Little Compass RoseCaribbean Compass   March 2017



Santa Marta: A Longer View

Among other cruisers, Sandra Lauck of Kool Kat and Muriel and Tutty Lee of Mistress were happily ensconced in Marina Santa Marta in January when the World ARC fleet arrived for a short visit. Compass took the opportunity to get some longer-staying sailors’ impressions of Santa Marta.

“The people here are really friendly and helpful,” Muriel says. “Christmas was wonderful,” she adds, pointing toward an elegant old building on the shore: “The marina even organized a dinner for us at Tres Sensaciones restaurant.”

“There are a couple of great grocery stores, and the food is cheap and delicious,” Sandra comments, adding that while beer is budget-friendly, wine is expensive “so stock up in Martinique.”

It’s also recommended to bring boat parts, although Tutty notes that “anything can be ordered, and you can find stuff in the hardware stores, etcetera, if you go looking.” He also says that you can also get just about anything from cameras to sewing machines fixed in Santa Marta. Tutty tells of his ship’s clock needing repairs, but in Canada “it would have cost $200 for the guy to just look at it, with no guarantee of fixing it” so he passed. He relates that the clock was not only fixed in Santa Marta, but that the cost was less than a third of the quoted Canadian price — “and the repairman kept it for an extra two days to make sure it was keeping perfect time!”

Finally, this old port city is a good base for inland exploration. “Santa Marta is a safe spot to adventure from,” says Tutty. “You can go to the Lost City, Bogotá, Medellín, the Amazon — most of South America, really. The marina is a good place to leave your boat and travel; the staff is wonderful.” The cruisers agree that it’s useful to be able to speak some Spanish when traveling around Colombia, but mention that Caterina in the marina office speaks good English.
Bottom line on Santa Marta as a cruising destination? Says Sandra, “We highly recommend it!”

     

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