Simón Bolivar is viewed as the Liberator of much of northern South America and is considered one of the most important Latin American political figures who ever lived. He was born in Caracas, the son of wealthy landowners, and led the independence movement, eventually achieving independence from Spain for what was then called Gran Colombia, covering most of northern South America.
Simón Bolivar spent his last days at La Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino near Santa Marta, a quinta (large house) and hacienda (farm) built in the 17th century. At that time the estate produced rum, honey and panela, a sugar cane product. Bolivar died of tuberculosis in one of the rooms there on December 17, 1830.
Now the Quinta is a tourist site, museum and historical landmark. The main house, painted a deep yellow color, is where Simon Bolivar breathed his last breath. Here you can find the bed he used, important documents and other objects that help recreate the Liberator’s life, and paintings depicting Bolivar and the area at the time he visited.
The house and grounds are open for exploring. Cool down in the extensive gardens under trees that are hundreds of years old. A statute of Simon Bolivar (without his ever-present horse) is one of the centerpieces of the garden. A monument called the Patrimony Altar (Altar de la Patria) was built on the site for the100th anniversary of Bolivar’s death. The museum also contains art donated by many of the countries he helped liberate.
Av. del Libertador - Sector San Pedro Alejandrino. The museum is normally open every day from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 or 5:30 p.m. depending on the season, although it’s always good to call before you go to make sure. To get there take a taxi or a bus from the Santa Marta waterfront.