Published: June 24th 2012June 23rd 2012
The city of Santa Marta, situated on the shores of the Caribbean, was founded in 1525. It is also where Simon Bolivar died in 1830. Prior to the takeover of the country by the Spanish there were various indigenous groups living in the area including the Tayrona and after whom the Tayrona National Park, which is close to Santa Marta, has been named. The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is the highest mountain range by the sea so the scenery is quite spectacular.
Since our plane from Bogota was over one hour late, it was almost 11pm by the time we finally arrived at our apartment. Like our Villa de Leyva accommodation, the apartment was provided courtesy Alvaro & Gloria. Our first full day was spent sussing out the place; a huge complex with its own private beach, tennis courts, a golf practise area, swimming pool and various cafes, restaurants and bars. By the afternoon of our first day a wild sorm hit giving us the most spectacular electrical storm and necessitating an evening in with room service.
There were security guards everywhere at the resort - Irotama XX1 - even, we discovered, along the beach. Deciding to dip
our feet in the Caribbean, as we headed from the water to he resort we were challenged by one of the guards; the production of our resort identity card saved the day. The resort itself isn't that fully booked; there are almost more staff than guests but at least the place is employing plenty of Colombians. On the Friday we caught the bus from our resort into Santa Marta, arriving about 10am. Kev had had enough of the hustle and bustle of the place, the traffic and the constant bipping of car horns that he caught the midday bus back to our resort while I stayed to wander around and explore more of the town. There are lots of street markets and venders in Santa Marta. There are venders walking around selling sunglasses, drinks etc. For many people in Colombia the daily struggle must be immense; it really makes you realise what an easy privileged life we lead.
We spent the last full day at the resort just lazing; on the hammock on the verandah, around the pool and going for a swim in the Carribean. Kev put in more of an effort than me; I only managed to
get my feet wet. The water was quiet warm; the sand was the dark volcanic variety making the sea murky so that you couldn't see the bottom. In view of all that the pool was the much better option.
Being a great fan of lobster Kev ate one at La Barra Viva restaurant which he was pretty pleased about. We're just back from another meal and about to pack again ready for our departure to Cartagena about three and a half hours drive away. This time we'll be catching a bus
There are more photos below