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...
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...

Why I love Santa Marta

Why I love Santa Marta As the owner of Hotel Boutique Casa Carolina, and family man in Santa Marta, I always get asked what I love about Santa Marta. In this blog post I will go over some of the main reasons why I love Santa Marta so much. Santa Marta is on the north coast of Colombia. It hugs the Caribbean Sea making it a picturesque location. Santa Marta is the oldest surviving city in Latin America today, dating back to July 29, 1525 the days of Spanish Conquistador Rodrigo de Bastidas. Santa Marta is the Colombia’s third largest coastal. Along with its amazing beaches the city is bordered by the breathtaking and unique mountains of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Range (the highest coastal range in the world, with snow and Caribbean sea around 10km apart!). Up until about 10 years ago, guerilla and illegal drug activity would shy tourists away from Santa Marta. The Colombian government has cracked down on crime and has remodelled the old city. Improvements on city parks and streets have not only attracted tourists, but also business owners. New restaurants, hotels and discos have emerged which makes Santa Marta a great place after hours. Five years ago Santa Marta’s historic centre had very little to offer visitors, but today there is a wide array of things to do and see. One of my favorite spots is Parque de Los Novios (Sweetheart’s Park). It is a hot spot for locals and foreigners to gather and socialize. Surrounded by bars and restaurants, Parque de los Novios is decorated with flowers and trees, couples stroll along and hang out on the park benches; a sight somewhat out of...
Secluded and Secret Beaches in Santa Marta

Secluded and Secret Beaches in Santa Marta

We have had many guests and friends ask us which are the best beaches in Santa Marta. And some of our return guests have even asked us if we know of any less traveled beaches in Santa Marta. In this blog post I’m going to go over some of our favorite secluded beaches and even some secret spots around Santa Marta. Our Favourite Five Secluded Beaches in Santa Marta 1. Playa Cristal Do you like to snorkel? Eat fresh fish with your toes in the sea? Relax undisturbed in the tropical sunshine and warm turquoise Caribbean waters. This beach offers some of the safest and calmest waters around Santa Marta, perfect for kids, or non swimmers, with gently shelving sand entering crystal waters. A far cry from the crowded beaches of Santa Marta, Rodadero and Taganga, Playa Cristal in the Parque Tayrona offers seclusion and exclusivity as it is tucked away and 4×4 jeep and boat ride away. Not the easiest beach to reach, it is worth the trip as an exquisite offering rewards the intrepid visitor. Playa Cristal translates to the Crystal Beach and it lives up to it’s name. It’s crystal clear water and white sand beaches make it a picturesque escape. It’s beautiful coral reefs make it a popular destination for snorkelling with huge shoals of colourful tropical fish darting around the corals. This beach is highly popular so you won’t be alone, but it’s definitely worth going to if you want to relax and it can be pretty quiet outside holiday periods and weekends. The beach closes after 300 visitors enter, ensuring it is never too crowded and remains utterly unspoilt. In peak season you need to arrive early (by 8am!) to...