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Parque de los Novios

Parque de los Novios

Santa marta parque de los novios

Just five, short blocks from La Brisa Loca, this quaint park is surrounded by cafes, bars, and restaurants. Whether it’s pizza, burgers, gelato, jugo de maracuya, Aguila or a Cuba Libre you crave, you’ll find it in Parque de los Novios.  At night, this tranquil daytime locale transforms into the central spot for nightlife and people watching in Santa Marta.  Walk over to the park and you’ll be bound to find something fun to do or some delicious food to satisfy a craving.

Where: 7 minute walk from La Brisa Loca, Carrera 3 in between Calle 19 and 20

Bahia Santa Marta

Bahia Santa Marta

A three minute walk from the hostel, leads you to the boardwalk (“malecon”) that wraps around Santa Marta’s ‘Bahia Principal’. There you will find an eclectic mix of vendors selling everything from shell necklaces to freshly sliced mangoes. Relax on the sand or at one of the many restaurants to take in the sights of this lively beach area.  Head down around 5:30 pm to savor a dazzling Caribbean sunset and possibly catch some fisherman bringing in their nets, as well.

Where: Carrera 1 (Bahia) and Calle 14

Parque Bolivar

PARQUE BOLIVAR

Located one block from La Brisa Loca, this park is the main square of Santa Marta where you’ll find “La Casa de la Aduana”, the oldest building in all of the Americas.  Alongside beautiful colonial Spanish architecture is a colorful array of other intriguing buildings, including the public library. Juan Valdez, next to ‘La Casa de la Aduana’, is a great place to sample some Colombian brew (iced coffee, anyone?) and relax in the shaded garden-like oasis. Opposite the coffee house, is the expansive brick square and green space that often houses public events such as free outdoor concerts and the Santa Marta 10K (in May). On any given day, you can stroll through the park, relax on one of the benches, and simply enjoy a little down time in the city.

Where: Carrera 1 to 3 between Calle 14 and 15

Cathedral

Cathedral

The cathedral in Santa Marta is the oldest in all of Latin America and is only two blocks from La Brisa Loca.  Head inside to view the old Spanish marble and majestic arches.  Across from the plaza is a small coffee shop where you can sit back and watch authentic daily life in Santa Marta unfold in front of you.

Where: Carrera 4 in between Calle 16 and 17

Quinta San Pedro Alejandrino

Quinta San Pedro Alejandrino

This botanical garden right outside of Santa Marta is home to the final resting place of Simon Bolivar, the liberator of Colombia (and many other Latin American countries) who was from Spain.  This guy is a Colombian hero. The memorial and museum in his old home, created to honor him, are impressive.  This excursion is a ‘must’ for history buffs.  In addition, keep your eyes peeled for the gigantic iguanas that lounge in the immense trees around the property.

Where: Mamatoco, 20 minute cab drive from the hostel and historical center

Tejo

TEJO

This Colombian game seems too good to be true.  Pairing hand eye coordination with beer and explosives…what could be a better way to enjoy a day in Latin America?  You’ll throw a metal puck (called a “tejo’) across a narrow pitch to a clay stand that has 2 packets filled with gunpowder placed on it.  It’s much harder than it sounds, but the reward is worth the effort.  When the tejo hits a packet…’BOOM’ goes the dynamite!  Throw in a few beers and this game makes for one heck of an entertaining night out.

Where: Calle 15 with Carrera 20