At Hotel Boutique Casa Carolina we pride ourselves in being one of the top hotels in Santa Marta. In our effort to help all of our visitors have a great trip we have come together as a staff to compile a list of fun things to do in Santa Marta.
The most obvious thing to do in Santa Marta is to go to the beautiful surrounding beaches. But in this blog post we are going to cover some ideas as an alternative to sun, sea and sand for when you just want to hang out in the city.
Things to do and Sightseeing in Santa Marta
1. La Catedral Basilica de Santa Marta
This is Latin America’s first cathedral. So if you like history and you like to visit churches, you cannot miss this one. It’s construction started in 1765. Its construction was delayed 30 years because of the frequent attacks by English, French, and Dutch pirates, it was knocked down by pirates more than 20 times!
The architectural style of this pretty cathedral is colonial and the art inside is indicative of its age. An amazing fact about this cathedral is that it was once the burial place of our country’s liberator, Simon Bolivar. He was buried here from December 20, 1830 until 1842, when his tomb was dug up and sent to his birthplace, Caracas, Venezuela. The Venezuelan government left Bolivar’s heart behind in an urn, which is hidden somewhere in the cathedral.
This and many other stories make up the wonderful history of one of Latin America’s most important cathedrals. It’s a must see when visiting Santa Marta.
Address: Carrera 5 # 16-30
Service: Monday – Saturday 12:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m. Sundays and holidays 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
How to get there from Hotel Boutique Casa Carolina
2. Parque de Bolivar
This is Santa Marta’s second most important square. It is named after our countries revolutionary war hero Simon Bolivar, who died in Santa Marta.
On the north east side you will find la Casa de la Aduana where Simon Bolivar stayed from December 1st to the 6th in 1830; this is also where they held his wake. In this square you will also find the small gold museum (Museo de Oro) and the Banco de la Republica library. In the middle of the square you will find a beautiful statue of Simon Bolivar on horse back.
The park faces the ocean and enjoys the shade of many well-positioned trees, making it a very picturesque location. Local meetings, concerts and sports events are frequently hosted here.
Parque de Bolivar a few minutes walk from Hotel Boutique Casa Carolina
3. El Camellón
Also known as Paseo de Bastidas is a beautiful evening’s stroll by the beach. This path extends from the funcional and fascinating port of Santa Marta on Calle 10 (one of the most important ports in the country) to the International Marina on Calle 22, inaugurated just three years ago. Don’t miss the eateries and trendy bar Miko’s facing the Marina.
El Camellón is the location where the first Spanish settlers arrived on July 29, 1525 and it was Simon Bolivars docking place on his last arrival to the city before his death in 1830.
El Camellón passes the end of Calle 12, 200 metres or so from Casa Carolina
4. Play Billiards
The Samarians love to play pool! It’s very common to spend a whole Saturday or Sunday at a pool hall, talking to friends, drinking beer. Even if you don’t know how to play it’s fun to go, have a drink and watch. The people in Santa Marta are friendly and will probably invite you to play or to show you how to play.
It’s a fun way to meet locals and a great way to spend a couple hours.
There are two pool halls on Calle 10 next to Renobar called Selecto and Ancón. There are others so please feel free to ask us when you’re here.
5. Acuario y Museo Del Mar Rodadero
This is a great aquarium and museum located 15 minutes off the shore of the Rodadero beach. So yes you’ll have to take a boat ride, but it’s fun.
It has 13 pools in the ocean and 15 glass aquariums with more then 100 species of sea life. Sea lions, sharks, sea turtles, and dolphins are among some you’ll find here. There are even dolphin and sea lion shows to watch.
The aquarium also has a museum which displays even more sea life, pre-colombian artifacts, and even a section dedicated to the Titanic.
This is one of our favorite tourist spots because it promotes education and sea culture.
Acuario y Museo del mar Rodadero is just a 15 minute taxi ride from Hotel Boutique Casa Carolina
5. Parque de los Novios
This beautiful park was completely renovated five years ago and is located in the middle of the city in front of the Palacio de la Justicia (Justice Palace). The park was built in 1903 over a dried out lake. For some time it served as a market place.
It was first called Parque de Santander in honer of the great general and Vice president of Nueva Granada. With time it became a common place events, picnics, and relaxation, thus the name change to Parque de los Novios (Sweetheart’s Park).
Today, the park is surrounded by cafes and restaurants. It’s an ideal place to end your sightseeing trip around the city. Many of Hotel Boutique Casa Carolina’s favourite recommended restaurants surround the park and nearby streets, don’t hesitate to ask for ideas!
Parque de los Novios is a short walk from Hotel Boutique Casa Carolina
If you are not a guest at Hotel Boutique Casa Carolina feel free to contact us today.