Santa Marta from the Colombian Tourism Perspective
Santa Marta, the capital city of the Magdalena department, was founded in 1525. It is now the oldest city in Colombia and the second oldest in South America. Today, it boasts, amongst many others, the title of “the Green Capital of Colombia”.
Before getting to the hotels in Santa Marta let’s talk about tourism in Colombia. Tourism in Colombia is regulated by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, with contributions from the Treasury and Culture Ministries; with a view to improve the national economy and to widely promote the Colombian cultural heritage. The Colombian government appointed both Cartagena and Santa Marta as special districts whose “function within the national framework is to preserve and promote Colombian history and culture”.
To this end, the Colombian government often sets marketing and publicity campaigns in motion. So far, these campaigns have been made for the Meta department, Bogotá, Malpelo Island, Los Ocarros Park in Villavicencio, the Chicamocha National Park in Santander, and many more. It is worthy to mention that the beaches at the Tayrona Park in Santa Marta were ranked the 2nd most sought-after natural vacation destination in the world in 2014. And not without reason. Some of the most beautifully preserved virgin ocean landscapes lie inside Tayrona park, with tall coconut palms kissing deserted white beaches and turquoise waters.
Where to Stay
Santa Marta has a solid hotel infrastructure. Many famous hotel chains are present in the city, with hotels in Santa Marta that range from business to luxurious to country-style. Scattered throughout the city, one can also find a wide offer of hostels, country lodges, and touristic farms that can accommodate every person and every budget.
What to Buy
The main articles that are produced in the region are some of the most sought-after by people from all corners of the earth: Kogui and Arhuaco crafts such as wool knapsacks (or “tutu ikus” in the indigenous language) and seed and rock necklaces made by the Tayrona peoples. Most of the craft stores are gathered in specific points strewn across the San Fransisco Plaza and El Rodadero. Most hotels in Santa Marta have access to souvenirs, all you have to do is ask at reception.
The majority of the tourists who arrive in the city these days come from the inner territories of Colombia, such as Bogotá, the Coffee Axis (Armenia, Pereira and Manizales), Medellin, Barranquilla, Cali, Bucaramanga, Cucuta, among others.
During high season, 16 daily flights arrive in Santa Marta from Bogota alone. Cotelco (the hotel industry ministry in Colombia) predicts that 35,000 national tourists will have visited the city by January 31st, 2016. Commercial businesses located along the touristic sites in Santa Marta also reported positive touristic influx based on the sales amounts that occurred during June and July of this year.
Omar Gaviria Silva, president of the Magdalena chapter of Cotelco, stated that “the hotel industry is at a steady increase. More than 21 thousand visitors have checked into one of the many of the hotels in Santa Marta and hostels along the touristic side of town”.
Staying at Hotel Boutique Casa Carolina
Casa Carolina is one of the most luxurious, relaxed Boutique Hotels in Santa Marta, located in a calm area of the Historic Centre. A Colonial heritage fused with contemporary design, Casa Carolina offers an unforgettable experience thanks to beautiful spaces, exceptional facilities and exclusive personalised service. Contact us about staying at Hotel Boutique Casa Carolina.