Squeezing the most out of life | An Aussie and a Colombian living life with a wandering spirit. Eight years together & over 60 countries up our sleeves, we're sharing the love |

Not so saintly Santa Marta

It’s not often we’re underwhelmed by a place, but visiting Santa Marta rates pretty highly on the ‘meh’ scale of things. Unfortunately, it’s hard to ignore the huge disparity between rich and poor. Impoverished communities dominate the city beneath rapidly expanding high rise apartments aimed mostly at tourists. Not that that’s uncommon in Colombian cities, but somehow we noticed it a little more starkly in this one.

But Santa Marta is hugely popular as a destination for Colombians, and when you see some of the luxury apartments with ocean views, it’s easy to imagine how a holiday in the sun could be great. And if you want city with nature nearby then you’re sorted, as Tayrona National Park is only a short bus ride away.

It seems the real soul of Santa Marta was found poking around the streets that lay further back from the ocean; where it’s easy to appreciate some of the classic Colombian style within blocks of completely unrenovated buildings. Places where time seems to have stood still.

Fat old barbers chairs poking their geriatric feet out of crumbling facades, ice being happily crushed by hand, and a whole lot of men sitting around in the heat of the day waiting for something to happen, that’s the city we enjoyed. The inner beauty of Santa Marta is in the walls, the people’s sun weary faces and the steamy, sleep inducing climate.

You seem alright on the inside St. Marta!


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