The Caribbean Coast, Colombia

According to TOP-MEDICAL-SCHOOLS, the most ancient cities of Colombia are located on the coast of the Caribbean Sea. There are many kilometers of beaches with resorts, the Caribbean lowlands and the highest coastal mountains in the world – the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, and the arid peninsula of Guajira. In the middle of the Caribbean coast of Colombia in the delta of the Magdalena River, the main seaport of the country is located – Barranquilla. The city is the administrative center of the Department of Atlantico. The date of its foundation is considered to be 1629. For many years since its inception, Barranquilla was the only transport artery that linked the interior of the Andes with the Caribbean coast along the Magdalena River, for which it received the name “Colombian Golden Gate”. In addition to the fact that the city still retains the status of the most important port, it is also one of the largest transshipment points on the route of drug distribution from South America to North America.

Every year in February-March, 4 days before the Day of Repentance, a colorful Carnival takes place in Barranquilla. This is one of the largest carnivals in the world, second only to the Brazilian Carnival in its scope. During the celebrations, parades and processions are held, as well as performances by creative groups. Barranquilla is a modern city with skyscrapers, banks, hotels, hotels and modern shopping centers. It is worth visiting the Anthropological Museum, the Museum of Natural History and the city zoo.

Off the coast just north of the city is the island of Salamanca ., which is protected by the state and has the status of a reserve. Relic wet forests and mangroves are spread in the reserve, which are inhabited by turtles and about 200 species of birds. Salamanca is one of the most important nesting sites for migratory birds in the Caribbean.

East along the coast about 100 km from Barranquilla in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is the city of Santa Marta . Santa Marta is known as one of the main tourist destinations on the Caribbean coast. The city is the capital of the department of Magdalena and an important seaport in Colombia.. Before the arrival of the Spaniards, the Tayrona Indians lived here, who were known as excellent goldsmiths. Small communities of descendants of the Tayrona Indians still live in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. 5 km from Santa Marta is Villa La Villa de San Pedro Alejandrino, where the first president of Colombia, Simon Bolivar, died on December 17, 1830.

In the vicinity of Santa Marta, numerous resort areas with white sand beaches stretch along the coasts: Playas Cristal, Playas Grande, Arrecifes, El Rodadero and Taganga (There are several dive sites in its vicinity). The waters of the Caribbean coast are calm as they are surrounded by coral reefs. Tayrona National Park, located 34 km east of Santa Marta, is also famous for its beaches and dive sites. The local beaches are considered among the most beautiful in the world, and diving enthusiasts can find a wide variety of corals and many tropical fish here. The park covers an area of 15,000 hectares, 3,000 hectares of which are on the water surface. The landscapes of the park combine the most beautiful coasts of the Caribbean Sea, deep bays and coconut groves.

From the south, the coast of the department of Magdalena is bordered by the foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. These are the highest coastal mountain systems in the world, here is the highest point of the country – Mount Cristobal Colon (5800 m). The slopes of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta are entangled in a network of hiking trails that converge in the famous National Archaeological Park of the Lost City (Teiyuna). The park is located about 50 km southeast of Santa Marta.. On its territory you can see the remains of hundreds of small Indian settlements that date back to the 7th century AD. The Lost City was discovered only in the second half of the 20th century, archaeological work is being carried out here to this day. The archaeological park consists of 250 terraces, which are divided into 8 zones. Urban areas are interconnected by a network of stone paths, stairs carved into the rocks, canals and bridges. In addition to the archaeological park in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, it is worth visiting the isolated Indian villages of the Tayrona Indians, the Kogi (one of the most ancient ethnic groups in South America), the Aruacos, the Sanca and the Cancuama.

From Santa Marta, you can go to the arid peninsula of Guajira. The Los Flamenco Nature Reserve is interesting here.7000 hectares, where you can watch flamingos and other birds, and the National Park of the Macuira Mountains, home to 150 species of birds, 17 of which are endemic.

Another popular holiday destination on the Caribbean coast is the historic city of Cartagena. It is located 192 km west of Santa Marta. and 80 km west of Barranquilla. The city was founded in 1537 and was one of the main ports of New Granada. From here, the gold and silver mined in the colony was exported to Europe. That is why Cartagena was often attacked by pirates, such as the famous English pirate Francis Drake. To protect the city on the coastal islands and capes, a whole network of powerful fortifications was built, the total length of which was more than 11 km. The most interesting is the Old City of Cartagena (Ciudat Amurallado), which is located in its northern part. It is here that ancient forts and numerous colonial buildings are located. Ciudat Amurallado is divided into four zones: San Diego, La Matuna, Santo Domingo and Getsemani. In the Getsemani area is the main fortress of Cartagena – Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas, whose walls are 12 meters thick. Its construction was carried out from 1533 to 1657. Also in the Old Town there is a vast Central Park (1911) and the oldest church in the city – Iglesia de Santo Domingo (1536). South of the Getsemani district on the peninsula is the Bocagrande recreation area. Here, sandy beaches stretch along the coast, along which there are hotels, restaurants, bars and discos. However, those who want to relax on quiet picturesque beaches away from the bustle of the city should go to the protected islands of Rosario and San Bernardolocated 40 km south of Cartagena, or on island of Baru. The Rosario and San Bernardo Islands National Park is the country’s only underwater park. Its main attraction is the underwater world, which attracts diving and snorkeling enthusiasts from all over the world. The main infrastructure of the National Park is located on Isla Grande.

Another 40 km south of the islands of Rosario and San Bernardo, on the coast, there is Morroskillo Bay with the archipelago of the same name. Its Keizen, Tintipan and Mukura Islands are surrounded by some of the most beautiful coral reefs and are home to cat sharks, dolphins, turtles and a variety of tropical fish.

The Caribbean Coast, Colombia