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  >  Destinations  >  Columbia  >  Chilling Out in Santa Marta, Colombia

Santa Marta is the oldest surviving city in Colombia, with the first Spanish settlement being in 1545.  While many say it is run down, it is a prominent tourist destination being the gateway to many beautiful beaches and also the mountains and national parks.

In fact, Adriana and I decided to start our trip here because we are leaving for the Lost City tomorrow, and the trek starts from here.  We thought we would make the most of it and spend the day visiting the town.

Our morning started with a rescue mission of a tiny little kitten.  She was stuck in a tree, so we helped her down and she was so grateful, she decided to follow us literally all around town.

We stopped into the Magic Tours office to ensure we were fully prepared for the trip and then visited the cathedral and market, and eventually went for a walk along the malecon.

After our walk around the town, we had been beaten by the heat and decided to jump in a cab to the other side of town.  We planted ourselves at Burukuka, which has a stunning view of Rodadero Beach, and great cocktails as well.

Adjusting to the Colombian heat, especially since we had come from colder climates, meant there wasn’t much life in us post-lunch / cocktails.  So we spent the rest of the day on our rooftop, enjoying the pool and bar, and just lounging about.

Post sunset, we made sure we were ready for tomorrow’s adventure and then headed out for dinner.  Little did we realize that the Colombians seem to have caught on to this heat situation as well — this little sleepy city of Santa Marta really comes alive at night!  There were christmas lights dangling from the palm trees in the square, bands playing down the little streets, and dancers roaming from one restaurant terrace to the next.

We roamed the streets to check it all out and eventually ended up at Ouzo, a Mediterranean place right on the main square.