), organized between late July and early August to commemorate the foundation of the city, pride of the locals and the Celebration of the Virgin of Carmen that are held on June 16. Among the most important cultural centers are the Casa de la Aduana (Customs House) which now houses the Museum of Gold, The Claustro San Juan de Dios (San Juan de Dios Cloister) which now houses the Ethnographic Museum, the San Juan Nepomuceno Cultural Center, which hosts readings and concerts and other cultural activities and the resting place of our Liberator, the Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino.


Arquitectura de Santa Marta



In the year 1834 in May 22 at 3:00 AM, Santa Marta suffered an earthquake. Santa Marta experienced multiple trembles until the one in May 25th, which left "almost all the buildings in the city in ruins." Over one hundred homes were totally destroyed, especially two story houses.

This is the reason why Santa Marta does not show a colonial look as it should in relation to the years it was founded. At that time, newly liberated from Spanish rule, is reconstructed using the architectural fashion of the moment ... Republican style.




Thanks to a large number and variety of foreign influences, the cuisine in Santa Marta is a combination of Caribbean, Spanish, Indian and African cultures. For obvious reasons the dishes served in most restaurants in Santa Marta come prepared with seafood. Typical dishes in the city are the Fried Fish, Seafood, Cayeye, Fish Soup, Egg Arepa and a Clean Bun, and the best companions for theses meals coconut rice and platains made of green bananas.



The most played and practices sport in Santa Marta is soccer, as most regions in Latin America and the world, the local team is Union Magdalena, whose foundation dates back to 1951, and has one title in the year 1968. After descending to the second category of Colombian soccer in1999, it rapidly recovered and ascended in 2001, but again in 2005 loses its category until this day. The team plays in the Eduardo Santos stadium home of the famous Pipe Valderrama statue, Samarian pride. We can also say that in Santa Marta many water sports and activities are practiced as fishing and diving.



How to get here: The main road is the Troncal Del Caribe which northeast communicates with Riohacha and southwest with Barranquilla and Cartagena; it also communicates by the Troncal del Magdalena  with other departmental capitals and numerous cities in the country, including the Capital Bogota.

Additional Info


  • Lat, Lon11°14″ N , 74°12′ O
  • CountryColombia
  • DepartamentMagdalena


  • Temperature28°C
  • Height 2 m.s.n.m.
  • Surface2.393,65 km²


  • Área Urbana425.591 hab
  • Área Rural22.266 hab
  • Total447.857 hab



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