After a short (too short) but exciting couple of days in Medellín it was time for us to leave for our last destination on the trip, moving North this time. With Colombia being such a diverse country, we had all agreed on that it would not be fair to only see the city-side of it. So, early Saturday morning we headed to the airport to catch our flight to the caribbean coast and Santa Marta.
Santa Marta was the first European-founded city in South America (and the first one to get exploited, woho what an honour right). Legacies from the colonial time cannot only be noted through architecture and buildings, but also through the large afro-colombian population living here and along the whole caribbean coast, whose ancestors were slaves first brought to the country by colonizers during the period of triangle trade. This group is still one of the most marginalised ones in Colombia, just like the indigenous community who also are present in areas nearby, mainly in The National Park of Tayrona and La Sierra Nevada. Very few of these peoples live in Bogotá and Medellín, so by coming here we hoped to get their perspective of Colombia as well!
Nowadays, Santa Marta is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country for both Colombians and foreigners, where people come to enjoy the beautiful surrounding nature and sea. So, I’m not going to lie, we all we’re pretty excited to finally get some beach time here! And to be fair, we deserved to enjoy a bit of a weekend after an intense (!) week of meetings.
After checking in to our hostel and dropping off our bags, we went to have some lunch and ended up at a nice little place for some typical “almuerzo”. Here we got joined by an amazing bunch of street musicians from Venezuela that performed for us during lunch, and what a show they gave us! We were lucky enough to get to talk quite a lot with these guys during our days in Santa Marta, realizing through them (and by seeing all other Venezuelan refugees there) the scope of the crisis in Venezuela. Sad to see, although extremely important, of course.
The afternoon was well spent on the beach in Taganga, followed by a LOVELY ceviche dinner and some salsa dancing to end the day (what other ways are there when in Colombia hehe). Guys what else can I say, this country is amazing – you need to go!
Isabel Nilsson Alarcon