Santa Marta has most anything a traveler needs – from local markets to big malls. And, when in Tayrona and hiking around the Sierra Nevada, there are beautiful indigenous products.
Arhuaca Mochilas: The Arhuacas, Iku, or Bintukos are an indigenous people that live in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. There’s an estimated 40,000 members. Their language is called Chibcha. They have deep-rooted traditions and are respected internationally for their spirituality and culture. In fact, Colombian presidents, before they are inaugurated into office, visit the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and participate in a spiritual inaugural ceremony with the Arhuacas and their Mamos (spiritual leaders).
The most traditional bags – the mochilas arhuaca – are hand-woven with wool and are in natural colors. They are now dying some of their wool to make more colorful bags … a new tendency. And finally, you can find mochilas made in fique – a plant fiber.
Buying one of these beautiful bags is a great way to support the Arhuaca community and remember your trip to Magdalena forever.
Buenavista Mall: Air conditioning! If you need to get something you forgot to pack, or just want to sit somewhere cool for a while, the Buenavista Mall is Santa Marta’s biggest mall with an Exito (supermarket) and many national and international shops.
Ocean Mall: A bit smaller than the Buenavista Mall, it still has national and international stores and supermarket to suit your needs.