After some well-earned rest and relaxation, I’m happy to report on my family’s summer vacation to Santa Marta, Colombia (South America). Santa Marta is very popular with Europeans, and — recently — Americans. While there, I met several vacationing families and enjoyed trading tips on how to entertain the children. That got me thinking about making a blog post about it. So here is my article about the 5 kid friendly things to do in Santa Marta, Colombia.
Let me give you a bit more info: Santa Marta is located on Colombia’s north coast. It was founded on July 29, 1525 making it the oldest surviving city in South America. Santa Marta is located at the foothills of the incredible Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and Tayrona National Park. Santa Marta offers its visitors the opportunity to experience various climates and activities. Santa Marta is primarily used as base camp and from there you can scuba dive, surf, camp, hike, ride ziplines, hunt, fish, visit an indian lost city, relax on the beach, shop and much more. Today Santa Marta and its suburb of Rodadero, offers Colombian and international tourists a more relaxed and less crowded version of its more famous colonial cousin Cartagena which is located about 2 hours south.
Marifer’s 5 Kid Friendly Things To Do in Santa Marta
5. City Park Arcade
City Park is a huge indoor arcade with lots of games for kids of all ages. Attractions include bumper cars, video simulators, video games, toddler playground, carrousels, bounce house, kid playground, slides and plenty of arcade games. There are so many games, I never had to wait to play! Take all your tickets to the Winner’s Box to redeem for prizes. TIP: Buy their rechargeable card and deposit COL $50,000 and City Park will give you an extra 15%! Great place to spend a hot afternoon with the kids. City Park Santa Marta is located at the Buenavista Mall at suite 201. Buenavista mall is at: Avenida El Libertador accross the Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino
4. Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino
The Quinta is an hacienda built in the 17th century and is famous for been the death place of Simon Bolivar. Simon Bolivar is to Colombians what George Washington is to Americans. The Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino is now a history and art museum with adjacent botanical gardens and impressive monuments to the “Great Liberator”. Great place to spend a morning with the kids. Fun fact: Simon Bolivar is called the “Great Liberator” because he won independence for Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia from the Spanish Empire. The Quinta is located at Avenida del Libertador, Santa Marta
3. Machy’s Cocineritos Cooking Class
Pudines Machy is one of the best bakeries in Santa Marta. The bakery sells anything from cakes to cheese plates. During the afternoons, they offer cooking classes for children of all ages called “Cocineritos”. For US $7 per class, your kid can learn how to make pizza, cookies, cheese fingers and more. The classes are in English and Spanish and last about 4 hours. My kids had a blast and I like sampling their creations. LOL! Pudines Machy is located at Avenida del Ferrocarril No. 26C-30. To reserve a spot, call 4212183
2. Mundo Marino
Mundo Marino is an aquarium hosting over 2,000 species of marine life. For US $6, the aquarium tour guide takes you around the building teaching you about all the species in the tanks. After looking at the indoor exhibition, you are directed to the outdoor exhibition. The outdoor exhibition houses several tanks with nurse sharks, turtles and rays. As part of the tour, Mundo Marino offers feeding shows on the outdoor tanks. TIP: Feeding shows are at 4pm daily. The entire tour and feeding show took about 3 hours of our day. Mundo Marino is great afternoon fun for the entire family. Mundo Marino is located at Carrera 2 # 6-38 in Rodadero
1. Aquario Rodadero
This was our favorite activity! Acuario Rodadero is located on an island nearby and is only accessible by boat. Tickets to this attraction can be bought at Acuario Rodadero’s office in Rodadero. Tickets costs COL $42,000 (USD $13) and includes a round trip via TaxiMarino and admission to the aquarium. Acuario Rodadero is built on a rocky hill. All the marine animals live and perform in natural pools where just a fence separates them from the ocean. The dolphin encounter is an additional COL $150,000 which at the time of this publication, amounts to USD $48. Not bad considering a dolphin encounter in Miami, Orlando or the Bahamas runs about $250 to $300. The encounter was a great experience for me and the kids. We first stepped into a platform inside the dolphin pool. The trainers teach everyone about dolphins and how dolphins eat, sleep, communicate, etc. We then gave the dolphins high fives, fist bumps and fed them treats. After couple of tricks and jumps, the dolphins were ready to swim with us. The trainers swam to the middle of the natural pool and one by one we were called to join a trainer. The dolphins were juvenile orphans and were very affectionate. I was so surprised to find out they love to cuddle! We were able to hug and kiss them before taking hold of the fin and swim around a bit. Overall the dolphin encounter took about 40 minutes and it was a great experience for the entire family.
TIP: When leaving you can take a TaxiMarino to Playa Blanca (White Beach) for lunch and swimming. TaxiMarino boats do pick ups every hour and is included in your ticket.
Acuario Rodadero is my #1 activity of the 5 Kid Friendly Things To Do in Santa Marta and is a great way to spend your entire day.
So if you are planning on a family trip to South America were the US dollar is strong, I recommend you check out Santa Marta. Nowhere else can you get a mix of beautiful beaches, historic locations, eco adventures, good restaurants and fun nightlife like Santa Marta.
Do you like my 5 Kid Friendly Things To Do in Santa Marta? Do you have any suggestions, please add in the comments below.