The Historic Center

The historic center of Santa Marta is full of traditions and culture, its old streets and houses dating from colonial times are preserved as architectural witnesses that tell the chronicle of the city.

Stroll at a leisurely pace through the colonial streets of downtown Santa Marta and let yourself be enveloped by history, you can also enjoy the authentic local cuisine in the cozy restaurants and cafes.

Considering that Santa Marta is one of the first cities founded by the Spanish in America and the oldest in Colombia (1525), its urban growth model centered on plazas led to the construction of offices and important houses around the historic center.

Simon Bolivar Park

The Plaza or Simon Bolivar Park is the main square of Santa Marta, located in the center of the city and in the oldest area of the city, with great historical importance and buildings of architectural value that surround it, as well as libraries, the Tayrona Gold Museum and monuments.

During colonial times, the square was known as Plaza de Armas; after independence, it was called Plaza de la Constitución, and nowadays, it is known as Plaza de Bolívar, since the body of Simón Bolívar was veiled in a burning chamber in the Tayrona Museum. The plaza has a statue of Bolivar as a horseman and a four-sided fountain of Italian precedence.

centro historico de santa marta

Outstanding places to visit
in the Historic Center of Santa Marta

Parque de los Novios (Bride and Groom Park)

Parque de los Novios in Santa Marta is one of the most emblematic places in the city to enjoy gastronomy and nightlife, thanks to the large number of restaurants and bars that can be found there.

This tourist site is located in the Historic Center of Santa Marta, just two blocks from the Bay of Santa Marta and three blocks from the Cathedral Basilica of Santa Marta.

The park is full of restaurants with terraces, hotels, street vendors and street performers that make it the liveliest and busiest place in the city at night.

Post Office Alley

This pedestrian corridor that connects the Parque de los Novios with the Parque de Bolivar, between 15th and 17th streets, has pleasant and varied restaurants for all tastes. This photogenic place is a favorite for dinner and a few beers before continuing the night in the Parque de los Novios.

Adorned with lights, posters, banners and street performers, it is a corridor full of life and incredible cultural energy. Here you can find dishes and appetizers from COP $20.000+ and beers from COP $8.000.

Santa Marta Bay

If you visit Santa Marta, you cannot miss the opportunity to take a walk along the Malecon de Bastidas, also known as Paseo de Bastidas, in honor of the founder of the city, Rodrigo de Bastidas.

The bay of Santa Marta is one of the most picturesque and best sunsets in the city, with the "Morro" emerging on the horizon.

The Malecon or Bahia Santa Marta is an important historical site and an artery that connects with the city center and the Marina, here you will find craft stalls, bars and restaurants. In addition, the Malecon de Bastidas includes children's areas, a 1.5 km jogging track, an urban gym, a pet park and other amenities designed for you.

El Morro de Santa Marta

El Morro is the guardian, caretaker and witness of the historical evolution of Santa Marta. For many locals, El Morro is the biggest and main representation of what it means to be "Samario".

It is a rocky hill that during the conquest and the colony was used as a strategic means to preserve the city from pirate attacks. It is currently used as a lighthouse post to guide ships entering and leaving the port.

El Morro is also considered a sacred site for the practice of rituals and cults of the indigenous communities that inhabit the Sierra Nevada.

Highlights in the Historic Center

Cathedral Basilica of Santa Marta

The Cathedral of Santa Marta is located in the historic center of the city, three blocks from the Bay and the International Marina, and is surrounded by small restaurants and other colonial buildings.

The Cathedral Basilica was built in 1765 and took more than 30 years to complete due to constant pirate attacks that resulted in the city being burned more than 20 times. Since then, it has been renovated several times over the centuries, giving it a mixture of different architectural styles.

In addition to the masses and offering a cool place to escape the heat of the city during the middle of the day, you can also enter the Cathedral to get a glimpse of the city’s history through the commemorative plaques on the walls. It also houses the ashes of the founder of Santa Marta, Rodrigo de Bastidas, and the heart of the Liberator Simón Bolívar. The military leader was first buried in the church before his remains were transferred to Venezuela.

Santa Marta Theater

Designed by Cuban Manuel Carrera, one of the most representative Latin American architects of the 20th century, the Theater was inaugurated in 1949, and its architecture represents a symbol of the Art Deco style in the Caribbean. At the time of its inauguration, the Theater became an innovative urban icon and became part of the identity of the Historic Center.

The theater was rebuilt and reopened in November 2021 and has a permanent free cultural agenda offered to those who wish to attend.

Outstanding experiences

Location of the destination on the map

The Historic Center

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