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 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.
Downtown Aracataca; from the Santa Marta terminal you take the bus to Aracataca (COP$9,000, 1½ hours), you get out in the center and take a ciclotaxi (COP$1,000 per person) to wherever you need to go.
From Bogota you get out in Aracataca (COP$70,000) 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 taxis that take you to the most important places for about COP$1,000 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.
*Casa del Telegrafista - small museum to learn about Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
There are several good restaurants in town that serve local Macondonian foods, between them Restaurant Gabo and restaurant Donde Memo.
Casa Turistica Realismo Magico, with a/c and no hot water, you'll probably enjoy it after being out in the Colombian sweatbath. Phone: +57 301 4712602 . Address: Calle 6 #4-40.