10-Days Along the Colombian Caribbean Coast
Embark on an enthralling exploration of the Colombian Caribbean Coast, where cultural wonders, mouthwatering cuisine and breathtaking conservation blend seamlessly. This carefully curated itinerary is your family's passport to guided adventures, unique escapades and the perfect blend of leisure and excitement.
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Where to stay
Just moments from the beach and other local attractions of Ibiza, with a generous swimming pool, entertainment and games, perfect for the active family.
Irotama Resort, Santa Marta
Discover paradise at Irotama Resort, where turquoise waters meet golden sands in Santa Marta's ultimate beachfront escape.
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Day 1: Sun-kissed welcome at Santa Marta
Touch down at Santa Marta Airport (SMR) and transfer to your beachside haven. Dive into your resort's refreshing pools and private beach. Savor divine dining options, nightly entertainment and cultural delights right on-site.
Day 2: The treasures of Tayrona National Park
Set off on a guided hike through Tayrona National Park's lush rainforests and pristine beaches. Unearth the ancient Tairona people's legacy and the cultural wonders of their descendants, the Kogui. With various hiking options suited to your stamina and preferences, this adventure caters to kids and adults alike. As you trek, embrace encounters with wildlife, sea dips and tantalizing paletas (popsicles) from local vendors. Savor a casual outdoor lunch at the park's restaurants. For an enchanting return journey, opt for a horse ride, spotting howler monkeys in the treetops along the way.
Day 3: Minca’s charms
Nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Santa Marta, a highlight not to be missed is the Marinka Waterfalls, a twin set of lush jungle cascades embraced by the forest. Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature as you swim in deep pools, relax in giant hammocks and relish the offerings of the onsite café. Next, step into history at La Victoria Coffee Farm, established in 1892. Delve into the journey of coffee cultivation, witnessing the transformation from cherry to cup. Don't miss the chance to bring home a piece of this legacy with La Victoria brand coffee available for purchase. Before leaving the mountain oasis, indulge your senses at Siembra Boutique Hostel, where picturesque jungle vistas provide the backdrop for a sumptuous meal. Dine on the open-air patio, birdwatching as you savor locally-sourced delicacies. Vegetarian and vegan options are aplenty, guaranteeing a feast for all tastes.
Day 4: Santa Marta sojourn
Founded in 1525, Santa Marta is the oldest city in Colombia and the historical center is charming and well-preserved. Discover Santa Marta's historical gems, from Santo Domingo Convent to Tayrona Gold Museum. Relish a day of exploration and gastronomic indulgence.
Day 5: Taironaka trail
Embrace the morning with a hike to Taironaka Archeological Park, nestled in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Conceived by visionary Captain Francisco Ospina Navia, who originally aimed to cultivate tropical flowers, this park now reveals the hidden remnants of the Tairona civilization that thrived from 200 CE to 1600 CE. Delve into its terraces, paths and pottery, while supporting ancestral heritage preservation, Kogui values and nature conservation. Engage in the indigenous rituals of the Tairona descendants, the Kogui, or enjoy traditional weaving or language lessons. Your participation provides economic support that contributes to the community's thriving future.
After an enlightening Taironaka encounter, brace for an exhilarating guided tubing expedition down the serene Don Diego River. Its tranquil waters invite you to unwind amid scenic wonders. As you glide downstream, a waiting boat ferries you to the estuary, where the river embraces the Caribbean Sea. A voyage upstream ushers you to an enticing lunch spot at a local eatery, a perfect ending to a day of immersion and adventure.
Day 6: Barranquilla bonanza
Embark on a flavorful road trip to Cartagena through Barranquilla, a culinary melting pot. This city's delectable gastronomic scene is a testament to the influences of Arab, German, Italian, Chinese and other immigrants. Pause here for a lunch break that promises a mouthwatering experience, celebrating a fusion of flavors.
Day 7: Cartagena chronicles
Start your day by ascending to La Popa Monastery, perched atop a hill, offering unparalleled vistas of Cartagena. Behold the city's splendor from this elevated vantage point. Then, proceed to the grandeur of Fort San Felipe de Barajas, a towering testament to Spanish might in Latin America. A must for adventurers of every age, the Aviation Museum awaits. Dive into a world of hands-on exhibits and interactive displays, perfect for kids and the young at heart. Cool off and unwind at your hotel's inviting pool or bask on the beach. Take a moment to savor the tranquility and soak in the coastal charm, letting the day's adventures settle in.
Day 8: Walled city wonder
The Walled City beckons you to explore its enchanting realm. Stroll atop its historic walls, uncovering the splendor of plazas, houses and churches. Dive into the vibrant Getsemani area, where colorful graffiti art adorns the streets and local artisans offer their creations. Indulge in a 1-hour chocolate-making workshop, an ode to Colombia's rich biodiversity. Discover the secrets of Colombian cacao, renowned for its unique sweetness. Embrace the art of chocolate creation, crafting molds with cocoa butter-based paints and adorning handmade chocolate with your chosen toppings. This experience, recommended for ages 4 to 13, unveils a world of flavors, textures and creativity. Afterward, roam the captivating streets of Cartagena's Walled City at your own pace. Alternatively, return to your haven to savor a well-deserved relaxation.
Day 9: Rhythms of La Boquilla
Embark on a guided journey to the charming fishing village of La Boquilla, a quick hop from Cartagena. Immerse yourself in a private drumming and dancing workshop, a one-of-a-kind experience. Engage with cultural traditions as you learn the lively Afro-Colombian rhythms like cumbia, mapalé and champeta through hands-on drumming. Dive into the sea's embrace, relishing a refreshing dip before making your way back to Cartagena. The afternoon offers a canvas for exploration in the Walled City or a blissful retreat at your hotel, where leisure is yours to embrace.
Day 10: Farewell breeze
Bid adieu to your coastal haven and journey back home, laden with unforgettable memories.
Need to Know
For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Sally Hadley’s guide, Isla Mujeres, a Mexican Island in the Caribbean Sea.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to the Caribbean.