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Best Places to visit in the Cultural and Historic District of Santa Marta - guiaviajesvirtual.com

Best Places to visit in the Cultural and Historic District of Santa Marta

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Santa Marta Vacation and Travel Guide


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The Cultural and Historic District of Santa Marta, is a Colombian city, capital of the department of Magdalena and third urban center of importance in the Caribbean Region after Barranquilla and Cartagena. Founded on July 29, 1525 by Spanish conqueror Rodrigo de Bastidas, it is the oldest existing city in Colombia and the second oldest in South America.

Santa Marta is located on the shores of the bay of the same name on the Caribbean Sea, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in the department of Magdalena. Its geographical coordinates are: 11º 14 '50 "north latitude and 74 ° 12' 06" west longitude.

The average height of the city is 2 meters, but with a difference in height is in the territory of the municipality, from sea level up to 5,775 meters in the Pico Cristóbal Colón, which is the highest of all Colombia located in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

The average temperature is 27 ° C; and predominantly dry conditions due to the breezes from the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, and the difference in the topography of the city are given all the thermal floors, and various types of vegetation, such as tropical wet and dry only a few kilometers of each other in the area covered by this mountain range, thus resulting in the city with the highest biodiversity in the world.

The main rainy months are June, July, September and October, and the driest months are from December to April. Rainfall in this region ranges from 12 to 975 mm per month. It also has the highest mountain in the world at sea level.

Tourism in Santa Marta Colombia

The city of Santa Marta is located in the bay of its name, is one of the main destinations of the Colombian Caribbean, uses as a tourist slogan "the magic of having everything" since it has more than one hundred beaches and its location between The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, with the country's highest peaks, and the Caribbean Sea, make it attractive to visit the variety of fauna and flora in the area, as well as the cultural and historical sites that the city has.

As an important fact, Simón Bolívar died in a hacienda called Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino that at that time was on the outskirts of the city, on December 17, 1830. Due to the above, the constitution of 1991 conferred on Santa Marta the character of Tourist, Cultural and Historical District.

Santa Marta is the second oldest city in South America, has an unequaled architectural heritage that evokes the times of the banana bonanza. It’s most populated and commercial center is in the traditional central area, near the Plaza de Mercado. The plane between the first Carrera, 22nd Street and the Avenue of the Railroad, can frame the historical Center and commercial nucleus of the city.

Santa Marta also has the highest mountain in the world at sea level.

Santa Marta is 992 km from Bogota; Of Riohacha 166 km and of Barranquilla 93 km. The perimeter limits by the north and the west with the Caribbean Sea, by the east with the department of La Guajira and by the south with the municipalities of Aracataca and Ciénaga.



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Santa Marta Colombia Airport

Simón Bolívar International Airport of Santa Marta Colombia (IATA code: SMR, ICAO code: SKSM) has a domestic terminal, which includes the drop-offs for boarding in rooms 1 and 2, and an aircraft fueling station. Operates between 06:00 and 23:00 (expandable schedule).

It is located in the neighborhood Aeromar of the commune N ° 8 "Pozos Colorados - Don Jaca", 16 km from the center of the city, from where you can reach by the Caribbean Troncal.

It has radio navigation aids, which allows greater operating facilities for pilots and greater safety when operating in bad weather conditions.

The airport has restaurants and a shopping area, ATMs, currency exchange offices and car rental companies are located. On the outskirts of the main building has an underground parking with a capacity for 170 cars, 44 for motorcycles, and urban bus stops.


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General Information of the Cultural and Historic District of Santa Marta

The symbols of the city of Santa Marta is the bicolor flag composed of white and sky blue and shield blue border of blue also, from the top to the bottom are three images: the Virgin Mary, a tower and a small boat four oars.

Political-Administrative Organization Santa Marta

Urban Area: The urban structure of the city is defined by nine communes.

Rural Area: The area consists of rural districts and urban settlements such as:

Maria Eugenia - Pando
Central commune
Pescaíto - Almendro - Juan XXIII
Sports - The Garden
Santa Fe - Bastidas
Mamatoco - November 11
Gaira - Rodadero
Pozos Colorados - Don Jaca
Park - Bureche
Bonda (township)
Calabazo (Hamlet)
Guachaca (township)
Minca (township)
Taganga (township)
Buritaca (Ciudad Perdida or Teyuna) (Hamlet)
Tigrera (Hamlet)
Cabins of Buritaca (Hamlet)
Canaveral (Cold Water) (Hamlet)
Calabazo Hills (Hamlet)
Curvalito (Hamlet)
Guacoche (Hamlet)
Marquetalia (Hamlet)
Peace Caribbean (Hamlet)
Perico Aguao (Hamlet)
The hills
The Trompo
The Aguacatera
machete Pelao
Valle de Gaira
White beach

Santa Marta Hydrography

The city is bisected by the Manzanares and Gaira rivers, which originate in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and flow into the Bay of Santa Marta on the beaches popularly known as Coconuts, and port Gaira, respectively. Also at its origin and first stretch the river Manzanares called Bonda river whose water is suitable for bathers. As it flows into the urban area, after passing through Mamatoco the river continues its course near the Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino, neighborhoods bordering the south side of Avenida del Rio and when enters the street 30, and has received the waters of the creek Tamacá finally in the last part of the route passes through the neighborhood of the same name.

