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Essential Guide to Barranquilla and Santa Marta

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Whether or not you're planning a trek to the Lost City, a visit to the starting point of the hike, Santa Marta, and Barranquilla, also part of Magdalena Province, should be. The coastal towns feature carefully-prepared fresh seafood, the nearby Tayrona National Park, museums, and much more. 
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Cra. 60 #6838, Barranquilla, Atlántico, Colombia
Barranquilla’s must-go eatery for exceptional, local, and home-style specialties prepares its meals using organic, locally sourced produce only. In a warmly decorated, landmark colonial residence, Donde Mamá serves up a Colombian...
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Cl. 36 #46 - 66, Barranquilla, Atlántico, Colombia
Colombians from the Caribbean coast, known as Costeños, are immensely proud of their cultural, musical, literary, and historical heritage, all of which are on display at this interactive museum. The country's famous shore stretches from the...
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Cra. 54 ##70-10, Barranquilla, Atlántico, Colombia
El Prado, a grand hotel that stands as a testimony to Barranquilla’s golden days as Colombia’s gateway to the world, is now on the nation’s registry of historic places. When it opened in 1930, it boasted of being the first luxury...
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Carrera 44 #72- 263, Barranquilla, Atlántico, Colombia
Barranquilla’s famed pre-Lenten carnival is the supreme forum for residents’ festive spirits, but that same dance-till-you-drop energy can be found all year round at La Troja, now in its 52nd year. The barroom is a no-frills, open-air...
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Cra. 43 #59-03, Barranquilla, Atlántico, Colombia
Founded in 1954, La Cueva, in the seaside town of Barranquilla, gained renown as a favorite watering hole of some of Colombia’s most famous artists, writers, and intellectuals, most notably the so-called Barranquilla Group—which...
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Murillo Toro y El Progreso #41, Barranquilla, Atlántico, Colombia
Parque de los Novios, in the center of Santa Marta’s colonial sector, is perfect for people-watching in the late afternoons when the tropical heat abates. Everyone from the gentry to the common folk—not to mention a plethora of brides...
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Santa Marta, Magdalena, Colombia
Ciudad Perdida (or “lost city”) is believed to have been a political and spiritual center for the people that inhabited the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta highlands around 800 C.E. Treasure hunters "discovered" the complex in the 1970s...
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Av. del Libertador - Sector San Pedro Alejandrino, Santa Marta, Magdalena, Colombia
The 17th-century estate where Simón Bolívar died in 1830 is the site of several Bolivar monuments as well as an art museum featuring works by Latin American artists inspired by Bolívar, the hero who freed Bolivia, Colombia, ...
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Magdalena, Colombia
Tayrona National Natural Park has become such a popular destination during typical vacation periods that authorities have had to limit admission. But an off-season visit offers singular luxuries like miles of all-but-solitary beaches, jungle...
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Santa Marta, Magdalena, Colombia

On the square in front of Santa Marta's cathedral and in the streets surrounding it, sidewalk vendors and stores sell handicrafts and traditional clothing, leather products, jewelry and other souvenirs. If you're looking for a more substantial...

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Mercado Público, Cl. 12 #8-81, Santa Marta, Magdalena, Colombia

Including more than 500 different vendors, the Santa Marta Market (Mercado Público) is a lively and colorful experience. You can wander among the exotic fruits and vegetables in one row of stores, see meat and poultry vendors in another and...

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Cra. 3 #19-29, Santa Marta, Magdalena, Colombia

Centrally located on Parque de los Novios, Ouzo serves the city's best Mediterranean dishes, including brick oven pizzas, seared octopus and roasted lamb with orzo. The chef and owner, Michael McMurdo, began his culinary career in New York City at...

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Cra. 3 ##16-30, Santa Marta, Magdalena, Colombia

Situated on a quiet alley just a few blocks south of Parque Simón Bolívar, Restaurante LamArt is known for its excellent ceviche, sea bass and steaks. In addition to the excellent dishes prepared by its kitchen, LamArt is a...

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Cl. 19 #2 - 17, Santa Marta, Magdalena, Colombia

Located on a corner facing Parque de los Novios and with a large shaded section of sidewalk dining, Donde Chucho manages to be rustic and sophisticated at once. The kitchen is known for its generous portions of expertly cooked seafood and...

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Santa Marta, Magdalena, Colombia

The views of the skyline of Gaira (once a separate town, near Playa Blanca, but now part of greater Santa Marta), the ocean, and the surrounding hills are part of the magical experience of dining at Burukuka, located right on the water. But it is...

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One of the best ways to see Santa Marta is on the waterfront promenade, the Paseo El Camellón (also known as the Paseo de Bastidas), which runs between the city's old port and the new marina. The palm tree–lined walk has several...

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Carrera 2 Parque Simón Bolívar, Santa Marta, Magdalena, Colombia

Part of the revitalization of the city of Santa Marta is this new addition to its cultural offerings. The Tayrona Gold Museum (Museo del Oro Tairona), named after the Tayrona culture, which dates back to at least 100 C.E., has a fascinating...