Sunday, January 8, 2017

Santa Marta, Colombia - Jan. 1-7, 2017

Santa Marta - Spectacular Sunsets and Beautiful Beaches

We, my wife Susann and our friend Christa, stayed in Zuana Beach Resort south of the city of Santa Marta. I never tired of journeying out in the late afternoon to catch the sun setting and the people playing and partying. 

We stayed on the 11th floor of the tower on the right. Quite the view!
Young people enjoying the beach.

I watched this fisherman for over half an hour, waiting for him to cast his net. But he never did. What patience!

This man was to my left and I heard him exclaim when he hooked himself.

And then I walked a little further down the beach after the sun set. 

Lights and flags at one of the resorts. 

A vendor at sunset. 

I managed to capture this chica as the flash illuminated her. 

"Ghosts" after sunset. 

These chicas posed nicely for me.

The last day in our resort, I headed out in the late afternoon, not expecting much of a sunset as the cloud looked to thick. But I did find some great photo ops anyway.

Makes me wonder why I played football and hockey when I was younger!

Riding into the sunset.

Indigenous women weaving their baskets.

And then, thinking that the show was over, I headed back to the hotel.

But then, as I neared the hotel, the sky just came alive! And once again, I wasn't disappointed. 

Los Vendedores

Many vendors ply various goods on the beach, but they aren't aggressive. 

And I enjoyed capturing the pelicans at work.



I soloed it to Taganga, a fishing village a 1/2 hour taxi ride from Santa Marta. I arrived there just after 7 a.m., just as the village was awakening. 

Many fishermen selling their catch.

And other vendors selling breakfast. 

Don't know if you can call her a "vendor," but to use the "baño" for an "especial" movement cost me 2000 pesos, about $2. For that I received some toilet paper and a pitcher of water. I thought the water was for washing my hands after, but when I unsuccessfully attempted to flush the toilet I realized it was for dumping into the toilet. 
Why just have a "happy hour" when you can have a "happy night"?

Playa Concha

After wandering around Taganga for about an your, I thought I'd take a taxi to Playa Concha, but upon learning that it would cost me almost $40, I opted for a bus back to the outskirts of Santa Marta. 

The sole rider in the first bus. 

I then took another bus towards Playa Concha, and the bus driver told me I could catch a "camioneta" (small truck) the rest of the way.

I sat in the back of the camioneta  for several minutes, and then the driver told me to get out. I did, and somehow ended up riding the rest of the way to Playa Concha on the back of a motorcycle, without a helmet, for 20-30 minutes down a dusty dirt road, with a driver who loved speeding and passing on corners. I saved about $20 doing this, but it wasn't enough to want to repeat it for the return trip.

Idyllic Playa Concha

Playa Concha was beautiful, but became increasingly crowded. After taking a few photos, savouring a cold one, and eating my lunch (although it was only 10:30) I caught a taxi for the return trip. We had just passed through the park entrance, whereupon this Jeep in the photo below tried to pass the car, right in front of us, and collided with it to avoid hitting us. Finally, after 15 minutes or so we were able to get on our way, but had only traveled about 15 minutes when, at a 3-way intersection, a van came out from the side street and smashed into our taxi's rear end. This ensued in another delay, and then we followed the van to a couple of garages where, I assume, they had the damage estimated. And on the back of the van was the sign: "Como conduzco?" (How's my driving?) And with a number to call. Well, his driving wasn't any worse than anyone else's; taxistas and bus drivers routinely pass on double lines around corners, speed, and tailgate.
"What to do?"

To Parque Nacionales Tayrona

We bused it to the park on Thursday, leaving our hotel at 8:30 in the morning. The bus into Santa Marta was standing room only, in stop and go traffic. From there, we caught a rustic bus to the park, again in bumper-to-bumper traffic for the first hour. But at least we had seats.

Santa Marta traffic. 

When we reached the park entrance, however, we discovered that it was full. And after three hours of traveling. (At least it only cost us a total of about $5 each for the buses.) Therefore, we walked up to a nearby "eco-resort."

Crossing the stream on the way to the "resort."

The resort entrance. 
Tasty cervezas, and not expensive (about $2).
A U.F.O.
We enjoyed a walk through the lush rainforest.

And then we caught the bus back to Santa Marta. On Saturday, I ventured into the city for a look around El Centro.

Lots of street vendors!

I like the "crazy" coco!

El Catedral

Devout pigeons!

And then I bought a smoothie from a street vendor

and strolled along the malecon. Beautiful, but busy, and I even saw some American tourists in off a cruise ship. The first English speakers I've seen all week.

And that brings to a close our week in Santa Marta. We're off to Cartagena next,  another seaside city, and even more popular with tourists. 

Hasta Luego!

Enjoying a glass on our hotel balcony. 


  1. Glad you survived the traffic! Looks like a nice warm place to be.

  2. blog is great, can't wait for the next update.

  3. Wow! So many adventures! When do I get to retire!

    1. I guess you could retire tomorrow, but then you wouldn't be able to afford to travel.