Panam Sports President Neven Ilic, second left, visited Santa Marta as it submitted its bid for the 2025 Junior Pan American Games ©Panam Sports

Santa Marta in Colombia has submitted a bid to stage the 2025 Junior Pan American Games and joins capital cities Asunción in Paraguay and Lima in Peru in the race for hosting rights.

Panam Sports President Neven Ilic visited the latest potential host on the coast of the Caribbean Sea to coincide with the official bid submission.

Ilic's delegation was met by Magdalena Governor Carlos Caicedo and Santa Marta Mayor Virna Johnson on a three-day visit which included tours of sports venues that are part of the bid and meetings about what the city has to offer.

"In 2025 our city will be 500 years old, so there is no better opportunity to celebrate this very special occasion for all of us and for all of Colombia with the entire continent," Caicedo said.

"We are waiting for you here, we are going to welcome you with great kindness and make you feel at home as we have done in other events."

Santa Marta already has a large amount of infrastructure in place due to its hosting of the Bolivarian Games in 2017 - when it was the only city to submit an official candidacy.

"We are very excited that the Panam Sports delegation is in our city and getting to know our strengths, our venues and our people," Mayor Johnson added.

"We are preparing ourselves and we are very optimistic about hosting the Junior Pan American Games in 2025."

On his first visit to the city, Ilic left feeling positive and supported the idea of Santa Marta also serving as a co-host of the Barranquilla 2027 Pan American Games.

"I am very impressed," said the Chilean official.

"The city is very beautiful and its sports infrastructure is very well maintained.

"Everything complies with our standards.

"There are certain things that are still required, but we hope that [in the event it is chosen] the few things that Santa Marta still needs that they are thinking about utilising them for the senior Pan American Games to be sure that all the investment made for 2025 would also serve the Games in 2027.

"That is the philosophy that must be had.

"It seems to me that it is very responsible in economic terms for a country to make an investment in the middle of their journey towards another major event such as the 2027 Pan American Games in Barranquilla."

Santa Marta is also due to host the host the Central American and Caribbean Beach Games in November this year, although exact dates have not been confirmed.

Should the city be successful it would be the second Colombian host of the Junior Pan American Games after Cali staged the inaugural edition last year.

Colombia is due to host the full Pan American Games and Parapan American Games in 2027 as well, in Barranquilla.