At Santa Marta I stayed at The Dreamer Hostel. A place I have been hearing about for months and an absolute must if you are staying in the North of Colombia.
It’s not cheap, with rooms costing upwards of $30.000COP (10-bed basic with fan). $33.000COP per night will get you air-conditioning – the first I have seen in months, and it’s worth the extra pennies. The dorms are a good size and I tried to stay in a 10-bed with aircon (“Brasil” or “Italy”).
It’s a home away from home and makes a great base from which to explore most of the Caribbean coast from Santa Marta eastwards.
The place is like an oasis. Lovely colourful painted walls and mango trees surrounding a lovely pool. The restaurant is excellent and dishes range from $15.000 for Thai rice to about $30.000. I returned numerous times between excursions along the coast and am doing my best to work my way through the menu. I have tried the vegetarian burrito (9.5/10), spaghetti carbonara (flavour 9/10, portion size a tad small), and chicken fajitas (9/10, needed a bit more flavour).
The staff are absolutely lovely, taking care to remember your name and they are very helpful with organising anything. Another handy bonus is that you can store as much of your luggage their as you like with no hassle and they have lockers for the more valuable things.
There are activities in the evenings like Spanish or salsa classes and yoga and the bar is quite lively. I found it a good place to meet solo travellers too, so that was really handy for making plans to explore along the coast.
At breakfast on my first day I got invited to join a few others who were heading to Tayrona Park that day – plans sorted.