Luxury Travel to Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta
A surreal world hidden high up in the cloudy mountains of Colombia, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is the world’s highest coastal mountain formation and home to a truly unique ecosystem.
Nestled in the north of Colombia, the snow-capped range rises up from the golden sands of the Caribbean coast. Its green rainforests and magical mists cover a land filled with a fascinating mix of flora and fauna. Within its borders you will find a myriad of species that crawl along the tree trunks, shuffle beneath the undergrowth and stalk the various riverbanks.
Hiking and walking trails are thus unmissable, providing lush windows into some of nature’s greatest gifts. Illuminated by shafts of light that stream through the thick canopies, creatures such as the jaguar and cougar stalk their prey. The shy and threatened tapir is a curious oddity while otters play in the creeks to the soundtrack of endangered harlequin frogs and Santa Marta parakeets.
Hidden among the dense flora of the Sierra Nevada is The Lost City, known in Spanish as Ciudad Perdida. Built around AD 700-800, it was the birthplace of the Tayrona people and was once home to thousands of potters and farmers who lived there until the Spanish took control in the 16th century. The site lay abandoned until the mid 1970s, when looters rediscovered it under a mass of tangled toots.
What to do
- Visit the Ciudad Perdida - the Lost City. Buried deep in the mountains is this city built by the Tayrona civilisation
- Hike through the lush forests
Itineraries including Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta
Accommodation in Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta
Here are some of our travel designers' favourite options
Casa OropéndolaSitting 1,500 metres above sea level between dense rainforest and coffee fields and with views across the Caribbean, this is the perfect place to switch off and reconnect with nature. The lodge has been built in harmony with its natural surroundings and there is a strong focus on protecting the environment and preserving the local culture. The decor is inspired by its location with timber-clad walls, natural colours and wicker furniture. There are just four rooms which are simple but comfortable, all featuring a hammock positioned by the window so you can make the most of the extraordinary views. There is a large living room with a fireplace leading out onto the decking where you can gaze out across the forest and over the ocean. The dining area features floor-to-ceiling windows and here you will enjoy delicious Colombian cuisine made using local organic produce such as coffee, cacoa and honey as well as herbs, fruits and vegetables picked from the garden. Guests staying at Casa Oropéndola will receive three meals a day as well as snacks, local fruit, fresh juices, coffee and tea and picnic lunches for when you are out on excursions. The surrounding cloud forest results in an incredible variety of flora and fauna and there are countless walking trails right on your doorstep. There is plenty to do at the lodge including cooking classes and yoga, but there is also a lot to be said for simply sitting back and taking in this very special environment.