The Manzanares River that at some point proveyera clean water to the first settlers, is now an icon in the city of environmental imbalance due to erosion of its banks and pollution. The Gaira River in its lower part runs through the commune of Gaira-Rodadero in the south, in the upper part runs through the corregimineto Minca.

Hidden in the Woods, Santa Marta also is bathed by the Stones, Guachaca, Mendiguaca, Buritaca, Don Diego and Palomino river, which forms a natural boundary with the department of La Guajira, east and south by rivers Toribio and Cordoba which makes natural limte in its final stretch with the municipality of Cienaga.

Islote del Morro - Santa Marta

According to historians of the city, the Morro was instrumental in the history of the city since its foundation, as the conquistadors saw it as a reference point of the town of Santa Marta. It was used in defense of pirate attacks to be constructed in Fort Morro.

Terrestrial Ecosystems of Santa Marta

Sierra Nevada, Mountainous Rain Forest (bp-M) top bottom and Monte Tropical Thorny (I-T) lower background Monte Tropical Thorny (I-T):

Located on a narrow strip that runs along the Caribbean coast from Punta Brava, south of Santa Marta, to tip Quitasombrero at Cove Neguanje, in a width of about five km and a length of 28 km, the vegetation is dominated primarily by columnar cacti and thorny shrubs with small leaves and deciduous, and demonstrate a predominance of trees and shrubs such as guamucho, piñuela, tuna, naked Indian, trupillo and others of this training, the list is would be endless.

Tropical Dry Forest (bST):

It presents as weather and orthographic characteristics heights ranging from approximately 1,100 m; average annual rainfall between 1000 and 2.100mm and a temperature above 24 ° C, you can define three periods of lluviosidad: i) a complete for the months of December, January, February, March and April still drought; ii) medium for the months of June, July and August lluviosidad; and iii) a period of great lluviosidad that for the months of May, September, October and November. The list is endless trees and shrubs that grow in this area; suffice it to say that this training is highly productive, especially when the lands are supplemental irrigation on plant formation is tending to disappear because of the continuing corporation of these intensive systems of agriculture and livestock.

Very Humid Sub-tropical forest (BMH-ST):

It takes place in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta between 1,500 m and 2,500 m above sea level and corresponds in Colombia to "Ring Cafetero" with climatic limits that vary between 17 to 24 ° C temperature and 2,000 to 4,000 mm of average annual rainfall.

Wet Forest Mountainous Low (BMH-MB):

Located in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta between heights ranging from 2500 to 3200 m above sea level, about and with climatic values ranging from 12 to 18 ° C with an average annual rainfall of 4,000 mm .; to 2,000 the terrain is very steep and uneven with streams and rivers running through steep and deep canyons without forming alluvial valleys, such that in the rainy season give room for violent floods and landslides, much sharper this phenomenon when zones are devoid of tree cover.

Mountainous Wet Forest (BMH-M):

It takes place in the upper parts that remain exposed to moist winds and corresponding to the names of Paramo and subpáramo. According Cuatrecasas. His training starts in places such having a height that reaches 3,500 meters above sea level, a temperature of 6 to 12 ° C and an average annual rainfall varies between 1,000 and 2,000 mm; given the amount of fog that supports called "cloud forest". The area where training takes place is very steep and craggy, becoming more broken as they ascend to the top of the mountain; within these mountains narrow valleys formed by streams of water at birth, then off to the lower formations are. Sited on the highest parts ponds or small lakes of incomparable beauty, remnants perhaps of ancient glaciations appear. Plants of this point have a typical structure that allows them to accommodate the special ecological conditions that support. Frailejón dominates the landscape of lamosas leaves, beautiful yellow inflorescences and a set of rosette leaves, typically moorland that Cuatrecasas called the biological type Caulirrósula.

Mountainous Rain Forest (bp-M):

It is located at altitudes ranging between 4,000 and 4,500 m above sea level, temperatures ranging from 6 to 12 ° C and the average annual precipitation must be greater than 2000 mm. It consists of shrubs and trees of small size, with sections covered with moss and lichen in such abundance that does not allow see the crust, because the branches are populated with quiches and epiphytes. Given the frequency of rains and drizzles happen, the atmosphere of this training is extremely wet, remaining cover region clouds good part of the year.

