Welcome to Backpacker’s Boutique. Every Sunday, this spot will feature a new travel blogger. Some weeks it will be a really fun interview about packing, fashion, and fitness so you can snoop inside their bags & lives a little bit and other weeks it’ll be a detailed luxury guide to a city the featured blogger/expat knows very well. E-mail me if you’d like to be featured.

A Luxury Guide to Santa Marta

Tell us a little about  yourself and tell us why you’re an expert on luxury travel in Santa Marta.

I’m Gemma from Two Scots Abroad. 5”2 ½, Scottish with a love for all things vintage and thrift store so luxury isn’t always my bag but we struck it lucky last year in Santa Marta, Colombia! I’m travelling with my fiancé, Craig; we’re on an 18 month career break to travel the Americas and Europe.

What makes Santa Marta a perfect destination for travelers seeking a glamorous trip?

Santa Marta is sunny! It’s typically where Colombians go on holiday and other backpackers suggested we skipped it but I’m glad we went with gut instinct and spent some time there because it is the gateway to paradise!

Luxury Guide to Santa Marta

What is the best boutique hotel in Santa Marta?

La Calzada del Santo is just lovely. We stayed on the top floor of the boutique hotel, our room door practically opened onto the rooftop pool. There were hammocks to relax on whilst taking in the views of the city. The owner, Rita, is just a doll, she treats everyone with warmth and her staff are extremely friendly. The hotel is very modern, exposed red brick in the hotel room, TV, speedy Wi-Fi. Breakfast of colourful fruit and eggs is served every morning.

Luxury Guide to Santa Marta

Luxury Guide to Santa Marta

Are there any fun activities for the adventurous traveler in Santa Marta?

Santa Marta can be used a springboard to the beaches of Colombia. Within an hour by bus, you can reach Costeño Beach for those who like to surf and do yoga or just swing on a hammock on the beach. A short journey after Costeño is Palomino where you can tube down the river. Most notably and not to be missed is a trip to Tayrona National Park.

Where would you go for a nice afternoon hike?
It’s tough to beat Tayrona National Park, take the minibus to the entrance as it’s about a tour hour walk from there. The walk is along the coastal beaches and through the palm trees laden with coconuts – watch out for the cheeky monkeys in the trees!Luxury Guide to Santa Marta
Where are the best hang outs during the day in Santa Marta?

Santa Marta has a beach and a marina with some bars. Costeño Beach is very chilled out, go swing on a hammock all day then sit by the fire at night.

Luxury Guide to Santa Marta

If you have a big date night, what are the most delicious restaurants in Santa Marta and what are their best dishes?

I’d recommend heading to Careera 3 in Santa Marta, especially at the weekend. This cute cobbled lane is decorated with lanterns. There are a few restaurants and bars to choose from which serve intentional and local cuisine. And cocktails obviously!

…and the best breakfast in Santa Marta?

Panaderia in Tayrona National Park serves dense white bread with melteted chocolate inside, it also has a caramel version and a savoury type, the are honestly the size of your head!

Let’s talk desserts in Santa Marta– what place makes the best?

Pop in for some Froyo at Carambolo.

Luxury Guide to Santa Marta

Luxury Guide to Santa Marta

Time for a great sunset view in Santa Marta… where would you go?

The best sunset we saw in this area was at Minca in the Sierra Nevada Mountains – again another short bus ride from Santa Marta. We stayed at Casa Loma which is basically a big tree house with an outside cocktail lounge, happy hour starts just in time for the sun going down!

To end the night with a cocktail, what’s your go-to choice?

A trip to Minca in the mountains is on the cards for this, watch the views of the sun setting at Casa Loma’s makeshift cocktail bar!


Two Scots AbroadLuxury Guide to Santa Marta (Gemma and Craig) have downed tools as teacher and tradesman and are traveling the Americas and Europe on an 18 month career break. They are currently living in Vancouver after four months of fast paced travel in South America and Cuba. Join them in 2016 as they ski in B.C, surf in Nicaragua, and party in Ibiza! Connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.



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