Getting Around in Santa marta

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Located in Northern Colombia by the Caribbean Sea, the city of Santa Marta is a popular destination not only for locals, but also for foreign tourists, and therefore, the Santa Marta transportation system is well developed to meet the demands of the thousands of incoming tourists every year. Here are some things to consider when getting around Santa Marta.


This is the most time efficient way to get around Santa Marta, however, it is not the cheapest. It is a good idea to ask your hotel desk for some common destinations from your hotel and inquire about fair prices. Not all taxis are equipped with meters, so often you will need to negotiate with the driver over a fare. Make sure that the driver does not start driving before you agree on a fare. By law, taxi drivers are supposed to show you the list of official fares if you ask them, so make sure to ask for this list. However, be aware that some drivers might insist on charging you a higher rate than locals. Even though the negotiation might seem like a big hassle, after your first ride you will get used to this system.

'Door-to-Door' Service

A safer alternative to the local bus system is the private shuttle service that offers 'door-to-door' services around Santa Marta and to other cities in the Caribbean coast. The price is more expensive than that of the regular service, but the convenience of being picked up and dropped off exactly where you request makes up for the price. The difference between this service and the taxi service is that these shuttles do include other passengers.


If you plan to drive around Santa Marta, it is a good idea to apply for an international driver's permit, because it is the best way to provide legal proof of your driving ability all around Colombia. You can apply for an international driver's permit at your local AAA office.

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