America’s biggest hero will always have, in Colombia, a park or plaza named after him. Santa Marta holds a much greater role in the history of the Liberator, and Bolivar Park in Santa Marta honors his name and importance in Colombia.
Though there are dozens of Plaza Bolivars or Bolivar Parks in Colombia, perhaps very few can boast about having the view of one of the most beautiful bays of the Americas, not to mention be located at the tip of the founding city, and one of the oldest cities, of the Americas.
Add the perks of a perpetual summer climate, beautiful gardens, and mix of historic and modern buildings that surround Bolivar Park, it’s a must-see. Here, sit in the shade of its lush trees, listen to the music of the birds that chirp around the gardens, and gaze out at the intense blue of the bay, a brush stroke of color. All while seeping in the history of one of the most important cities of the Atlantic Coast.
The constructions of the Spanish Colonial Court started from the foundational plaza, taking advantage of the space of the Spanish grid followed by the government buildings. Bolivar Park is known for its old Colonial edifications like the Consistorial Palace and the Customs House (which now serves as the Gold Museum).
In this way, the park offers you a chance to rest, and energize yourself to listen to a talk or discussion about the history and culture of the inhabitants of Santa Marta, ending in a walk through the Gold Museum where you can immerse yourself in the pre-Colombian history of the region.
And if you’re not a history buff, you won’t be able to resist the beauty of the plaza and its beautiful art: the Monument of the Cariatides (brought over from Europe that represents the abolition of slavery in the Santa Marta region, known as the Fountain of Four Faces). In the middle of the 20th century, as a joint tribute from The Republic of Venezuela and Colombia, an imponent statue of Simon Bolivar was commissioned. He sits on his horse, that is rearing up in strength, in the center of the plaza.