Sex and Drugs in Santa Marta

Hostel Miramar was a good find.  I stayed in the 5-bed dorm room, which was pretty dingy and really hot, but it was only $3.50 per night.  The backpackers who were staying in the same room saw my bike parked by my bed and asked me about it.  When I told them the story, they were impressed and I remember the English girl saying, “I have, like, mad respect for you.”  It’s nice to have people be impressed by what you’re doing, but I try to be careful in that hostel setting.  I didn’t want to succumb to that annoying, typical, hostel battle of who’s travel experience is more raw and exciting.

colombia_santa_marta_l

The first night in Santa Marta, I wandered around the waterfront, and sat down outside a convenience store where they served drinks.  After having a Coke and a beer by myself, and getting up to leave, two Colombian guys, who were drinking next to me, asked me where I was from and invited me to sit down with them.  They bought me a lot of beer; I think I had six by the end of it.  Arturo and Eduardo were both lawyers, married, and in their forties, but they were passionate in telling me about the whorehouses in the area.  They instructed me that “putas” in the whorehouses are safe (and great fun), but that the prostitutes on the street probably have HIV, or else they’ll try to drug and rob you.  Apparently, some street putas put a chemical on their nipples that’ll put you to sleep.

Colombian_Prostitutes_1

Is this what you’d see at a Colombian whorehouse?

My lawyer friends urged me to visit one of the whorehouses.  Arturo even offered to take me to one.  I was drunk, and so I was thinking, “When in Rome …,” but it would have been weird.  Although it seems that whorehouses and prostitution are an acceptable part of the culture in Colombia, I explained to my friends that it’s strange and taboo in the US.  In the end, I decided against cultural immersion.

Colombian_Prostitutes_2

… or would you see this?

Arturo gushed about Colombian cocaine – top quality and great prices.  As Arturo raved about it and made sniffing gestures, Eduardo sat back, disinterested.  Eduardo was obviously not a drug user, but Arturo was passionate about it.

When Eduardo left for the airport, Arturo and I joined his friend at another table.  Rene was an old, fat man who carried a cane.  He spoke good English.  As Rene explained, it was because he had lived in the US for some years.  However, Arturo told me that Rene had spent five years in jail in the US because of his involvement in the drug trade – that’s why he spoke good English.

18 thoughts on “Sex and Drugs in Santa Marta

  1. How can you make a generalization about an entire culture being okay with prostitution after talking to two guys? As you should know from your travels, there are prostitutes everywhere, and Colombian culture, being Catholic, certainly does not accept prostitution, or drugs, as a norm. Do not confuse the ineffectiveness of the government in curbing illegal activity with the cultural values of a people. All the Colombians I know wish they could change the image of their country abroad so that people could see the true Colombia, which you obviously missed.

  2. I don´t agree with your story, you should investigate more and interviewing more people before you make a conclusion.

  3. I hate to break it to you but from the story above it sounds like your travels are anything but “raw”. I lived in Colombia for a year and the situation you describe above is one of the most ignorant assessments of Colombia I’ve hear – and that’s saying something. Sadly, and what you may not realize, its that your point of view is no less ignorant than the tourist who sits by the pool all day and thinks Colombia consists of umbrella drinks and guided tours.

  4. I have no opinion of whether your story is true or not. You wrote it, if it’s a lie, you know and have to live with that. My travels have taken me to the Philippines and even before I was out of the airport, I was approached by two nice women working in the airport and was casually invited to go out with tme after they left work. I was meeting someone there and had to refuse, but it happened that way and I was surprised by the event myself. Never expected to receive any attention at the airport. Not saying the ladies were hookers or whatever but it was still a surprise. I didn’t judge the country from this either. I only smiled to myself and felt happy I was going to have a good time, whatever may be. Colombia seems like a great place to explore and I will go there some day. Eat the food, drink the drinks and swim in the waters, oh yeah what a life! Peace!

  5. Be cool guys,

    The story is nice and he can wrote it if he want!

    He never say that all colombia was like that!

    So don’t be too patriotic.

    ciao.

  6. may b if he wasent to busy looking and talking bout hookers he would of met interesting places and interestinf girl hey buddy let me tel you something walk down holly wood fourt laudaredale and all you c is hooker in NY boston EVERYWHERE IS MY POINT. and drugs you guys pay for them n sell them to your own people while in colombia is lso used medicine wise ok………think bout that

  7. I totally agree with Liz and Colombian Expat. I’ve lived in Santa Marta for 1.5 years now (doing Master’s at the local university) and I have never met any Colombian who even ever tried marijuana or coke, not mentioned prostitutes. Especially on the coast it is really seen as wrong thing to do. Those who smoke Weed here are considered junkies or backpacker tourists, who by the way do not differ much from junkies. The backpackers converted Taganga into an enclave where sex and drugs are cool things to do. Man, I wish people knew how badly Colombia needs these people out of here to finally change this image. And i am not talking about all backpackers but rather those who use Colombia as their ‘party i dont care about antyhing’ playground.
    Just my 2 cents

  8. This seems like a controversial post. I’m guessing people who’ve commented haven’t read any of my other posts about Colombia though.

    I loved Colombia! It was by far my favorite country of my bike tour. The people were great — friendly, enthusiastic, trustworthy. I didn’t have any negative experiences while I was there. Since then, I’ve highly recommended travel to Colombia to friends who’ve asked. No reservations — you’ve gotta go!

    I was writing about a notable experience as these two lawyers seemed very familiar with prostitution and drugs. From their tales, prostitution seemed pretty acceptable.

