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Barranquilla to Santa Marta, Colombia - My First Time In Colombia

Colombia experiences and stories by a backpacker - Aug 2008 Jun 2010 Apr 2015 Aug 2016   » View Photoset (11 Photos)

2015/2016: I did this trip after returning to Barranquilla from Georgetown (Guyana) and again on the way back from Cartagena. Fairly unexciting to be honest but you get glimpses of the coast and can see many birds on a nice sunny day, sit on the left. I suggest closing your eyes as you pass through the filthy disgusting fishing village called Cienaga, people living in a rubbish tip basically. Open your eyes again after that!

2008: When I arrived in Barranquilla late at night it had been a very long day of 4 airplanes with 3 different airlines to get there, La Paz to Cusco to Lima to Bogota to Barranqilla. A taxi from the airport took me to a hotel somewhere in the center. A man in the lobby who was also a guest insisted many times to me that he 'was the doctor' while I sat there having a bite to eat and a beer. I didn't understand what this meant at the time, I needed to sleep. The next morning I took a trip in a taxi out into the street chaos to change some money and get a few things, it was hectic out there with fruit stalls and street vendors and traffic. Then I headed back to my hotel to wait for a minivan to pick me up to go east to Santa Marta. The drive to Santa Marta took only 90 minutes at an average speed of 120kmh along the coast. When I was in Barranqilla the second time I had come here from Taganga near Santa Marta and stayed a night and had a bit more of a look around, mainly in the markets. There was all kinds of things for sale, flowers, belts, medical potions, juice and fruit, watches, soccer jerseys, jandels and shoes and a shop that sold fans. The weather is hot in Barranquilla. I stayed in a cheapish hotel somewhere in town and ate some bad chinese food across the road from the hotel and had a good rest and sleep. When I left Barranquilla this time I took a co-op taxi-van from Barranquilla to Cartagena. It was supposed to take an hour and a half but because I was the first to be picked up from my hotel and we had to drive around the city picking up the rest of the passengers and some we had to wait a long time for, it took 3 and a half hours in the end in total. This didn't particularly make my day, well actually the day was pretty much gone by the time we got to Cartagena. Leaving Barranquilla at last and passing the Jardines del Recuerdo (gardens) while we headed west towards Cartagena along the coast. The scenery was very green and hilly on the leftside while on the right I could see beaches, resorts and the sea. The road is in good condition and although the taxi-van had a sign saying that it did not exceed 80km per hour, they always travel at more like 100-120km per hour, which was the case. I enjoy taking lots of photos during my journeys from place to place of the countryside and anything else that catches my eye along the way. But the taxi driver didn't make this so easy. Everytime I wound the window down to get a clear shot, he would tell me to put it up so not to affect the air-con. I told him that since I had sat in the van for 2 hours driving around Barranquilla picking up people that I would take pictures if I wanted to.

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My Hostel & Hotel Reviews for Barranquilla to Santa Marta, Colombia:
Hotel Hispano Americano, Barranquilla, Colombia - Large Photo
Hotel Hispano Americano, Barranquilla, Colombia (July 2010 - 1 night) - This was quite nice, quite flash but not too expensive, I had a nice private room on the 3rd floor with bathroom, there is wifi in the main areas of the hotel and there is a restaurant.

Distances & times (if available) from a point on the journey from Barranquilla to Santa Marta (Colombia) to:
 A : Santa Marta - Colombia 27 kms 27 kms straight distance | 49mins 49mins by car (33 kms) | 58mins 58mins by bus (33 kms) (33 kms)
 B : Taganga - Colombia 31 kms 31 kms straight distance | 59mins 59mins by car (43 kms) | 1hr 10mins 1hr 10mins by bus (43 kms) (43 kms)
 C : Tayrona National Park - Colombia 34 kms 34 kms straight distance | 1hr 5mins 1hr 5mins by car (43 kms) | 1hr 18mins 1hr 18mins by bus (43 kms) (43 kms)
 D : Minca - Colombia 21 kms 21 kms straight distance | 1hr 2mins 1hr 2mins by car (46 kms) | 1hr 14mins 1hr 14mins by bus (46 kms) (46 kms)
 E : Barranquilla Carnival - Colombia 70 kms 70 kms straight distance | 1hr 40mins 1hr 40mins by car (85 kms) | 2hrs 2hrs by bus (85 kms) (85 kms)
 F : Santa Marta to Maicao - Colombia 116 kms 116 kms straight distance | 2hrs 25mins 2hrs 25mins by car (150 kms) | 2hrs 54mins 2hrs 54mins by bus (150 kms) (150 kms)
 G : Camarones Flamingo Sanctuary - Colombia 136 kms 136 kms straight distance | 2hrs 50mins 2hrs 50mins by car (178 kms) | 3hrs 24mins 3hrs 24mins by bus (178 kms) (178 kms)
 H : Cartagena - Colombia 160 kms 160 kms straight distance | 3hrs 17mins 3hrs 17mins by car (201 kms) | 3hrs 56mins 3hrs 56mins by bus (201 kms) (201 kms)
 I : Valledupar - Colombia 118 kms 118 kms straight distance | 3hrs 36mins 3hrs 36mins by car (232 kms) | 4hrs 19mins 4hrs 19mins by bus (232 kms) (232 kms)
 J : Magangue to Mompos - Colombia 202 kms 202 kms straight distance | 5hrs 28mins 5hrs 28mins by car (325 kms) | 6hrs 33mins 6hrs 33mins by bus (325 kms) (325 kms)
 K : Maracaibo - Venezuela 267 kms 267 kms straight distance | 6hrs 30mins 6hrs 30mins by car (405 kms) | 7hrs 48mins 7hrs 48mins by bus (405 kms) (405 kms)
 L : Maracaibo to Coro - Venezuela 368 kms 368 kms straight distance | 8hrs 36mins 8hrs 36mins by car (549 kms) | 10hrs 19mins 10hrs 19mins by bus (549 kms) (549 kms)
 M : Merida to Maracaibo - Venezuela 384 kms 384 kms straight distance | 9hrs 27mins 9hrs 27mins by car (598 kms) | 11hrs 20mins 11hrs 20mins by bus (598 kms) (598 kms)
 N : Cucuta to Venezuela - Colombia 389 kms 389 kms straight distance | 10hrs 32mins 10hrs 32mins by car (598 kms) | 12hrs 38mins 12hrs 38mins by bus (598 kms) (598 kms)
 O : San Antonio to San Cristobal - Venezuela 417 kms 417 kms straight distance | 11hrs 53mins 11hrs 53mins by car (658 kms) | 14hrs 15mins 14hrs 15mins by bus (658 kms) (658 kms)
Driving times are accurate but approximate and are listed in the order of driving distance! Drive times are always affected by weather conditions, the terrain, time of day, altitude, dinner and bathroom stops, animals on the road, protests, a fast or slow bus driver, police checkpoints, border and river crossings, dropping off and picking up passengers etc. These drive times are obtained from Google Maps and are meant as a guide. Note however, times quoted in the main text of this page are exactly as the author experienced it.
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