Historic Santa Marta Walking Tour
Available all year
Visit the Gold Museum.
Explore the colorful streets and bay of Santa Marta by foot.
Visit the oldest cathedral in Colombia.
This tour is a perfect introduction to Santa Marta, the oldest Spanish colonial city in the continental Americas. Much smaller than Cartagena and neglected for many years, the city is now undergoing a restoration program. The results are visible everywhere as you stroll through the atmospheric plazas and narrow streets of this compact, beautiful, and unique city. In the colonial era, Colombia was synonymous with gold. From the pier, your first stop by bus will be the beautifully restored Gold Museum, which houses interesting gold and pottery objects from the indigenous cultures that inhabit the Sierra Nevada Mountains that rise up behind the city. Located in the old Customs House, one of the city’s oldest Spanish colonial buildings, the museum also tells an interesting history of Santa Marta and its development. From here, your guide will lead you through Bolivar Plaza and the bustling streets, with their eclectic mix of Spanish colonial, republican and contemporary architecture, to the 17th-century cathedral, Colombia’s oldest church.
The simple-but-beautiful interior is dominated by a grey Italian marble alter a fine barrel roof and chandeliers. The remains of Simón Bolivar were kept in this church from his death in 1830 until 1842, when they were transferred to the Pantheon in Caracas. From here it is a short stroll to the beautiful Parque Santander, more commonly known as Parque de los Novios (‘Lovers Park’) with its mimosa trees providing a shady place for the locals, known as ‘Samarios’, to meet and relax.
Language: English and Spanish
Remarks/requirements: Dress comfortably, with sturdy walking shoes, a sunhat, and loose clothing. Sunscreen recommended
Walking information: Approximately 2 hours of walking Curbs in the old city can be high. Some cobblestone streets in city and sandy surfaces at the Malecón
Wheelchair accessible: No
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