1st Visit to Santa Marta - Where to stay?

I will be visiting Santa Marta for the first time in Mid March and planning to stay for 10 days.  I am in need of a secure hotel on the beach.  I want easy access to the beach.  I had a recommendation of Estelar Santamar Hotel but they are sold out.

Is the town center (for shopping) within walking distance of the hotel zone?

I would also be looking for an open market, similar to Bogota's Paloquemado or Cali's Galeria Alameda.

Thank You


I am currently in Rodadero just west of Santa Marta and I arrived at the end of January.

For the first week I stayed in a boutique hotel called Casa Carolina which is in the Historical Centre and is excellent. It also has a really good restaurant.

I am going back to Santa Marta for 4 days shortly and will be staying at the Camali Hotel which is also very nice although it is a short walk just outside the Historical Centre. Both these places are very nice and very affordable. There are other boutique hotels which are probably much the same bot both these I know. Check Booking.Com for pictures and contact them.

I didn't stay on the waterfront as it has a constant flow of traffic. Also, while the waterfront is nice, the beach does not look that inviting as Santa Mart is also a large port.

The old historical centre is great for restaurants and all very walkable so I would not worry about not being on the beach. If you stay at Camali you are nearer the open air market but I have only been there once, passing through it so I can't comment on it. It is near where you get the bus to Minca and that's when I saw it.

I would recommend a trip to Rodadero. The beach is much nicer and it is a very popular vacation spot for Colombians. It is just a 15 minute bus/ Taxi ride from the waterfront in Santa Marta. A taxi is 20,000 and the bus is 2,300 COP. The journey is up through the gap in the mountains so even that is worth doing as you get a great view of both Santa Marta and Rodadero from up in the hills.

We are just back from Minca which was great. Lot's of options to stay. We stayed at Minca Glamping and the $250,000 (70CDN) hut was just spectactular and a nice walk to the town. Perfect if you want serenity in the jungle.

Enjoy your trip.

Do glamping (glam camping) places such as Minca

offer Wi-Fi to glamper guests?

Is there an 'inodoro' in each unit?



I can only speak for Minca Glamping and yes they have both.

It was really nice. Coming from Canada the $70 was very reasonable and worth every penny. There are places you would pay 200+ Canadian for the same.

The breakfast was included and was great. The juice was great, the eggs were so fresh, the fruit was amazing and the coffee was great.