Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Park
Hiking is the park’s most popular activity, although there are several ways to experience the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Park, the second oldest in Colombia. Take a multi-day trek to the Lost City; venture deep into the region’s indigenous heartland in Nabusimake, the spiritual home of the Arahuaco people; visit the mountain town of Minca; or tour coffee farms. Most excursions to the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Park include round-trip transportation and dedicated guides. Visits to the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Park are often combined with time in the neighboring Tayrona National Park.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Birders won’t want to miss the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Park, which is home to Colombia’s top birding location—the El Dorado Bird Reserve.
- Look out for any number of animals, such as jaguars, condors, and tapirs, in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Park.
- Coffee and cocoa cultivation is prominent in the region so pick up some samples of both to take home with you.
- Visitors must show proof of tetanus and Yellow Fever vaccinations dating from at least 10 days prior to their visit.
- The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Park is not wheelchair or stroller accessible.
How to Get There
Situated across the departments of Magdalena, La Guajira, and César, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Park is accessible from several places in northern Colombia. However, Santa Marta is the most popular gateway and most excursions from there into the national park include round-trip transportation.
When to Get There
There’s no bad time to visit the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Park, which is accessible year-round. For the Lost City trek, visit in the cooler winter months to avoid the worst of the region’s humidity. Meanwhile, birders should visit outside the April-May and October-November rainy seasons for the greatest chance to spot rare and endangered birds.
National Parks in Colombia Colombia is one of the most biodiverse nations on earth and the wealth of national parks proves it. For languid beach days, Tayrona National Park is unbeatable, while Serranía de la Macarena is home to the impressive Caño Cristales (River of Five Colors). For snow-capped peaks, don’t skip the Sierra Nevada del Cocuy National Park.
- Lost City (Ciudad Perdida)
- Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino
- Marine World Aquarium (Mundo Marino Acuario)
- El Rodadero
- Carlos El Pibe Valderrama Statue
- Santa Marta Historic Center (Centro Historico de Santa Marta)
- Playa Blanca
- Tayrona Gold Museum (Museo del Oro Tairona)
- Tayrona National Park (Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona)
- Crystal Beach (Playa Cristal)