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
Photo of Leon Beckenham
12 October 2021

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

Courtesy of 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

Courtesy of Aura Hotel Barú /
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

Courtesy of 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

Courtesy of 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

Courtesy of Hotel Arena Blanca by Dorado /
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

Courtesy of Hotel Calypso Beach / Expedia
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

Courtesy of Hotel Blue Cove by On Vacation /
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.
These recommendations were updated on October 12, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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