Tourist plans in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta

The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is a special place for locals and travelers who come to our spectacular region.

Published -0001-11-30 00:00:00

The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is a very special place for locals and travelers who come to our spectacular region. It is a mountain where you can breathe pure air from the moment you start to climb its many trails, completely surrounded by forests that tell stories. We are sure that the landscapes you will see in the Sierra Nevada will take your breath away. 

If you have ever visited Santa Marta, Colombia, or are planning to do so, you have surely heard of it. But why visit the Sierra Nevada? At Visit Santa Marta we are experts in our territory and we are going to tell you a little about what makes it so special and fantastic.

Characteristics of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta

We should start by telling you that the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is the highest coastal mountain range in the world. Its highest point, Pico Colón, has a maximum height of 5,775 meters above the Caribbean Sea level, just 42 kilometers from the coast. Its territory is so large that it includes 3 departments (Magdalena, Guajira, and Cesar) and 2 National Natural Parks (Tayrona and Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta).

Because of its altitude and location, the Sierra Nevada presents all the thermal floors, going from warm beaches at sea level and tropical dry forests, going up through humid jungles and cloud forests, until reaching the perpetual snow and glaciers. So important to the entire planet is this incredible mountain that UNESCO declared it a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site in 1979.


The scientific community considers the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta a global biodiversity "hotspot." It is home to multiple ecosystems unique in the world. Many travelers and locals describe it as a wildlife-viewing paradise, especially for bird and amphibian lovers. 

To give you an idea, the Sierra Nevada is home to more than 340 species of birds, many of them endemic to the region. If you like adventures in nature, learning about different types of ecosystems and interacting with different cultures, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is a place you must visit and include in your must-see list.

Since it is a truly fabulous place and we want you to come and visit it, here are some other curious facts:

The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is the highest mountain in Colombia (Pico Colon).

  • It is home to 4 indigenous groups (Arhuacos, Kankuamos, Kogis, and Wiwas), descendants of the ancient Tayrona culture.

  • It is ranked as the highest mountain adjacent to the Caribbean Sea, offering spectacular views to sailors arriving in Santa Marta.

  • It is said that the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta offers the best climatic summary in the world.

  • The Páramo de Santa Marta is the northernmost paramo system in South America.

What to do in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta?

The mountain, being so high, so large (3,830 Km2) and so close to the sea, offers a variety of activities to choose from. Depending on the weather and the type of activities you like, there are a number of experiences that we can organize at Visit Santa Marta that you will remember for a lifetime. 

The largest town in the Sierra Nevada is Minca, just 15 kilometers from the Historic Center of Santa Marta and is reached by a scenic 40-minute drive. It is a small town of coffee tradition that has become a place of pilgrimage for locals and travelers due to its wide range of accommodations, restaurants, and activities.

Another of the best experiences you can live is the Trek to Ciudad Perdida, the fabulous city and archaeological settlement of the ancient Tayronas. With a duration of 3 to 4 days, you will be able to walk along paths between the jungle and the mountains, crossing rivers and observing spectacular landscapes. 


At Visit Santa Marta we want you to live special experiences in the exuberant Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, that's why we are going to make a short list of some of the activities you can do in the region:

  • Trek to Ciudad Perdida.

  • Coffee Tour Santa Marta - Coffee Tour Santa Marta

  • Trek to Cerro Kennedy and sighting the Picos Nevados.

  • Bird watching.

  • Mountain Biking.

  • Motorcycle tours.

  • Meditation and contemplation.

  • Visits to local rivers and waterfalls.

  • Tubing in the rivers of the lower Sierra.

  • Hiking on the trails of the Sierra.

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