Colombia: Our First Time in Santa Marta Colombia
Dear Travel Diary,
As Avianca made its approach to Simón Bolívar International Airport looking out the window with all of the childish anticipation and wonder one can contain, I couldn't help but feel, 'oh my, from above, Santa Marta reminds me of the Caribbean', and rightfully so, because Santa Marta is a city on the Caribbean sea in the northern Colombian department of Magdalena. Also, I was told that Santa Marta is the first Spanish settlement in Colombia. A coastal city, a calm city.
Upon the arrival at the local airport, Simón Bolívar International Airport, which reminded me of Piarco International Airport in Trinidad & Tobago, the way it was before the modernizations, small, charming, and quickly too exit, I could not wait to exit those doors into the Santa Marta air, I got a taste of it as we deplaned, but with the exhaust fumes etc., eh, I wanted that real air combined with the ocean air, and I was not disappointed. The heat hit me and I instantly felt I was at home. It's weird how a little thing like air whipping around you can catapult you back to a place and time of your life that's just LIFE for you.
Santa Marta is very much both a laid-back and adventurous destination. It's the gateway to multiday treks to The Lost City (Teyuna), which was built in 800 AD by the “Tayronas” who already resided there, a very, very long time before the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadors. The archaeological site is located in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains, which are an isolated mountain range separated from the Andes chain that runs through Colombia, and of course the always amazing Tayrona National Natural Park.
Santa Marta seemed familiar, much like the renewing of an old friendship lost long ago. The food is very diverse with international restaurants, but I love the local/coastal food, you know, the fried foods, empanadas, carimanola, arepas, sancocho (soup), salchipapa, mazorca(corn on the cob), and then some.
Truly a destination for the adventurous and water lovers.