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Magdalena

Our most recommended things to do in Magdalena

Santa Marta: Multi-Day Trek to The Lost City

1. Santa Marta: Multi-Day Trek to The Lost City

Embrace your inner explorer with a multi-day trek through the jungle from Santa Marta to the Lost City. Follow an experienced professional guide through the Colombian jungle, learning about the flora and fauna as you go. Encounter the archaeological site of an ancient city in Santa Marta's Sierra Nevada, believed to have been founded around 800 CE, some 650 years earlier than Machu Picchu. Choose between a 4,5 or 6-day trek. See a series of 169 terraces carved into the mountainside, a network of tiled roads, and several small circular plazas. Access the entrance by climbing up 1,200 stone steps through dense jungle. 4 or 5-Day Trek Day 1 - The adventure to the Lost City starts around 9:30 AM with a 3-hour drive by 4WD to El Mamey, a place where you will have lunch and begin the trek in search for the sacred place of the Tayronas. The first day will consist of a smooth walk of about 4 hours (approximately 7.6 km). Stop at the Lookout Las Tres Cruces for a snack and taste delicious fruits. Relax at some natural pools and waterfalls to refresh before arriving at the first camp in the end of the afternoon. Dinner and overnight stay. Day 2 - The day begins with a nice breakfast early in the morning, before you start to walk towards the Wiwa camp. This is located by the riverside of Buritaca River, where you can enjoy a refreshing bath, rest and have lunch. From there, follow the adventure into the jungle where you will find plenty of houses that form part of a Kogui indigenous village called Mutanyi. Continue the trek until reaching the camp where you will rest for the second day. The whole trek consists of about 7 hours or 14.7 KM, mostly uphill with some downhill while enjoying the rich biodiversity of the place. Dinner and overnight. Day 3 - Very early in the day you will be served breakfast before starting the trek towards the highlight of the trip. Climb up 1,200 steps in a trail constructed by Tayrona people to reach the stunning Lost City, surrounded by a deep, vast and mythical jungle. Your guide will show you everything related to this magical place full of relics and ancestral stories and you can spend the morning enjoying the landscapes & taking pictures. Finally, you will start trekking back to the same camp that you left in the morning. Have lunch before continuing towards the Wiwa camp where you will spend the night. Again, this will be around a 7 hours day trek but only with 6 KM of uphill and downhill tracks. Dinner and overnight. Day 4 - You will have an early breakfast before beginning the 2-hour walk towards the camp where you spent the first night. When arriving, the group will be divided between the people who are doing the 4 or 5-day tour. For the people who are on the last day, you will have a short rest accompanied by fruit and water before continuing the trekking for another 4-hours until reaching El Mamey where you will have lunch and hop in a 4 WD jeep that will take you back to Santa Marta. For the people who decided on the 5-day tour, you will be served lunch and spend the rest of the day relaxing at the camp where you can observe the views, relax and interact with others before spending the night. Dinner and overnight. Day 5 - The last day begins with the breakfast before walking to El Mamey, place where you will have lunch and the 4 WD jeep will take you back to Santa Marta. 6-Day Trek Day 1 - The adventure to the Lost City starts around 9:30 where a 4 WD jeep will take you on a 3-hour drive to El Mamey, a place where you will have lunch and begin the trek in search for the sacred place of the Tayronas. The first day will consist of a smooth walk of about 4 hours walking for 7.6 KM where we will stop at the Lookout Las Tres Cruces to have a snack and taste delicious fruits and at some natural pools & waterfalls to relax and refresh before arriving at the first camp in the end of the afternoon. Dinner and overnight. Day 2 - The day begins with a nice breakfast early in the morning, before you start to walk towards a indigenous reserve where you will have the opportunity to learn about the Wiwas & Koguis cultures. You will spend the day in the second camp enjoying the river and the cultural exchange. The whole trek consists of only 3 hours in relatively smooth terrain. Dinner and overnight. Day 3 - You will begin the descent towards the Buritaca river valley after breakfast, where during the tour, you will find some indigenous housing that forms a small community known as the Mutanyi. From there, you will continue on the path to the next camp. In that journey, enjoy a bath in one of the rivers, learn about the flora and fauna and have some breaks to rest up. The whole trek consists of 5 hours, with some ups and downs. At night enjoy stories and adventures narrated by the guides in the camp. Dinner and overnight. Day 4 - Very early in the day, you will be served breakfast before starting the trek towards the highlight of the trip. You will climb up 1,200 steps in a trail constructed by Tayrona people to reach the stunning Lost City, surrounded by a deep, vast and mythical jungle. Your guide will show you everything related to this magical place full of relics and ancestral stories and you can spend the morning enjoying the landscapes & taking pictures. Finally, you will start trekking back to the same camp left in the morning to have lunch to continue towards the camp where you will spend the night. This will be around a 7 hours day trek but only with 6 KM of uphill and downhill tracks. Dinner and overnight.  Day 5 - After breakfast, begin the journey towards Santa Marta. This will be a 2-hour trek to the camp where you will be served lunch and spend the rest of the day chilling at the as you observe the views, relax and interact with others before spending the night. Dinner and overnight.  Day 6 - The last day begins with the breakfast before walking to El Mamey, place where we will have lunch and the 4 WD jeep will take you back to Santa Marta.

