Visiting Parque Tayrona

Visiting Parque Tayrona

Parque Tayrona is located in Magdalena, Colombia, about 34 Km away from Santa Marta. This park is one of the most well known eco tourism parks in Colombia. The park offers different accommodation choices depending on how (well) you would like to sleep. There are cabins for 4-6 people, luxury huts ideal for a couple, and camping grounds for those who want to get closer to nature, either in tents or a hammock! Parque Tayrona also has an auditorium, a restaurant and an interpretation center. If you want to relax and take a break, the park offers beautiful beaches with awesome views of the intensely blue ocean, with tropical mountains falling onto white deserted sands. For more exciting activities the park also has plenty of options; with ecological walks, snorkelling and scuba diving. The park also has archaeological remains of the ancient town of Tayrona. So what should you take in your luggage? Make sure to wear thick shoes that protect your ankles if you want to participate in the ecological walks. Beach shoes are also recommended so you can take full advantage of the beautiful beaches Try to take thin clothing made of cotton (it gets very hot in Tayrona), a bathing suit, trousers and long sleeved shirt to protect you from the sun and the branches you will encounter in the dense forests Make sure you take a baseball cap, a sombrero or something to protect your head from the blazing heat. Sun glasses and light rain gear is also recommended in the months August-November when short but sharp showers are possible Make sure you take valid identification and some kind of international insurance, just in case Some other Top Tayrona...
Take A Dip In The Water! Our Favorite 5 Beaches In Santa Marta

Take A Dip In The Water! Our Favorite 5 Beaches In Santa Marta

The coastal city of Santa Marta has an average temperature of 27 degrees Celsius, with little variation year round, which makes it a perfect destination 12 months of the year. Thanks to a boost of national tourism at Christmas-New Year, Easter and August, Santa Marta practically fills up in these periods. If you prefer a more private Santa Marta, February, March, May-June and October-November are quieter periods. Having said that, Santa Marta is pretty busy year round with the best hotels above 70% occupation even in the low months. Hotel prices are certainly higher when Santa Marta gets above 90% occupation in the peak periods of the year. Visiting the Caribbean beaches in Santa Marta during the low season is a must-do experience for beach lovers who thrive on sunshine, beautiful landscapes, warm climates, and especially low prices and low crowds. Our 5 Favorite Beaches In Santa Marta 1. Playa Cristal If you enjoy snorkelling, adore fresh grilled fish, love lazing on a towel posed on soft white sand, or dipping in calm turquoise waters, Playa Cristal could be your paradise. It’s a an hour’s drive, plus 10 minute boat from Santa Marta, and after 300 people enter (which happens by 7am in peak season!) the gates are closed to keep the experience exclusive and the nature in tact. Tours to Playa Cristal cost around 90,000 COP (30 USD), including park entry, land and sea transport, and a guide. Food and drink are additional Ideal for: Snorkeling, swimming, sleeping, kids, couples, fish lovers! Take your underwater camera! Playa Grande If you choose to stay in Taganga (a small town just minutes away from Santa Marta), you can get to this beach by going on a...
Water Sports in Santa Marta

Water Sports in Santa Marta

We hope you brought your bathing suit to Santa Marta, Colombia! There are plenty of water sports in and around Santa Marta that you can experience while your stay at Hotel Boutique Casa Carolina. Santa Marta can get very hot and humid. Aside from a refreshing cool glass of maracuya (passion fruit), enjoying water sport activities is the best way to cool down and discover the beautiful Caribbean ocean’s delights. Here are some of our suggestions and tips about the water sports in Santa Marta. Diving Go scuba diving! We have mentioned scuba diving in Santa Marta in some of our earlier posts, but it is definitely worth mentioning again. In the last few years scuba diving has increased in popularity in Santa Marta with numerous diving schools to choose from, competitive rates and certification courses that take only a couple of days to complete. Scuba diving in Santa Marta is actually more economical than many other parts of the world, and unlocks a new world of hidden treasures below the Caribbean sea’s surface. The beaches, wrecks and corrals of Santa Marta contain a wide variety of tropical fish, clear and safe waters, offering a diverse and unique scuba diving experience. If you’re looking for a scuba diving school in Santa Marta feel free to contact us. We’ll help you find the right one. Surfing “Surf city, here we come”! Okay so when you think of surfing, Colombia does not come first to mind. However, the surf here in Santa Marta is fun and great for beginners. The surf can pick up during a swell sometimes reaching 8 feet high (faces). Much like there are scuba schools, there are plenty of surfing schools close...
Nightlife in Santa Marta