    And I wasn’t saying that my experiences were “raw.” I had just mentioned that I didn’t want to be competing with backpackers on who had a more raw experience — it’s an annoying, pointless part of traveling through hostels.

  9. You should have fucked a colombian girl, they are very nice, sweet and funny !! there is also some very good coke of course

  10. relax people. of course that place a lot of sex and drugs is going on. As is in Berlin Germany, were I live (people actually come there for the same reason soem go to COlombia).

    I’m not sure why to get all upset about it or think he is giving Colombia a bad image by writing about this.

  11. I think that you found wrong people to tell you about santa martha and specially colombia..we have beatiful girls but as you should know this activity is not allowed for us..

  12. Hey Seven,

    I want to take my masters and live in Santa Marta. Can you give me the contact information?
    Thx

  13. I love Santa Marta. My wife and I made our son there. The whorehouses are a dingy reminder of a shadier past…possibly connected to the fact that SM is a major trade port. Either way, the sultry town is a unique part of Colombia and not to be missed in my opinion. The Pan American Restaurant is excellent fare too. Plus, besides the touristy part, it still holds old school charm. Def walk more into the interior and not just on the beach.

  14. I will advice anyone that wants to party like rockstars to vacation here in America where drug and prostitutes are a way of life for us here.. We consume about 80% of the cocaine produced in Colombia..
    Everyone is ok with it, hell everyone has either done drugs or knows someone who has.. I mean president Clinton admitted to smoking pot and president Bush’s daughter and neices love the nose candy!!!
    Visit us in NYC where in times square you will not only enjoy the beautiful lit billboards but also cocaine, crack and homegrown marijuana from any bar on 8th avenue!! Lets not forget the hookers boy do we Americans love whores its part of our culture. You can actually just open a yellow pages book which post business phone numbers and go the escorts section and order one straight to your hotel room. Every hotel should have one of those yellow pages book if not then just google a whore.. Even the governor of NY a married man orders hookers through these sites..
    NYC too busy for you? Want something a bit more laid back? Come on down to our nation’s capital where you can visit the white house..
    This is where the president lives and across the street from there you can score the best Heroin aside from Thailand. .
    I will also recommend Arkansas not really sure what to see in Arkansas but when in Rome we do as the romans do and we tweak on Meth binges for 2 weeks straight.. Everyone in Arkansas loves that crystallized drug.. you can buy it anywhere seems as if every one sells the stuff just ask anyone toothless which is just about everyone and oh dont worry about high levels of chemicals in tap water decaying your teeth the water is safe to drink its the meth that destroys the teeth of the people of Arkansas.. which is great cause it makes way for toothless $20 whores that give the best blow jobs..
    Continue west and come to Nevada and visit whole towns where everone is a hooker.. Reno has brothels that offer whores legally 24/7 365 days a year.. One time I got next on whore after the sheriff he was on his lunch break. ..
    Continue a bit more west and come to California where everyone sniffs cocaine and smokes marijuana.. hell we grow the best marijuana in the world grandmothers, to infants everyone grows and smokes and does a little cocaine..
    So if you want whores and drugs party here in the states!!
    Continue on a journey west and and come to Nevada where

  15. I will advice anyone that wants to party like rockstars to vacation here in America where drug and prostitutes are a way of life for us here.. We consume about 80% of the cocaine produced in Colombia..
    Everyone is ok with it, hell everyone has either done drugs or knows someone who has.. I mean president Clinton admitted to smoking pot and president Bush’s daughter and neices love the nose candy!!!
    Visit us in NYC where in times square you will not only enjoy the beautiful lit billboards but also cocaine, crack and homegrown marijuana from any bar on 8th avenue!! Lets not forget the hookers boy do we Americans love whores its part of our culture. You can actually just open a yellow pages book which post business phone numbers and go the escorts section and order one straight to your hotel room. Every hotel should have one of those yellow pages book if not then just google a whore.. Even the governor of NY a married man orders hookers through these sites..
    NYC too busy for you? Want something a bit more laid back? Come on down to our nation’s capital where you can visit the white house..
    This is where the president lives and across the street from there you can score the best Heroin aside from Thailand. . The mayor of our nation’s capital was secretly recorded smoking crack buy a prostitute but don’t you worry of being exposed like this this was at a time when crack was a new drug on the market and still a taboo. The mayor was later viewed a hero and got reelected
    I will also recommend Arkansas not really sure what to see in Arkansas but when in Rome we do as the romans do and we tweak on Meth binges for 2 weeks straight.. Everyone in Arkansas loves that crystallized drug.. you can buy it anywhere seems as if every one sells the stuff just ask anyone toothless which is just about everyone and oh dont worry about high levels of chemicals in tap water decaying your teeth the water is safe to drink its the meth that destroys the teeth of the people of Arkansas.. which is great cause it makes way for toothless $20 whores that give the best blow jobs..
    Continue west and come to Nevada and visit whole towns where everyone is a hooker.. Reno has brothels that offer whores legally 24/7 365 days a year.. One time I got next on whore after the sheriff he was on his lunch break. ..
    Continue a bit more west and come to California where everyone sniffs cocaine and smokes marijuana.. hell we grow the best marijuana in the world grandmothers, to infants everyone grows and smokes and does a little cocaine..
    So if you want whores and drugs party here in the states!!

  16. fast conclusions… nothing compares to USA or EUROPE Drugs Consumes.. .. Prostitutions?… nothing compares to USA or EUROPE Prostitutions…

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