Every in Santa Marta the people celebrate the Fiestas del Mar, which represent the celebration of the city’s birthday. The first version was held between July 26th and 29th in 1969. This festival is one of the most important and most anticipated of the nation’s celebrations, and the main events include water sports, the National and International Sea Pageant (Spanish: Reinado Nacional e Internacional del Mar), and the Nautical and Beach National Games (Spanish: Juegos Nacionales Náuticos y de Playas).

Within the Fiestas, sports competitions such as swimming, rowing, and water skiing are held between delegations that come from different parts of the country. As an interesting historical fact, it should be noted that for its second anniversary it was called the Parade of Whalers (Spanish: Desfile de Balleneras) for the first time. In it the participants of the pageant passed in boats greeting the people who remained on the banks of the bay. Since then, the Fiestas del Mar have been evolving little by little, with a series of activities being added and other being removed from the schedule of events. For example, in the last two occasions the Gastronomic Festival, fishing competitions, photomarathons and more have been added to the activities. All of these features make the Fiestas del Mar a great attraction for visitors who wish to enjoy the rich culture and sports of the city.