Santa Marta: Tayrona Park Hiking Tour & San Juan Cape Visit

2. Santa Marta: Tayrona Park Hiking Tour & San Juan Cape Visit

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Tayrona National Natural Park during this full-day walking trip. Discover lush forests, stroll along pristine beaches, admire Playa Cabo de San Juan, and savor a traditional Caribbean meal. Explore Tayrona National Natural Park during this private full-day hiking tour. Inhale the fragrance of sun-drenched nature as you observe fauna which have made this paradise their home. Experience one of the world's most beautiful beaches and enjoy authentic Caribbean cuisine. Wander about this natural haven on the Caribbean coast, northeast of Santa Marta, one of South America’s oldest cities. Luxuriate in the golden sunshine as you take in lush flora set against the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Hike along the coast from Cañaveral, pause at the boulder-strewn Playa Arrecife known for its powerful currents, and continue on to La Piscina. Enclosed with rocks, and mild and shallow, this pool is ideal for swimmers of varying skill levels. Playa Brava sits off the beaten path, a secluded beach nestled amid lush vegetation. Tranquil and serene, it is quieter compared to the highly popular Cabo de San Juan beach. To sunbathe on white sands and snorkel in clear water, walk to Playa Cristal and nibble on grilled seafood as well. Playa Cabo de San Juan a verdant paradise, is the park’s main attraction. Giant palms wave along the shore and massive boulders rise out of the water. Snorkel, swim, and settle down to a traditional Caribbean lunch afterwards. Sunbathe in the golden sunshine and end your day on a glittering high.

From Santa Marta: Marinka Waterfalls 4x4 Tour with Transfer

3. From Santa Marta: Marinka Waterfalls 4x4 Tour with Transfer

From Santa Marta, take a taxi for about 45 minutes through the foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta to find the small town of Minca. In the company of a local guide/driver. From there we will transfer to a 4x4 truck, we will take a trail for 30 minutes, in the middle of the journey you will be able to appreciate the exotic landscape surrounded by fauna and flora, with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. When we get off the truck we must walk approximately 15 minutes to reach the Marinka waterfalls. Being in Marinka waterfalls you will have space and free time to enjoy the spa, where you can bathe in the waterfalls, rest in the famous giant hammocks, take photos and of course enjoy a delicious armuerzo included. You can choose the return with prior notice between 02:00 and 04:00 pm, this will be along the same road to Minca, to transfer again to the taxi that leads us to Santa Marta.

Minca: Full-Day Coffee and Cocoa Tour from Santa Marta

4. Minca: Full-Day Coffee and Cocoa Tour from Santa Marta

From Santa Marta, embark on a 45-minute drive through the foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta to find the small town of Minca. In the company of a local guide, take a 2.5-hour nature walk passing waterfalls, natural swimming pools, and scenic views of the surrounding mountains.  The walk ends at a coffee farm, where you will learn about the coffee production process and it’s importance to Colombia’s culture. Enter a bamboo house where you will enjoy a gourmet lunch before learning about cocoa, its production, and derivatives.   At the end of the tour, return transfers will be provided to your hotel in Santa Marta.

