A popular spot for snorkeling, sailing, and scuba diving, El Rodadero is one of the region’s most popular beaches. Many scuba diving tours depart from El Rodadero, some of which head north to nearby Playa Blanca, while beachside rentals offer snorkel masks, kayaks, and novelty floaties. Combine a visit to El Rodadero with stops in Barranquilla and more as part of a multi-city tour of the Caribbean coastline, take a private boat ride along the coast, or stick around after dark when El Rodadero comes alive with drinking, dancing, and music.
How to Get There
Situated 4 miles (6.5 kilometers) from the Santa Marta downtown, El Rodadero is most easily accessible by car. Make sure to agree your price before getting into a taxi though, as Colombian cabs aren’t metered. Meanwhile, those staying in the luxury El Rodadero region can access El Rodadero on foot.
When to Get There
El Rodadero is pleasant year-round although it gets especially crowded at weekends and is a popular party spot during Colombian holidays. Avoid these periods for a quieter experience.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Take cash if you plan on buying snacks, drinks, or souvenirs from the vendors on El Rodadero but check around for the best price first.
- Don’t go in the sea after dark—it’s both forbidden and dangerous to take a nighttime dip.
- El Rodadero is lined with beach bars and seafood restaurants.
- You can rent snorkel masks and sailboats on El Rodadero.
- El Rodadero isn’t accessible for wheelchairs or strollers.
What to do in Santa Marta
After spending some time on El Rodadero, return to Santa Marta to explore the Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino and browse the market stalls. Many travelers also like to use Santa Marta as a jumping-off point for visits to Tayrona National Park or multi-day treks to the Lost City.
- Marine World Aquarium (Mundo Marino Acuario)
- Playa Blanca
- Santa Marta Historic Center (Centro Historico de Santa Marta)
- Tayrona Gold Museum (Museo del Oro Tairona)
- Carlos El Pibe Valderrama Statue
- Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino
- Lost City (Ciudad Perdida)
- Tayrona National Park (Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona)
- Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Park
- Crystal Beach (Playa Cristal)