Another famous city in the Caribbean sea is Santa Marta. There was an enormous difference to me in comparing Santa Marta to Cartagena. I found Santa Marta to be more modern and upscale and also more relaxed and even less touristy. The city has several beaches within a 20 minute drive above is the main beach along the downtown part of the city with some of the modern buildings seen below. While I definitely enjoyed Cartagena, if I was offered a free trip between the two I’d definitely pick Santa Marta.
Santa Marta has some good night life and plenty of nice bars to visit. On the left is the city’s light house as the sunsets taken from the beach. The gazebo on the right was in one of the several city parks and was surrounded by lots of restaurants and vendors selling food and playing live music.
Above is one of the many alleys in Santa Marta that are lined with small cafes, bars and restaurants. These are only for walking and most of the restaurants here have outside seating and seem to be busiest during the night. On the right is a photo of Ibiza cafe which it seemed to be a bran new bar but was on the expensive side. I felt really bad for the owners because it seemed they had put so much effort into the place but it was always empty every time I passed by. I seriously meant to have a drink here but never got around to it!
Santa Marta is just as enjoyable in the day time as it is in the evening. On the left is a clown who has gathered several spectators as he entertained them with tricks and by pulling random kids out of the crowd. On the right is an example of some of the architecture of the old city.
Here are two shots of some locals, a man on the left who was selling scarves and Colombian style hats. At first I wasn’t sure if the woman on the right was just out partying or if she was some type of show dancer, but a local told me she must have been a professional dancer.
Something else famous about Santa Marta is being the place of death for Simon Bolivar who lead the revolution against Spain. Simon Bolivar died young in his late 40s from tuberculosis while in the city. In 2008 the president of Venezuela Hugo Chavez had his body exhumed to see if he had been poisoned or murdered. Nothing was found to support this so it’s still believed he died of the disease. His tomb had once been in the Santa Marta church seen below, but after Venezuela became a separate nation he was buried there. Just outside the main part of the city is a large memorial and park dedicated to Simon Bolivar which shows different parts of his life and death and the fight against the Spanish empire.
Within Simon Bolivar’s memorial is also a colony of iguana’s. The only reason I noticed the one on the upper left is because he made a loud noise after he almost fell out of the tree. After I saw him I noticed there were dozens if not hundreds of iguanas in the park, some high up in the trees. I knew iguanas had the ability to climb but still I assumed they never went too far from the ground. On the photo on the right there is an Iguana about three quarters up the tree in one of the largest branches, probably about 50 feet off the ground.