Santa Marta: Cristal Beach Day-Trip

5. Santa Marta: Cristal Beach Day-Trip

After being collected from your Santa Marta accommodation, you will travel for 15 minutes by vehicle to the Neguanje sector and enter an area of ​​the Tayrona park (nature reserve). Once here you will be able to enjoy a spectacular sun day, before you board a boat for an 8-minute journey by the beautiful beaches of the Colombian Caribbean. You can then walk while enjoying an excellent view of the 7-wave viewpoint. Cristal Beach, also called Calm Beach, is the perfect setting for snorkeling and diving. Thanks to its beautiful clear, calm waters and white sands that allow it visitors to snorkel easily. It is widely considered one of the most beautiful and paradisaical beaches in Colombia, and is not to be missed when traveling through this area. Cristal Beach is located in a bay alongside many other small beaches. The water in these beaches, unlike the rest of the park, is very calm, and you will also find plains of unexploited, natural salt. There is also a small camping area, which is a spectacular alternative for accommodation and very different from the other sites that are close by.

Santa Marta: Museum of the Sea and Playa Blanca Beach Tour

6. Santa Marta: Museum of the Sea and Playa Blanca Beach Tour

You will be picked up from your accommodation a little before 9:00AM, from where you will go to the Rodadero sector. Once there you will board a boat to travel to the aquarium and Museum of the Sea. Once at the aquarium you will enjoy a live dolphin show throughout touring the museum for approximately 1.5-2 hours. Following your visit of the aquarium, you will return to the boat to make your way to Playa Blanca. In Playa Blanca you will spend between 3-4 hours throughout which you can enjoy the beach, sit in the sun, and have lunch. At 3:30PM you will board the boat to begin your return journey to the dock of the taxiway, and your tour will later conclude as you return to your accommodation at approximately 5:00PM.

From Santa Marta: Ciudad Perdida 4-day Trek

7. From Santa Marta: Ciudad Perdida 4-day Trek

Explore the scenic backcountry of Colombia on this 4-day trek to the legendary Ciudad Perdida hidden deep in the jungle. On this adventure hike, you'll pass through the beautiful hinterlands, unspoiled waterfalls, and majestic rivers, eventually reaching this amazing archaeological site. Depending on the length of the trek you choose, you’ll have time to visit some local indigenous villages along the way, swim in natural pools. You'll be camping each night in the lush wilderness of the Colombian Jungle.  Itinerary Day 1: Santa Marta – Mamey – 1st Camp (Lunch, Dinner) Your first day begins meeting between 7:30 AM and 8:30 AM to start a 3-hour road trip to a small town called El Mamey. There, you’ll stop for lunch at a local restaurant serving typical Colombian food. After lunch, the first trek begins. You'll have a 4-hour hike to the first campsite. When you reach the camp, you will have dinner and then the whole night to rest from your long day of trekking. Day 2: 1st Camp – Mutanzi – 3rd Camp (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) Wake up early and eat a quick breakfast before departing around 6 AM for a 2-hour trek to an indigenous village called Mutanzi. You will then walk for about 40 minutes from Mutanzi to the 2nd campsite where a delicious lunch will be served. Finally, rest for a while and get ready for one last 4-hour trek to the 3rd camp where you will dine and rest for the night. Day 3: 3rd Camp – Ciudad Perdida – 2nd Camp (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) After breakfast, leave camp around 6AM and hike to Ciudad Perdida, which you’ll reach around 7 AM. You'll enter by climbing 1200 stone stairs, and will have two hours to explore the ancient city set in the dense jungle. Your guide will give you a quick tour and be present to answer all of your questions. Afterwards, return to the 3rd campsite where you’ll have lunch and will be able to rest for a while. In the afternoon, get ready for a 4-hour trek back to the 2nd camp, where you’ll have dinner and stay for the night. Day 4: 2nd Camp – Mamey – Santa Marta (Breakfast, Lunch) After breakfast, the longest hike will take place. You will trek for 7-hours (mostly downhill) to El Mamey, where you’ll have lunch, as on Day 1. Your guide will then take you back to your hotel in Santa Marta where you'll arrive mid-afternoon.

