Santa Marta, Colombia

Introduction to Santa Marta

Long sandy beaches, an array of architectural buildings and equal amounts of sun and rum makes Santa Marta a great place to explore or relax. For a little bit of adventure, head towards the tropical Tayrona Park where you can watch fascinating wildlife including iguanas, red woodpeckers, monkeys and even jaguars in their true natural habitat. 

Located in northern Colombia, by the Caribbean Sea and the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains, Santa Marta is home to Spanish Colonial buildings and modern, luxury beach front apartments – showing the great contrast between the past and future.

Take the opportunity to visit the white-washed cathedral, claimed to be the Colombia’s oldest church. This fantastic building, which reflects a number of architectural styles, was the burial site of Simón Bolívar until 1942, and holds the ashes of the town’s founder Rodrigo de Bastidas

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Hacienda Victoria & coffee tour, Santa, Colombia


  • Learn more about some of the finest coffee produced in Colombia 
  • Discover the various procedures involved in processing the coffee bean
  • Admire your beautiful surroundings
Price£55.00 - £65.00
DurationApproximately 6 hours
LimitationVery limited capacity
Walking level 3 - extensive walkingExtensive walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included

Colombia is renowned for producing some of the world’s best coffee. On this unique tour enjoy a visit to Hacienda Victoria – one of Colombia’s leading organic coffee farms. 

Located in the foothills north-west of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Hacienda Victoria was founded in 1892 and is one of Colombia’s oldest coffee plantations. It dedicates 217 hectares to the cultivation of Arabica coffee using century-old equipment. The Victoria Coffee Company produces 200,000 kilos of coffee each year, and is one of the top five coffee plantations in the department of Magdalena in Colombia.

Departing the quayside, you travel by bus to Minca Town. From here, you board your truck for the journey to Hacienda Victoria. During your visit here, you can enjoy a tour around the mill, discovering the processes involved in producing coffee, before enjoying refreshments at the beautiful house on site. You can also savour free time to perhaps stroll through the grounds of the hacienda and admire the vegetation found here.



Is this tour right for you?

This tour involves approximately one and a quarter hours of walking, some of which will be over uneven and rocky ground. There are also around 30 steps to negotiate, therefore unfortunately it is not considered suitable for guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. Refreshments comprise juice and fresh fruits. 



  • Discover Santa Marta, which is situated between the majesty of the Andes, crowned with snow peaks, and the crystal waters of the Caribbean Sea
  • Admire the highlights of the city, including the Cathedral
Price£35.00 - £45.00
DurationApproximately 4 Hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included

Spend time discovering Santa Marta, the oldest city in Colombia which was founded by Rodrigo de Bastidas in 1525.

Santa Marta treasures among its riches architectural relics: overhanging balconies; churches and military fortresses, such as Isla del Morro; and two batteries called San Fernando Fort and the ruins of Bonda Fort, which protected the city from attacks by corsairs.

As you leave the quayside, you take the Rodrigo de Bastidas Avenue passing by the monument to Rodrigo de Bastidas, the founder of Santa Marta, to Bolivar Square, a historic colonial square surrounded by houses including the Custom House. Declared a national monument for its state of preservation and significance, Custom House is the current home of the Banco de la Republica’s Gold Museum, which houses a varied collection of pre-Columbian pottery and metalwork made by the Tayrona culture, and the Archaeological Museum.

Your tour continues on foot to the Cathedral, also known as the Minor Basilica. Built of stone masonry by architect Diego Rueda in Roman Renaissance style, it is the oldest cathedral in Colombia. Its belfry with an onion-shaped top is particularly noteworthy. Inside the Cathedral, you can admire remarkable sacred images sculpted in Carrara marble by 17th century architects. Additionally, its mausoleum contains the ashes of Don Rodridgo de Bastidas, and for some years before they were moved to Caracas, it housed the remains of General Simon Bolivar.

Back on your coach, continue on a panoramic tour of the city where you will see the monument of El Pibe Valderrama, the most famous football player of Colombia, before reaching La Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino. Built in the 17th century, this beautiful hacienda still preserves the house, sugar mills, distilleries and stables surrounded by large patios and lovely gardens. Simon Bolivar, the Liberator, spent his last days in this country house, where he died on December 17, 1830. It was declared a sanctuary of the nation and turned into the Bolivarian Museum and today displays a collection of Bolivarian art and objects from the pharmacy of Reverend, the private physician of the Liberator.

After a short drive you reach the small fishing village of Taganga and the tourist resort of El Rodadero for a panoramic view of Santa Marta Bay, before heading back to your awaiting ship.