Nightlife in Santa Marta

The city of Santa Marta is pretty small with a total population of around 500,000. The night life is a more low key “pueblo/village” compared to the much bigger cities of Medellin and Bogota. Santa Marta offers a number of small bars and clubs around Parque de Los Novios which nevertheless make for a great night out. Even without a major nightlife district or “Zona Rosa”, there are numerous places to go out to in Santa Marta and Rodadero. On Calle 17 between Carrera 2 and Carrera 4 you can find great bars to socialise, have some drinks and dance the night away. New and modern bars are opening up and will add more entertainment options to the old city. Visit Ouzo restaurant at Parque de Los Novios for a great meal and some drinks before venturing out to sample the nightlife in Santa Marta. Ouzo itself can get quite animated with live music outside and the neighbouring bars in the Parque de los Novios. The best nights to go out are Thursdays to Saturdays, particularly mid and end month when the locals have been paid! You will be exposed to a variety of music genres. There is a fusion of Salsa, Vallenato, Latin Pop and some European/American music thrown into the mix. A popular bar and nightclub in Santa Marta is La Puerta, one of our favourites for a relaxed night of dancing. La Puerta is located on Calle 17 #2-29 and offers a great mix of music and people, generally university age up to around 30-40, but there is no limit! A slightly upper class option great for some salsa dancing and more of a lounge feel is Latinos,...
Minca – A Day Trip into the Sierra Nevada

Minca – A Day Trip into the Sierra Nevada

When considering a list of things to do in Santa Marta, invariably at the top of the list come the many pristine beaches in and around the National Park of Tayrona, between 30 and 60 minutes from Hotel Boutique Casa Carolina. But don’t let that be your only experience, there are many other things to do and see in and around Santa Marta. A fun day out with beautiful vistas and quite different “feel” can be had visiting the little village of Minca. Minca, a small village in the Sierra Nevada Minca is the perfect place for relaxation. It’s a small town in the Sierra Nevada, about 630 metres above sea level, in a coffee producing region. For visitors, there are plenty of simple pleasures, from observing the abundant, tropical vegetation to bird watching or swimming in one of the crystalline river creeks or waterfall plunge pools. Minca is a great choice to escape the sweltering heat of the coast; thanks to its altitude and proximity to higher peaks and fresh breezes. In the evening it can even feel slightly chilly! The village is very pretty – a must if you are in the area. Many consider it a colony of alternative thinkers, and artists, and refugees from chaotic city life. It is the perfect place to find peace and tranquility, and a respite from the tropical coastal heat of Santa Marta. Although Minca is close to the Caribbean coastline, due to its lush mountain location, the vegetation is completely different. There is an abundance of vibrant and dense green plant life. The area’s fertility made it one of Colombia’s first regions to exploit coffee cultivation and the tropical flowers, for sale...

Enjoy a day in Taganga

Taganga Santa Marta The next time you are staying at Hotel Boutique Casa Carolina take a day to visit Taganga. Taganga is a fishing village that lies on the Santa Marta coast. It is only a 10-15 minute drive from our hotel. In recent years Taganga has really progressed. A number of  restaurants and dancing nightclubs have opened up with a decent selection of hostal and hotel options. Scuba diving has become very popular here with dozens of scuba diving schools on offer. Getting certified from these schools takes a couple of days, and they are known to be very economical compared to other scuba diving certification schools around the world. There is a wide variety of tropical fish to see with offshore reefs and wrecks to visit, Tanganga and the surrounding bays boast a diverse marine life. If you’re looking for a more peaceful option of sunning and relaxation, with softly shelving sand and calm warm waters, Playa Grande is the option for you. There are two ways to get to Playa Grande beach; you can take a 5 minutes boat ride from Taganga or you can walk 20 minutes from the cliff that closes the bay. The hike has an amazing view from the top, but there are very occasional problems of tourists being asked for money or even being robbed, so just be aware, don’t take valuables, and stay in a group. We have done the hike numerous times with no problems. Playa Grande is one of the more popular beaches for tourists, so don’t be surprised if it’s crowded, especially on the weekend but great for local people watching. Playa Grande is a spacious beach where you can lay out in the sand...