Santa Marta and the Sierra Nevada
One of the first trips within Colombia led us to Santa Marta and the Sierra Nevada.
Santa Marta was one of the first Spanish settlements in South America. It was founded in 1525 by the discoverer Rodrigo de Bastidas. An interesting historical person and if you want an early human rights activist. We recommend to google his story. There are many nice cafes with very good coffee ☕️ . We felt that the prices are in general lower than in Minca or Palomino.
It is a popular tourist city in Colombia and good starting point for tours to Tayrona, to the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and many other destinations. It is very lively and a bit noisy. While we weren’t that impressed by Santa Marta (ok, the historic centre is nice and the streets a lively, but not that extraordinary) we were really impressed by the Sierra Nevada and its rich nature. It is so deep green everywhere! You’ll see there many plants that you might know as a houseplant, but not a few centimetres high (as they are in a flower pot) – here in the Sierra Nevada they can grow op to several meters! A real tropical jungle!
Starting from Minca and Palomino we did several hikes to enjoy the amazing nature there. The pictures can’t really capture the richness and beauty of the these.
We’ve also visited a coffee and cacao farm “La Victoria”. It is one of the oldest farms in the of northern Colombia. We’ve attended there a cacao tour (because we wanted to do a coffee tour later during our trip to the coffee region. This coffee farm produces also some quite decent craft beer (named: Happy Tucan, Happy Nebbi, Happy Coca, and Happy Colibrí). Cheers!
Palomino is a settlement on the Caribbean coast of Colombia and located in the Guajira region (the most northern part of Colombia). You can find a nice beach there but also access the Sierra Nevada 🌿🌱🌳 and its rich nature. It is quite popular among backpackers 🎒 and it seems that it is becoming increasingly popular also among other tourists.
One of the nice things to do there is “Tubing”. You go up the hills (usually with a Motorbike [called Mototaxi] and at least some uphill hiking) and go down the Rio Palomino with the tube. The views are amazing!! The river is quite calm and also not really deep. On the first glance, we thought that this is quite ‘touristic’, but we really enjoyed the relaxing approach to discover the landscape and see it as a good complement to the hikes in this area.
However, the main attraction in this area is for sure the beautiful nature with all its waterfalls, animals and spectacular views. We hope that eco-tourism helps to keep this place in good condition.