The formations of wasteland - rain - subalpine - alpine tundra and snowy storm are those found in high levels in which there are formations of snow and whose vegetation is dominated by grasses and scrubland consisting frailejones. Cuatrecasas, the moors called itself and superpáramo.

Marine Ecosystems - Coastal Santa Marta

Marine systems in the area of the Coastal Zone District of Santa Marta, are units that have a high functional relationship holds fishing, agriculture, trade, tourism and port activities; and they are represented by the following ecosystems:

Funds Continental Shelf:

This ecosystem covers about 95% of the continental shelf of Colombia, however, so far, the extent and precise location of the sedimentary funds of the Colombian continental shelf is not known. In the area of Santa Marta and Tayrona National Park it is extremely narrow and there is talk of a platform itself, because there the strong relief of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta continues directly as a steep slope (Molina, 1900; Corpes, 1992).

Reef formations:

Due to the influence of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the coast of Tayrona National Park and adjacent to the city of Santa Marta area, consists mostly of rocky cliffs. Over time the foothills of the Sierra Nevada have been eroded on the coast by marine action, exposing four types of metamorphic rocks (schist and phyllite), except in the area to the east of Cabo San Juan where the coastline is less steep and outcropping rocks are igneous diorite (Doolan and McDonald, 1976). These rock formations are still under the sea surface, usually no more than 30 m in depth, giving rise to an almost continuous coastal belt of varied reef systems.

Rocky Coastlines:

The rocks located in tidal areas offer numerous species; however they must be able to withstand the violent mechanical action of waves desiccation and temperature extremes (Rodriguez, 1988). These systems are formed by the rocky shores of the hills of Punta de Betín, San Fernando, Horn, Taganga, coves and bays of Tayrona National Park and between the sector and Jorará Don Diego.


They are very prone communities anthropogenic disturbances, causing regression process in the community that thus also affects the landscape, base of the economy and vital to the tourist area (Williams, 1990). There are recent examples in which the inadvertent destruction of the population of these angiosperms, many estuaries and marine habitats were damaged.

Sandy Beaches:

In these marine environments they are species that escape the reaction of waves, the effects of desiccation and extreme temperatures burrowing into the substrate as Emerita sp crustaceans, Ocypode sp, Callinectes sp, Calappa ocellata , Lupela sp., carcinoma guanhumi and some amphipods. Bay of Santa Marta has a number of characteristics determined by their exposure to wind and found the front of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, which reaches great heights and determines changes in the direction and speed of winds collide against it , and the distribution of rainfall (Muller 1979).


Mangroves are considered as a form of ecosystems with the highest biological productivity on the planet, reaching estimated that 2/3 of the population of tropical fish in the world depend on mangrove areas and their detritus mainly by the availability of food and shelter (Day and Yañez-Arancibia, 1982; Torres and Rivera, 1989). Mangrove forests serve as a place of shelter, food and nesting of various species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, among others. Larvae and juveniles of vertebrates and invertebrates are protected against predation in the roots of Rhizophora mangle and capture food that is subsequently exported to the sea when consumed or when, as adults, are set on the reef, open or prairie sea of the continental shelf (Prahl et al, 1989).

In District Mangrove Forests are located in the Tayrona Park (Neguanje bays, Gayraca, Cinto and Chengue, among others), with a high degree of force. The little development of mangroves in the region of Santa Marta is due to the non-presence of permanent freshwater flows and a few suitable soils for its establishment. Plant species that constitute this type of vegetation in the Coastal Zone are R. mangle (red mangrove or red), A. germinans (salao mangle, white or tight), L. racemosa (mangrove bobo or yellow) and C. erecta ( Zaragoza mangle or piñuelo), (Manjarrés-García, 1990).


In the Neotropical region, the importance of wetlands, has traditionally been ignored. The Ramsar Convention sees wetlands as areas of marsh, fen, peatland, water bodies, natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, stagnant, flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth low tide does not exceed 6 m, also they can understand the areas of its banks or adjacent coasts and islands lying within the wetlands (Guerrero, 1998).

Wetlands district territory are among the most threatened habitats, some are in accelerated alteration due to the deterioration of natural processes as a result of agriculture, urbanization, pollution, the suitability of land for tourism infrastructure and other process intervention in the ecological and hydrological systems, as well as uncontrolled hunting and fishing.


This type of ecosystem also occurs in the area of the Tayrona National Park. In some sectors or some sandy dunes prominences are formed, which are colonized by a halophytic vegetation of Batis maritima and Sessuvium portulacastrum. In addition to the above, there is a psammophyte timberline consists of coccoloba uvifera (sea grape), Chrysobalanus icaco (icaco), manchineel Manzanilla death, Prosopis juliflora (trupillo) and (apple tree) and dense populations of Sporobolus grass virginicus (Manjarrés-García, 1990).

Map of Santa Marta Colombia


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