Is this tour right for you?

TOUR NOTES: Please note that there is approximately two hours of walking involved in this tour and approximately 20 steps to negotiate, therefore it is not recommended to wheelchair users or guests with limited mobility. We suggest you come wearing comfortable shoes and clothing – sun protection may be a handy addition to your bag.

Tayrona Natural National Park, Colombia


  • Venture through the small villages and lush landscapes of the Colombian countryside to the Taironaka ruins
  • Discover the history and culture of one of Colombia’s many fascinating indigenous groups
Activity Tour Activity Tour
Price£55.00 - £65.00
DurationApproximately 6 Hours
Walking level 3 - extensive walkingExtensive walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included

Explore the indigenous Tayrona tribal ruins found within the Taironaka Natural Park, as your guide imparts information about their pueblos, materials and building techniques. The ruins are historically rich, taking you back hundreds of years.

Admire the scenery as you depart Santa Marta, travelling a road that climbs to higher elevations. En route, savour views of the Sierra Nevada foothills on one side and the lush vegetation of the Tayrona National Park on the other.

Pass through villages and glimpse the locals going about their daily business before arriving at the Taironaka parking area, where you will leave your coach and embark on an approximate 15-minute boat journey along the Don Diego River.

During your relaxed tour through the grounds of Taironaka, you will see the remains of terraced settlements dating from between 800 and 1600 AD. Your guide will explain how the structures were built and how they provided a home for the Tayrona people. Also be sure to take time to appreciate the natural surroundings, including the tropical flowers and the sights and sounds of peacocks, toucans and parrots.

For a deeper understanding of the Tayrona culture, step into a small, one-room museum; a reconstruction of an original round house still used by a different group of indigenous people, attesting to the utility of this ancient form of construction. In addition, local descendants of the ancient people will be on hand to interact with you and demonstrate some of their life skills.

Get a real taste of the culture as you sample refreshments of fried green bananas, accompanied by agua panela con limon, or sugar cane juice with lemon.

Your return journey will again be via the Don Diego River, which served as the setting for the film, The Mission. Reaching your coach, you will then be able to enjoy the panoramic vistas during your approximate 90-minute journey to the quayside.



Is this tour right for you?

TOUR NOTES: Please note that there is an approximate three-hour, round-trip drive to the Tayrona ruins. As this tour involves approximately one hour of sometimes difficult walking over uneven surfaces, including mud, sand, tree roots and loose stones, it is not recommended for wheelchair users or those with limited mobility. The ancient stones at Tayronaka are steep and can be slippery. Care should be taken with footing. Guests should be in good physical condition and able to walk at a medium pace in the heat in order to participate. As hot and humid conditions can be expected, along with potentially strong breezes, it is recommended that guests wear lightweight, comfortable clothing, a hat, and flat, comfortable shoes. Guests should also wear sunscreen and insect repellent. Some crowding at the ruins may be expected. The order of sights visited may vary.

Tayrona Natural National Park, Colombia


  • Discover the natural delights of Tayrona Natural Park as you embark on a guided walk through the beautiful vegetation
Price£55.00 - £65.00
DurationApproximately 5 Hours
LimitationLimited Capacity
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included

The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is a landscape of biological juxtapositions. Palms, cacti and tropical dry forest fringe the park’s northern border along the Caribbean coast, while tropical rainforests, treeless plains, and snow-capped peaks are found in the interior.

The world’s tallest coastal mountain, the Sierra Nevada, is an 18,942 foot (5,775 metre) massif separated from the Andes chain by plains and semiarid regions, and it harbours numerous self-contained tropical and alpine ecosystems in a relatively small area. The mountain’s isolation has allowed for many plants and animal species found nowhere else on Earth.

The Tayrona Park is a paradise with beaches of crystalline corralling spectacular waters, and a variety of flora and tropical fauna. It is a unique place where the myths and legends live, where you can contemplate one of the prettiest places in Colombia.

Directly from the quayside, a 45-minute drive will take you to the main entrance of the Tayrona Natural National Park. Here you will be invited to take a guided walk through the exotic vegetation around the Canaveral area, which offers the most beautiful landscapes where the Caribbean Sea shines in contrast with the vegetation of the Sierra Nevada.



Is this tour right for you?

TOUR NOTES: Please note that we do not recommend this tour to guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. There is approximately two hours of walking involved, some of which is over rough, uneven ground. We recommend wearing appropriate shoes. Don’t forget your sun cream and insect repellent.

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