Island Hopping in Colombia: The Best Secret Island Retreats to Book

Colombia has an abundance of islands waiting to be explored
Colombia has an abundance of islands waiting to be explored | © Jon Arnold Images Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

With a coastline washed by both the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean, it’s no surprise Colombia has an abundance of islands waiting to be explored. From tropical Isla Barú to postcard-perfect San Andrés and Providencia, check out our handpicked selection of places to stay – all bookable on Culture Trip.

Enjoy a resort-style vacation at Decameron Barú

This upscale resort occupies a gorgeous swathe of coast on the Barú peninsula, nestled between lush tropical jungle and a stretch of golden sand. The all-inclusive, self-contained complex offers numerous vacation-friendly features from multiple pools and restaurants to tennis courts and a wellness center. Most of the rooms have views of the sea or the neighboring lagoon, with top-end options just steps from what many consider one of Colombia’s best beaches.

Kick back with your other half at Aura Hotel Barú near Cholón

Set directly overlooking the vast Cholón seawater lagoon on Barú, this waterfront hotel combines swish rustic-lux with unspoiled nature. With just 19 rooms, it’s as bijou as it is secluded, perfect if you’re looking for that “hidden tropical paradise” vibe to romance your other half. Most accommodation comes with sea views, with stilted bungalows guaranteeing Caribbean vistas from their private terraces and hammocks. There’s an abundance of activities on offer, too – from kayaking to bioluminescent plankton tours.

Embrace island living at the laid-back Posada Enilda

Providencia is one of those Caribbean paradise islands where it feels like time slows down. Most of the places to stay are low-key, laid-back affairs. Posada Enilda is one such place with colorful island-style lodgings set on a lush forested hillside. Simple, budget-friendly rooms all come with air conditioning and en-suite bathrooms; some upper levels afford a glimpse of Caribbean blue. It’s also just a couple of miles from the most popular and picturesque beach on the island, Playa ​​Manzanillo.

Stay in the heart of San Andrés at Sol Caribe Sea Flower

Located in the middle of the tourist zone of San Andrés, the Sol Caribe Sea Flower has everything you’ll need practically on its doorstep. You’re just steps from the ferry terminal and a short stroll to the spectacular Playa Spratt Bight beach. Rooms mix up bright modern decor with traditional chunky wood furnishings; those on the higher floors feature fabulous views of the Caribbean Sea. Hit up the hotel restaurant for local flavors and fresh seafood.

Take the kids to Hotel Arena Blanca on San Andrés

The hotel Arena Blanca (or White Sand Hotel) certainly lives up to its name. Not only is it just a short hop from the beach, but it also features its own sand-bottomed swimming pool. The pool also has a fun slide, as well as a large playground to keep the little ‘uns entertained. Guest rooms are bright and well equipped, including comforts like pillow menus and fancy toiletries. Upgrade to a superior room and you’ll be treated to a big balcony with dreamy views out to sea.

Breathe in the sea air at Hotel Calypso Beach on San Andrés

You can’t sleep any closer to the beach when staying at the hotel Calypso Beach, located just steps from the white powder sands of Playa Spratt Bight. If you’d rather take a freshwater dip, there’s a rooftop swimming pool lined with loungers and a poolside bar. You’ll have guaranteed sea views from numerous vantage points, including through wraparound windows at the hotel restaurant. A complimentary breakfast buffet is served here every morning, too, so you can start your days gazing over the dreamy turquoise water.

Get ready for waterpark thrills at Hotel Blue Cove by On Vacation on San Andrés

If plenty of water-based fun is your idea of the perfect vacation, then the hotel Blue Cove by On Vacation is sure to appeal. As well as a huge main pool, you’ll find a trio of shade-dappled outdoor jacuzzis and even a lazy river on-site. You’re also just across the road from a scenic stretch of rocky coast, which includes the popular cliff-jumping and snorkeling spot, Salto de Morgan. It’s great if you have kids in tow, too, with a mini-club and games room for all ages.

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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

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