Escapes: Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta

Looking to fully disconnect and relax this Memorial Day Weekend? A trip to the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta, Colombia could be exactly what you're in need of. This place is becoming the ultimate getaway for people from all over the globe and this is how we did it.

About a three-hour flight from Miami to Bogota. Then, a connecting 1.5 hr flight from Bogota to Santa Marta. 45 minute drive from Santa Marta to Gitana Del Mar Boutique Beach Resort, which is located at the foothills of the magical Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. We chose to split the flights, and spent a few days visiting friends and family in Bogota and the city of Santa Marta.

The best part of this trip is that you can disconnect from the hectic world and appreciate the simpler things in life. This is the type of place you go to find harmony with yourself and with Mother Earth-as she offers up the sun, empty virgin beaches, fresh salt air and unforgettable seascapes. You’re pretty much in the middle of nowhere and that is the best part. 

The second best part is the hotel. Gitana Del Mar Beach Resort, which lies at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the world's highest Coastal Mountain Range. This place offers a momentary escape to life by the sea. At Gitana, time moves slowly and you can really appreciate all that nature has to offer. The yoga shala is the perfect spot to deepen your yoga practice; they offer classes at 8am and 5pm daily. The staff is sweet and very accommodating. The owners, Nina & Ryan, are always around making sure you're having an optimal experience.  

The bungalows are eco-chic. In order to maintain sustainable and low energy consumption practices, they don't have A/C or hot water, which is fine because the palm roof keeps the bungalow cool at night, and it is so hot out during the day that you can really use a cold shower. Make sure to pack bug repellent though!

F&B has its yays and nays. YAY: All three meals are included daily in the per person rate. They work with local fishermen and local produce from their garden and the area, so the food is always fresh and organic. NAY: There is no menu as the restaurant has a "Chef's choice" vibe, which I wasn't aware of or I would've been more specific when it came to my dietary restrictions. Food takes long and it's served on their schedule, which I wasn't a fan of. Wine selection and cocktails are okay, so I recommend bringing your own or going for a sober vacay. 

The options for outdoor activities are endless: hiking, waterfalls & natural jungle pools, river float, horseback riding, surf lessons, and scuba diving to name a few. At Gitana Del Mar, you can arrange to meet and connect to the four existing indigenous tribes (Kogi, Wiwa, Arhuaco and Kankuamo) all ancestors of the pre-Hispanic Civilization, known as the Tayrona. Commonly known as Shamans, these fathers have a lot to teach including ritual practices, mental discipline and meditations. Must visit Tayrona Park and the hidden gem of Playa del Amor, which is only 15 min away from Gitana. 

With love always,

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