Santa Marta Street Food Tour

8. Santa Marta Street Food Tour

Be picked up at 10:00 AM to head to Santa Marta's historical center and ride in the car to the most delicious places to taste local gastronomy. You will start with a stop to taste envueltos and the exquisite sauces that always join these recipes. There you will taste the typical Costeño cheese the best complement for yucca. You will continue to a hot spot of street food next to Santa Marta’s Cathedral. There you will be able to taste many foods offered and combine them with a delicious tropical fruit beverage. You will be surprised by the fruit offered at this place because for sure you’ll get to know some that you didn’t even know existed. Finally, you will end with one of the most iconic recipes of the Caribbean Coast, the Shrimp Ceviche. You will go to the best place in Santa Marta to eat this dish, where you can even upgrade it with delicious suggestions like avocado, octopus, or stingray. After this tasty experience, go back to your hotel.

Santa Marta: Guided Walking Food Experience

9. Santa Marta: Guided Walking Food Experience

In this experience, discover the unique flavors of the Caribbean region of Colombia with a local guide. Visit 7 places in the historical center of Santa Marta and sample a variety of traditional food and drinks. Next, visit multiple family-owned businesses and try arepas de huevo, cayeye, and other special dishes. Meet some of the most professional baristas in the region. In a single afternoon, learn about Caribbean Colombian culture through its food and history.

Minca: Day-Trip

10. Minca: Day-Trip

Close to Santa Marta, in Sierra Nevada's foothill lies the town of Minca. Famous for its dense forests, waterfalls, fresh climate and coffee farms, this place will amaze you with all richness and tranquility. After being picked up from your hotel in Santa Marta you will embark on a short uphill trip to Minca. Your first stop will be at La Victoria for a coffee tour that will make you understand the special traits of Sierra Nevada's coffee and the differences between coffee from other regions of Colombia. Here you will be able to taste the flavor and get to know the process it takes to produce a cup of coffee. Enjoying the mountainous scenery of Minca, and the faraway view of Santa Marta, you will make a stop for a delicious lunch. Afterward, you will go through the town of Minca to arrive at Marinka, a relaxing place surrounded by a dense forest and marvelous waterfalls. With just a short walk, you will be able to get as close as you like to the waterfalls and even bathe under their refreshing waters. If you like you may also rest at the large hammock beds while you enjoy the serenity of your surroundings. Finally, you will return to Santa Marta to return to your hotel.

Other Sightseeing Options in Magdalena

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What people are saying about Magdalena

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 22 reviews

The hike was aboslutely amazing. Our tour guide Luis and assistant Tatiana were great, they put a lot of effort to make us all happy and make the trek enjoyable. The food was absolutely amazing and it was great to get the fruits and refreshments on our way in between the camps. Also, many thanks to Luis to organise the cakes for the Birthdays guys - it was so lovely of him. Luis was super knowledgable and accommodating towards everyone’s pace of walk what I really appreciated. Overall, great experience- many thanks for your hard work Luis and Tatiana! We booked 5 days trek but I’d recommend to book 4 as on day 4 you’d spend half a day in a camp and there is not much do other than river swim. (which you would have done already earlier on) We came back on day 4 in the end and majority of peope do 4 days.

You should not miss this tour. It is a tough journey, but it is well worth it. Make sure you have good running shoes (half high), a good backpack and possibly sticks for support. The guide Magely was very good as was the translator Sebastián.

Alvaro was an awesome tour guide. He knew all the ins and outs of the city and was an excellent guide. Would definitely recommend him to all that want to see the inner city of Santa Marta and try the great food.

This tour was also very well organized. Food was great. The guide Giuliano was super good. Many Thanks. I can really recommend all the tours. We have done three tours so far.

I recommend it, great experience. Tayrona Park is a beautiful place on earth. We were shown around the park by a great guide who knew the terrain and conditions very well