What to do

Cultural, Community-based, and ethnographic activities

Discover Santa Marta

According to the UNWTO cultural tourism is defined as: “A type of tourism activity in which the visitor’s essential motivation is to learn, discover, experience and consume the tangible and intangible cultural attractions/products in a tourism destination. These attractions/products relate to a set of distinctive material, intellectual, spiritual and emotional features of a society that encompasses arts and architecture, historical and cultural heritage, culinary heritage, literature, music, creative industries and the living cultures with their lifestyles, value systems, beliefs and traditions”.

These activities feature tourism development projects related to six pivotal areas of Intangible Cultural Heritage: handicrafts and the visual arts; gastronomy; social practices, rituals, and festive events; music and the performing arts; oral traditions and expressions; and knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe.

Here are some popular Cultural, community-based, and ethnographic tours you can book and their man traits:

Kogui community in Cherua

  • Cherua is a Kogui indigenous settlement located near Palmor, coffee capital of la Sierra Nevada. 
  • In this indigenous community they will show you their ways of life and dances that evoke their spirituality and energy cleansing.
  • Bathing in natural pools.
  • Coffee tour.
  • 1–2-day tour.

Quebrada del Sol + Mulkuakungui

The Mulkuakungui people is a Koguis town embedded in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. It is a cultural and nature protection center. Some activities are:

  • Typical breakfast in Quebrada del Sol, historical briefing, impact of illegal crops, demobilization phase in the region and transition to tourism.
  • Walk to the Kogui “Mulkwakungui” village with a “Mamo” (the highest indigenous authority).
  • Cultural exchange and tradition sharing: workshop transformation of chocolate and taro, weaving etc.
  • Ecological walk for 20 minutes to reach the Don Diego River and cross to visit to the Arhuaco town “Kandumake”
  • Buy typical indigenous bags directly from the community.
  • 1 or 2-day tours. Price ranges from $400.000 – $600.000.


Gotsezhy, (“Reborn”), is a Wiwa indigenous refuge settled in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

  • Dip in the majestic natural pool of the “Matuna” waterfall (El Encanto), where you can take a bath in its refreshing waters.
  • Cultural exchange 
  • Display of traditional crafts.
  • Trek to Guachaca River.
  • 1 or 2-day tours. Price ranges from $400.000 – $600.000.

Ruta del Río- 2 days

This tour takes place in a small village surrounded by a lot of biodiversity. The community has gone from relying on illegal crops to finding a new way of life in tourism. For this reason, the River Route Tour was created as an income alternative for each of the peasant and indigenous families of the village. Some activities include:

  • Chilling and waters sports in the Buritica River
  • Native flora and fauna sighting
  • Cultural exchange with indigenous Kogui “Maleiyi” communities and the Mulkuakungui people
  • Horseback riding, tubing, hiking and more.