Puerto Colombia. Formerly the main port on the coast of Colombia, it is now best known for its historic 4000’ pier. Within the last 50 years both the port and the pier have seen rapid deterioration.
Santa Marta. The oldest city in Colombia, it lies nestled between the Caribbean Sea and the Sierra Nevada mountain range. It is a tourist destination for its beaches and its national park.
Did you read all of that in Anthony Bourdain’s voice?
This post isn’t going to be at all like an episode of No Reservations. I don’t have much to share about either of these places, since I literally went to the beaches there and didn’t see much of town. The above pictures are from Puerto Colombia, on the beach in the neighborhood Pradomar. The beaches there are private beaches that cost $5,000 COP (about $1.65 USD) to enter, but they are really clean, and the price includes a chair, tables, an umbrella, and a little bed thing. They sell food and drink, but for a steep price. The public beaches there are free, but the only shade to be found is in the cabañas that are only for rent and there’s a decent amount of garbage on them. Food can be bought from vendors.
These pictures are all from a corregimiento (a community within a larger municipality) of Santa Marta called Rodadero. The beach there is clean, and single chairs can be rented for $3,000 (about $1) and plopped in the shade of the trees, or you can rent a little tent with chairs for more. There are countless vendors on the beach, more than you really want to have to deal with all the time, selling food, drink, hats, sarongs, massages, and fake tattoos. From there you can take a boat trip to a more hidden beach called Playa Blanca. There are fewer vendors there, but I personally wouldn’t recommend it because the sand is super grainy and hurty. The white house towards the middle of the bottom-left picture supposedly belongs to a big vallenato star.
This is the little buseta that about 19 of us took to Santa Marta. On the right are adorable friends Maya and Rocky, sleeping like creeps.
Every time I go to the beach, I find myself hating the salty ocean water less and less. There’s something about the vastness of the sea and the power of the waves that’s making me love it, and making me feel absolutely impossibly lucky to be here on the coast of Colombia.