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What to see in Santa Marta in a few hours?

Do you have only a few hours to visit Santa Marta? We are going to tell you if it is worth taking a walk and what you can see.

We ventured to visit Santa Marta on a round trip in one day, from Cartagena. It was that or nothing. So, we decided to take it and leave visits such as Tayrona Park for another time. If you are in the same situation as us, here we are going to tell you what we managed to see in Santa Marta in a few hours (in addition to an unexpected incident, which reduced those hours).

What to see in Santa Marta in a few hours?

As to go to Barranquilla, we took transport that took us from Cartagena (in a way fleeing from it). This time, it took us much longer to arrive, if I recall correctly about 4 hours. We knew that we only had a few hours to visit the city, but the important thing was to be there.

Our first objective was the Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino, the place where Simon Bolivar died, so we took a taxi, whose driver was very nice.

The road to Santa Marta

Statue of the Pibe Valderrama

The driver of the taxi was the most folksy, we felt that he was nice because that was how he was and not to sell us something extra. He told us that he was from Medellín, and he told us about her mother that she ate some fruits, I can’t remember from which tree, that made her feel energetic. Anyway, he talked about this and that, I shared with him that we would only be in the city for a few hours, and he told me that on the way we would pass by the statue of El Pibe and if we wanted to see it, I said yes, and he stopped for a few minutes. That’s how we were able to photograph it.

And why is this statue there? We must remember that Carlos ‘El Pibe’ Valderrama has been one of the best Colombian players of all time. And it so happens that he is a native of Santa Marta. You can see the number 10 on the shirt, the one he wore when he was in the national team. The statue is right at the entrance of the Eduardo Santos stadium and is quite popular with tourists (luckily there was no group when we passed by).

Hi Pibe

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Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino

The taxi driver dropped us off at the quinta, he didn’t charge us extra to make the statue stop, he was very nice, and I was sorry I didn’t tell him that we hired him to do a city tour or something like that as it would have been quite fun, and we would have prevented the “incident” that occurred later. Oh, well.

But leaving that aside, we finally arrived at the Quinta, which was the last resting place of the hero of the Independence of Gran Colombia. Upon arrival, we are greeted by countless huge lizards that are very shamelessly basking in the sun.

  • Price: 23,000 Colombian pesos per person
  • Hours: every day from 9 AM to 5:30 PM (in high season) and to 4:30 PM (in low season)

A bit of history

Bolivar arrived at this place, invited by don Joaquín de Mier on December 6, 1830. He intended to continue his journey, but instead he was never able to leave the place. He passed away on December 17 (that is, 11 days later), at 1 PM.

Over time, the hacienda fell into abandonment and at the end of the 19th century it was recovered to restore it and leave it in conditions similar to the time Bolivar was there. Being there is like transporting yourself to that time when you see the kitchen, the rooms and the bedroom where the liberator died.

Today on the grounds of the quinta, you can also see the enormous Altar de la Patria Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino, dedicated to Simon Bolivar. As well as the Bolivarian Museum of Contemporary Art.

Nature in the Quinta: as I said at the beginning, you can see countless lizards. You can also see a lot of vegetation, birds and in the cafeteria area I found a kitten.

Caribbean Sea in Santa Marta

Leaving the place, we took a taxi that left us in the center (yes, this taxi driver was not friendly at all). Once in the center, we walked to the Malecón de Bastidas to see the sea and buy souvenirs.

Beach in Santa Marta

The incident

Later we were going to look for a place to eat, that’s when it happened:

The sewer incident or “sewer blow”

Usually the manhole covers are our friends.

No, this one in the photo was not the problematic sewer. In fact, the incident happened with a sewer that did not have a cover and was full of water, so you could not see that it was quite deep. Everything happened very fast. We were on the boardwalk, and we said, “let’s go to that restaurant across the street” so we’re going to cross. At that, Vincent set foot in the street and suddenly disappeared… his leg had sunk into the hidden sewer, and I was scared to death because he was in the street.

Luckily, he got up quickly and a motorcyclist asked us if everything was alright, as far as it could go, yes he was alright, he had been scraped and bumped but not fractured or anything like that. But the situation was that his pants and shoes were wet from more than turbulent, pestilent waters, a total yuck. We thought “we are on the beach, there must be showers” we went to look for them and luckily, there were some. So as he could, he got as rinsed as he could to get rid of the stink. At that moment, the visit became a mission that consisted of getting dry clothes and shoes for Vicente, which luckily we got soon.

The visit is over…

So, thanks to the sewer, our visiting hours were over.

After getting the clothes, we decided to go find transportation to return, since walking was a very painful activity for Vincent. The important thing was that he had clean clothes, we would buy anything to eat on the way. At the end of the day, we hadn’t been able to see much of the city, but I was satisfied with what I saw.

Despite the incident of the sewer, I felt comfortable, much more than in Cartagena, in Santa Marta, which has many things to visit.

I hope after this you have an idea of what to see in Santa Marta in a brief visit.

More images of Santa Marta

Even though after the sewer incident we dedicated ourselves to looking for clean clothes and that we could not visit anything else, on the way I took photos as much as I could but without stopping to see what it was. Among other things, we saw a lot of Street Art and the white Cathedral of the city, but without stopping too long.

Oh well, incidents like this are part of the anecdotes of travel.

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Olga Grijalva

Olga is a traveler and travel content creator with 17 years of experience. Her goal is to share useful information to help you plan your adventures. She has visited more than 40 countries and is excited to share her experience with you.