Santa Marta is a great base from which to explore Tayrona National Park, with its stunning jungle-fringed, golden sand Caribbean beaches. There are some lovely spots for swimming and sunbathing, and archaeological sites associated with the indigenous Tayrona culture.
Within view of the Colombian coast and Santa Marta are the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Mountains, often topped with snow and the highest coastal range in the world. Trekking to the Ciudad Perdida - the ‘Lost City' of the Tayrona - is a classic South American adventure and one of the coastal region's most popular attractions. A visit to Aracataca, the birthplace of the Colombian writer, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, is also recommended.