My trip back home ended as soon as it started and before I knew it, I was back on a plane to Colombia for my second semester. This time, my younger sister came with me and other than exploring and site seeing around Bogotá, we made a short trip the north of the country to Santa Marta.
Santa Marta was not a pretty city by any means but the city wasn’t the purpose of the trip. Santa Marta is known for its national park, Parque Tayrona which is complete with jungle, beautiful beaches and the Caribbean ocean. We stayed a The Journey Hostel which is an hour bus ride out of the city and only 1km away from the entrance to the park. This was also the best experience I’ve had in a hostel to date. The hostel owner, Inti, was born in Manizales, Colombia but grew up in Toronto before returning to Colombia to start this business. The hostel had a family atmosphere, as we ate dinner together every night, which made it really easy to get to know everyone that stayed there even if it was only for a night. This one couple from England taught us a card game called Cambio, and safe to say I haven’t been able to stop playing it since.
On our first day after getting an incredible rest and waking up with the sun, we headed to the park. We had to take a bus from the entrance to somewhere in the middle of the jungle to make it a shorter trek. From there, we hiked through the jungle for just over an hour before reaching the beach. Now Santa Marta has one beach that is very popular and it’s beautiful don’t get me wrong, but had sooo many people there! So instead, we checked another beach that surprisingly had warmer water, bigger waves, but probably only 20 people. It reminded me so much of Costa Rica.
On our second day we went on the Monkey Walk, which is exactly what it sounds like. We trekked through yet another jungle, except this one had minimal trails and signage so it’s more than likely we could of been trespassing. We walked through rivers, and dozens of palm trees until we reached the very end. Where the river meets the sea. I’ve never seen anything so peaceful and almost magical in my life. We perched up on the side of the river, to rest before going in for a swim. What made it magical was that the river actually had bits of gold all throughout it. I didn’t think it was real at first until another person mentioned it later on at the hostel. Cool eh?
Overall, Santa Marta was a really good trip and a beautiful place that I would definitely go to again because there is so much to see and do there, even just outside the area as well. I would even recommend Santa Marta over Cartagena if they had to choose only one coastal city.