Aracataca is a small town in the Magdalena Department of Colombia, to the south of Santa Marta. Largely unknown to travelers and even to the guidebooks, this town absolutely should not be overlooked in the itinerary of anyone with any interest in Gabriel García Márquez. In addition to being his birthplace, it was the inspiration for the fictional aldea (village) Macondo, and has a great deal of monuments and sites of interest related to '100 Years of Solitude' and other works.
Imagine 200 years ago, walking all around the tropical Colombian swamp and forests searching for a way towards the sea, to be free of corrupt civilizations and to start your own. To discover a river and a beautiful and fertile land. Tired of traveling you decide that this is the place where you want to settle and raise a family.
This happened to Jose Arcadio Buendía and his wife Ursula in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s masterpiece ‘100 years of solitude’ when those free souls with their friends founded Macondo, the imaginary town that ‘does not exist.’
The early 21st century, the whole world has changed, Colombia became a melting pot for many of the world’s peoples, and amidst the oldest cities of the continent and the most astonishing nature in the world, Macondo’s entrance is still invisible for mass tourism yet Aracataca is a real adventurers’ gem. Developing into a magical destination.
Downtown Aracataca; from the Santa Marta terminal you take the bus to Aracataca ($11.000 pesos, 1.5 hours) , you get out in the center and take a ciclotaxi ($2.000 pesos p.p)to wherever you need to go.
From Bogota you get out in Aracataca ($70.000 pesos) at the vuelta del torrito and you’ll take a mototaxi to wherever you need to go.
To get around is pretty simple, there are bicycle taxies that take you to the most important places for about 1.000 pesos a person. If you'd rather see everything going around on your own bike there are guided bicycle tours that take you, for about 2 hours along the most important sights in town while explaining about the rich histories.. Tours are for sale at The Gypsy Residence, phone number; 3212517420
There is a Gabriel Garcia Marquéz museum 2 blocks from the main square. It is in the reconstructed house where Gabo was born in. It´s free.
There are several good restaurants in town that serve local Macondonian foods, between them Restaurant GABO and restaurant DONDE MEMO
The recently opened Gypsy Residence is the one and only hostel in Aracataca, owned by a Netherlandic lost in the imagination of the magic realism… It's not a big hostel with just two exclusive double bedrooms and one 6 bed dormitory. But because all that they have to offer; it is a great hostel! It has a comfy living, a terrace where you can watch the street life dose by, or simply dream away in a hammock in the tree-sprung garden. Prices range from $20.000 pesos a bed to $60.000 pesos for a double bedroom.. www.thegypsyresidence.com email; [email protected] Phone number; 3212517420/ 3015933691