Santa Marta Cruises
Santa Marta, Colombia's oldest city, is situated on the Caribbean coast and boasts a fine natural harbor, beaches and a splendid view. That is only part of the reason the Spaniards chose this as their first settlement. Their choice was also influenced by gold.
Founded by the Spanish explorer Rodrigo de Bastidas in 1525, Santa Marta was often sacked by corsairs in the 16th century. During colonial times, the city was important as an outlet for the Magdalena River Valley. It remained royalist during the revolution and was liberated in 1821 and became a refuge for Simon Bolivar, who died at the nearby San Pedro de Alejandrino village.
Santa Marta is known as the gateway to the Ciudad Perdida or 'Lost City' of the Tairona Indians, a pre-Columbian community known for their gold and pottery.
Outside the city, attractions include the natural splendors of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and the National Park Tairona, one of the prettiest parks in South America and the Caribbean.