A weekend in Santa Marta, Colombia

A quick stop for some pictures along the way to Palomino beach.

A quick stop for some pictures along the way to Palomino beach.

Last weekend, my girlfriend and I rented a car and made our way to the beautiful Santa Marta, located about 220km away from Cartagena.

Her mom has an apartment there so accommodation was something we did not have to worry about :) 

We got there on Friday night and after a good night of sleep, we woke up with the Sun rising behind the Sierra Nevada (the highest coastal mountain range in the world), had our breakfast and then were ready to drive to Palomino beach, one of the most beautiful in the area.

A gorgeous sunrise woke us up...

A gorgeous sunrise woke us up...

Beautiful views from our room...

Beautiful views from our room...

Sunrise paddle board sessions...

Sunrise paddle board sessions...

Waking up...

Waking up...

The road to Palomino (about 85km away from Santa Marta) is a beautiful panoramic that offers incredible views of the forested mountains and the Caribbean sea, so quick stops for pictures were rather (too) frequent...

Beautiful views along the way...

Beautiful views along the way...

Locals washing their clothes...

Locals washing their clothes...

After about two pleasant hours, we arrived in Palomino, and instead of going to the main (and therefore a bit busy) beach, we decided to try to find a little road further way and get a more quiet spot...

Going to the beach...

Going to the beach...

We drove through a pretty little road that took us to a no longer operation rustic "pousada", and its care taker kindly allowed us to get to the beach...the pictures below are my humble attempt to share the stunning natural beauty of that place.

After an amazing day there with our best travel companion "Lola", the weather started changing so we decided to make our way back to Santa Marta, and we got there right on time to see a stunning sunset from our balcony while enjoying a cold Colombian beer :)

The next day, we made our way to one of the places I was really looking forward to visit during my stay here in Colombia: Aracataca, the place where the genius Gabriel García Marquez was born. 

Located about 70km away from Santa Marta, this is a super hot little town that would probably not receive any tourists had Gabo not been born there, but it was indeed special to walk around its small streets and feel the atmosphere that helped inspiring the work of Marquez.

We visited the house where he grew up with his grandparents, now turned into a beautiful and well-kept museum, faced the heat to walk around a bit and everywhere we looked we could find reference to his novels.

Walking around Aracataca.

Walking around Aracataca.

Stories on every corner...

Stories on every corner...

Breakfast at a local "panaderia".

Breakfast at a local "panaderia".

Fresh orange juices to help saving us from the heat...

Fresh orange juices to help saving us from the heat...

After about two hours of wandering, we were ready to head back to Santa Marta to get to visit Taganga, a popular beach spot outside town.

Local handcrafts and the beautiful view of Taganga bay.

Local handcrafts and the beautiful view of Taganga bay.

We had lunch in Taganga but the place was just too busy and noisy for our taste, so we drove to another one nearby and then made our way to the pier in Santa Marta, where we were lucky to get an incredibly beautiful pink/purple/orange sunset.

The next day, we didn't do much, as we hard to sort some stuff out at the apartment, so we took it easy and just had a little walk at beach in Rodadero, which was surprisingly packed for a Monday afternoon. 

Beautiful golden light on the beach.

Beautiful golden light on the beach.

A crowd watching some sea turtles being released back in the ocean.

A crowd watching some sea turtles being released back in the ocean.

I love to see how democratic most beaches are, places where people of all social-economic classes gather to do exactly the same thing: relax, swim, play and enjoy their times. 

A boy playing at the beach as the Sun goes down.

A boy playing at the beach as the Sun goes down.

3, 2, 1..!!

3, 2, 1..!!

And that was it! :) A great weekend in a wonderful place I hope to go back to soon!

If you ever visit the Caribbean coast in Colombia, you just can't miss Santa Marta, which is also the gateway to the Tayrona Park and to the "Ciudad Perdida" trek, a place and an activity I'm looking forward to seeing/doing also.

Next morning, after another awesome sunrise, we made our way back to Cartagena, and we are already preparing for our 2-weeks trip to California in now only 5 days! 

Burning sky...

Burning sky...

Our "Lola", the best travel partner ever :)

Our "Lola", the best travel partner ever :)

Self-portrait.

Self-portrait.

I will be back here after our trip to the US, which is gonna be my first time there, so I'm super excited about it.

Saludos from Cartagena!

Bernardo Salce