For the first time, travelers can fly directly to and from Miami and Santa Marta, Colombia on Viva Air starting Dec. 18.
Although Santa Marta has long been a hot spot for beachgoers, Baranquilla and Cartagena were previously the only Caribbean destinations in Colombia with direct flights to Miami. Now, Santa Marta and Miami will be connected with tickets starting at $174 round trip on Viva Air (www.vivaair.com/en-co).
The three-hour flight will leave Miami on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 10:38 a.m. Return flights will leave Santa Marta on the same days at 6:20 a.m.
Viva Air, formerly VivaColombia, is a low-cost airline based in Colombia and Peru. The airline was developed by Irelandia Aviation, which is managed by Declan Ryan, the founder of the popular European budget airline Ryanair. Last year, VivaColombia floated the idea of pursuing standing air travel as a way to make it more affordable. That has yet to materialize.
For travelers interested in an Atlantic Ocean coast destination, there is another new South American nonstop option from Miami: Guyana via American (www.aa.com).
Starting this week, American offers a 6 p.m. flight from Miami to Georgetown, Guyana on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Return flights will leave Guyana at 1:09 a.m. on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.