Santa Marta Colombia

Too lazy to go further than the beach or town square.

Too lazy to go further than the beach or town square.

Let me try to impart some useful information on Santa Marta in the form of pros and cons for yachtsmen contemplating landfall here.

Starting with the bad news:

  • It’s about ten times more expensive (about 250 US dollars) to stop in Colombia than in the windward islands. Why? Because it’s bureaucratic. By law you must employ an agent to do all your paperwork and it can take up to a week before it’s completed.
  • There are no Aguila girls.
  • You can’t go anywhere with your yacht once you arrive. Not without repeating the red tape and expense. Not even a little day trip to nearby beaches.
  • There are no Aguila girls.
  • The beach down town is fine for a walk, but I doubt my immune system would handle a swim.
  • There are no Aguila girls on the beach either…
  • While the town can boast being Colombia’s oldest, there really isn’t much left architecturally to support the claim.

So I spent my mornings by the seaside, and my afternoons in town at a café just soaking up the atmosphere. Which brings me to the pros:

  • Santa Marta has a great vibe! It’s a lively place. Vendors, tourists, street artists, restaurants, bars, you name it, it’s there and it’s all thriving. Even I had difficulty being bored once I’d worked up enough courage to leave my boat for the day.
  • It’s safe and it’s friendly.
  • If you are a little more adventurous than I am (which isn’t difficult), there are interesting places to visit just a short bus or taxi ride away.
  • But I’ve saved the best for last. While there were no Aguila girls in Santa Marta, I did find the next best thing. Two in fact.
  • Aguila Light girls!

The rest of my stay in Santa Marta is a happy drunken blur. Apparently Aguila light girls are no lightweights when it comes to partying.

Two reasons to stay in Santa Marta

Two reasons to stay in Santa Marta

Oh, and if the next time you ask a pretty girl in Santa Marta “what would you like to drink?” and she answers “Champagne of course”, you know who’s to blame. 😉

Stuck doing administrative chores!

Ah, but if you could only see the queue inside the post office!

I find that nothing induces high blood pressure more effectively than a generous dose of bureaucracy…. though perhaps an hour or two stint playing “join the queue” at Saint Laurent’s local post office is a close contender…

I’ve been inflicted with both while preparing to visit Suriname.

Comments pertaining to Suriname (on noonsite), are highly favorable, but the key phrase for navigators to note is this:

Immigration procedures can be time consuming, but are greatly simplified if visas are obtained in advance. Although there is no need for yachts to obtain a visa in advance as application can be done after arrival.

“Greatly simplified” apparently implies that the administrative burden should be diluted through prior preparation…. To lessen the blow upon arrival?


My passport is currently taking a two day journey to Cayenne to undergo forensic dissection by Surinamese officials… Go figure!

Can’t say I’m comfortable handing over my passport, but it’s not the first time this curious practice has been a prerequisite for obtaining tourist visas.

The obligatory queue at the post office was to pay the 42 Euro fee, but I can’t blame anyone other than myself for that… I couldn’t remember the pin number of my credit card… Grrr

And there I was wondering why my engine was overheating…

On the plus side, I’ve had plenty of time to track down the recalcitrant impeller bits that were clogging my engines cooling system!